PRESENTATION – Monica Sears Thank you very much. I want to welcome everyone today to the call leading up to the Super Lightweight World Championship fight set for December 11, next weekend, at Mandalay Bay. At this time, I will turn the call over the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer, to introduce all of our participants.
Richard Schaefer Thank you, Monica and thank you to all the media members for participating in today’s call. Little more than a week to go until the fireworks and the sparks will fly for one of the most anticipated cards of this year, the big showdown between world champion Amir Khan and interim champion, Marcos Maidana and fast rising start Victor Ortiz and Lamont Peterson, who will be the opening bout on this HBO World Championship Boxing event, which is going to take place at the Mandalay Bay on December 11th. The telecast is going to start at 6:30 p.m. Pacific/9:30 p.m. Eastern with the … full televised events..
Before I’m going to introduce the participants, I just want to quickly mention as well the fantastic non-televised undercard. We really could call it like “Knock-Out Night in Vegas” because I looked at these guys who are going to be fighting on the card and it’s unbelievable the knock-out ratio they call have. We have opening up the night … Alfonso Blanco, one of the most decorated amateurs recently coming out of Venezuela. He’s 1 and 0. Randy Caballero, the rising star, with five fights, five knock-outs from Coachella, California. Jamie Kavanagh, who is training now our of Freddie Roach’s gym in the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, he’s 3 and 0.
Jessie Vargas from Las Vegas with 12 and 0 with 7 KOs and then the man who comes in with the lion outfit, Sharif Bogere from Henderson, Nevada with 17 and 0 with 11 knock-outs. Then … ESPN, the best young American heavyweight Seth Mitchell, who is 19 and 0 with 13 KOs; then fast rising star from East L.A., Frankie Gomez with 7 and 0 with 6 knock-outs. Then another undefeated fighter with the record of 30 and 0, Joan Guzmán, who is going to make his comeback at the Super Lightweight, and then we’re going to start with the televised portion.
As you can see, really I think it’s one of the best non-televised undercards we probably have ever put together. Please encourage your fans to come early and really enjoy a night of great, great boxing. Tickets are priced extremely reasonable. I mentioned it before, when we had the conference call with our U.K. writers, for as little as $50 at the Mandalay Bay, you can go and see this great night of action. $50 for World Championship Boxing, really I just think underlines that we really want to price these fights in a fan friendly manner.
It is a pleasure now to introduce to you the trainer for Marcos Maidana and that is of course, a man you all know, is Miguel Diaz, who can tell a little bit about training camp. I might add that Marcos Maidana, for the first time, has relocated his entire training camp to Las Vegas. That’s how dedicated he is for this fight. He’s been with Miguel Diaz now for the last couple of months, right Miguel?
Miguel Diaz We have our nine week over here on Sunday. … the fight’s going to be like ten weeks in Las Vegas. We have a great training camp and we have a very good … fighters all … guys like Leti Leti … from England who … the style of Amir Khan to the … because he actually spar with Amir Khan in England. For the last week, we try a new kid who the name is kind of strange for me; it’s a South African kid. He’s fantastic at sparring. He’s undefeated himself. He’s trained by …. It’s hard for me to say the name, but they call him something like-I’m going to come back to you with a name of the guy. We finish our training tomorrow, boxing wise. Then the following week is going to be only ….
R. Schaefer Thank you, Miguel. Now, it is pleasure for me to introduce to you, the man with 29 wins, only 1 loss, 27 of these wins by knock-out. Marcos Maidana is from Santa Fe, Argentina. He is known as a hard-hitting puncher with crushing knock-out power. He has knocked out 10 of his opponents in the first round and 22 of those 27 knock-outs haven’t made it past the third round. He had one loss, which was a controversial split decision to Andreas Kotelnik in his first world title shot in 2009.
Then, of course, we know from Staples Center in June 2009, when he stalled the dreams of highly touted contender, Victor Ortiz, and captured the WBA Interim World Title. Then he has defeated that title successfully three times. He’s looking at making a statement in the fight against Amir Khan.
He sort of said that he’s specializing in knocking out the prospects of the year. Both Victor Ortiz was a prospect of the year and a couple years earlier, it was Amir Khan. So, Marcos Maidana is going to come with the fireworks in his fists to the Mandalay Bay and looking to capture the world title.
It’s a pleasure for me to introduce to you Marcos Maidana.
M. Diaz Before I … Marcos Maidana on the phone, I’m going to give you a name of … sparring … who work out with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and a lot of big fighters over here in the area of Las Vegas. Very …. His nickname is “The Sting.” Very, very good at sparring. Here is Marcos Maidana.
Marcos Maidana Hola, Richard.
R. Schaefer Hola, Marcos. Maybe you can give us some thoughts on training camp. How do you feel? How is training camp going?
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz Well, I was in very good condition already. I’m almost … weight. We didn’t have any problems, whatsoever, and the sparring … were fantastic.
R. Schaefer I’m going now to move on to Team Khan and then we’re going to open it up for questions to the media for Miguel Diaz, Maidana, Freddie Roach or, of course, Amir Khan. The man I’m going to introduce now you all know. He has pretty much been a lock on the Trainer of the Year, year after year. It really is a pleasure, it’s an honor, for me to introduce Freddie Roach.
Freddie Roach Thanks, Richard. We’ve had a great training camp. We’ve been moving around a little bit. We started in the Philippines. We ended up in Texas and now we’re into Wild Card. Everything’s really gone smoothly. Amir’s in great shape …. Our last day of sparring will be tomorrow, and then we head to Vegas on Sunday. We’re ready for the fight. We know Maidana’s a good right-hand puncher. He has knock-out power. We do respect that, but we’re ready for what he has. I look forward to the fight.
R. Schaefer Now, this young man is really one of the most talked about fighters today in the world. He has an extremely crowd pleasing style. He’s fast. He has power. He comes to win. He has the charisma. He has the looks. He is a great guy outside of the ring. He’s known for his tremendous charity work in the U.K. and in Pakistan as well, where he supports many different charities and is just all around one of those guys who really has got it all.
I think he has a tremendous future here in the United States. Amir Khan captured the American imagination of the sports fans-and I’m saying sports fans, not just boxing fans-when he dominated Paulie Malignaggi in his second title defense at the Madison Square Garden, which was his big coming out party here in the United States. Now, he’s following it up here in the U.S. with a West Coast appearance on the famed Las Vegas strip and is really ready to continue to build his name and reputation here in the United States as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I really think there’s no other fighter who has that kind of opportunities ahead of him, but he knows that with Marcos Maidana, he’s going to be fighting and facing somebody who is hungry, who can punch and who is coming to win.
It is a pleasure for me now to introduce to you the WBA Super Lightweight World Champion, Amir “King” Khan.
Amir Khan Hey, guys. We’ve had a great training camp. Still, we’ve got one more spar left on Friday. We get into Vegas around Sunday/Monday …. Yes, looking forward to it. It’s a big fight for me because everyone knows that’s what Maidana is. Maidana is a big puncher. We respect that. We know he’s strong and he’s got … and he likes to fight. So, we’ve got some great sparring partners, tough sparring partners.
I know we’ve been moving around a lot. People have been asking me, “Oh, has it affected your training camp?” In a way, I think it’s made it a little better because when you go to a new gym and you see new faces, it makes you train harder. It makes you train differently. But yes, I’m happy with the way training camp’s gone. Not long now, I’ve been away from home for about 10, 11 weeks. It’s been a long time for me. But, I’m very focused, very … probably one of the best shapes I’ve ever been in. The …very good and we just can’t wait to get into the ring and fight.
R. Schaefer Thank you very much, Amir. By the way, for everyone, I want to point out and wish Amir an early Happy Birthday. He’s going to be turning 24 next Wednesday, fight week. Congratulations, Amir.
Now, I’d like to open it up to the media members for any questions you might have.
Lem Satterfield This is for Freddie and Amir to both answer separately. Amir, obviously you were able to be more punitive against Paulie Malignaggi, inflict a lot of damage, move forward, but is it going to behoove you against a guy like Maidana to be more of a boxer? If so, do you think you can knock him out that way? That’s for you and Freddie.
A. Khan Yes, we’re not going to a fight … in the corner because we don’t want to make mistakes. We made that mistake in the early days. We want to go in there professional, stick to the game plan and stick to …. We know exactly the way to win this fight. There are going to come times in the fight where we are going to put pressure on and there are going to come times where we’re going to be wanting him to come forward because we know Maidana is a come forward fighter, but … need to go looking for him.
F. Roach Yes, we’re ready for this fight. We have a good game plan down. I think we will go after Maidana at some time in the fight, but after we break him down. That will take us some rounds. He’s a very durable guy, but we will break him down. I think we’ll knock him out in the late round.
L. Satterfield What are your impressions, both of you, of his performance in his last fight against DeMarcus Corley? I guess some of us were surprised that Corley was able to get to him a little bit and hurt him fighting a toe-to-toe fight, when he had just been knocked out by Hernandez. What are your impressions of that performance?
A. Khan Well, when we watch someone like Maidana, whoever we’re fighting, I look at the best performance they’ve had. I look at the best they’ve been and the best shape they’ve been and the best … because … looking at these fights they’ve not performed well. Everyone has an off night. Well, I’m going to be ready for the Maidana who’s been 100%, the Maidana who beat Victor Ortiz, the Maidana who was on top of his game. I’m going to be ready for that Maidana. If I’m ready for the best Maidana, then I’m sure I’ll be fine.
F. Roach The Corley fight; I think it … probably hard for him to get … Corley. I don’t know how hard he really trained for that fight or how good of shape he was in, but we expect him to be at his best for Amir because Amir’s the best fighter in the world at his weight and he wants to win this. We expect … but we just need him other fights where he has looked great. We expect … a very good Maidana in the best shape of his life, I’m sure, and that’s what we’re ready for.
L. Satterfield Freddie, do you dismiss the Corley fight or do you take something away from him?
F. Roach No, we take something away from it. There’s definitely habits that are … in that fight, but we don’t watch it a lot though because it … southpaw stance and so forth is a whole different style.
L. Satterfield Miguel Diaz, did Marcos hear what I-? Does he know what I just asked? I wanted to know how you guys address his performance against Corley. Was that something that you expected or are you okay with that performance going into this fight?
M. Diaz Was that question for me or does that question go for Maidana.
L. Satterfield For Maidana through you and for you also.
M. Diaz In my case, I … the fight Maidana with “Chop Chop” Corley and I grade that fight like-I give him a four. He got a lot of problems before the fight. He came to the United States first … and …. Then he came to the United States to sign a contract with Golden Boy. That was another week lost. That was the performance.
The Maidana of today is a completely different Maidana than that fight. It’s a guy that’s been here for, like I said before, for nine weeks already. By the time of the fight on Saturday the 11th, it’s going to be like 10 weeks in America isolated and he’s going to …. Only he’s asking … rest, come to the gym, work and rest.
L. Satterfield Can you have Maidana address that question?
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz First of all, this fight is very important for me because I’m very hungry. I want to win this fight to get the title of Junior Welter. I train very well. I have great sparrings and I’ve watched the … and the … and the training.
L. Satterfield Last question for both of you, obviously you lost to Andreas Kotelnik. He beat Kotelnik rather convincingly. Are you prepared for him if he just strictly chooses to box? Because obviously you had trouble with the one guy who was a boxer on your record and you lost to him. Can you address his boxing?
M. Diaz As far as I am concerned, I only saw that fight on the tape. I was not with Maidana at that particular time. I think the fight could … draw. I think Maidana could have been the winner of that fight. I saw Amir winning the fight also. The performance, both of them were very similar. There was nothing special on Amir in that winning and there was nothing special on Maidana to lose that fight. … that fight doesn’t make any difference on this fight. It doesn’t have no … whatsoever in this fight.
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz No, no, no. Not whatsoever. I hit Kotelnik much more than Amir. Actually, I hurt him, but this is from the past. That has nothing to do with this fight. Believe me, I’m ready for this fight.
Dan Rafael Amir, I was wondering if you could just talk a little bit about the evolution of your fighting style or the way you’ve rebounded from your one defeat. How far you have come since that one loss, which is more than-just a little, about two years ago in September, I guess-so, a little bit longer than two years ago when you bounced back from that. Beat Kotelnik, Barrera, Salita, Paulie and now you have this fight. Can you talk about how you’ve come along since then?
A. Khan Yes, I’ve come along in a lot. I think that defeat was probably-that’s what helped me to get so far in my career. Maybe I wouldn’t be fighting here if I didn’t lose that fight. The defeat gave me a wake-up call because … training was different, the …different, and the focus wasn’t there. Whereas now, I’m totally isolated when I go to training camp, I’m 100% focused. I listen to instructions and listen to my trainer. I train a lot harder. That is a blessing in disguise. If that didn’t happen, like I said, I don’t think I’d be in this position now. We’re just going to be more ready for any fighter because we know what could happen and what could go wrong.
D. Rafael Do you think besides physically you’re more mature now that you’re just mentally more mature now as well as far as how you look at a fight when you go into it and understanding that yes you can be beat, so mentally it makes you that much stronger because of what happened in that fight?
A. Khan That’s right. Mentally, I mean you prepare yourself and I mean, you look back at your previous fights and the mistakes you made in those fights. You don’t want to make those mistakes again. That’s what drives me. That’s what keeps me focused and keeps me on the edge because we know in boxing things can go wrong and one point can change a fight. We don’t want that to happen again, so we … 100% focused and more professional.
D. Rafael Freddie, if I’m not mistaken, you first fight with Amir was the Barrera fight, correct?
F. Roach Yes.
D. Rafael That was the second fight after the loss. Now, you’ve been with him for the four fights plus now the training camp for this fight, can you talk about what you have done or what you have seen from him in terms of the majority, both as a person and mentally going into a fight as well as physically with his boxing ability since you went in-?
F. Roach The thing is he knows how to set things up now. He just doesn’t go in there and look for a one punch knock-out. He knows how to break a person down and he knows how to work behind his jab and … reach for the body… like he did with … stopped. He’s just become a completely different fighter. We haven’t lost a round since we’ve been together. I mean, we haven’t lost one round.
The Kotelnik fight I feel that was a great fight for us because we beat this guy for every round. So I think there are some very … comparisons in when Maidana fought him to when we fought him. We dominated him every round. I feel that we’ll do that in this fight too. I don’t see us losing a round here either.
D. Rafael How much better is he now than when you first got with him, which was-?
F. Roach He is a whole different fighter. He’s 100% better. I’ve never had a fighter to listen so well, take direction as well and stick to the game plan as well as Amir Khan. He’s really become a real, very good, professional fighter. He knows how to fight. He likes to … a little bit too much sometimes, I think, but I won’t take that away from him because he knows when to do it and when not to.
D. Rafael I just have one more question for Amir. Going into this fight, there was a lot of discussion earlier in the year that you were somehow trying to avoid Maidana, that you were ducking him. You didn’t want to fight him. You were looking for easier fights. Obviously, that’s not the case because you’ve taken this fight. Can you talk about your feelings when you heard all the discussion about that? That perhaps you were looking not to fight this guy, but obviously, that wasn’t the case because you are fighting him. So, can you talk a little bit about that? Did it hurt you at all?
A. Khan Yes, financially. Our first time, the fight was … financially, it just wasn’t-come together. I think it was worth a bigger fight than what we were offered for the fight. So, we sat down with Golden Boy … that time, it was my first fight in America. Not many people knew Maidana and not many people knew Amir Khan. For me to fight big name over here who was, at that time, probably Paulie Malignaggi was a big name who everyone knew and who also couldn’t sell a fight, sell a fight with his …. That’s what happened.
We fought Paulie Malignaggi. He sold the fought with his … what happened in the weigh in and everything. It made the fight more popular. People started talking about the fight. It was much bigger than probably the Maidana fight was going to be at that time. Then Maidana had a few wins and he won a few fights.
Then maybe six months down the line, right about six months down the line, now we’ve made this fight. This fight is a lot more bigger than it would have been six months ago. Financially, it does stack up now. They had people on the edge of their seats because people want to see this fight. People were waiting for the fight and now the fight’s here. Now people are going to be tuned in. They’re going to be all excited for the fight. Also, me and Maidana excited for the fight. We’ve both taken the fight on and we both think it’s the right time now because we both can … a lot more than we were offered the first time.
Chris Cozzone Amir, how tough is Marcos Maidana compared to your previous opponents? Do you consider him the toughest guy you’ve fought to date?
A. Khan It’s hard to tell because- We know he’s probably the biggest puncher from all the guys because his record says it all on paper. Technically wise, we’ve fought a lot of guys who are very skillful. We fought guys who were a lot faster. We fought guys who were …. But, this fight is … different because you’re fighting someone who’s a little bit more … has a good punch on it. We have to be careful because … punches. They could hurt you in the first round or the last round, but we have to stay on the edge and you have to stay sharp and focused all the way through the fight, which I could do good because with sparring and everything. While we’ve been tough, we’ve been getting a lot of sparring partners in. They’ve been tough guys with a similar style like Maidana. All we have to do is stay focused in this fight and have a ….
C. Cozzone Marcos, do you have a backup plan if you can’t get-? Obviously, everybody expects you to go in there and try to brawl with Amir Khan, but if Amir refuses to trade punches or exchange punches and just stick to the boxing, do you have a backup plan for that?
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz Well, we have a different plan. If he wants to stay with me, eventually everybody knows, it’s not a secret, that’s going to be my fight. If he’s going to move around, I’m working with sparers that are imitating him, all kinds of different movements, and for the first time I’ve learned how to … and try to … in the … or … in the ropes and make … my fight.
Moderator We’re going to go to the next question from Gabriel Montoya from Max Boxing.
Gabriel Montoya My first question is for Miguel and Marcos. Jumping back to that Corley fight, you seemed to have a bit of a struggle in it. Miguel had addressed some of the issues going into the fight. I’m curious, was it beneficial to have that kind of fight coming into this kind of fight so that you could see all the flaws and what you were doing and then correct them? That’s for both of you.
M. Diaz The question for me, of course. That was the … from the sky, that fight. That showed me the Marcos Maidana was mature enough to that fight. He understood what I told him after the fight in his own house with the … fights and with Sebastian Contursi, his advisor. We discussed that there was no more training in Argentina. If you really want to capitalize your pound with your power and your punches, you’ve got to train in the place where you really focus about it. He understood that and he showed me in these nine weeks already that he really learned a lesson. He’s 100%for this fight and that was very good.
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz Yes, that fight showed me that if you don’t take the things very serious at this level and if you don’t train as hard as I train for this fight, when you get up to the fight that you don’t be serious in your training, you’ll pay later on in the fight.
G. Montoya Amir is one of the fastest-again, for Miguel and Marcos-arguably the fastest of the 140 pounders. He’s also got the size of somebody that looks like he’s going to be a welterweight at some point. How do you, in sparring, simulate both that speed and that size?
M. Diaz Well, this is what we have is sparrings that were very fast and … in the 140 pounders. We got a nice hard, young stallions … young and young lions who were in the gym, not just who come to make … dollars a week. It’s not to make a point that they are coming to work with the champions. They really give a great, great job. Leti Leti did a great, great job with … managed and advised by Cameron Dunkin who is very true … Asian in the business, who only hire the best, who only work for the best as you know. We hire a guy like-I just got the name a few minutes ago-they call him “The Sting.” He works also with the greatest fighter ….
Floyd Mayweather Jr. who was his sparring for so many fights also, he also did a tremendous job. I have a kid from Cuba who is six feet tall. I used to call him “The Robin” because he moves a lot and runs around the ring very good. Besides that, also punching … and he did a great job. Maidana’s ready for anything.
G. Montoya Is there a fighter that Marcos has faced that compares to Khan in any way? Can he take that experience into this fight?
M. Diaz Maidana worked with an undefeated kid from Dominican Republic who’s Asian … and his managers. … they were talking that they’re going to be the next champion of the world. You all see the result of that fight. To Maidana touch him with a nice right hand to the stomach, the fight was over. As much as you can say over here on the phone, but the thing that’s happen in the ring is not what happened over here on the phone. This is what I actually think is going to take place December 11th.
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz The fight, the speed doesn’t bother me because I know I have 12 rounds, but I … one of my hands. I know one thing, when I hit him with one of the my hands, the fight is over.
G. Montoya This is for Amir and Freddie. I was that you, Amir, dropped a fighter in sparring. This is the first time that you’d done it in all your camps with Freddie. Is that true? If so, what’s been the difference in how you’ve been approaching sparring and training? Are you just sitting down in your punches more?
A. Khan Well, yes. We’ve been working a lot of things. A lot of people say Maidana’s a bigger puncher going into this fight, but the only biggest puncher he … faced in his career was someone like Victor Ortiz who put him down twice in that fight. I think it was three times. … Victor his head just wasn’t right on that night and he just let off the leash. Whereas, I think I’m one of the biggest punchers in the division and also with speed and shots that you don’t see. I could now as … going on, I mean I have sparring … going on as well and … around. I’m maturing more. I’m staying down in my shots more. I’m hurting more people with … in my shots more.
This fight is going to be a good technical fight because if Maidana wants it, then we’re going to be there. If he thinks we’re one of them, we’re going to … away and stuff. He keeps saying that he’s going to-either with his left or right-he’s going to knock me out, we’ll see when the fight comes because let him keep relying on them shots because once … and he doesn’t move me, then we’ll see what happens there. Because we know exactly how to beat this guy and there’s only going to be one winner in this fight. Like I said, if he comes to this fight thinking he’s the only power puncher, then let him think that was well.
G. Montoya In terms of your just overall breakdown of your speed, power and size, you look like you have the ability to be the best 140 pounder. Will you be that after this fight or do you need to beat the winner of Bradley/Alexander in order to claim that?
A. Khan I’m sure after this fight and the way I win this convincingly, I think people will realize how good Amir Khan is at the division. Then I think the fight with the winner of … two guys later on in the year-later on next year-will be a good fight for me as well to prove how good I am, that I am the best … fighter. At this point, I’m just focusing on this fight. I don’t really care about the other fights ahead. I’m just 100% focused on one fight, which is the Maidana fight.
He can say that he’s been sparring with guys who are quick movers and who are good punchers and all that, but he’s not sparring with anyone-these people might be like me, but they’re not me, but we’ll see. Time will tell. On December 11th, we’ll see if he’s done the right training for the fight and we’ll see if I’ve done the right training for the fight.
Leighton Ginn I was just kind of following up. I know, Amir, that after you beat Paul Malignaggi, you were talking about this tournament. It seems to be coming to fruition. Can you talk about what this tournament in the weight division will mean for boxing? Can you kind of give me your thoughts about the Bradley/Alexander fight?
A. Khan I think after the fight, when people started saying I was avoiding Maidana, I said, “I’m here …. Look, I’d fight Maidana next.” Then, “We want Timothy Bradley to fight Alexander,” I think that makes sense. So the best four fighters are fighting each other because I’m sure each fighter in the … division thinks they’re the best in the division. So, let’s prove it by fighting each other. So, I made the first move by getting them Maidana fight. That’s what Alexander and Bradley are doing now. I’m showing them-by this time next year, we’ll show exactly who is the best in the division.
L. Ginn Your thoughts about the Alexander/Bradley fight in January? How do you see that fight-?
A. Khan I think Bradley will win that fight, I think with experience and being a lot smarter. Yes, I think he’ll probably win that fight.
L. Ginn Also, throughout this year, Gary Shaw said that there was a fight that was planned between you-or a fight in the works, at least-between you and Bradley and it fell through. Can you talk about that?
A. Khan Yes, because I heard the same thing, but that was with Frank Warren. I was … Frank Warren at that time, when the fight was made between me and Bradley. I heard there were talks there, but I was promoting myself at that time. I’ve got my own promotion, Khan Promotions. That’s the reason. I wasn’t … avoiding anyone and I heard about it, but I’m a Golden Boy fighter. Maybe that’s a fight in the future. Who says that fight can’t happen? I think if he wins that fight and I win my fight, I think that’s a fight in the future that will be a big fight.
L. Ginn Also, the same question for Marcos. Can you talk about this tournament? What this will mean for boxing, especially in your weight class and the thoughts of maybe fighting-if you win-the winner of Bradley/Alexander?
M. Diaz First of all, I’m not aware of that this is tournament. I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. I understand this is a fight between Amir Khan-an … title between Amir Khan and my … Marcos Maidana. Then, January is going to be a fight between Bradley and Devon Alexander. Nobody ever told us that this is a tournament. We don’t have any commitment with anybody. We know one thing; December 11th we’re fighting Amir Khan. Now … I’m going to ask the question.
M. Maidana (Speaking Spanish)
M. Diaz My … in Spanish answered the same question. He didn’t know about the tournament. He didn’t know anything about that we’re going to fight the winner of … Alexander and Bradley. That’s why we only focus in this fight.
L. Ginn But, if you win this fight, wouldn’t you welcome the opportunity to fight the winner or Bradley and Alexander?
M. Diaz No question about it. The money’s right, if the conditions are right, then Marcos already said that a long time ago. He fights the best because he wants to be the best and he’s here to fight anybody that Golden Boy puts in front of him for the right money.
R. Schaefer I just want to quickly add to that. Obviously, I agree with Miguel. There is no tournament. There’s no commitment for either fighter to who they’re going to fight next. Both Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana know how difficult of a fight and how big of a fight this fight is here on December the 11th. The good news is, and I think you heard that today from Amir and from Marcos as well, that either one of them is willing to fight anyone.
They want to fight the biggest names. They want to fight the biggest fights. They made it clear to me-each one made it clear to me-that’s who they want to be in the ring with. Whether it’s going to be the winner of Bradley and Alexander, it might, but it might not because there are many other good names. There is Lamont Peterson against Victor Ortiz. He could be a potential opponent. There is Zab Judah who just won the-although in a bit controversial fashion-against Lucas Matthyse. So, there’s Zab Judah there as well. There’s going to be another undefeated guy, Juan … on that same card in the Super Lightweight division. This is the most loaded division.
As a result, both of these fighters have a lot of potential next opponents to pick from. Whoever’s going to be the winner here is going to be- They’re going to sit down with me and we’re going to discuss next steps, but to discuss that now is, I think, premature. But, you can rest assured-all of the media members-that both of these guys want to fight the best and the biggest fights.
D. Rafael Amir, I was wondering if you had any indication or any idea of how many of your fans from England are going to come over for this fight. You had a little-had a vocal crowd that came over for the Malignaggi fight. I wonder about for this fight.
A. Khan A lot more than the Malignaggi fight. I think when it’s somewhere like Vegas, I think that itself attracts a lot of fans to America, especially because it’s fight weekend. This is going to be a big fight as well. I think a bigger fight than the Paulie Malignaggi fight. Yes, it’s going to attract a lot of people from England. Up to now, a few thousand I know that are traveling. I’m sure Vegas will be a mini-England on the night.
D. Rafael What do you say, about 2,000 you thought at least?
A. Khan I think we’ve got a lot more than that to be honest with you.
D. Rafael Now, those folks are going to travel from England. You and your training camp, as Freddie mentioned in the beginning of the conference call, that you’ve started your camp in the Philippines with Pacquiao. You continued your camp in Dallas. Now, you’re in Los Angeles. To get to the Philippines, you can from England, through L.A., then went on to the Philippines. You had a lot of travel for an eight or nine week period of time for you. Does that make it more difficult for you or I mean more tiring? I mean, most guys-they go to one camp, they seclude themselves, they do it for their two months and then they go to the fight. You’ve been a world traveller the last two and a half months.
A. Khan Yes, I’ve done a lot of traveling, but I think it’s been a good thing because I’ve kind of enjoyed it because you don’t get bored in one place. You see the same faces, normally you get in the same ring every time and same sparring partners. This time it’s been different because when I was in Dallas, we had new sparring partners down there. It was a different gym. New faces you see. Then, when I was in Baguio that was totally different, training in high altitude that was different and also training alongside Manny Pacquiao, so that was different that way. Now we’re back here based in Los Angeles and I forgot, it doesn’t seem like I’ve been traveling and I don’t feel tired from it. Nothing.
D. Rafael You’re not burned out at all from the long trips?
A. Khan Yes, they’re not too bad. They were really that bad. Once we got back from the Philippines to America, we went to Dallas, which is only a three and a half hour flight. So, that wasn’t too bad. But, yes, it’s been fine to be honest with you. It’s going to affect me for this fight.
D. Rafael Can you also just talk a little bit about-I guess this is now the second camp in which you’ve sparred with Pacquiao. Is that right?
A. Khan Yes, we did about 20 rounds together-
D. Rafael For this fight, though.
A. Khan For this fight, yes we ran about 15 to 20 rounds. I think, because he’s got … style to Maidana’s, but it’s all about going in there, building my … scope again, getting my sharpness down, my timing right. It was just good to spar with him, to share the same ring as him. For confidence wise, I think it’s brilliant because we all know that Manny’s the best fighter in the world and pound-for-pound, I think … if you can do really well against him, then I’m sure you’ll do well against anybody. If you can catch Manny, then I’m sure that someone like Maidana is going to be a lot easier to catch. Manny’s got great footwork and great speed. We had some great rounds.
D. Rafael Freddie, can you talk a little bit about what you saw when you see Amir spar with Pacquiao and how he handles himself with the … best fighter in the world?
F. Roach He handles himself well. Some days he gets a bit of the best of Manny. Some days Manny gets the best of him. It’s explosive. It’s like a cock fight, one day they both step it up. The thing is, I believe in good work is good work. He … self … right handed, it doesn’t matter to me, it’s just when you’re sharp, you’re sharp. That’s when he helped Manny get sharp for his fight and brought his speed back up to the level I wanted it at, and Manny helped Amir with just being sharp all around fighter. It was great work for him. Getting in there against the best and doing very well with him is always a great confidence builder also.
D. Rafael What do you say to what Amir says, if he can catch somebody as fast as Pacquiao that-not that Maidana is slow, but he’s certainly not as fast as Pacquiao-if he can catch Pacquiao, what’s that going to mean when he gets in there with a guy that’s slower like Maidana?
F. Roach I think that’s true. I think that we will be able to catch him and adjust to the speed. The thing is dealing with speed is very difficult. Of course, Maidana is not the fastest guy in the world, but he’s not as slow by any means. He’s got a nice, quick, short left hook. We’re going to get away …. It did us good and it kept us in the gym. We had a long training camp, of course. The travel was a little bit hectic at times and we get a little tired at times and so forth, but Amir is a traveler. He’s young. He never complained once. I take my hat off to him. He did a great job. We’re finishing up here on Saturday and off to Vegas and we’re ready.
R. Schaefer I understand that that was the last question. I would like to thank the fighters, the trainers and of course, the media, for today’s participation. We are all looking forward to a great fight week starting on Tuesday, December 7th when the press room opens and the grand arrival of the fighters. On Wednesday afternoon, starting at 12 o’clock-between 12 and 1:30-we’re going to have the fighter media workouts. Then on Thursday, we have the final press conference and then of course, on Friday, the weigh-ins. So, we’re really looking forward to a great fight week.
Again, please-media members-if you could make your readers aware of it, for as little as $50 in one of the best venues in the world, the Mandalay Bay Event Center, to go and see this great double header is really a treat, an early holiday gift. I urge everyone to be there and see this exciting and … fighters ….
Thank you again and I’ll see you fight week.
Amir Khan – Fighter
Freddie Roach – Trainer, Amir Khan
Marcos Maidana – Fighter
Miguel Diaz – Trainer, Marcos Maidana
Richard Schaefer – CEO, Golden Boy Promotions
Monica Sears – Director of Communications & Events, Golden Boy Promotions.
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