Thank you everyone for joining us for this call for the December 1 SHOWTIME PPV® live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
We had an entertaining call yesterday with Tyson Fury and now we get to hear from the WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder, America’s only heavyweight champion, this is the most significant heavyweight fight in the United States since Lennox Lewis took on Mike Tyson in 2002.
This card also features the WBA IBF Champion Jarrett Hurd against Jason Welborn in what I believe will be an extremely exciting fight. We also have heavyweights Luis Ortiz versus Travis Kauffman and Joe Joyce versus Joe Hanks on the PPV portion of the card. Now how great is that? Wilder, Fury and Ortiz, the three best heavyweights in the world all on the same card.
Tickets are on sale for the live event and available at AXS.com, STAPLES Center Box Office or STAPLESCenter.com.
Like I said yesterday, it’s truly been a great year for SHOWTIME boxing and it’s a great way to end the year for Stephen Espinoza. And now it gives me great pleasure to introduce Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
Thanks, Tom. I agree. This is definitely a great way to end the year. This year alone SHOWTIME has done more than 30 different telecasts in total of boxing; that includes more than 26 world championship fights, three of which will be heavyweight world championships. The heavyweight division is back in focus, it’s back in popularity and I think a good portion of that is due to the efforts of SHOWTIME. This will be the 13th heavyweight title fight presented by SHOWTIME in just the last four years. Of course, many of those have featured Deontay Wilder. This will be the 12th time that Deontay has appeared on SHOWTIME or the SHOWTIME platforms. He started on ShoBox as did Tyson Fury so we have a battle here of two former ShoBox fighters. And of course the WBC Champion is in fact regarded as the hardest puncher in boxing.
By now you all know the figure is 40 professional fights, 39 KOs; KO’d every opponent he’s faced. He has a challenge in-store on December 1, a unique challenge, a set of skills and a set of physical attributes in Tyson Fury that present a challenge unlike anyone else in the division. It’s a fascinating matchup of boxing styles; two big personalities, two charismatic champions and we’re very proud to be ending our year on such a high note. Also, I wanted to remind everybody about the premier of “All Access” this Saturday, 10:00 pm ET.
Just a quick reminder, Fight Week events leading up to the fight, the main event press conference is on Wednesday, the undercard press conference will be on Thursday. And we have a public weigh-in on Friday. Now it’s my great pleasure to introduce the leader of the Bomb Zquad, WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, Deontay Wilder.
I’m excited for December 1, it’s been a long time coming. Now we’re finally here. The countdown begins. One thing about getting into camp, having great sparring partners to come and give you a visual of your opponent and you break your body down through strength training and gym work and then it comes that point in time where you feel like all that hasn’t gone in vain; the time is here, the time is now.
That’s what I’m feeling. I feel great. I feel wonderful. This has been an amazing camp for me. The guys that we have chosen to come into this camp have given me great looks. I’m definitely over-prepared for this fight. When I get into a camp I’m already in shape when I go and most people know that about me, so when it’s time, I’m ready. With this fight, it means everything to me. This is my time to shine. This is my coming-out party. Somewhere I was supposed to have been a long time ago due to different difficulties and different things up in the sport and in my life that made me not to have such things.
But we can’t talk about the past because it’s now. This is the future. This is the present and I can’t wait. It’s going to be an amazing fight while it lasts. You know what I do so you know what I come to do. Those that have been waiting to see a body on the canvas to get knocked out and this is their first fight, they’re in for a treat. They’ll definitely beg to see another one again. Heavyweight boxing is so exciting at this point in time; it’s on fire and I’m just so excited to be a part of the movement and I’m proud to be a part of this heavyweight division and be at the top of the podium as one of the kings of the division.
Tyson’s such an unorthodox fighter, how do you get your sparring partners to mimic him?
Well when you get sparring partners to come in and try to mimic another fighter, you can only ask them to do the best that they can do. You’ll never find the one that’s 100% like that person because that’s just the thing, we hear it all the time, styles make fights. So everyone has their own style and now you’re trying to ask someone to go out of their character and get into someone else’s.
The thing about my guys, they’ve done a wonderful job with what they had, with what they could do and some of them have been in there with Fury before so they know everything about him, what he’s capable of and how he moves. So with that being said, we did the best we can do. I’m very, very, very, very satisfied with the guys that I had in and the looks that they have given me. I have no doubts in my mind that I’m going to be ready.
Is there any way that he can bring anybody into his camp that can mimic you?
No one that he could bring into camp can have a reflection of me. They can have tall guys, they can have guys that are strong, they can have a guy that’s fast, they can have a guy that could have a great jab but it’ll never be a full complete Deontay Wilder ever. Out of 40 fights a lot of these guys would have had a guy to come in and be able to do that and be successful with him. And the word would have gotten out now and that guy would have been the main guy for every guy that I fight because they would have seen him and they would have heard about him and being able to mimic me so well.
You’ll never find that especially when they’re dealing with a fighter that’s awkward and don’t go by the textbook. See, I never been by the textbook, my style is what it is and I love my style. And if somebody can come and give me a challenge and beat it, my style will always remain the same because nobody can understand it, no one could figure me out and that what’s it all about.
What does it mean to you to finally get this kind of big heavyweight fight in America?
Yes, it means everything to me. Like I said before it allows me to feel like my hard work that I’ve put in for so many years, so many years, hasn’t gone in vain. I’ve worked my ass off to get to this very point in my life and now I’m here. Like I said, I’m not going to cry over spoiled milk or what’s in the past, I’m only going to celebrate and be happy and reflect off of my energy in a positive way of what’s going on with me right now. That’s all I can focus about, what’s right now. Right now is the biggest fight in the world in the heavyweight division and we’re going to L.A. to do this thing and bring out all the stars.
So I cannot wait. This is my moment; this is my opportunity. I don’t care what man that I may face come December the 1st, if it wasn’t Tyson Fury it could be anyone; no one is going to beat me on this special occasion, on this special day, I don’t care who it is. No one. This is what I’ve been waiting on. I do it for my children and ain’t no single man is going to be able to come in and be able to do anything to me. I don’t care what type of record he has, I don’t care what type of skill level he thinks he’s at, that don’t matter. When you get in the ring, all that goes out the window; it doesn’t matter.
You’re going to see what happens. I know what I’m going to do, I know what I’m capable of doing. Every word that I speak, I keep it real with people. I’m the realest champion in the world, like I said, I’m real with it. Some people can’t handle real, it gets too real for them. But when you’re in this game right here, when you’re in this business of fights, having to be a gladiator, having to show your strength and be a king, better understand everything I say, I mean. You’re all in for a treat.
How do you avoid getting ensnared in a type of wrestling situation on the inside?
I just do what I do. I do what I train to do and I rely on my muscle memory. I’m going to collect in the ring. I don’t worry about what everyone else can do or other fighters can do or what their strength and their weaknesses are. So when you get in the ring you can understand all those things, but if you don’t apply what you learn or the information that you collected, if you don’t apply it on that special night of the fight, then it all goes out the window.
Everybody can have some type of special ability about them but if you can’t use your powers, then you’re useless. I don’t care how big he is, I don’t care how well he moves, I’m 40 and 0, 39 KOs. I’m one of the most experienced heavyweights in this division. I’ve been to different countries. I’ve fought different styles. Do I need to say more?
I don’t care what Fury is going to bring, there’s nothing that this man’s going to be able to do. I’ve fought awkward fighters. I’ve fought big fighters; every fighter I’ve faced outweighed me or nearly doubled my weight. That don’t matter to me. When you possess my power, you don’t worry about a lot of things, because you already know what you’re possessing and when it comes to me, I got the killer instinct; I got the most dangerous killer instinct in the boxing game. No one has a mindset like me.
No one can have a killer instinct like I have, it’s natural born. I don’t have to get mad at you; I don’t have to find things on you; I don’t have to lie on you to try to get in your head or try to get in your head in general. I don’t have to do that because I deliver whether I’m mad at you or whether I’m happy. I can beat your ass and still smile at the same time. And that’s the difference between me and these other guys, they try to find things to get mad, they try to make themselves get mad. I’m special.
I was born to do this. And the more and more I have fights and the more and more I’m able to display my talent among the world the sooner everyone will realize that I am special, I am something that’s a gift from God. I am anointed like my grandmother said. You all want to see the Ali era in the golden days, trust in Deontay. Put your trust in Deontay. I’m here. I’ve been here for a long time. Many people will look at me as an overnight success, but this has been an over 10-year overnight success for me.
I can’t wait. This is my moment to shine; this is what I’ve been waiting on. That’s it. I don’t care what he’s going to be able to do, he ain’t going to be able to beat me. And if he do try to rough me up like he did Cunningham, if he do try to get aggressive with me, man, it’ll be his worst nightmare. I’m going to be his worst nightmare. That’s going to be the worst thing he ever done.
They better get a referee in there that’s very strong. The referee better be lifting weights at this point in time because if it gets violent in that ring and that’s my middle name, I’m a Wilder, that’s what I do. I’m a different king in that ring, I’m a different monster and he knows it. That’s why he had to have three trainers. I don’t have to have nothing but the ones I’m with. If he says he’s a big guy, he can do all this shit, why he got to have so many trainers just for little old me?
Why all these fighters have to have so many resources? Why they have to have so many different things just to fight little old me from Alabama? Come on now. I can’t wait. He better be careful in the ring when they come in with rough stuff because that’s what I do, I can play that game too, and you don’t want to see me in that type of mindset in the ring. It’ll be danger – he comes with that WWE stuff it’s going to be the worst thing he’s ever done in his life and I promise you that.
How did this fight wind up in Los Angeles?
I’ve been all around the world. I definitely displayed my talent in New York multiples of time which I love New York, they love me back. I’ve done it once in Vegas and in multiple other cities but with this situation, with this fight, L.A. came aboard and they made sure everything was done. They gone things done. And we looked at a fresh start for boxing, we’re talking about bringing the heavyweight division back, we’re talking about bringing boxing back. If we’re going to do that, we can’t be content with one place, with one location, with one state.
If we’re going to show the world what boxing is and what the heavyweight division is, we must spread the love baby. We’ve got to spread the love so people can see and then what place to better go if it’s not New York, it’s not Vegas, let’s go to the second media capital of the world where all of the stars are at. We’re going to have a star main event, why not bring the stars out and let them see, let them be amongst the greatness, the excitement and in this place to showcase what the heavyweight title is all about; what the heavyweight division is all about, when the big boys come out, what is it all about? The only thing people should be concerned about is have I got my tickets, have I got my flights and all of those things in order because I’m going to this fight and I can’t wait. And if you can’t make it, you better click it. You don’t want to miss it.
Are you surprised by Tyson Fury’s decisions to have Freddie Roach as his cutman?
I’m not surprised about none of these fighters. I’m not surprised about what another fighter does or doesn’t do, I don’t worry about what they are doing in their camp or what they do outside of boxing in their normal personal life. I don’t care about that, that’s none of my business. When you’re dealing with a fighter, whatever they’re comfortable with, then they should go – this is the biggest fight of his life today. So if I was him, I would be trying to reach out to as many resources as I possibly can myself. When you’re dealing with one of the most dangerous men in the boxing game, the baddest man on the planet in the boxing game, that hits the hardest in all of the divisions, period. I put my power up with anybody, period. And it’s natural, I don’t have to lift a weight, period. I don’t have to go to a weight room, I don’t have to go to a gym period and my athleticism, my body frame, my build will be what it is; ask the people that’s around me. It’s in living color.
In this short period of time, even a month’s time, you – a person isn’t going to get to know fully you, especially in this fight game because your style is what it is. It was created and tamed by someone else, another trainer. So when you start getting multiple trainers, for me, that seems nervous. That seems a bit of nervous behavior for me switching up. Now you’re up in Big Bear, you couldn’t even take Big Bear. You had to come back down because that was too much for you. You had Abel Sanchez up there, a whole different fighter, trainer, now you’re going to sea level what you can take and now you’ve got the other trainer. It ain’t going to matter to me. I want him to be comfortable, I want him to be able to get the training that he feels is going to be able to bring the best out of Tyson Fury. I want the best Tyson Fury that we can possibly get. I’m already getting excuses now; every time I fight I get excuses and I’m so sick of it. I’m tired of people making excuses for me. I’m tired of people trying to paint out a narrative that ain’t it. I’m tired of people trying to paint me as the villain in this sport because I speak it, believe it and I receive it and it’s mine. So in this fight, I will knock him out. I will beat him. There’s not a man from a mother’s womb who is going able to beat him, then why you training, you switching up all of these trainers then? In that case, it should be natural. But I’m going to show him natural ability as I speak it and I’m going to show him.
His uncle is not going to be there, two massive influences on his boxing career, surely that’s going to play in your hands that they’re not going to be there in his corner?
I’m very confident in what I do. I’m very confident in what I say. Some may get it twisted with me being cocky or he’s just arrogant; well how can you be so cocky and arrogant when each and every time you’ve proven everything to people. Women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie. And when I lay those numbers on the table, then that’s what it is. I’m a real fighter, I’m the real deal.
Excuse me Holyfield but I am the real deal too. But I show it each and every time and people just got to wake up. This fight I think a lot of people are going to wake up. Some will, some won’t, but the majority of them will wake up on this fight. They’ve been denying me for so long and they’ve hated on me for so long. You had negative thoughts about me because I know everybody isn’t for me. Every person that comes in my face, every fighter, every promoter, every person that works in the industry of boxing, they aren’t for me, come on.
You don’t give out too much energy because you want to prove them wrong as many times as they try to discredit you and many times they are trying to wish bad up on you and hope that you don’t succeed. You feel it. So what you do, instead of showing action with your mouth, you show action with your hands. I show it with my skills in the ring. I show it with my aggressiveness, I show it with my power and it’s done.
Do you think this is Tyson regretting his decisions to have Ben Davison as a trainer? Do you think Ben Davison is too weak to take on someone like you?
Well, I’m not going to go that far, we like Ben as a person. I don’t know how Ben is as a trainer but we like him as a person and I don’t know what Ben’s levels are as a trainer. No one knows because we never heard of him before, we never seen him, but that don’t mean nothing. That don’t mean nothing because you can have an unknown guy and come out of nowhere and be the greatest thing alive, it just wasn’t his time at that point in time just like me with my career, I came out of nowhere, I wasn’t chosen to do this. When people had their lists for the Olympics, my name wasn’t on that list, it was someone else.
When I became the heavyweight champion of the world, many people doubted me. I wasn’t on the list of anybody’s minds that would be the next great thing. I had to show them he’s from Alabama. I’m going to show you since you want to put me in a place and you’re trying to define by where I am and not where my heart is, not where my mindset is and when I throw these hands, that’s when I have to prove them wrong. I prove everybody wrong each and every time and I’m going to continue to do that over and over again.
It doesn’t matter what training he gets in. And these trainers know that as well too. They can’t fight for him, they can get him instructions, they can coach him. They can critique him on certain things, they can even motivate him and if he needs a little inspiration they can do that as well too. But there’s only one man, only one man that’s going to be in that ring, it ain’t no team thing when you get in that ring. It’s going to be me and him; everything he’s been taught and learned, it may go out the window because I’m a different possession of power. I’m a different possession of athleticism, movement, I’m agile, mobile, I’m hostile, I’ve got a heart of a lion. I said I’m a king and I really mean every word that I say until somebody proves me wrong.
Do you think that the winner of this fight can call himself the best heavyweight in the world or will the winner have to face Anthony Johnson before sort of making that claim?
In my true honest opinion, I feel whoever wins this can call themselves the best heavyweight champion in the world. Let’s face it, we don’t have to keep going over this over and over again about Anthony Joshua, they had their opportunity, they had their chance. They had their chance to prove and see, was he the good or was he spoiled milk? They didn’t want to accept that challenge because they already know what I possess, they know my mindset and what I’m able to do and they know that he’s not on that level. Of course he beat the guys that they put in front of him and tried to hype the media like things was going so big and would it really work? You wonder why the network or whatever they fight on, the numbers are not public knowledge because then you can just make up numbers and people will believe whatever.
We know for a fact what goes on. We don’t have to disguise, we don’t have to manipulate, we don’t have to contradict, we don’t have to lie to people about what’s going on because I am the real deal and I like it that way. I don’t want nobody to be lying on me like I done something that I haven’t done or I made numbers that weren’t there. Come on, let’s do the numbers; let’s add it up together.
America is totally different. As far as I’m concerned, this right here will tell the world in the heavyweight division who is the best of the best because I don’t feel Joshua can beat me, nor can he beat Fury. I personally, I’ve got a strong opinion and a strong feeling about that. I don’t feel that would happen. He had two opportunities to prove to the world, not only to his country but to the world that he’s the best. Not only with me, but with Luis Ortiz. We already know the story how they collected that, had that man over their fighting for nothing like he was a clown entertaining the people. They were scared of him, they wanted to hold him so they wouldn’t have to fight him and that’s just sad. That aren’t showing you the best. I don’t think he has the heart. The man’s had to prove that he’s the best and if he does, his people don’t, that’s who runs him. He doesn’t run his career like we thought it was.
But that’s enough on him, it ain’t about him, it’s about me and Fury; we are the best. And after this fight, you will see who is the best; one champion, one space, one name.
Do you enjoy it personally when your opponent is willing to kind of have of have verbal spars with you in press conferences and media events? Do you kind of enjoy it, back and forth?
I very much enjoy it. I enjoy the confrontation that we have, I enjoy the rumbling with the mouth that we have. We try to see who has the bigger motor and the mouth. Call him a motor mouth. That’s what – that’s what makes it exciting. That’s what brings boxing alive, the promotion part, the press conferences of boxing. I call it speaking your piece. I love when people speak their piece because I want to know what’s on your mind, what you’re thinking at that time? Whether it’s false or is it real? Like I want to know what you’re thinking. So when I get in the ring whether I have mercy or not, I’m going to hold whatever you say towards me, against you. In the ring, I can be the judge. I can be the judge of what I’m going to do to you.
This is what we signed up for. But when people pick you out as a villain they try to find every word to hold it against you. But I love it because when people hate on me, when they don’t want to see me make it, God blesses me even more. And it’s been throughout my life like that. Everybody’s been hating on my father. They’ve been hating on me and they hating on my little brother. It’s been like that. This is a tradition, but sadly maybe it’s a curse.
I can’t wait for this fight guys. I’m ready. I’ve been ready last week. I’ve been ready for this fight last week and I can’t wait. The more I talk about it the more I’m just getting more excited. The more I’m getting ready to put my fist in his mouth. The one thing about me I don’t just punch you. I punch through you.
What challenges have you faced during this training camp if any at all?
That’s probably a question for my trainer because how I feel and how I see myself in the ring or whether I’m training in the mitts, in the speed bag or whatever I’m doing, I’m going to only get the perspective of what I see. But that’s why you have trainers. They can see things that you can’t see.
So yes I feel great. I feel like it’s been all fun. I’m in a happy place. This is the happiest I’ve been in my life and that’s because of my family, such great beautiful people that I surround myself each and every day man. It’s been amazing for me. I got amazing people around me. I’m not worrying about who really got my best interest at heart because I already got that from the start.
I got the love around me right now and the protection. So, while we in this condition now, we aren’t worried about nobody trying to come and steal the shine or come in and out. Now you had some time to come in for me. Now it’s a whole different thing now babe. If you weren’t with me before, don’t try to come in on me now. I got love around me. I got peace and I got protection.
So that’s probably be a question for my trainer. He may see something different that I had to overcome or something like that. But man to be honest it’s just been all happiness and positive energy in my count man. I can’t really tell you right now.
How are you corralling these emotions? How are you keeping them tight and so you don’t peak or blow off the steam until the fight comes?
Well we’ve been slowing down, less sparring. My hours in training have been cut down as we’re getting closer to the fight.
The guys will be waiting on me when I get freed from this interview, they’ll be ready for me. They’ll be ready to rock and roll. My guys they, when I get there, they’re already ready. They’re warmed up and ready. They’re just waiting on me to warm up and ready and they give me their best look possible.
With that being said, me being so ahead of schedule and stuff, we just have to slow things down. We know what we’re doing. We’ve been doing this 40 fights. I’ve had 40 camps, with my last fight being the worst camp I’ve ever had in my life. But you go through things to learn from them. You go through things to understand.
You may not understand why you went through a certain thing at the appropriate moment in time. But when you keep living you’ll realize like, man, I’m glad I went through that. I know what I’m capable of doing even if I had to go through something. I went three weeks. That’s all I was able to prepare for when I fought Ortiz.
One of the most dangerous guy, the boogeyman they called him. Three weeks, it was horrible, a horrible three weeks too. But I knew after that I know what I’m capable of doing. So I’m just happy man. I’m just ready to go. We just calming things down. That way I won’t over train and overwork my body because my body is sore each and every day. I feel like a brick.
Getting out of my bed each and every day I had to take hot showers to warm my body up, drink hot tea to warm my body. And these are the things that people don’t see. They don’t see what the fighters go through. You all don’t see what we go through, how we have to fight, how we have to break our body down mentally, physically and emotionally, because boxing is an emotional sport. You do not understand that because this is not your lifestyle. You’re not in it. This is not a career that you’ve chosen to do. This is a career that we’ve chosen to do.
So when people say they come and pay their money they want to see certain fights, well of course I’ll agree with that, but you got to understand what we go through as well too. It works hand in hand. And with that being said, you must have trainers that know what they’re doing. My people don’t get no credit at all, no credit at all for being trainers which is okay. That’s fine, because I don’t get no credit as being a great fighter, because if I wasn’t as great as I am, I would have never been a champion, period.
So they don’t never get no credit for what they’ve done ever. But it’s okay. They’re content with it. They’re fine. They don’t want no exposure. They don’t want publicity, but you really watch their work in the ring especially come December the 1st.
Ricky Hatton will also be in the corner for Tyson. So are three voices maybe worse than one or will that be an asset for Tyson?
It all depends on how Fury takes it in. It can work for him because four brains are better than one, but it also can play against him because it can be too many chefs in the kitchen.
Because every one of them trainers are going to have egos, every last one of them are subbed in. One guy’s just coming aboard. This is Ben’s first big fight but he might take some steps back and let these guys that already had champions or have trained champions come in and get their input on it. So it can be an advantage or it can be a disadvantage. It’s all how Tyson Fury takes it in.
Why do you consider yourself underappreciated and does that upset you?
I’m not – and let’s get an understanding. I’m not angry, because I’m in a place where I’m happy. I’m super happy. I got love, peace, happiness and great health. No need me being angry with anyone.
I’ll give a closing statement because I got to go train. But I thank everyone for coming on getting your questions out. This is going to be an amazing fight and I’m looking forward to it. We worked our ass off in camp and hopefully he has done the same instead of just running his mouth, but we get to see. All the action is about come. We going to see who’s the best man in the heavyweight division whether it’s the Gypsy King or is it the Bronze Bomber.
So this is the great thing about it. You got two tall heavyweights in there, very awkward style, that can speak and also that can show you the power. So tune in to the fight. Like I said, December 1 at STAPLES Center. If you can’t make it, click that button. You don’t want to miss it baby. I see you guys there. Peace.