KELLY SWANSON: Thanks everybody for calling in. I’m sure as some of you saw on your alert for this call, we asked the question, “Will someone be talking turkey?” And of course, here in the States, we have thanksgiving on Thursday but, as I think, most of you have seen even from 24/7, HBO’s show that aired its premiere episode on Sunday, we have some very talkative trainers training these magnificent athletes.. And so today, we’re going to give those trainers an opportunity to tell you a little bit about what’s going on in the camps. Just a quick programming note, if you haven’t seen the first episode of 24/7, you can catch it this afternoon in the States, a 4:30pm ET/PT, again, on HBO, and then it goes on HBO in demand.
So, without further ado, as always I am very pleased and happy to introduce Oscar de la Hoya, the President of Golden Boy Promotions, who will be on this call to make the introduction. Oscar, go ahead.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much, Kelly. And we are getting closer to the big events which will be held December 8th. We are extremely excited and proud to be working with Ricky Hatton and Mayweather. And the indications have been incredible with first having a sell out in 30 minutes with the gates. It goes to show you how of an importance it is to all of the fight fans who are anxiously waiting for this fight.
KELLY SWANSON: OK. Today we will first be joined by Billy Graham and Kerry Kayes first to Ricky Hatton’s trainers. And then, in a short while after that Roger Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s trainers will join us. Oscar, are you back? Oh, dear. Yes, one second, please.
I do have Billy and Kerry on the line. Billy Graham is Ricky Hatton’s lead trainer and Kerry Kayes is his conditioning trainer/coach. And what I’d like to do is at this time, Billy, if you can make a brief statement; we have invited both the U.K. and the American press on this call. So if you could make a brief statement about training, everybody does know you’re going to the States on Thursday to settle in on Friday, so brief statement about wrapping up this part of the training camp. And then, we’ll turn it over to Kerry Kayes who will talk a little bit about Ricky’s conditioning and then we’ll open it up to the media. Thank you. Go ahead, Billy.
BILLY GRAHAM: OK. Well it’s funny for me, I’m looking forward to going to Vegas. Normally I like to train at home. But this time, except for the traveling, I’m really looking forward to getting to Vegas. And the closer the fight is getting now I want to be around – I want to get out of Manchester now and be around in Vegas to get the feel of it all.
KERRY KAYES: Yes and we’ve been -we actually come in the gymnasium this week on Sunday because I do the weight lifting with Ricky, which I’m sure you’ll see on 24/7. So normally I do four days weight lifting with him. And because we travel in on Thursday, we came in the gym on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and tomorrow is last day of weights. So we’re going to stop weight lifting when we get to America, so that he can have more time and energy with Billy Graham.
He’s stronger than he’s ever been, and I know everybody says that. But HBO filmed it this – on Sunday, they filmed his leg workout and he lifted over 30 tons in his entire leg workout. And his last set he was doing 1,100 pounds on the light press. Now, I know all of that sounds a lot and it probably sounds hard to believe, but HBO filmed it. And if the powers that be, deem and they show it on 24/7, I think a lot of you guys are going to shocked at Ricky’s strength.
GEORGE ROSENWASER, VALLEY NEWS: My first question is for Billy.
My question is, the United States media is basically giving Ricky very little chance to win this fight. What are your thoughts on this? And what are Ricky’s thoughts on place?
BILLY GRAHAM: Well, to be honest with you it just takes an awful lot of pressure off me. But I’ve not any of the things about it. Some people have told me some of the statements what they’ve said. But no, it takes the pressure off me, so let them. Victory will be sweeter when Ricky beats him. So I don’t let him bother me so much. But, I think, some of the stuff what have been said, I mean if I had written them, all of a sudden I’d be embarrassed at my lack of knowledge of boxing.
GEORGE ROSENWASER: And my second question is for Kerry. I’d like to know what your background is in athletics, because I don’t think many people in the United States know that.
KERRY KAYES: Well, I’m 58 years old, I’m nearly 58. And I first started training when I was 17. In 1976-77, I was on the British squad, and I actually was one of the first guys ever to fight full contact in England. I soon realized that the traditional cutting guys were getting beaten by boxers, so I started doing a little bit of boxing training.
I’m also an ex – well I won the British body building championships in 1994. So whether you like or dislike bodybuilding, we are experts at gaining and losing weight. Because if you take the aspects away from the sport, there’s no sport. And Bill Graham realized this maybe six or seven years ago and asked me to come on board. And one of Billy’s statements has always been, “A fight can be won or lost on the scales.” So it’s my job to get Ricky strong and to do nutrition and, to do his weight management. I’ve actually gotten a power ownership in a nutrition company in Los Angeles. And I’m heavily involved in many sports.
GEORGE WILLIS, NEW YORK POST: The common percentage is that Ricky is a one dimensional fighter and I heard you mention it in the 24/7 show. Is that something that you want to – is that a perception you want to change before the fight? Or is it something you’d just like Mayweather to believe going into the fight?
BILLY GRAHAM: I think, if I had my way, I’d rather change it after the fight. I mean, I – to be honest with you, I can’t fool myself to luxury of thinking that Roger and Floyd are underestimating Ricky Hatton and don’t know what they’re looking at. Floyd’s an incredibly successful fighter and he’s a very talented fighter. Floyd’s a top trainer and he obviously knows what he’s looking at.
So, I think that – I don’t think they are really underestimating him, but if they are, yes, I’ll be very – I’ll be a lot happier if they are underestimating him. To think that Floyd’s one dimensional, well I think it’s Christmas.
GEORGE WILLIS: And what did you learn from your previous visit to Vegas that are helping you on this occasion?
BILLY GRAHAM: Well, to be honest with you, the first time I went I probably felt comfortable anyway. I’ve worked all over the world, and it doesn’t really bother me where I am. But to be honest with you now – the last two fights have been in Vegas. I feel like I’ve just come back from Vegas and I feel extremely comfortable training there or being there. I’m familiar with the scenarios. It’s beginning to feel like a second home.
GEORGE WILLIS: Ricky had some concerns, I think, the first time you guys stayed at a house, and then the second time at a hotel, something like that, I don’t know. But as far as that, what are you doing this time?
BILLY GRAHAM: No, it was the other way around. The first time we all stayed at a hotel. The second time they stayed at a house, we rented a big house and that worked fine. We didn’t get no viruses or anything like that. So they’re doing exactly the same, they’re staying at the house. Me and Kerry we’re not staying at the house. Me personally, I like me own company, I like to be on my own before the fight. And then Kerry brings his wife over, so we stay at a hotel and leave Ricky to stay at the house, and it worked out perfect. So, that’s what we’re doing, the same. The same house, the same chef, same routine, because it worked perfect last time. He’s was in fantastic shape. Everything went smooth, 100 percent.
Same gym as well. You know, we’re going to everything the same so it’s just like walking – going from Manchester, go to Vegas, and it’s just like a second home. It is for me, now, these days.
GARETH DAVIES, DAILY TELEGRAPH NEWS: About a week ago, guys, we were – the British Press spent the day in up at Better Body’s Gym, Kerry’s gym in Manchester. When – just before Ricky did the interview with us all there, he was 143 pounds, on the scales, if you remember. Did you and do you in those last four days that you’re doing now, on the weights raised his weight to 247 pound with weight work? I just wanted to ask whether you go to Vegas bang on 147?
KERRY KAYES: Well what happened that day, the British – the boxing control had come down to do a test weigh in. And Ricky psychologically was probably not drinking as much water as he should have done. You also know Gareth that there must have been 70 press in the gym.
GARETH DAVIES : Yes.
KERRY KAYES: And it was very, very hot. So that first weigh in at 143 was a (INAUDIBLE). And when he finished his training session, he didn’t have any electrolyte drinks, and he didn’t have the pro recovery he normally has and he went straight on to the scales to really appease the British Board of Boxing Control. I might add that it was the fourth fast weigh in about a fortnight, and he was only seven pounds over and about a month ago.
The reality was, I don’t believe that was true weigh. I believe he was a little bit dry. If you had weighed him about an hour or two later, it would have been more like 150.
GARETH DAVIES: Right.
KERRY KAYES: So next week is a very, very hard week with Billy and he’ll be doing a bit of sparring, and he’ll end up doing 15 rounds with Billy -on the Friday, eight days before the fight. And we want him at a weight that he’s comfortable. So I’m reckoning he’s going to be about 150, Gareth.
GARETH DAVIES: But do the weights that you do in these last four days put weight on him because of muscle or not?
KERRY KAYES: No, it’s not possible because the – no, I think he meant the last four days of this week.
BILLY GRAHAM: I don’t think so.
GARETH DAVIES: I do. Yes.
KERRY KAYES: Yes. It’s not possible to put on weight Gareth when you’re on such a restricted calorie diet. There’s supposed to be a mountain of CV work, cardiovascular work that would override any weight increase. So, it’s – the body – you’re sending two signals to the body, Gareth. One it’s got to be fast and lean. And if he lifts weight, a body builder sends a signal that it’s got to be big. We don’t send that signal to Ricky because the cardiovascular work overrides that.
GARETH DAVIES: OK. Thank you for a very full explanation. Can I just ask – sorry it’s taking so long. Can I just ask Billy one question, please? Billy, you said that it’s less pressure that the American media are writing Ricky off. But is it giving you a lift – I’ve just come back from the states for the weekend, is it giving you a lift that everyone in America wants Mayweather beaten?
BILLY GRAHAM: I don’t really care about that, to be honest with you. It’s not something where I’m going to consume myself with. So either way, I don’t really care whether they want him win or whether they don’t want him to win.
GARETH DAVIES: Fare enough, thank you.
CHUCK JOHNSON, USA TODAY: Billy, I know that you’ve acknowledged that Floyd Mayweather is good boxer, if not a great boxer. I just want to know, I mean you guys mentioned the strength and the cardiovascular training that Ricky’s doing. Tell me, I mean what do you see as the formula to Ricky Hatton beating Floyd Mayweather? Is it going to be strength that determines it? Endurance? What is it going to be?
BILLY GRAHAM: It’s going to be all of the things put together. Strengthen and endurance is always going to come into it. But it’s the skill factor as well. The skill factor is massive, tactically it’s massive. You know, all of the ingredients you’ve mentioned it’s all – it’s not one without the other. You can’t just be strong or you can’t just be a clever boxer. You’ve got to the two. You’ve got to have all of the ingredients.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Do you think it makes a difference how the bout is officiated, how the referee handles the bout as far as determining who’s going to winning that fight?
BILLY GRAHAM: I don’t – I’m not so sure it’s going to determine who’s going to win the fight, but yes, a lot of people seem to be concerned about that. I mean I’m expecting to get a fair shake over there in America. That’s all we want. You know, let’s have a good referee who’s going to let the two best fighters on the planet, let’s face it, they’re the two greatest fighters on the planet. Let them both, you know, we don’t want to Floyd doing what he wants to do. So, I’m hoping he don’t stop Rick Hatton the way he wants to fight, you know. The styles are going to mesh. We don’t want any squeamish referee. Let the fans what they’ve paid to see. This is going to be a spectacle. I mean let guys go on with it. That’s what they fans want. That’s what the fighters want. So I hope that that doesn’t have any barrier on the fight.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Personality wise, does that come into play, at all, in this bout as far as the motivation for really wanting to look well in this fight, the two fighter’s personalities?
BILLY GRAHAM: No. Both of the two fighters have got really different personalities, but I don’t think that’s going to be the thing about the fight. These two guys are going to fight and going to try to beat each other. That’s what it’s going to come down to.
CHUCK JOHNSON: In a nutshell, give me your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather, the fighter, and Floyd Mayweather the person?
BILLY GRAHAM: I think Floyd Mayweather is an absolutely fantastic fighter. Defensively, he’s breathtaking. His hands are unbelievably fast. He’s a great fighter. I mean I’ve known – I’ve got no argument to say that he’s not – he shouldn’t be regarded as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. I’d make me look stupid. I’d make myself look stupid. You know, he’s extremely gifted. He’s a great fighter. You know, but that’s why we want to fight. My fighter will beat him. Ricky Hatton will beat him.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Now the person, Floyd Mayweather?
BILLY GRAHAM: The person well, you know, Floyd’s got himself a bad reputation of being a nasty person. And he is disrespectful to people all of the time, but that’s what Floyd’s like. I don’t think Floyd is as nasty as he pretends. I found him – I think if me wand Floyd sat down after this fight is over and talk boxing and talk about different things, I think we probably maybe get on together. But I don’t think at this moment in time we’re going to get along.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Are you surprised at all that this fight came together as quickly as it did? I mean, it seems like what it took was Ricky Hatton to pretty much call Floyd out on HBO after his last victory against Castillo?
BILLY GRAHAM: Well that might have been the thing that tipped it. No, I didn’t think fight was going to be hard to make, because it was the obvious fight to make. Whatever you say about Floyd, I mean he’s a warrior, you know, what I mean. That might have tipped the scale why he wanted to fight. But no, I knew this fight was going to happen. It was always going to happen. It was meant to happen. It’s what the fight – it’s all of the boxing world, that’s what everybody wants to see. Two guys at the peak fighting each other.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
RON LEWIS, THE TIMES of LONDON: Just one quick question, do you think, obviously, Ricky was in great shape last week. Is there any risk or what are you doing tonight, so he doesn’t actually burn out in the gym before the fight?
KERRY KAYES: Well, what I find in my department is like on the weight lifting and the nutrition, today was the fourth time in this campaign that we’ve had to up his nutrition. So we’re in a fabulous position where he’s eating into the fight. So he’s getting more and more nutrients in a low calorie environment, for all of the hard work that that he’s going to do with Billy Graham next week.
Because what you guys have got to understand is, when Ricky trains harder every day, you’re basically sending a signal to his body that he’s inadequate for the workload he’s doing to it.
So the body’s got to compensate. But before it can compensate, it’s got to repair from the trauma of training. So now that we’ve upped his nutrition, I’m very confident that he’s getting lots of nutrients to repair that drama, so that he’ll get into the recovery and the evolution of gaining fit stronger and faster, so I’m really pleased.
We mentioned earlier his weight. On there, he was lifting three weeks ago, he was lifting what he maxed out for the Castillo fight and he said I’ll be able to do extra. And I actually said no. The amount of poundage that you’re lifting with your legs, you’re going to start snapping bones. I also won’t distort that mentally he wanted to do a little bit more than the Castillo fight. So, on Sunday we did do but it was about holding them back for allowing him to get them little improvements that will mentally give him, you know, satisfaction that he’s gone further in this campaign.
BILLY GRAHAM: In my point of view, I’m involved in training fighters. It’s well over 100. I really don’t know how many times, there’s only Ricky Hatton, but it’s been for many, many years, we prepared for so many 12 rounders there’s not a prayer that I’ll let him go over. Not a prayer. He knows what he’s doing. He knows what he’s doing as well. Everything is going perfect. Now way, will I ever bring a fighter and overtrained. I’m too long in the tube for that.
RON LEWIS: OK. One more question, Kerry, also I take it there’s a huge difference from welter weight this time, than there was for Calaxo?
KERRY KAYES: Well, obviously, but don’t forget myself and Billy, you know, Billy Graham never wanted that fight. And don’t forget we were training for one other faulty bound fight. We were taken to welter weight. We were only told that it was going up to welter weight when the opponent was changed, and I think, it was five-and-a-half weeks out.
Now, don’t forget I stopped – I stop the weight training with Ricky two weeks out. So I only have just over three weeks to adjust his nutrition. So, you know, a lot of people say that it didn’t look against Calaxo? The reality is Calaxo was a very big man coming down. Ricky was going up.
Now, me and Billy had just been on that tour with Floyd Mayweather and at every opportunity you could see me and Billy Graham weighing Floyd up. In fact, you know, we looked like a couple of guys. But we were looking a the structure of Floyd’s body. And Floyd’s not a big welter weight. Of course, we’ve had 14 weeks campaign knowing that Ricky was going to be fighting at 147, so it’s a completely different scenario.
RON LEWIS: Excellent. Thanks, lads. See you in a couple of weeks.
JAMIE JACKSON, THE OBSERVER NEWSPAPER: Just a quick one, which of Floyd’s previous opponents, or opponent if it’s just one, who do you think has given him the most trouble in his career?
BILLY GRAHAM: I think most people would say Castillo. I’ve seen other people give him problems. Manuel Augustus gave him a few problems, but Floyd dealt with him fantastically. The Castillo fight, I actually think Floyd won both of them. A lot of people think that Castillo won. Yes, he gave him a fair workout. So maybe Castillo.
BILLY GRAHAM: Oscar de la Hoya. I think Oscar de la Hoya until he stepped off the gas was giving Floyd problems.
JAMIE JACKSON: So is it something from both those sides – both those fighters, that you can sort of use for Ricky going into it – going into this fight?
BILLY GRAHAM: Of course. I get things from all of the tapes. I get different things from all of the tapes that I watch but, you know, I’ve been watching Floyd for years. Obviously, I’ve been watching more – I’ve never watched him as an opponent, though. But this time we watched him as an opponent for a long time. And I take different things out to different fights, obviously, you know.
JAMIE JACKSON: Yes. I think, you know, in your opinion, is Floyd still at his peak, leveled out a bit, declined? How do you see him?
BILLY GRAHAM: I see him completely on to of his game. Jesus, he just beat Oscar de la Hoya, I mean where do you think he’s at his game? He’s completely at the top of his game now. He’s at his absolutely peak. So is Ricky Hatton. That’s what makes this fight so intriguing.
JAMIE JACKSON: OK. Just my last question, how do you feel, and his trainer, obviously knowing him quite well, I mean you sort of talked on this before, but some of the stuff that Floyd comes out with, I believe, I just read this in the paper, I don’t know if maybe you could tell me but I think the word he used was bitch with regard to Ricky. Now, you know, is that fight talk or is that sort of in your opinion?
BILLY GRAHAM: Let’s face it, let’s face it, if somebody called you a bitch it’s going to be effect you mentally. You’ve got to be very weak. He call him gator face if wants for me. I don’t care what he calls him, you know. It makes no difference because it makes no different to Ricky. It certainly makes no different to me. I find it quite amusing. I just think he’s wasting his breath, but if wants to do it, fine.
KERRY KAYES: The thing is he started calling him Vicky Half Fatton and I’m kind of thinking he was thinking he was going to get to Ricky. But nobody calls himself more fatter than Ricky himself, you know, what I mean.
BILLY GRAHAM : No, it’s just ludicrous to think that. Look, if I had a fighter and that was effecting him, if Floyd was effecting, I’d just say to my guy, you better get another job. If you can’t deal with this, you better get another job.
JAMIE JACKSON: Do you almost think right there, there’s a sign that, you know, he’s a little bit concerned about Ricky?
BILLY GRAHAM: I think if he’s not concerned about Ricky he’s a fool. And I don’t think he’s a fool.
RAYMOND RONDO, 411MEDIA.COM: Just a quick one. You know, since Hatton has been, I guess you could say, invading the U.S., you guys have had a couple of fights out here now, how does that compare to fighting out in the U.K.?
BILLY GRAHAM: In what way? To me it makes really absolutely no difference. I mean we’ve been wanting to fight in the states for a good few many years, when, you know, we was packing out there, and people would that we were scared to come out of Manchester. We didn’t want to fight this person, didn’t want to fight that person. That was nonsense. It was incredibly frustrating for me and Ricky.
We was getting a bit uptight about that, because nothing could be further from the truth. We had talked about the States for years. No, sir, we love fighting in the States. I mean, obviously, we miss the British fans because they love us, anywhere in Britain, you know, they love Ricky Hatton. But it makes no difference to me whatsoever. I enjoy fighting in the States.
RAYMOND RONDO: So is that a big relief now that you guys have the opportunity to be fighting out there. I mean, do you guys wish it would have happened a lot sooner?
BILLY GRAHAM: Me personally. Me personally, I wish it would have happened sooner. I think it would – I think Ricky would have become a world star sooner if we had gone to America sooner. But after this fight, this fight is coming at the absolute perfect time.
RAYMOND RONDO: Great. Thanks.
EDDIE GOLDMAN, SECOND OUT RADIO: First question that I have, regards around a statement that Ricky made a couple of weeks ago on his media conference call, where he described himself as Mr. Pressure, and said, “He’s going to apply as much pressure as possible.” And in response, Floyd said, “He welcomes that because he likes fighting going backwards.”
Could you comment on that whole idea of pressuring and maybe using some of the tactics that Castillo seemed to be relatively successful with in his first fight with Floyd?
BILLY GRAHAM: Absolutely. But I mean, you know, I know where Floyd’s coming from. I know where both sides are coming from. Ricky relishes fighting. Although Ricky can stand the fighting in real close quarters, he relishes fighting moves, and I like his fight moves because he’s been training ever since he was a little boy to hone people down because that’s – most fighters run away from him.
And also, looking at Floyd, I can see where he’s coming from, because I used to like fight pressure fighters myself, that’s why I’m so good at it. I know that Floyd will – must prefer to come to him, than to run away from him. That’s why I say these fighting styles are going to mesh. They’re going to gel. They’re going to bring out the best out of each other, because Floyd likes to fight pressure fighters. But he don’t like to fight anymore. Ricky brings different. Even – he’s more intense than the other, sure, but he’s also a lot smarter, much smarter.
I don’t think he’s – I don’t think Floyd’s ever faced a more skillful pressure in his life, well I know that because he’s not a more skillful pressure fighter on the planet.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: The perception, particularly among the American media that puts Floyd has a really heavy favorite in this fight, comes a lot from the fight with Calaxo which took place at 147, after Ricky had been fighter of the year in 2005. Yet that was a very difficult fight. Is the training that he’s doing now, and all of that, meant to bulk him up? Because a lot of people consider him better at 140 but not really at a true welter weight.
BILLY GRAHAM: I think that – look, Ricky is a true junior welter weight. I said that all along. So that answers that question. But if anybody is judging Ricky Hatton by the Calaxo fight, wow that is fantastic. Because I’ve got inside information and I know exactly what happened in that fight. I know the exact reasons for that fight. He put on far too much weight from the scales and to the actual contest, which made him sluggish. He was carrying too much surplus weight in. I know all of the reasons for it. Plus, he was fighting a big southpaw. But the reason is mostly because he bulked up wrong. But, example, that’s the last fight he’s ever had that silly fried breakfast and junk food on the day of the fight.
Now I really do hope that maybe the camp and all of you American press guys, I hope that’s what you’re going on. Wow, that’s wicked.
KERRY KAYES: Once Ricky makes the weight, we’ve got to carry him up, we want to carry him up in clean nutrition, low calories and nutrients that are going to give him sustained energy for the next – for the work load that he’s going to put on.
But Ricky’s always had – and it’s well publicized, Ricky’s always had, what we in England call a fried breakfast. And we’ve always been against it but he’s always had it. Now, because he weight in at 147, instead of 140, and then he eats fried breakfast and then we have to give him clean carbs to give him energy for the fight he weighed too heavy in the fight. He’s also admitted that he had food during the day that was fatty foods.
So Ricky learned a massive lesson there. And so with the empty calories that he ate, it was giving him weight on this body but with nutritional value which did him no good in the fight.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: OK. I guess, he’s cutting out the Guinness also.
KERRY KAYES: Not after the fight. Not after the fight. The other thing, as well, don’t forget, and we keep saying this, we were only given five-and-a-half weeks notice for that 147 fight.
KELLY SWANSON: OK. Great. Everybody, please standby. At this time, we are going to be joined by Roger Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe and please I’d like the other trainers stay on the line for just a quick minute. We’re going to transition through because I haven’t had a chance to see if you guys have been any more questions. But they have in the hold queue for a couple of minutes now. So I’m going to go ahead and introduce Roger Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe, Floyd Mayweather’s trainers at this time.
KELLY SWANSON: Another big hit for you in 24/7. I tell you, the trainers, I think, are making the show what it is. I don’t know between you and Billy Graham I’ve heard a lot of great things.
ROGER MAYWEATHER: But I do know this. What (expletive) eating cereal got to do with (expletive) fighting? That don’t got (expletive) to do with boxing. He’s eating better. He’s eating – that ain’t got (expletive) to do with fighting. You can eat – you can drink beer all day and kill somebody’s ass, kill win fight. It has nothing to do with (INAUDIBLE). So I don’t care about his weight or he got to make this weight, he got to make that weight, what that got to do with fighting?
Floyd ain’t coming from 130 pounds. He beat de la Hoya’s ass at 154 pounds. So, obviously, it doesn’t – what he’s saying doesn’t make sense. Skill wins fight. That’s the only thing that do win fight, skill.
LEONARD ELLERBE: I think Roger said it – Roger covered it all. You know, when it comes down to it skill, it’s always skill that’s going to win the fight. Floyd’s the better fighter. Floyd’s the better conditioned fighter. And Floyd’s the smarter fighter. So all of that, what he’s talking about, him putting on all this additional weight, Ricky Hatton being strong, is a bunch of bullshit because at the end of the day, skill is what pay the bills.
FRANCES WALKER, BLACKATHLETE.COM: Thank you. Hello, everybody. Thanks for having me on the call. I have a question – I have two questions, actually for Mr. Graham, has Ricky Hatton ever fought anyone with the style and skill level similar to Mayweather during Hatton’s days as an amateur?
BILLY GRAHAM: Yes, I mean Ricky’s fought all kinds of styles of fighter, because he was a real tough amateur boxer. He was robbed in the world juniors. He won the Olympic games. .
But, you know, you’re talking about has he fought anybody quite like Floyd? No, he’s not fought quite like Floyd, because there is nobody like Floyd. I mean Floyd is the best at what he does. But he’s definitely fought similar. People with fast hands. Boxers/movers. You know, he’s fought people with a lot of variety, but no, there’s nobody quite like Floyd. He’s fought plenty of that style.
FRANCES WALKER: OK. And, the second question, and this will be my last question for you, Mr. Graham, what makes team Hatton so certain that Ricky Hatton can break Floyd Mayweather’s defense, and make him fight a more offensive fight under pressure?
BILLY GRAHAM: I’m not saying he can make him fight a more defensive fight. Well yes he actually will make because he really fights. At some point in the fight, he will have to sit down and meet Ricky that’s for sure. He won’t be able to get on his toes and move the 12 rounds against Ricky Hatton.
What makes you think he’s so comfortable he can beat Floyd is because I know Ricky Hatton better than anyone on the planet. I know what he’s got. He’s not just a pressure fighter. He’s an awful lot more, he’s blessed with all of these attributes that Floyd’s blessed with like fantastic peripheral vision, great variety, fantastic balance and reflexes. Coupled with his amazing strength and ferocity I think that’s going to be able to beat Floyd.
GARETH DAVIES: Just having heard what Leonard and Roger said, just then, you know, do you think they’re bluffing when they say they’re not all interested in the technical aspect of weight and all of those things, do you think they’re just bluffing?
BILLY GRAHAM: No, I don’t think they’re bluffing, when they’re talking about the weight training and that kind of stuff. No, I think that that’s what they actually believe, to be honest with you, because an awful lot of trainers do believe that. But no, I can’t really – I can’t really say. I’m not so sure – I don’t think they think Ricky Hatton is as basic as what they’re saying. I think they’re clever enough to see that Ricky Hatton is a lot more complicated than the typical pressure fighter.
GARETH DAVIES: Thank you very much.
GEORGE ROSENWASER: Hello, my question is actually for Roger First, I’m wondering if you saw 24/7 on Sunday?
ROGER MAYWEATHER: Yes.
GEORGE ROSENWASER: What do you think about the body bag, that large punching bag that Billy Graham uses with Ricky Hatton, do you think that will happen in the fight?
ROGER MAYWEATHER: I don’t care anything about that (expletive), because, you know, what punching bags don’t hit back. It don’t win (expletive) fights. All of the rest of that (expletive) don’t mean nothing. There ain’t never been a fight over there, that the greatest fighters in the world are from where I’m from, period. He ain’t nothing but another fighter. And like Ricky Hatton is very tough. He’s very tough. He’s going to come. He’s going to come. And we’re going to ask him for his ass, too. Give me that. You’ve got to worry about that. When he answer that door, somebody’s going to answer that door with a baseball bat, beat him across his (expletive) head.
GEORGE ROSENWASER: Thank you, Roger.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: Thanks. A question for Roger, also, Billy didn’t really see particularly concerned about Floyd’s style and thinks that using the pressure techniques that Castillo particularly used in the first fight, that might be effective against Floyd, while at the same time saying Floyd is the best fighter in the world. Can you comment on that?
ROGER MAYWEATHER: Well I ain’t got to say that, because when Floyd fought Castillo the first time, you see what happened the second time, right.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: Right.
ROGER MAYWEATHER: OK, then. What happened the second time.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: Right. Well I agree that Floyd won both fights. The second fight was very clear.
ROGER MAYWEATHER: Well go ahead, and he can put all of the pressure he wants. He can put all of the pressure he wants. That’s why I’m saying he can do anything. You know, it ain’t about – it ain’t about can he outbox Floyd? Do he have more skill than Floyd? That’s the only thing he can do is pressure Floyd. But other than that, he can’t do shit else. Other than he ain’t nothing but a high profile club fighter. And the only reason why he get this big reputation now is because you’ve got to remember this, I (INAUDIBLE) he beat (INAUDIBLE). And that fight was dead even. So I mean, and he got away with all of the (expletive) over there when he was from. He won’t get away with all of that shit over here.
But besides that, as far as boxing, as far as pure skill about boxing, the part about the best fighter in the world, well the bottom line is this, Floyd never had plastic surgery, I don’t believe. I bet that (expletive) has. What can I tell you? Talking about what are you going to do? He’s going to bring his (expletive) face. He’s going to break his face. We’re going to bust that ass up too. It doesn’t make no difference. What else are you going to do?
That’s the only chance that he got. He got put that ass on the line.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: Now, having said all of that, I’m assuming, also, on the other side of it, you’re not underestimating, because you could say it’s a club fighter and then it’s easy to overlook somebody like that. And we know – I mean you’ve been in boxing for your whole life, you know what happens when you do that. How do you avoid not underestimating him.
ROGER MAYWEATHER: The bottom line is this. Floyd didn’t get to where he’s at. Floyd’s got history to win six world championships any weight and be undefeated. Floyd’s got the history to do it. Other guys have done it, but they all ready lost first. De La Hoya has done, he lost. Ali done it, he lost. But Floyd’s the only guy in history to ever do it and never loss.
And I don’t think – the reason he don’t lose, because he doesn’t take his opponent lightly because he knows what Ricky Hatton brings to the table. He knows what Ricky Hatton brings to the table. And, I mean when you bring it, I mean we’ve got to be ready for it. I mea he’s a durable – he’s a tough, durable fighter, but I want to tell him and his trainer, I’m sure they’re on the line listening to this, (expletive) weight don’t win a (expletive) fight, skill do. He can be 300 (expletive) pounds, what the (expletive) does that mean.
We ain’t in no weight lifting contest. We’re in a boxing match. So as long as we’re in a boxing match, the best fighter is going to win. I’m sure he knows what the fuck that is.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: OK. Thanks. Good luck to everybody December 8.
RAYMOND RONDO: So, we’ve seen in some of Floyd’s previous fights that, you know, he allows himself to get trapped along the ropes whether it’s by choice or not, and get banged to the body. Now, obviously, we haven’t really seen anybody that’s been able to hurt him, or really be effective while doing it. Obviously, Hatton, that’s kind of his bread and butter going to the body, are you guys at all concerned about that? I mean is Floyd looking to just make sure to not get trapped along the ropes as he usually does?
ROGER MAYWEATHER: Floyd’s going to do what he do. Floyd’s going to do what he do anyway. It has nothing to do about all of the body punching (expletive). If you know anything about boxing, I mean, the greatest fighters in the world – the greatest heavyweight in the world is Ali, right. Keep him on the ropes, and hitting with body shots and all of that. At the end what did Joe Frasier get?
RAYMOND RONDO: Not a whole lot, at least not to the body.
ROGER MAYWEATHER : Joe Frasier hit the body – hit Ali to the body nine definitive times. So, Ali don’t even throw body shots.
Now, Floyd is more skilled than Ali, so what’s that case?
RAYMOND RONDO: That’s true. Although, when he did fight Castillo the first time, although Mayweather did win, he was pretty effective going to the body.
ROGER MAYWEATHER: Let me tell you something, you know, when he fought Castillo the first time, the fight should have never happened because certain things in fights should never happen but that’s besides the point. The bottom line is this, when he asked Floyd this, they say, “You want to fight Castillo again?” What did he say, “Yes, I’ll fight him again.” And what did he do the second time he fought him? That’s what the best fighter in the world do. He don’t say I ain’t going to fight him. He says, “I’m going to fight him again.” And I’m going to show you why I’m going to whip his ass like I did the first time.” That’s because of certain things that happened in the fight prior to leading up to the fight that hindered him from – actually hindering him from using his right hand, and that’s why.
GEORGE WILLIS: Hey, when you were at the press conference in New York Floyd was – actually seemed a little drained. He was talking about needing a vacation, and his schedule and this that and the other. And I was just wondering how is his mental state? Do you think he’s maybe spreading himself too thin? He’s been doing a lot of things, Dancing with the Stars, now he’s training for a big fight. I mean how has he been able to cope with is schedule over these last four or five months?
LEONARD ELLERBE: Well everything is working right according to schedule. Obviously, after the de la Hoya fight, we went on a world wide tour to several major cities, Floyd speaking with kids, you know, giving back to the community. You know, the de la Hoya fight allowed us to use that fight as a platform to cross over into the mainstream world, to go off and do a number of different things that no other fighter has been able to do because boxing isn’t a mainstream sport. But, the attention and the focus that the de la Hoya-Mayweather brought to the casual fan, it was unbelievable.
So from that standpoint, there were a number of commitments that we made after the fight and it was quite a bit that we were doing. Then, I got him on the dancing with the stars show and the whole objective with that was to bring more eyes to the spot. And, I think we were very successful in doing that. And we have every indication that this fight is going to be very, very successful. It’s a mega event. And with all of that being said, that I think that the timing of Floyd getting off the show, it was right on schedule because it allows us right at seven-and-a-half weeks to prepare and that’s normally where we’re right on track with our preparation for any fight.
So he’s well rested. He’s put in all of the work that he needs to put in. We had a great training camp thus far. We have tremendous sparring. We are working with two former world champions in Lovemore N’dou and Carlos Baldomir. So the preparation of this fight has been unbelievable. And we’re just looking forward to go on December the eighth.
GEORGE WILLIS: So you’re training with Baldomir?
LEONARD ELLERBE: Yes, Baldomir is one of the guys that we’re working with. And like I said, any time that – as a – because where Floyd allows himself to do – Floyd challenges himself. And that’s the key to this whole thing. You know, he don’t want to just work with any sparring partners out there.
We – what me and Roger discussed is bringing in the best possible work to be able to push forward and to challenge him to be at his best. And obviously, with Ludmore and with Carlos being two former world champions, and both bring different things to the table. With Lovemore being more of a pressure fighter, and with Carlos being more of a durable guy. And both of them have four top level competition. You know, and these are the kinds of things that the great athletes and the great fighters need to challenge themselves, bringing in the best that’s out there, so that they will be able to perform at their peak best, come, you know, that night.