Kelly Swanson: Swanson Communications. Thank you so much you guys. Thank you everybody for being patient. It’s quite a feat to have three of the greatest fighters in boxing on the line at the same time. We are fortunate enough today to have both Felix Tito Trinidad and Jermain Taylor on the phone to discuss this Saturday’s big contest between Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright for the light heavyweight title..
I do also have Oscar De La Hoya on the phone with us. He is going to make an introductory comment and then unfortunately he has to get off the phone. His time is limited, but he did want to make an introductory comment. So I’ll turn it over to Oscar De La Hoya at this time. Oscar?
Oscar De La Hoya: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. Members of the media, we appreciate you being on. We truly respect the fact that you can make it on at this time. We have two of the (greatest) fighters that boxing has seen in our era today — Felix Trinidad, who has fought both of them, knows their – both styles and knows that these two fighters, Bernard Hopkins, and Winky Wright, are coming to fight at the headline says for this event. Trinidad is, as we know, a great and respected fighter, a great (human being) and an icon in Puerto Rico. And we respect the fact that he’s here to talk about his encounters with both fighters.
And what can I say about Jermain Taylor, who has accomplished so much at such an early stage of his career. He still has a lot to go. He’s still learning. He’s one of our great champions of this era. He has faced both fighters and has beaten both fighters. And it is a privilege to introduce to you Jermain Taylor.
Kelly Swanson Okay. Thank you so much, Oscar. Operator, we will now open it up to questions. Media, there’s a lot of people on the phone, so we’re going to limit it to one question the first go around and then we’ll see how long that takes us and then you can rejoin the cue to ask another question. .
If I could get one comment from both Jermain Taylor and from Tito about this Saturday night’s fight and what they expect and what think is going to happen during the fight, we would appreciate it. I’d like to start with Jermain Taylor. Jermain?
Jermain Taylor: I think it will be a great fight. I can’t wait to see it. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. I feel like Winky is going to bring his (A) game and Hopkins going to bring his A game. It’s going to be a great fight. And I don’t know who going to win, so I’m telling you right now it’s a toss up fight. But I’m looking forward to it.
Kelly Swanson: Okay great. And Tito if you could please give us an opening comment?
Felix Tito Trinidad: Well first of all thanks. Hello to everybody in the press and my comment that it is the right thing to think Winky will beat Bernard Hopkins next Saturday.
Operator: First question, Diego Martinez (Reforma Newspaper)
(Diego Martinez): ((Spanish spoken)).
Man: Let me translate the answer for the people who speak English. The question was about Tito. There were some comments when Tito retired that he was really hurt from his eyes. And if you check everything with (unintelligible) and it’s okay to fight (unintelligible), he’s willing to (unintelligible). Tito (unintelligible) he never been hurt. It’s not true those comments. He went out of the (unintelligible) but healthy. He went to (unintelligible) been trying to do the fight with (unintelligible). It didn’t happen, so he’s (unintelligible).
(Keith Idec): New Jersey Herald. Could you just ask Tito if he’s, you know, if he’s 100% committed to coming back and when he thinks that that will happen?
Man: The opportunities are coming back. Not 100% yet sure that he’s in the process right now discussing everything but one thing for sure is he said it will come back (finally) from retirement, he will be really committed and whatever it is the opponent, he will going to beat him.
(Iram Dorraca): El Nueva Dia ((Spanish spoken)).
Man: Question was if what happened – what’s left for Tito to be 100% committed to coming back from boxing and if he saw the Jones fight. And Tito say it’s not 100% official he will be returned, because there’s still things to work out with his promoters and that’s – he’s in the process at this moment. And about the Jones fight and he looked good (on that fight).
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (Claudio Colomel) with FOX Sports. Please go ahead.
(Claudio Colomel): ((Spanish spoken)).
Man: Question was about if Tito is already begin training for his comeback. (Is this true)? He always training for himself. He’s a clean fighter – always healthy and training for keep his health and always (have his body) in good shape. And if finally he is coming back he will be 100%, committed will not lose to anybody.
Operator: Our next question is coming from (Keith Idec) with (Herald) News. Please go ahead.
(Keith Idec): I just had a quick question for Jermain. Jermain I was just wondering if you happened to see Roy Jones’ fight on Saturday and maybe what you thought that Roy might have left.
Jermain Taylor: I didn’t see the fight………..I was watching the fights on HBO.
(Keith Idec): Oh Jermain, I’m – okay I didn’t’ hear you there. Why – if you had to bet on the fight, which I know you don’t, but I know you don’t wager but who would you put your money on in the fight on Saturday between Hopkins and Wright?
Jermain Taylor: It’s a toss up, man. I mean – because they both are great fighters. It’s going to be a toss up. I cannot sit here and make a bet but I just heard that Trinidad is going for Winky. I would like to ask him why, but I don’t speak Spanish, so I can’t ask him.
(Keith Idec): Do you expect Winky to press the fight against Bernard like he did against you last year?
Jermain Taylor: That’s what I’m saying. If Winky come out with the attitude with the same kind of fight that he used with me in the first round, if he come out fighting like that, I believe he’ll win, but if he don’t, you know, and he let Hopkins dictate the fight, you know, it’s going to be Hopkins’ fight. But if he come in there and fight like he fought me, he’ll win.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from Tom Thompson. Please go ahead.
Tom Thompson: Greetings everybody. This is a question for Jermain. Jermain if Winky beats Bernard this Saturday, would you be interested in a re-match with Winky and 168 pounds?
Jermain Taylor: Yes. I wanted to fight Winky at 160, (you know), but it didn’t happen. (Here it is) I’m champion and I’m chasing him, you know. But that’s their question to answer.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (John Coty) with St. Petersburg Times. Please go ahead.
(John Cody): Hey Jermain, could you compare and contrast the offensive attack of Bernard and Winky and the defensive attack and kind of maybe tell us who you think has an edge in each category and maybe who is tougher for you to handle?
Jermain Taylor: Well, you know, (Hopkins) – (Hopkins) is hard to defend because he, you know, he throws his head and his hands at the same time so you don’t know which one to block. But as far as Winky, you know, he throws his punches, you know, not a lot but he’s accurate with them, you know. And the punches he do throw, you know, he lays them pretty good, you know. He don’t waste a lot of punches. Hopkins don’t waste a lot of punches neither.
I think they both have great offensive skills but the better offense skills might be with Hopkins because, you know, Hopkins – you don’t know what’s coming, you know?
(John Coty): Who do you think hits harder?
Jermain Taylor: But they both hit about the same, you know what I mean? And neither one of them has no knock-out power.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (Brett Newton).
(Brett Newton): Okay, this question is for Jermain. Jermain I can’t help but think that maybe having Trinidad on the other line – this might be setting up or greasing wheels for you or possible for Trinidad down the road. Any word from you guys talking to (Don King) camp about that?
Jermain Taylor: I haven’t heard anything. If you do then let me know. But I’ll fight Trinidad, it don’t make any difference.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (John Whistler) with San Antonio Express. Please go ahead.
(John Whistler): This question is for Felix. I apologize for this question but I think you said if you come out of retirement it probably would be against Roy Jones. What about Oscar de la Hoya? Would you consider a rematch with him?
Man: ((Spanish spoken)).
Felix Tito Trinidad: (Unintelligible).
Man: Hello and about Oscar, we’ve been trying to (deal that fight) for almost seven years. Apparently Oscar didn’t want to fight. That question you should have to ask Oscar. We always told him we’ll be available to do the rematch.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (Anwar Richardson) with the (Tampa Tribune). Please go ahead.
Anwar Richardson: Yeah this question is for Jermain. Jermain, are you at all impressed with Bernard and what he’s able to do at the age of 42? Are you, you know, impressed that his last fight with (Tarver) and really what he’s able to do over the age of 40?
Jermain Taylor: I am. I am. I mean I give that man my respect for what he do. I mean he’s amazing. I man he’s showing me that, you know, you take care of your body, you do right, you know, and age and get, you know, when people say that you’re old, you know, I respect him for that and man, I’m there. I wish him the best of, you know, all his career.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (Sergio Macado) with AOL Latino. Please go ahead.
(Sergio Macado): Trinidad (Unintelligible).
Man: (Unintelligible). Why are you coming back from retirement?
Man: The reason why I consider to coming back to boxing is this is something I love and if I do it everybody would see that I will be okay and I will be in good shape to do very well.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from Dan Rafael with ESPN. Please go ahead.
Dan Rafael: Okay first off, are either Tito or Jermain going to Saturday night’s fight first off?
Jermain Taylor: I don’t know yet man. I’m still thinking about going – I just bought me a new boat. I’m out there on the water.
Dan Rafael: And what about Tito? Is Tito going to attend the fight?
Kelly Swanson: I believe Tito’s going (confirmed after the call Trinidad will be in attendance.)
Dan Rafael: I have another question for Jermain. Jermain, been a lot of talk in the press last couple of weeks about your fight with Kelly Pavlik’s supposed to happen on September 29 – been also some confusion about what the weight for the fight will be? Are you committed to making this fight at 160 pounds or over the weight?
Jermain Taylor: I’m 160 pounds – 160 pounds.
Dan Rafael: And that will be your last fight at 160?
Jermain Taylor: Yes sir.
Operator: Our next question is coming from (Chuck Johnson) with USA Today. Please go ahead.
(Chuck Johnson): Yeah I’d like to ask this to Jermain. Jermain, after the fight with Winky both of you guys were determined to say that hey, you know, you had to have things your way. I mean, you know, Winky said he could do without you and you said you didn’t need him either. Do you think that – in any way that boxing is being cheated by you guys not settling that draw?
Jermain Taylor: Well I don’t think it was me, you know. I think it was more of him. But to answer your question, yes. I think boxing was cheated. I think (unintelligible), you know, I’m middle-weight champion of the world and here he trying to get a 50/50 split. It don’t work like that, you know, I’m champion, you know? This is how he (can’t work). He know that better than I do. He been (gaining weight) longer than I do but to answer the question sir, yeah.
(Chuck Johnson): But getting the high profile fight against (Bernard Hopkins), do you think that Winky has succeeded in proving that he really didn’t need to?
Jermain Taylor: Well probably the (unintelligible) fight, you know, all right – I don’t feel like – I used to, like, I used to like, you know, fight with both of them so, you know, what are they trying to prove? I mean what is his fight going to prove? You know, I (whipped) both of them so what does it make a difference who (unintelligible)?
Operator: Our next question is coming from (Chris Givens) with (Arkansas Democrat). Please go ahead.
(Chris Givens): Okay, this is a question for Jermain. Dan just brought up the Kelly Pavlik fight Jermain, and I was curious as to, you know, there is so much discussion whether it’s going to be 168 or 160 and I know that some of your camp approached Kelly about fighting at 168. Are you personally glad that this fight’s going to be at 160 so you can defend your middle-weight championship one more time? Did you want one more middle-weight championship fight?
Jermain Taylor: I am. You know, I told Hopkins that, you know, I was going to keep the (belt) as long as I could, you know, and I’m not going to give him up to nobody. You know, he want to fight, let’s fight at 160. I’m going to keep my (belt) and I want to – I don’t retire my belt at 160 as a champion, you know?
(Chris Givens): And a quick follow up if I could – you had said before this fight was made that this is a fight that you wanted to happen because your fans wanted this to happen and you felt that boxing as a whole wanted to see you fight Kelly Pavlik.
Jermain Taylor: Yeah.
(Chris Givens): Now that it looks like this is going to happen, are you, you know, happy that they were able to come to this agreement and make this fight?
Jermain Taylor: Well, very happy, you know. I feel like this will (market) me, you know – that all the fans want to see a fight, so we made it happen, you know.
That’s what boxing is all about. They all, you know, and then I want to start thinking about, you know, who I’m fighting next, you know, after I beat this guy.
(Chris Givens): All right. Thanks Jermain.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question is coming from (Keith Ideck) with (Hello News). Please go ahead.
(Keith Idec): Hi, Jermain. They’ve – Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright have made a point of saying how exciting that this fight is going to be – particularly to people who were thinking it was going to be a tactical fight and one that people might not want to buy on pay-per- view – or may think might be a – somewhat of a boring match up.
Do you think it has the possibility to be an exciting fight? And if you were a boxing fan, would you plunk down, you know, $49.95 to see it?
Jermain Taylor: I would. I would because I think it’s going to be a very exciting fight. I mean, these guys are both great fighters. They’re both good at defense, you know. Anybody who understands boxing knows that, you know, whichever fighter is the smarter (and aggression) fighter will win, you know.
And I just can’t wait to see – I’m just like the (realist) man. I cannot wait to see it. And if don’t go, I’m definitely going to pay the money to see it. And I advise everybody else to pay they money and see it too.
Kelly Swanson: Okay, Jermain. We have one more question from you coming from (George Willis), who’s next in the line.
(George Willis): New York Post. Jermain, I wanted to know if you’ve been told by anyone on your team or any medical people that it would be dangerous for you to get down to 160 and fight again? Have you been told that?
Jermain Taylor: Nobody told me that.
(George Willison):Okay. And the other question I have is, do you know where you’re going to train for the fight?
Jermain Taylor: I think it’s the Poconos.
(George Willison): The Poconos. So you’re open to going to the Poconos?
Jermain Taylor: I’m open to go anywhere if they, you know. If (Manny) say Poconos, that’s where I’m going. He say Egypt, we going to Egypt, you know. It don’t make a difference (unintelligible) you know. I’m going to fight. I need a coach (unintelligible).
Kelly Swanson: Okay, I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank Jermain Taylor for joining us today – the Middleweight Champion of the World. I’d also like to especially thank (Norman Horton), his publicist for helping us arrange this call with Jermain.
Jermain, we appreciate your time.
Jermain Taylor: Thank you.
Kelly Swanson: And have a good time on your boat. We’re jealous.
Jermain Taylor: Thank you so much.
Kelly Swanson: Okay, thank you. Okay, now everybody – we do have Tito Trinidad back on the line.
And before he starts, I’d just like to mention one thing. For all these great questions that have been coming to both fighters – that we’d appreciate the mention that they were part – they were talking today as a result of their interest in the Hopkins vs. Wright fight which is Saturday, July 21 on HBO Pay-Per-View.
(Chuck Johnson): What made Winky even tougher to fight than it was to fight against Hopkins? I’d like to ask Tito what made it more difficult against Winky Wright – even more difficult than it was against Bernard Hopkins?
(Pepe): Yes. Basically what Tito say is he fight both fights and both were difficult for him – Winky a little bit more – much more difficult than (hops) Bernard.
And he wanted just to say a comment about, he said he lost those fights. And it’s true that he lost both fights – no excuses. But he along side those two others were – he wasn’t himself. Is not an excuse for losing but he feeling sad of himself that he wasn’t the (real) Tito in the ring and that is part of the reason he is now coming back and we’d love to have the rematch with both guys – to fight them back again.
Thank you. Our next question is coming from (Carlos Nava) with (El Dia Newspaper). Please go ahead.
Man: Would you consider so would somebody fight for Golden Boy?
(Pepe): First if Tito fights at all it is for Don King. That is he’s promoter. So fighting for Golden Boy Promotions, it would be very difficult to do it because he already has some promoters for interest of fighting with us.
Operator: Okay. Our final questions is coming from (Iram Derococa) with El Nuevo Dia. Please go ahead.
(Pepe): The question was about the – Tito picking Winky. And he was watching Winky training and the possibilities of how the fight will look. Tito says that he is very good in training and Winky is training hard and determined and he feels that Winky will win the fight. And he say that if he coming back to boxing he does see this happening soon. It will probably happen.
Kelly Swanson: Okay, great. Okay. Please, we’d like to thank everybody for participating in today’s call. Thank you again. Hopkins versus Wright coming to fight – is this Saturday, July 21 at the Mandalay Bay Resorts and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada – promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, in association with Winky Promotions – is sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Tecate Beer and Rock Star Energy Drink.
HBO Pay-Per-View will televise the fight live at 9:00 pm Eastern Time. And again, the Hopkins/Wright fight is for the Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Belt. So thank you so much. If you have any questions, feel free to call my office: (202) 783-5500. And again, we will be sending out a transcript. So, Tito – thanks for your participation. Jermain Taylor, we thank you. (Oscar), we thank you. And thank the press for being a part of this great call. Bye.
Hopkins vs. Wright “Coming to Fight” is for Hopkins’ Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight belt and will take place Saturday, July 21 st at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. “Coming to Fight” is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Winky Promotions, and sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Tecate Beer and Rockstar Energy Drink.
The Hopkins vs. Wright pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For your Hopkins vs. Wright fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.