Thank you, everybody, for calling in for today’s conference call with Lamont Peterson, Seth Mitchell, and Timur Ibragimov.
To let you know, we will start with both Seth and Timur followed by Lamont Peterson after we discuss the heavyweight fight that will be part of Capital Showdown on December 10th in Washington, D.C. Before I introduce David Itskowitch from Golden Boy Promotions, I wanted to mention a couple of things regarding the fighters that are on the call today. From a local DC standpoint both Lamont and Anthony Peterson, and Seth Mitchell, are engaged in many activities for giving back during the holiday season.
They (the Petersons) gave out turkeys to people in need today right before this call. They’re also visiting with Martha’s Table, which is an excellent nonprofit organization here in Washington to help feed the homeless. And then on Thanksgiving Day, they will be giving out meals at the Central Union Mission. So they’re very active in giving back to the community, and that’s what this fight is all about.
Also, Seth Mitchell tomorrow will be helping with the 12th annual Safeway Feast of Sharing. This is a huge event in Washington, D.C. where 5,000 city residents are expected at the Convention Center, which is where the fight will take place. Seth will be joined by the Mayor of Washington, D.C.; also, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, members of the City Council and Gregory O’Dell, who’s Events DC president and CEO. And so, that’s a great way for him to give back if anybody knows where he lives. That’s a little bit of a trek, but he’s willing to come in and take time out of his training for that too.
And a sidebar; if everybody does know, he’s a huge Michigan State University alumni, can’t get a word in edgewise without mentioning that, promises always to wear Michigan State colors in the ring from my understanding. They have made it to the Big Ten Championship this year. So he is going to make a special appearance at Capitol Lounge on Capitol Hill, December 3rd to be with his fellow alumni, cheer on his team, sign autographs and help promote the fight there.
So I just wanted to let you know some of the activities that the fighters are all doing to help support this fight here in Washington, D.C. We look forward to sending you Fight Week materials as we get a little closer after these next couple of weeks. Now, without further ado, to get down to the business at hand and why we’re on this call today, I’d like to turn the call over to David Itskowitch who is Chief Operating Officer of Golden Boy Promotions. Dave?
Thank you, Kelly. Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to be on this call today. I know it’s a busy week for everyone in terms of personal obligations with the holidays. We appreciate you taking the time.
As Kelly mentioned, it’s Capital Showdown December 10th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions, sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools and AT&T, features Amir Khan versus Lamont Peterson for the Unified Super Lightweight World Championship and Seth Mitchell versus Timur Ibragimov in a ten-round heavyweight co-feature bout. Both fights will be broadcasted live on HBO, on their World Championship Boxing franchise starting at 9:45 eastern/6:45 pacific and the fights will be broadcasted on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
Tickets are still available, but they are going very quickly. This is the first HBO fight in the D.C. area in 18 years and the event’s caught fire. It’s really captured the imagination of sports fans in the D.C. area. Tickets are available starting at just $25 through Ticketmaster and we urge everyone to get out there and get their tickets now before they are all gone.
As I mentioned, we’re going to have a ten-round co-featured heavyweight fight, Seth Mitchell versus Timur Ibragimov. I wanted to introduce now to say a few words the gentleman who was on the 1996 Olympic Team from Uzbekistan. He is the cousin of former heavyweight world champion Sultan Ibragimov and has won nine of his last ten fights. He’s got a very impressive record of 30 wins with just 3 losses, one draw with 16 knockouts. He hails from Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Timur Ibragimov. Timur?
Hello, everybody. First of all, I wanted to say thanks to Golden Boy Promotions for giving me this opportunity and to HBO of course. I think this will be the fight of my life because I know Seth Mitchell, he’s a really strong guy, young guy and he has ambition.
One thing I have to do, I have to win this fight. I know how I will do this, but this is really, really like the fight of my life and that’s why I am preparing hard for this fight. One more time, I want to thank everybody and Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone.
Thank you, Timur. Facing Timur will be a young man who has excited the boxing community. He’s a gentleman who many believe will be the next American heavyweight champion of the world. As Kelly mentioned, he is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University where he was a standout linebacker. He’s been named-was a 2011 ESPN.com Prospect to Watch. He’s won seven fights in a row by knockout, including three this year. He’s excited to return to the D.C. area for the first time since April of 2011 and make his HBO debut against Ibragimov. Without any further ado, with a record of 23-0-1, 17 KOs, from Brandywine, Maryland, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell.
Thanks, Dave. First and foremost, I want to thank Golden Boy. I want to thank HBO also for giving me this opportunity. It’s my first time fighting home in a while, so I’m excited about fighting home. I’ll be well prepared for this fight. I believe Ibragimov will be well prepared. I’m not underestimating him at all. You don’t have a record of 31 wins, 3 losses, one draw, 16 KOs and never been stopped for nothing. So, I’m not underestimating you. I will be prepared as will you.
I know you think you have a lot of experience and you do have a lot of experience, but I haven’t been in the ring with anybody of your caliber. But trust and believe me, you haven’t been in the ring with anybody of my caliber as well. So, I’m looking forward to a war. I’m looking forward to a fight. I don’t expect it to be an easy fight. I will be mentally and physically prepared 100% come December 10th and I’m definitely looking forward to another victory.
Thanks a lot, Seth. I guess now we’d like to turn the call over to questions for the two fighters.
You talked about the last time I saw you that you dreamed of being in this position ever since you laced on gloves. From the Spider-Man movie you said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Obviously, you’ve been very busy. You were busy today. You’ll be busy tomorrow. Is the responsibility and the focus what you expected and how do you think you’re handling? How are you absorbing all of this?
I think I’m handling it well. I want to be in this position. When the stakes are high, if you’re in a position where the stakes are high, you’re going in the right direction. This is the position that I want to be in. Everything that I’m doing now is a part of the business, is part of promoting the fight. You have to do that to draw attention to the fight. At the same time, you have to maintain focus.
That’s not hard for me to do. I want to be in this position. Again, I want to be on HBO again. So I know that I have to go out there and most importantly, I have to win, but at the same I have a responsibility to look good while winning. It’s entertainment at the same time.
So I’m very focused. I’m more so excited about my opponent that I’m fighting. He definitely has my juices flowing because I know he’s a good fighter. He can fight. He’s going to come to fight. He’s training hard. When I’m tired and I don’t feel like training a little bit, I think about Timur. I know he’s in the gym. So, he’s pushing me hard to just be prepared on the 10th and I’m excited about the opportunity.
He said that you’re the fight of his life. Basically, I mean when a guy says that that can mean a lot of things. I guess in his situation, it means that if he doesn’t beat you, he’s going to become a stepping stone for future young fighters. What does that mean to you? What kind of message is that to you about what you expect to see in the ring?
I don’t underestimate any of my opponents. I expect him to come ready. I expect him to be ready to go a hard ten rounds as well. I mean it motivates me even more. He has experience, but he had his time. I believe that it’s my time now, and I just have to go out here and prove it on the 10th. And I’m definitely looking forward to doing so.
Timur, you talk about this being the fight of your life and you’ve been in there with some of the best-Oliver McCall who beat Lennox Lewis. I guess that’s one of your biggest fights. Being in this position, does it kind of strike you like a person thing where here’s a guy who’s inviting you to his hometown and wants to make a name off of you. What is it like to be in that position and what challenge did that present to you?
You know what? I love to go to somebody’s home and beat the person in his own home. I love this. I go to Germany and beat Timo Hoffman. I go to Miami and beat Oliver McCall. It’s not about this. I think for every fighter, it’s the fight of his year because you lose one and that’s it and you go down in the ranking and everything and nobody will really respect you.
I think every fight is so important, but this one, because this one will show on HBO and big promoters involved and tough guy, tough opponent, very tough opponent. That’s why in his hometown, that’s why I have to be ready not for 100%. I got to be ready for 200%, and I’m doing that. That’s why I think this is much way more, that you go to his hometown because how in Russia say, even the walls are helping in your home. That’s why I know the walls will help him. That’s why I got to be ready for that too.
Obviously, you’ve been in there with some of the best. You talked about his skills. Do you think that he has seen anybody or will-do you think that you’ve seen anybody as good or better than him and that he may be in over his head, or what are your feelings about that?
No, no, no way. He got like an undefeated record. This is already proving that he’s a good fighter. It’s not like that he’s fighting, like everybody’s saying, “Oh, he’s fighting someone” or “He didn’t fight no one.” No, no. You’re going inside the ring. You have the opponent. He has two hands and he’s a heavyweight. Even one punch can change everything. That’s why I really, really respect this guy and I am training hard for this guy. But, inside the ring, no respect, no nothing, just the job.
Seth, you first to start; how important is it for you to win fights by knockout? You’ve had seven in a row. Obviously, you’re on a little bit of a streak here. It is enough for you just to win a fight even decisively, but not by a knockout or is the knockout the highest priority on your list?
It’s a high priority on my list. At the same time, I don’t go out there looking for knockouts. I just stick with my game plan and the knockouts that come. I feel that I have a lot of speed, I have a lot of power and if I go out there and put that speed and power on my opponent, it’ll be hard for them to last the distance. But I don’t go out there too aggressive and reckless, but it’s an entertainment business.
I said it before; I probably wouldn’t be fighting on this card if I was 23 and 0 with 6 or 7 knockouts. People want to be excited and I definitely go out there and I’m trying to give them an entertaining fight. With me, win, lose or draw, I’m going to fight. I don’t want my knockout reign to end on December 10th. So, I’ll be going out there looking for the knockout, but not being overly aggressive. The main thing is I want to get the W, and I want to look good doing it.
Timur, I wanted to ask you about your thoughts on the level of competition in the heavyweight division now. With Joe Frazier dying not long ago, we’re kind of reminded of how great the heavyweight division once was. I want to get your thoughts on what you think of the heavyweight division now and if it can ever get back to kind of like that golden age.
Everybody is asking this question. It’s really interesting because if you see before, all the heavyweights weighed like 200-210 pounds, some of them were small. Only… was big, but most of the guys were small guys which now compare to cruiser weight because now it’s 21st Century and the guy’s already growing like a giant now in heavyweight division. Everybody thinks the heavyweight division is dead, but I don’t know. It’s really difficult to say. Outside the ring it’s easy to say. But when you’re inside the ring, you feel the guys and its Klitschkos.
Of course, they’re not entertainment fighters, but they’re very, very – how this go; they do the job, and they do it very well. They knock them out everyone and they dominate the heavyweight division. People love entertainment. That’s why they’re saying it’s like already nothing in heavyweight. But, I believe heavyweight is still strong and we will disprove that it is weak.
For Seth, I wanted to sort of follow-up on that same idea. A lot of people talk about the American heavyweight. It’s difficult to rise up in that. We had Tyson, the last great one, and you’ve had guys who fought the Klitschkos. But, have you felt any, I don’t know, obstacles or lack of role models, or have there been any extra struggles in your rise as a young heavyweight trying to become the next great American?
I don’t believe so. I just honestly try to be the best that I can be and try to accomplish as much as I can in the sport. I just believe my style and the way I fight is creating a lot of buzz. Not only do I look the part – I’m 6’2″, 240-plus pounds – but I bring speed and I bring athleticism and I bring the meanness in the ring, and I compete when I’m in the ring. It’s just something that I was born with, something that was innate as far as my competitive edge.
But, with everybody saying that I’m the next “Great American,” hope builds a great accolade, but I don’t let that blow my head up or think too much of myself. I believe in myself and I believe I have the tools and the capability of becoming heavyweight champion of the world. I just continue to just try to work hard and try to be the best that I can so I can provide for my family.
All right and kind of on a similar line for Timur. You talked about the Klitschkos. How big is that balance between entertainment and getting the job done? I mean, do you feel like there’s something more that needs to come from the next generation of heavyweights?
I don’t know. I don’t know. If you just know, I just tell you the facts because if you see before the fight and when Tyson or Holyfield step off the ring, they just start fighting in the first second of the fight. But if you see the Klitschkos fight, what they’re doing, they’re doing it really smart because they tall and they really have long reach. They stay on distance and can stay in distance like 12 rounds; even 20 rounds they can stay in distance because they’re in very good athletic, very good shape and they’re ready for 20 rounds.
That’s why I don’t know. It’s really difficult because somebody like saying, “Oh, it’s now will be Tyson. He will like come close to Klitschko and knock him down like easily.” But you know what? It’s not too easy to come close to these guys. That’s why I really don’t know. This is the fact. I’m just telling you the facts.
The first question is for Seth. Seth, it’s been mentioned the decline of American heavyweights over the years. Can you tell us why you think, and I know you got a relatively late start as a pro, your pro career, but with a really good record. Can you tell us why you think you’re going to be able to reverse that decline and do what other American heavyweights have been unable to do over the last several years?
First, I think I’m blessed with the athletic ability. I’m blessed with decent height, 6’2″, my speed and my weight. I want to make this statement first. I believe that-everybody wants somebody to relate to. Everybody wants an American heavyweight. Whichever country you’re from, you want your people to be the best at that particular sport.
I believe if the Klitschkos were Americans, everybody would be excited about the Klitschkos. They would just be like, “Well, beat them. You have to beat them,” you know what I mean? I mean they’re knocking out everybody like Timur said. They’re good at what they do. They might not be the most exciting fighters, but I definitely respect them and they fight hard and they use their God-given attributes to dominate the sport. But I think in order to fight them, you have to have an aggressive fight style. You have to have power. You have to have speed. I believe that I possess those qualities.
At the same time, when you get in the ring with one of the Klitschkos, everybody knows what you have to do to beat them is doing it when you get in the ring. Thus far, nobody has been able to do it. But, the Good Lord willing, if I get my opportunity, I believe that I have the tools and the capability to try to get the job done.
And you think you’re able to compensate for the experience factor because Timur’s fought a lot of guys that are really top level fighters like Womack and McCall and a number of others?
I think that’s what he has over me. He has experience over me, but when it comes December 10th, I’m not going to be worried about his experience when I get in the ring. It’s going to be too late for that. He knows that I respect him. I don’t think that he’s a pushover. I know he’s going to be ready to fight and like he said, when I get in the ring, there won’t be any respect. He’s going to have to deal with me, and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way, but we’ll see who’s the last man standing.
For Timur, this question of the decline of the American heavyweights, I know it’s something that has been discussed a lot. Do you have any reaction to that in particularly facing this fight with Seth as an undefeated fighter with a lot of knockouts and trying to get his place in the heavyweight division? What do you think about that whole issue about why it’s declined, and can someone like him revive it?
I don’t know nothing about the issue, but I know one thing. It’s a good opportunity for me. This is our job, and it doesn’t matter what type of record he has and what type of fighter he is. We go inside the ring. The two of us, we have our power, our speed and our – how this go – mental preparation, and I think who will be more strong mentally, I think that person will win the fight and physically of course.
I really, really don’t care like when I’m fighting these guys about their record. We’ve already passed more than 20 fights professional, and I have already 25 years in boxing business. That’s why I really don’t care about this record and everything because if you know like so many fighters have fake records, so many real records, but it means nothing. When you’re inside the ring, over there you got to prove it.
My question is for Timur. Timur, in some circles, you are considered the underdog. How do you feel about that? Do you think people are sleeping on you and do you think that you’re opponent is in the same caliber, Seth Mitchell is in the same caliber as you?
You know what? Like I say, whenever you are underdog, you have to train double. This is pushing me more, this thing. Of course, I hear everybody saying I am 32 and I have three losses. I really don’t care. I know one thing. On December 10th, I will be ready for 100% and that’s why this really is not bother me, like I am underdog. I really don’t care. I know one thing: that December 10th will be war.
You mentioned that you like going overseas and fighting, but in your last three fights, the most important fights were you lost, they were overseas. You lost to Calvin Brock, Tony Thompson, and Jean-Marc Mormeck by decisions. My first question about that is do you agree with those decisions and are you apprehensive of what the judges might do to you when you fight Seth Mitchell, say it goes to decision?
The last fight with Mormeck I don’t know. I go in his hometown and we really expecting like what my promoters told me, that they have two neutral judges. I came and three of them French and I say, “You know what guys? I’m packing bag and I’m going home.” I know because the guy always wins by decision and even if he’s losing, the judges give him the win. But then, they change just one judge. They bring him from Spain and he gives the win-2 to 1-and you know this already means something.
But for this fight, what I like in this fight because the national TV will be there and I like American judges because they’re honest. If you do good and not only the judges, it’s crowd too. Like if you go to Germany, you’re fighting a German guy and like you start beating him, they don’t care. They feel like fan with German fighter. But here in America, as soon as you start fighting and beating the American guy, everybody will start liking you and like start saying like “Timur, Timur.”
That’s why I think like more honest-like fans are in America and judges. That’s why I am here and that’s why I’m taking this fight.
My last question is for Seth, Seth Mitchell. We’re talking about the American heavyweights and we’re hopeful that you’ll be the next great American heavyweight. Who are your boxing heroes growing up and who do you like to emulate in the ring? Who do you like to fight like?
Well, if you follow my story, I was a very casual boxing fan, but I was always a big Mike Tyson fan. You couldn’t have told me that Mike Tyson wouldn’t have destroyed any heavyweight who he ever stepped into the ring with. But, as I got more familiar with boxing, I watch a lot of tapes on a lot of fighters. I don’t particularly say I emulate anybody. I just try to do all the fundamentals right. I try to develop a good inside fighting game, a good jab and a good defense.
My favorite fighter today right now is Miguel Cotto. I don’t think he’s the best fighter, but I like him because of his demeanor, how he carries himself in the ring as well as outside of the ring, a consummate professional. So he’s my favorite fighter today.
Thank you so much. That concludes this part of our call. Everybody stay on because we are going to be joined by Lamont Peterson. So, for Seth and Timur, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate you taking the time out to talk to the media about your upcoming fight on Capital Showdown.
Thank you very much and Happy Thanksgiving.
Is Lamont Peterson on the call?
How are you doing?
Good. How are you, and is Barry also on?
I am here.
Okay, perfect. Thanks, you guys. We’re going to go ahead and get started. We have the media on the call already. So, my name, again, is Kelly Swanson, and I’m helping to lead this call today. We welcome now to the call Lamont Peterson.
Lamont, before you got on, I did mention all of the wonderful things that you and your brother are doing to help the community and the homeless during this Thanksgiving time, and I did talk about your turkey giveaway earlier today, Union Temple Baptist Church with the District of Columbia’s Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry. You’re also on your way to Martha’s Table a little bit later in the day, and I mentioned what that was all about, and then Thanksgiving, actually the day of Thanksgiving, you will be visiting the Central Union Mission, which is our largest homeless facility in the district to help serve meals to the homeless.
So it’s really a gift that you and your brother are participating so much in these wonderful things particularly before none other than Capital Showdown, which takes place Saturday, December 10th. And as everybody knows, Lamont is facing Amir Khan.
It’s quite a fight. It’s in Lamont Peterson’s hometown. Lamont has a very impressive record of 29-1-1 with 15 knockouts and he won the NABO and NABF Light Welterweight titles before earning the WBO Interim Light Welterweight title in 2009 with a win over Willy Blain. He does have one blemish on his career, but he had a very great fight against Timothy Bradley and unfortunately came out with a loss there.
But now, he is up against Amir Khan. We’ll talk a little bit about that on the call today and also joining us is Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter. He has been with Lamont and his brother since they got started as amateurs and really has helped guide and mold and really formed these young men both inside and outside of the ring. So, Lamont, if you could make a comment or Barry, if you’d like to start and then introduce Lamont; whichever you guys feel comfortable doing and we will move forward. So, go ahead.
Go ahead, Lamont. It’s your show.
I just want to say I’m happy to be participating in the church giveaway and all the other events that we’ve been going to and we’re planning to do this week. It’s an honor and I’m having fun. I don’t mind taking a little time out of the training to do things like that because I know how rough things can get as a family and just for people in general.
Okay. That’s great. Any thoughts on the upcoming fight? We do know Amir Khan, he actually has his own conference call on Monday, but he’s kind of the talk of the town out there in the boxing world, trained by Freddie Roach, coming in from Los Angeles to face you in the ring. And so, why don’t you give us a little bit of thought on that and then we’ll open it up for questions.
I’m okay with him getting most of the attention and being considered the fighter in this fight. The good thing is at the end of the day, we have to get in the ring. We have to do those 12 rounds if need be. So I’ll get my chance to shine. It’s not really a problem with me. I’m okay with it. I’m comfortable where I’m at right now. I’m just happy to have this opportunity to show what I can do.
Well, you’ll certainly be the hometown favorite that night, and people that have not fought in Washington, D.C. don’t know what it’s like either. So, we’ll see if you can take the pressure of both in the ring and the people outside of the ring obviously cheering on the Peterson brothers. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and open it up.
What is the mindset of being an underdog going into a fight? Is that something you prefer and do you prepare for a fight any different if you’re the underdog as opposed to maybe being a favorite?
I say it’s an advantage. It kind of puts the edge on the shoulder of how people look at you. So you kind of want to change how people think about the fight he’s the favorite to win, but I know in my mind that it’s not that way. It just gives you that urge to go prove to everyone that you can win and that I will win the fight.
Barry, I guess I was going to get around to this at some point. Obviously, Freddie Roach has a great reputation. You’ve kind have been under the radar, but particularly in the last three fights. You put great perspective on the progression of Lamont from the loss to Bradley and kind of focusing him through the last few fights. Can you a) talk about-I know it’s not about trainers, but the opportunity to face Freddie Roach, who’s gotten a lot of attention as Kelly said, and then also just the progression of Lamont from the adversity against Tim Bradley to positioning himself for this fight?
Sure. As far as Freddie is concerned and any other trainer that’s being a superstar trainer or what have you, I never tend to look at people, or shall I say their status as far as being a stars, because first of all, you can never be bigger than the sport. The sport is always greater than you, number one. Number two, I never see superstars. I see people.
Out of the 32 years that I’ve been training fighters, I never had a fighter that was pretty much already made. For the most part, this is not a knock on Freddie; but for the most part, every fighter that I’ve ever had that had gotten into be it the Nationals or Olympic trials or world title fights, and there have been many, came from the ground-up for the most part.
So I’m very, very comfortable with going into a fight not just against Freddie, with whomever. I’ve been in there against Emanuel Steward. I’ve been in there against the Mayweathers; now, there’s Buddy, Buddy McGirt. So, I’m very, very comfortable with what it is that we do because I know the preparation that we have to do through headed towards a fight.
As far as Lamont’s progression is concerned, in the Bradley fight, definitely I’ve seen a lot of growth since that fight. A lot of times, you go out there and you think you’re ready, but in essence you’re not. Skill-wise, I’d put Lamont up against any fighter on the planet and be comfortable with it. But, it’s not the skills that actually get you to these fights. For the most part, the strongest tool that you have in the fight is your brain and your ability to think and comprehend.
In that fight there, going into that fight through the amateurs, Lamont has always been a champ. Going into that fight and some of you all have actually said it, that he was very, very nervous. He never felt that way before because they know the history behind Lamont in amateurs. Going into the fight, we underestimated, and I say “we” because I’m responsible for the things in and outside the ring as far as my training is concerned, the fight with Bradley as far as his abilities were concerned. We knew that we could match his strength. We knew that we could match his skills, but what we failed to realize and what I always try to tell to Lamont and the rest of the guys, is that Timmy had another name along side Bradley and that’s champion. So, he knows that it’s like to fight on those big stages. He knows what it’s like to fight in front of millions of people worldwide on that stage and we were just getting there and I’d say we got there too fast.
So, I think that was the problem in the Bradley fight and since then, because of the Bradley fight, we were able to get ourselves to the fight with Victor Ortiz and definitely ended up Cayo out in 12 rounds.
Can you talk about, I guess-it seems like everything worked out in your favor in terms of landing this fight and being in your hometown. But at the time, you may have taken some criticism for turning down the initial deal with Khan to go to England. A) People said, “Oh, well. He’s not ready for Khan” and b) as a manager, what kind of things did you hear and how validating is it to now be in this position as a result of your decision?
Well, you got a lot of people that watch boxing, speak about boxing, but don’t understand boxing or the business behind boxing. At the end of the day, it is just that – a business. Lamont has always been raised along with the rest of the fighters in the gym to never ever prostitute yourself out for a dollar bill. I’ve been an entrepreneur for years and I’ve taught them to be the same way. Everything that I ever had from the ground up I had to work for. So they grew up with the same mentality.
So you don’t turn around and compromise yourself for just a dollar bill and that’s what it would have been. He said something to me during the course of that whole deal and it made a lot of sense and I thought the same way, but I wanted to hear him say it. He said that if he would go to Europe and not knock Amir out, more than likely he will get the loss and he said at the end of the day, when he stepped into that ring, he puts his life on the line just like Amir would have done.
So knowing what the money and if there was no money, he would have fought him for free, and I believe that. But knowing what the dollar amount was to go in there for just a fraction of what he would have got and to take the same changes that Amir took, it made no sense neither to him or myself. And so, of course, you have people along the side looking at the fact that we fought Cayo for a little bit of money on ESPN and turned down Amir for what they saw was a lot of money on HBO, but they never looked at the opportunity, the value of the opportunity itself, which was grand.
Now, because we took that chance and because we were patient, not only did we get the dollar amount that was decent, we ended up getting a fight on HBO and at home. So instead of looking like the village idiot, now we look like the best thing since sliced bread.
I want to ask Lamont; a lot of people looked at the Bradley fight from a couple of years ago and think of that not as much as the fights with Ortiz and Cayo. Can you talk about how you’ve changed as a fighter in these last two years and how you’ve improved as a fighter since that fight?
Just getting more comfortable on that level just fighting in these big fights, World Championship fights; just being more confident to do what I know how to do. Just going into big fights when people have already been fighting in big fights, my mind is racing. I want to be perfect. I want to do everything right and to me, I seem to overdo a lot of things instead of just being me. At this point, I feel comfortable enough to be me. I think that’ll be a big difference in the fight and I think it’ll be the key to victory.
Khan is known a lot for his speed. How do you plan to counter that? Do you think that he has the edge in speed, or do you think you’re equal to him or better than him?
That’s the thing about me. I’m a timing type of fighter. I don’t, a lot of times, throw a lot of fast punches, but my hands are just as fast as his. I won’t compare to say who’s the faster, but fast enough to say, “Okay, there’s no speed advantage.”
The thing is he throws a lot of punches and he throws them in bunches, but his punches seem fast and they are fast, but I’m just as fast. Timing beats speed all day. So, it’s nothing to worry about his speed. To me, the perfect example is when Pacquiao fought Marquez two weekends ago. Marquez was really, really, really slow. But for some reason, he was landing his shots that he wanted to land and that just goes to show you that timing is everything. Sometimes you can go too fast and miss your mark a lot and sometimes you just need to slow it down and place your shot. That’s the best way.
I’m not trying to go in an all out sprint race with Amir. I’m just going to be me and do what I need to do and do the things that me and my coach worked on in the gym and stick with the game plan.
Barry, for those people that haven’t seen Lamont or followed him since the Bradley fight two years ago, how much of a different fighter is he today? What are we going to see against Khan in his next fight?
I think as far as maturity is concerned, he’s much more different than he was when he fought Bradley. As far as the fight itself is concerned, I think this fight is going to be one and could very well be a candidate for Fight of the Year because in Amir’s case, you’ve got Amir. He is a courageous guy. Like Lamont says, he throws a lot of punches. So, he doesn’t mind mixing it up a little bit.
On the flipside, you have Lamont. Lamont is very tactical and is very technical. Both of these guys have big, big hearts. So, they don’t mind laying it on the line. Going into this fight, I think it’ll be one of tactics early, but down the stretch I think you’ll see a war and I think it’ll be a great fight not only for TV, but for the fans that’ll be there December 10th alike.
Okay, do we have any other questions? I think that might be it.
My question is I mean we know you can’t get into the ring and fight for your boy, but it doesn’t get better than this opportunity right now in the Nation’s Capital, in front of all the senators or anybody that shows up. What steps have you taken to make sure you bring out the eye of the tiger in this kid, because we all know he has fight? So, what’s your assurance to American fans that you’re doing everything that you can to make sure that the belt stays in the United States?
Well, for the most part, if you know how a gym works and you know the things that we go through, it’s almost like-if we were military, we would probably be like the Navy Seals or the Green Berets or something. We have a lot of fighters as world champs – at the time some of them were world champs-that can’t stay in the gym or do what we do in the gym because it’s too rough.
So, I’m always comfortable with what we go through in preparation for the fight. This time, I think what we lack going back to the Bradley fight was mental preparation, which is key. We spend a lot of time training the body for the fight, for the 12 rounds or wars or what have you, but we have to understand that it is the mind that controls the body and not the other way around. So, mentally, we are stronger.
When Lamont trains now, instead of people able to come to the gym, it’s a closed session. The training session is a closed session and Lamont, we moved him further out from the district so he could just pretty much focus on Amir. That’s it and that’s all.
Like you said, I can’t say that we fight for Lamont in the ring. If I could, I would, because he’s my son. But on the flipside of that, I’m very comfortable in knowing that I prepared him enough physically and mentally to go out there and do the job on his own. Come December 10th-it’s been a long time since we fought here in the D.C. area.
In the amateurs, we couldn’t get fights because of the amateur status. In the pros, we’ve only fought here maybe twice and during our days with Top Rank we were supposed to come here for a world title fight, but that fell out. But nevertheless, we’re here now. No matter how we got here, the road we took, we’re here and we’re going to do everything in our power because D.C. right now-we fell off a little bit and now we need a hero. So, we don’t mind stepping up and taking that challenge and taking that role.
So, come December 10th, I tell people get ready, man because there’s going to be a new champ.
Now, my other question is for Lamont. Lamont, like I said to Barry, it doesn’t get better than this opportunity now in the Nation’s Capital with all the judges probably on your side. So, what is it that you’re doing differently to prepare to keep the title in front of American fans, because we’re all rooting for you? What are you doing differently, and what support do you need that you’re not getting, if any? You need to state it now so that we know.
Well, the support I need is for everybody to come out. Just make sure you make some noise for me, show me some love and just motivate me to victory. This means a lot for me, but not only me and that’s what motivates me the most. It’s for D.C. to me. That’s how I feel. It’s for all the kids who aspire to be anything in their life. They don’t have to just be boxers, but just to show them that if you work hard and stay dedicated to what you do, you can make it. Roadblocks will occur through your journey, but that doesn’t mean that’s the end of it.
I think my story, me and my brother’s story shows that and states that very, very clear.
This is worldwide and I want to piggyback on something Lamont said, and I’m going to back to the introduction with Kelly, and she mentioned how they were going to these places, feeding the homeless and things of this nature. You don’t understand; in the city, not just in the city, but worldwide, you’ve got people all over the planet earth right now just struggling big time. You know, some of them, things that we take for granted – being able to go to the restaurants or the McDonald’s or some time if you notice in the restaurant, we leave almost all the food on the table or throw in the trash. Well, you’ve got somebody around that’s looking at us doing these things, these types of things and wish that they were in the same position we were.
Now, to have somebody come from that situation and take themselves up to a level where not only are they eating, they’re prospering and doing well. Just imagine the people that you can touch if you go out there and win this world title. So, we’re motivated by more than just money or more than just winning the world title. It’s a message out there, and we intend to send this message across the planet earth.
Do we have any other questions?
Hello, Lamont. I wanted to touch on what you were just talking about. As Barry said, you’ve only fought in DC like twice, maybe three times. Do you feel like that’s something that’s been missing in your career because I know from my view, it always seemed like confidence was the one thing that was holding you back from living out your true potential. So, do you feel like you have all that now going into this big fight with Khan in your hometown?
The way I feel is I better be. I won’t keep getting these opportunities. I feel as though; really, really feel as though that I progressed enough to become a star in this sport, to take my place in this sport and like Barry said earlier, throughout my whole career, I’m used to being on top.
I’m kind of comfortable with what’s going on because it’s always been this way when I first started boxing. Of course, you’re not going to be number one, but you work your way up and eventually you’re number one as an amateur, as a JO fighter. Then, you turn it open. Then, you struggle a little bit, but I always find my way to that top. I just really, really believe that this is my time as a professional to be on top.
Barry, just to touch on what you were saying earlier; earlier in the year when the fight with Khan was on the table and you guys just weren’t interested in what was being offered, did you see this opportunity coming? Did you like think at the time that, “You know what? We can possibly bring this fight to our hometown”?
My whole career as far as coaching is concerned, a lot of it is based on skill and knowledge, but then most of it was based on instinct and it just didn’t feel right. Sometimes when you feel a funny way and you go through with it anyway and the next thing you know it ends up in a disaster. I felt it coming.
And so, it hit on a few things and it just didn’t feel right. I talked to Lamont about it and then shortly after, the opportunity came up as far as Victor Cayo was concerned and I never sleep on anybody especially at this level because this is boxing. At any given time anybody can get hit, and he would be put out or beat. So I told Lamont it was a gamble, but I thought it was a gamble worth taking and that way, we would be able to instead of them giving us the fight and having pretty much their own terms, we would force them to be here to fight on his terms.
Okay, and one last question just for you as basically serving as their father figure, what does it mean to you to see like Lamont-he had a rough going against Timothy Bradley, but here he is right back in a much bigger fight and it could very well be the biggest fight of his career. What does it mean for you to see him overcome that type of diversity in the ring after overcoming everything he and Anthony both overcame in the street?
Oh, man. We talk about being the underdog or what have you. I watched this young man beat the odds his whole life, not just his boxing career, his whole life and I myself too. Living in the city-I’m not saying it doesn’t happen everywhere else, but we’ve seen things and been involved in things that just send chills up the average person’s spine.
So, as far as adversity inside the ring, I’m only surprised when Lamont is in a situation like that and he can’t deal with it. This is not speaking as if I’m arrogant. I’m just very, very confident because I know what we go through, I know what we’ve been through, and I know what got us here.
As far as Khan is concerned, I got nothing but respect for Amir. I think he’s a very, very good young man. To see him compete in minor one time, according to most professionals, he had the worst tint in boxing as he got knocked out by Prescott. But now, again, as he won in the fight that he had of late, now again, he’s the greatest thing.
So, you can never get tied into what people say about you or what they want you to become. You have to know yourself and then do it yourself. So again, in Lamont’s case, I’m not worried at all about Lamont. I’m only surprised when he goes in there and not do what he’s supposed to do, but I think because of the Bradley fight again, and if you know this, in the big Ortiz fight, you can see the progression because he got knocked down in the third round again. He got careless, put his hands down, went down, but he got back up and turned that whole fight around. So, had it not been for the experience in Bradley’s fight, then the situation in the Ortiz fight would have been just as bad.
That concludes our conference call. Really, Lamont and Barry, thank you so much for taking time out. If you have any last comments, go ahead and make them now, and then I’ll wrap it up with just some information about the fight.
Nothing more to say. Just tune in December 10. It’s going to be a great fight. I’m looking forward to it. I hope everyone else is looking forward to it. I just hope it …
I’m happy for the city, and I’d just like to say people in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, this is your opportunity to show the rest of the world that D.C. can be and should be the fight capital of the nation. So, come December 10th, if you’re able to make it out there, please come; if not, tune into HBO.
Okay, great, and just media members, a reminder that Monday right after Thanksgiving we are going to have a conference call with Amir Khan and Freddie Roach joining him. That will be Monday at 4:00 eastern time/1:00 pacific and as regard to Fight Week, we will be extending and continuing our distribution of media alerts and Fight Week information. We’re going to have a solid week of activities and we will alert everybody of those activities as soon as we finalize details and we get a little bit closer to the fight.
So, we hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and we look forward to seeing you join us on the call Monday for Amir Khan and Freddie Roach as we continue to promote Capital Showdown: Khan vs. Peterson, Saturday, December 10th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, live on HBO from Washington, D.C. Thank you so much.
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“Capital Showdown: Khan vs. Peterson,” a 12-round Unified Super Lightweight World Title Fight for Khan’s WBA World Super Championship and IBF World Championship taking place on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. Also featured will be a 10-round heavyweight battle between Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell and Timur Ibragimov. The fights will be telecast in the United States on HBO World Championship Boxing at 9:45 p.m. ET/6:45 p.m. PT and on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
Tickets, priced at $300, $150, $75, $50 and $25, are available for purchase through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for fans traveling from the United Kingdom are available for purchase online at www.sportscorporation.comor by calling +44 (0)845 163 0845.
IABA UPDATE (NATIONAL INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS)
IRISH AMATEUR BOXING ASSOCIATION
Twenty five semi-finals will be decided at the National Intermediate Championships at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday and Saturday.
Boxing begins at 7pm Friday and 2pm Saturday.
The weigh-in for Friday’s semi-finals will be held between 8.30am and 9am and 12 noon and 1pm at the National Stadium.
Saturday’s weigh-in will be held between 8.30am and 9am.
Please see above attachments for semi-finals draws.
Visit www.iaba.ie for news, results and photographs.
WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Austin Trout in New York City
World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Middleweight World Champion Austin “NO DOUBT'” Trout will be available for interviews in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island tomorrow (Friday, December 2, 2011). The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 1100 South Avenue in Staten Island.
Trout is in New York to attend the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito super fight rematch at Madison Square Garden on Saturday Night. He is the mandatory challenger for the winner.
The hottest new star in boxing, Trout will be at the Hilton to meet with his promoter, Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions.
Cohen will present a night of championship boxing in the Hilton’s luxurious Nicotra’s Ballroom on January 19, 2012, that will be broadcast on MSG in the NY area and on FOX Sports Net affiliates nationwide.
A press conference will be held on December 8 to formally announce the fight card, which is loaded with local talent.
Tickets for the January 19 event are available on www.gcpboxing.com and www.NicotrasBallroom.com