Coordinator Welcome to the September 1st HBO Boxing After Dark Conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later there will be an opportunity for live questions and comments. Instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference call over to our host, Marc Abrams. Marc, please go ahead.
Marc Thank you. I want to welcome everyone to the September 1st HBO Boxing After Dark Conference Call. It’s a great double-header of boxing by Banner Promotions, Gary Shaw Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions, K2, Matchroom Sport, Warriors Boxing, and Universal Promotions of Puerto Rico in the Main Event – the WBA Middle-Weight Championship featuring undefeated champion Gennady Golovkin, 23-0 with 20 knockouts at Kazakhstan taking on the European Middle-Weight Champion, Grzegorg Proksa at 28-1 with 21 knockouts at Poland. We’re opening up the show at 9:45 p.m. Eastern and Pacific will undefeated Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez, 15-0, 13 knock-outs taking on former world champion Sergiy Dzinziruk. Sergiy’s undefeated at junior middle-weight where he’s coming back down. That will be for the WBC Continental America’s Championship. Tickets can be purchased at Turning Stone for $75, $70, $45, $35, and $25, and that number there is 315-361-7469 or www.ticketmaster.com.
To introduce everyone on the call, the CEO of Gary Shaw Productions, Mr. Gary Shaw.
Gary Shaw: Thank you, Marc. I just want to thank everybody for getting on the call, our promotional partners, especially my partner Artie Pelullo from Banner Promotions, Warriors, K2, Matchroom and Universal. This, once again, shows that, if promoters cooperate with one another, they can put on a great show with fighters that don’t necessarily just belong to themselves. We have a great opening bout in Gonzalez and Dzinziruk. It should be a real war. I’m not sure that this fight lasts all 12 rounds, but it is a great, great opening fight for HBO. Obviously, in the Main Event, everybody’s been waiting to see Golovkin fight here in the U.S. Unfortunately, Pirog got hurt, but we were lucky enough to get Proksa from Matchroom and Barry Hearn giving us a great fight against Golovkin. Both of those guys can really swing and that’s another fight that, personally, I don’t see going 12 rounds. But, at any rate, HBO is going to have a great night of boxing on September 1st, and behalf of Artie and myself, I thank you all and we look forward to your questions.
Go ahead, Marc.
Marc Any of the other promoters want to give any opening statements?
Barry Hearn: Hello. Can I say something, Artie and Gary from Barry Hearn and the Matchroom Boxing. It’s just … here. We’ve got a rare sunny day in England and we’re looking forward to some better weather coming out to you guys. We’ve made no doubt about the selection of this fight for us, obviously, Proksa is coming off a big knock-out win on the European title scene and to get a phone call and the opportunity when Pirog hurt his back was a real blessing for us and one that we thank God for and look forward to delivering in style. More importantly, for a fighter like Grzegorz Proksa, the opportunity to appear on HBO, the world’s leading boxing station as far as the perception of fight fans around the world goes is a massive honor and, you know, at the same time it comes with a huge obligation and a demanding fight.
There is no question that the current world champion is an excellent fighter. We have the upmost respect for him. His knock-out record speaks for itself. He’s in for a really tough fight against; I think two of the them represent the two biggest punches in the middle-weight division. Both have a huge knock-out percentage. Both have the ability to take men out with single shots, and I think HBO is in for an exciting fight. If it goes the distance, I’ll be astonished. I think one of these guys is going to … the other guy because that’s the way they fight. These European fighters – these guys are tough. These guys are really tough. We look at our fighters – some in America and some in England – we question ourselves whether they are really tough enough to be in the professional fight game now and the answer is often no. But you will not be disappointed on September 1st. We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Gary and Arty on this. For me, I’m now – I’m getting very old. I’m extremely selective about what fights I watch because I don’t like to waste my time. I would not miss this fight for a million and one dollars and I look forward to seeing you when we fly out there and (unclear).
Gary Shaw: Thank you.
Marc Tom, did you want to say something?
Tom Loeffler Yeah, I wanted to add also as Gary had mentioned, we have a lot of respect from the Golovkin fight for Proksa when Pirog got injured. It seems like there was no hesitation from their side to take the fight, which is a little bit unusual when it comes to picking opponents for Gennady in the past. As he mentioned, both fighters are big punchers. I think this will be a very exciting middle-weight championship fight and I just wanted to also acknowledge and thank Gary Shaw and Artie Pelullo for working together on this particular fight. I think a lot of people know that the original Main Event was planned as Pirog versus … and there was a lot of interchangeable parts there were … and just the fight with … and then Golovkin was going to fight Pirog and Pirog got injured and now it’s Golovkin and Proksa, but it’s a great headline fight and championship fight and will be actually a great month of boxing for the middle-weight division in September so we’re really looking forward to this fight and the debut of Gennady Golovkin on HBO and in the United States.
Marc I guess we’ll start with the co-feature about Jonathan Gonzales and Sergiy Dzinziruk. I know we got Jonathan on the line and his promoters Leon Margules and Javier Bustillo. Leon, do you want to introduce your team?
Leon Margules: Sure. I first of all want to thank Gary and I want to thank Artie for the opportunity on HBO and Turning Stone and everybody who was able to put this great card together. You know, Jonathan, Javier, and I and Gary signed Jonathan out of the Olympics after the 2008 games and I’ve been his promoter his entire career. He has never turned down an opportunity and when this opportunity arose, which I think he’s been waiting for since his first day, Gaby said, no – they want to fight badly. Please, please make that fight. So it just shows you the kind of fighter he is and those of you who have seen him know he fights with bad intentions and tries to stop everybody that gets … So we’re really excited his career move forward. I know Javier and I, who worked together from day one with Jonathan, are excited and I know Gaby, his advisor and long-time friend is also excited about this opportunity.
Marc Gaby, do you want to let Jonathan make an opening statement?
Gaby Penagaricano: Sure, sure. Hi everybody. Jonathan, (Speaking Spanish).
Jonathan (Speaking Spanish)
Gaby Jonathan is very thankful to the promoters and to HBO for the opportunity to trust in him and his capabilities to get this very important fight for this career. So thank you.
Gary Is Dzinziruk on yet?
Marc Not yet.
Gary Okay, then, why don’t you open up questions to whatever press is on and has questions.
Coordinator I’m just showing both of them to the call now.
Gary Okay, then why don’t you have the operator open up the lines for any questions.
Coordinator Alright, let’s go with our first question in the queue.
Victoria Hello. How are you today?
Coordinator Good, thank you. Please go on with your question.
Victoria My name is Victoria …, Chicago … My question is to the promoters. Why promote this in the United States and New York was chosen to be the place for this double-header? And why from all the time, in the past couple of years – 2012, 2012 was chosen to be the fight of Golovkin and Proksa in the United States?
Gary Let me just make sure I understand the question. Was the question why are we promoting this in the United States?
Victoria Why, from all the times, September 2012 was chosen to get the fight and why New York from all the cities?
Gary Well, if the question was why are we promoting it in the United States, it’s because it’s on HBO and HBO does the majority of all their telecasts here in the United States. That’s why it has to be on primetime here in the United States. And I know that all four fighters on this card want to be on HBO.
Victoria Why, from all the cities in the United States, New York was chosen to be the state to do the fight on. Why it’s not in Vegas, Chicago, etc., etc.,
Gary Because it’s in New York, that’s why. Next question, operator, please.
Coordinator Alright, and our next question please. Caller, go ahead with your question, please.
Mike Yes, this is Mike Waters with Syracuse Post-Standard here in Syracuse, New York. This question is for Arthur. Turning Stone has had a number of major boxing events, but it’s been awhile since we’ve had some of the big events like Laila Ali versus Jacqui Frazier. What about the Turning Stone facilities in the Main Event Center attracted you? What made you want to bring this kind of card to Turning Stone?
Joshua Roy: I’ll actually pick up and talk on behalf of Artie. If not, Gary, go ahead and jump in.
Gary No, go ahead. Go ahead.
M What brought us to Turning Stone, actually in Syracuse, is when we have an event of this kind of level, we present it to a number of venues around the company. Frankly, Turning Stone wanted it more. They liked the quality of the event. They want to bring a big boxing event their venue and, just for what you had said, there hadn’t been one there for a long time. When this opportunity came around and they saw the quality of the fight between the co-feature and the main event, it was kind of a no-brainer and they jumped at it.
In working with Turning Stone, which has been top notch and Greg … Promotions who helped facilitate the building with us and Gary, everything just sort of fell into place and it’s been very smooth and hopefully the event goes as smoothly as everything has been leading up to it.
Mike Thank you. Any of the other gentlemen on the call want to add to those remarks?
Let’s go ahead and go on to the next question.
Josh Hi. This is Josh McDaniel with Leave It In the Ring Radio. This is for Jonathan Gonzalez. You know, you’ve got 15 wins – 13 by knock-out and just like your promoter earlier said – … were bad intentions. Because you’re fighting a veteran like Sergiy, do you feel like you kind of have to be more careful and not look for the knock-out but yet, if it comes it comes but if it doesn’t it doesn’t?
Gary Is Gaby on?
Gary Did you hear the question?
Gaby Hello. I am translating.
Gaby Jonathan says not one bit. He has one plan and that is go – go and make pain on his opponent and that he will fight his same style as always, an aggressive knock-out artist.
Josh Thank you.
Gary Alright. In the meantime, let’s go to the next question.
Eric Rayz We can’t because Sergai just came out of the gym to be ready with us.
Barry Kristof, are you well?
Krzysztof Zbarski I’m fine, thank you.
Barry That’s good. Looking forward to seeing you, pal.
Gary I guess we’ll segue to the Main Event. We got Tom Loeffler with Gennady Golovkin and Barry Hearn who is in England and Kirstof … is with Grzegorz Proksa. Does Genaddy want to do any opening statements?
Gennady Yes. Hello. It’s me. It’s Gennady.
Gary Okay. Anything in opening?
Gennady Yes. I’m happy to go to my first fight in America in the United States and … I’m happy now.
Marc Kirstof, is Grzegorz with you?
Kirstof He’s with us. He’s with us on the phone.
Marc Does Grzegorgzhave any opening comments?
Grzegorz No, not really. I’m really happy to … fight. … waiting for all of my life. Right now, …, I’m really happy that my opponent with be Gennady Golovkin, the … champion, and I can’t wait for the fight date.
Marc I guess open it up for questions for Grzegorz and Gennady.
Mike Hi. This is Mike Woods from ESPN New York. The question is for Mr. Proksa. We haven’t seen you fight. Can you describe your style for us and what you bring to the table against Golovkin that’s Turning Stone?
Grzegorz You want me to tell you might strategy straight-ahead or what?
Mike Your fight style – how you fight – what sort of fight do you believe it’s going to look like?
Grzegorz It will be tough fight. It will be tough fight for sure. I’m ready for hard work. I know Gennady – like I said in the beginning, I respect my opponent but I believe in my work, what I’ve done, up to today and to get ready for a fight. What can I say more? Everything will appear crystal clear September.
Mike And Grzegorz, do you believe that Gennady is the toughest foe that you’ve fought to this point?
Grzegorg I think one of the three tough guys what I fought with … discipline … Yes, I believe yes.
Mike He is the toughest or did you say one of the three toughest?
Grzegorg Yes. Like you understood – three of the toughest.
Mike Okay – who were the other two? Who were the other two toughest?
Grzegorg One guy I don’t remember his surname. He is from Russia.
Grzegorg I hear more questions so I don’t know which one I need to answer.
Mike For Tom Loeffler – Tom, Mike Woods with ESPN New York – I’m wondering – I’m trying to get a sense of the stakes here for Golovkin and Proksa so not assuming that Proksa is going to be too high a hurdle to climb for Golovkin, but if Golovkin wins, what would be next for him? Tom, are you there?
Tom If Gennady is successful on September 1st, which we’re all confident that he would be, then we’re pretty much open. I mean we’ve made it clear that he would fight in the middle-weight division. There is a great fight the same night with … and … fighting. Naturally, it would be interesting to make the original fight with Pirog, which Gary was proposing who is undefeated and a WBO champion. Also, two weeks later there is the fight with Martinez and Chavez. Really, any of those fighters would be great for Gennady and he’s made it clear that he wants to fight the best in the middle-weight division and we think fighting Proksa in the debut on HBO is a great step in that direction.
Gary This is Gary.
Tom Hi Gary.
Gary I would not sell Proksa short. It is going to be a very, very tough fight. They are two huge punchers and this is a – to answer where Tom was going – this is a very, very … division. Both … and … and Chavez (unclear), so it’s just a fight that I wouldn’t sell either fighters off.
Gary The HBO audience is in for …
Tom I agree with what Gary said and I certainly wasn’t trying to sell Proksa short. Proksa’s a great fighter himself and I really think that, as a European champion and a big puncher and the way he has unconventional style being a south paw and moving around a lot, it’s going to be a terrific fight. Really, to get back to the question, is Gennady would fight anyone, but he certainly has to get by Proksa first and if he’s successful then he’s open to fighting, really, anyone.
Mike Great. Thanks so much guys. Have a great fight. Thanks for your time.
M Is there going to be …, please?
Norm This is Norm Frauenheim. I’m from 15Rounds and this question is for Gennady. Gennady, I’m curious – how difficult do you think it will be to create a marketable name and create a successful career in the United States? The question I’m asking, I guess, is Vassili Jirov was the first Kazakhstani fighter to try to do that. Most people would say his career was kind of mixed results. First, if you could answer the first question about the challenge of coming to the U.S. and then do you hope to surpass what Vassili Jirov did?
Gennady I think the win is great. I mean winning is great. I looking great. America public is great, too.
M Abel Sanchez I think the translator is with Gennady, so it might be clearer if Abel might answer the question with him so we can understand what Gennady is saying and then he can answer.
M That would be great. Thanks, Abel
Abel Really what he is trying to say is that it’s up to him to put on a good show and look great and the American public will take to him. If it’s a bad fight, then obviously, he’s not going to be marketable, but we think that he’s the best middle-weight in the world and if he does what he’s supposed to do, then the American public will buy the next HBO or the future pay-per-views that he will be on.
Norm Has he – Abel, could you ask him has he talked to Vassili Jirov about his own experience in trying to be a pro in the United States?
M Hold on. He said he did speak with him to try to gauge how to do it, but Vassili’s answer to him was every fighter is different. You go out and you do what you do. You’re in a division that is different from my division. …, obviously, are not household names so he’s in a division where there are a lot of great fighters and he will make his own mark.
Norm Okay, yeah, that sounds a lot like Vassili. Anyway, thanks a lot.
M Thank you.
Gary Yes, we have Sergiy on.
M Yes, I’m going to put him on now. He has an interpreter ready?
Sergiy Dzinziruk Hello.
M We’re ready for your questions.
Coordinator We do have some questions I’m picking up now.
Marc Does Sergiy want to make a statement?
Coordinator Well, we do have some questions. Do you want to do the statement first?
Victoria This is Victoria … … in Chicago. My question is to Gennady and to Sergiy. My question is about how do you think your body is adapting to switching the climates, time zones flying from Europe to the United States. How much time to you need to adapt to the United States and how far away from the fight are you coming to New York?
Abel I can answer for Gennady. My name is Abel Sanchez. I’m his trainer and he’s been here for approximately three months so the adjustment period was maybe a week and a half to two weeks and he’s quite adjusted to not only the climate but the time change and the training schedule.
Eric Okay. Let me translate the question for Sergiy. (translated question and answer)
As far as the first question is concerned, he usually comes one and a half to two months before the fight so by the time of the flight, he’s already adapted to the climate. He spars regularly before the fight so right now he’s been in the United States about three to four weeks. He doesn’t feel any discomfort. He’s been sparring regularly so he’s fine.
… will be flying from Los Angeles which is where he is right now.
Victoria Then my next question is where is Gennady staying right now once he came three months to the United States. If Sergiy’s in L.A., where is Gennady staying?
Abel Gennady trains in Big Bear, California.
Victoria Thank you.
Coordinator We’ll go on to our next question.
Matt Hi. This is Matt Harris of MaxBoxing.com. This question is for Golovkin. You’ve had lot of fights like evaporate or just fall apart. How happy are you to finally get one opportunity on HBO? What can you tell me about the like the fascination you experienced … against … or against … in the WBA and those fights …
Gennady Okay, answer. I’m happy with my fight on HBO. I think …
Matt Sorry. I must have not heard that. Yeah, I guess … on the line?
Gary Operator, can you go to the next question?
Mike Hi. This is Mike Woods with ESPN New York again. This question is for Abel Sanchez. Abel, we’ve talked before about Gennady, but would you mind repeating sort of what the upside is on this bid and how it compares to other people – other notables you have trained in your decades in the force?
Abel You know I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of great fighters, but this one is by far the best one that I’ve ever worked with at any period of time in their careers. He just – I think the 350 amateur fights and all the international experience has made him such a serene fighter – such a composed fighter and the one thing that he does have – he possesses lethal power on each end, so to me, he’s probably the best I’ve ever worked with.
Mike And remind us, please, who you have worked with.
Abel Terry Norris, … Norris, Miguel Gonzalez, … Compass, Paul Vaden, to name a few.
Mike You know, when you talk like that, that does put a little extra pressure on the guy. Does that worry you at all speaking in that manner saying he’s the best you’ve ever worked with and that’s with Terry Norris in the mix? Are you worried that puts too much pressure on the guy?
Abel No, not at all because of the vast international experience in some of the big tournaments he was in. He was in the Olympics. He was a silver medalist in the Athens Olympics. I think that he’s very secure in who he is. It’s just a matter of the transition from the European fighter, from the amateur fighter, to the American style that’s conducive to a good HBO fight – good pay-per-view fight. He understands what his role is here and he’s allowing us to develop and to change his style to suit American TV.
Mike Can you give a little quick low-down on what some of those changes are and how you activate them?
Abel I needed to make sure that he understood what his plusses were. His plusses – he’s a big puncher, so we needed to initiate and he understands he needs to initiate where in the past in some of the earlier fights that he had, he was sitting back waiting to counter punch. We need to be the aggressor. We need to make sure they understand who they’re in there with. Not to make it a long, drag-out boring fight – to make it a fight – to make the public want to see him again. He understands that completely. He understands the American public wants to see a knock-out. Whichever round it is, they want to see a knock-out. That’s one of the things that was very important to make him understand the quicker the better. He’s going to get paid the same whether it’s one round or 12 rounds.
Mike Excellent. Great stuff. Thank you, Abel. I appreciate it.
Marc I’d like to say thanks everyone for being on here again. Tickets range from $25 to $75 at 315-361-7469. I’d like to thank everyone who has been on the call. I’d also like to thank everyone at HBO – Ken Hershman, Kerry Davis, and Peter Nelson. Again, it’s Saturday, September 1st at 9:45 Eastern and Pacific time. It will be a great night, great double-header, world championship boxing. Thank you everyone for being on the call.
M Thank you. Good-bye.
Coordinator Thank you and that will conclude our call for the day.