Corrales/Clottey Conference Call Transcript
21.03.07 - Diego Corrales will move up two weight classes when he returns to SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, April 7, 2007, to take on dangerous, world-ranked challenger Joshua Clottey. SHOWTIME will televise the 10-round 147-pound bout at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will promote the event from The Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri. Opening Comments..:
Article posted on 21.03.2007
Question: Chico, why are you moving up two weight classes, and why take on Joshua Clottey, a dangerous world-ranked contender?
Corrales: I moved up two divisions because I was stuck at 142 for three weeks (before his last fight) virtually eating nothing. I did not get under 142 until I got to Vegas. So that is why 147 was the best thing for me – just put on a little more muscle mass and carry my size naturally, not put myself in a situation or SHOWTIME in a situation where I could not make weight. Joshua Clottey is a great fighter. Like I have said all the time, I want to make great fights and make great fights happen. So when they asked me about Clottey, I thought it was a great opportunity and a great fight. There was no hesitation at all. I want to be known as a great fighter and the way you do that is by fighting the best fighters out there.
Question: When you initially considered moving up in weight, were you thinking two weight classes?
Corrales: No. I talked to a couple of doctors and we tried to see what my body could physically do and how long I could maintain. It was a tough decision, but all in all I think I made the best decision with the doctors’ advice and just knowing my body.
Question: Joshua, what do you think of fighting a guy moving up two weight classes? Also, how is the hand that you injured in (your last) fight with (Antonio) Margarito?
Clottey: I went to Africa and my hand is OK now. Diego Corrales is a three-time champion and a great fighter. I cannot take that away from him. For him moving from lightweight to welterweight is not a problem. So it does not matter if he is moving up two weight classes. He is coming to fight and see what he can do at that weight.
Question: Diego, at this point in your career, how important is this fight? Do you see this as a must-win situation for you?
Corrales: Absolutely. I think it is a must-win situation and I am trying to win.
Question: Did you feel it was necessary to choose such a difficult opponent?
Corrales: I chose a guy like Joshua Clottey because, again, I only want to make the best fights. I think Clottey and I are a fantastic match-up. We are both very good fighters. We are very aggressive. We are both very strong. I will find out how strong I will be at welterweight now. I think that (his) style is exactly what we like to see. I think our skills match up perfectly and I think it is an amazing fight. Clottey is the real thing. He is a real welterweight; he is a real good fighter at welterweight and definitely somebody to respect. I just want to face the best guys out there and this is one of the best guys.
Question: Chico, have you sparred with larger guys?
Corrales: Always. I never spar with lightweights because they do not stay with me for very long.
Question: Joshua, is this a fight that you also see as a fight that you have to win to get another title shot?
Clottey: The best thing for me to do is to get the win. You are going to see that if I win, it will put me on top. That is on my mind right now.
Question: Chico, you are now training with Dickie Wood instead of Joe Goossen. Can you talk a little bit about making that change?
Corrales: Yes, with Michelle being pregnant, I (wanted to) do (my training) camps here in (Las) Vegas. So I did my camp here. It was something he (Goossen) did not like very much. He never wants to travel. Bottom line is I have to be with Michelle and try to be here as far as the baby goes. So if she needs any help, she can call me. I am here ready, easy and available. That really (was the reason we) made that decision.
Question: Joe has been talking to the media about the situation from the (Joel) Casamayor fight about his pay. Can you address that? He says that he was not paid for that fight.
Corrales: He was paid. We fought the (Jose Luis) Castillo fight and I paid him 10 percent. I told him after (that) was the last time I (would) pay 10 percent. I was paying 10 percent of all the numbers. I said, ‘Well, this is a big payday for you. After this there will be no more 10 percent.’ He was not happy about it, but that was the way I was going to do things. I was starting to pay a flat fee. He was not happy with that and that was fine. He was paid. I have a check to prove it. He was not happy with the way the pay structure changed.
Question: So for the previous fights he was paid a percentage. For the Casamayor fight, he was paid a flat fee that you say you paid him?
Question: Coming off the Casamayor fight, you said you were not at your best. What would be different in your fight against Clottey, especially given that he is a much bigger guy than Casamayor?
Corrales: The difference is I almost died to make the weight then and that is the biggest thing. When you sit back and lose so much weight that a doctor says he is really concerned (something has to change). So I did what I had to do and not kill my body. This is a big change, but I am not dying to make the weight and that makes the biggest difference. I am not killing myself to actually make the weight. In the gym, my best performances were (when I weighed in the mid-150s to high 140s). So this is, again, a smart move.
Question: So really (the main reason for training in Vegas is because of) the pregnancy?
Corrales: That is why I say it is much smarter for me to be here in the event she needed anything. She has not called me very much, and has not needed very much. So it has been nice.
Question: You are living at home during the training camp though, right?
Corrales: No, I am not.
Question: Where are you living?
Corrales: I have a place here in Vegas, but I am not actually at home.
Question: What does Dickie bring to the table for you?
Corrales: Actually, Dickie and I have had about five or six fights together as a pro (so) we have worked together. He is one of the guys who knew my original style and it was a very easy choice for me to go to him because we have been with each other for so long. I have known him since I was 16 years old. He knows the way I used to do things and he brings a lot to the table by knowing my abilities and all my physical abilities, attributes and strengths.
Question: Diego, did you think you stayed at lightweight longer than you should have?
Corrales: I do. I think I was really hurting myself doing that. That is a big fighter flaw. We need to sit and have a talk with somebody who says, ‘Hey, it is time for you to make these moves and move up and not hurt yourself anymore.’ I think I could have really used that advice.
Question: Diego, what was your impression of Clottey against Margarito?
Corrales: He is strong. I got me a brown bag and packed me a lunch because I knew I was going to have a long night. The kid is strong. He is physical and aggressive and I know I am in for a rough fight. I sat back and thought how I put myself in another good one.
Question: Diego, specifically in going to Dickie Wood, are you looking to be able to make the transition to welterweight with an eye on building up your strength?
Corrales: Having my strength is going to be a big part of it. I need to be as strong as these guys.
Question: How are you going to ensure that you are strong enough for a guy who gave such a tough fight to Margarito?
Corrales: Had his hand not been injured, you do not know what would have happened in that fight. I will just do what I have to do -- keep coming forward and keep pounding. I think my pace and my two-handed combinations are what will make the biggest difference and I have to use those.
Question: Joshua, what do you expect when you fight Corrales?
Clottey: I do not know what he is coming to do until we get in the ring. I know he has been fighting a long time and I know he is a very good fighter. I know he used to come forward. I know how to move around, but I like coming forward because I always want to make a fight. So if he is coming forward and I am coming forward, it is going to be a very exciting fight.
Question: Is there anything you can do in training to try and avoid the hand injury that you had in the Margarito fight?
Clottey: I always give everything to God. I did not come into that fight with Margarito for me to get injured because I knew I would beat Margarito. I knew I was going to win because my training and everything was so good. I knew if I started to use combinations on him, he was not going to do anything. But it happens because I know maybe it was not my time yet. God is the one who does everything. I am not coming in for that to happen again. I am just coming to fight. Whatever happens, it happens. But I think definitely I am going to win.
Question: Diego, in your last fight you fought for (promoter) Gary (Shaw), but (when it was over) there was (talk) that you would sign with Golden Boy Promotions, and now you are back with Gary. Could you explain what happened with that situation?
Corrales: More or less just simple stuff about our contracts and waiting for us to re-talk. Gary got tied up in it all and honestly, (I) got a little more hurt than anything. It was like, ‘Well, I guess if he does not want to talk about this stuff, I guess he does not want to talk about us redoing things.’ I always said I wanted to be with one person the whole time. I have been with Bob (Arum) and I stayed with Bob for a very long time, and I have been with Gary. I do not like jumping around too much because you have to learn somebody all over again and they have to learn you all over again. It is just a headache. So I got a little upset about us not speaking, and also how busy he was. That is kind of how it happened.
Question: So are you happy with the way things worked out?
Corrales: They are working out fine. I am happy. I am going to work and that is all that matters to me.
Question: Diego, is this your last fight with Gary Shaw?
Question: Diego, you have (lost) your last two fights. Do you think it was because of the weight problems, or does it still really burn you up that you still have those two losses?
Corrales: Oh, it definitely irritates me. I am a guy who has competed at video games and air hockey. (So) you can imagine. It burns me up, but all in all, you just have to put it to the side and do what you have to do.
Question: Diego, you are obviously hoping for a big win to make a splash in a welterweight division that is a pretty hot now. Is there one name in the division that attracts you the most?
Corrales: The only attractive name I have right now is Joshua Clottey.
Question: If the opportunity for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather came up in the future, would you be interested?
Corrales: Of course, there is interest, but right now the only name I am thinking about is Clottey and that is more than enough name for me right now.
Question: Diego, your fights with Castillo were obviously marred by weight problems, both yours and his. If you were able to speak to the commission (to try and help so) this kind of problem would not come up again, what would you tell them?
Corrales: Honestly, I would not spend my time talking to the commission. I would talk to the fighters and let them know (that they should) not sit back and kill (themselves) and kill (their bodies) because (they) really are destroying (their bodies) when (they) do those things – torturing (themselves) like that. I mean, my heart was skipping beats. That to me is scary. When you have your heart skipping beats, your body is actually going into a shutdown. I think the biggest thing would be letting fighters know that when you are destroying your body like that, you are literally killing yourself.
Question: When you say that you are destroying your body, do you feel at this point that you might have taken your body past the point of no return?
Corrales: I do not believe so.
Question: So you feel healthy and ready to go at 147?
Corrales: I do. I feel very healthy and very good. I am young enough to recover and my body can recover. It remembers a lot of things. Muscle mass is still there
Question: Joshua, Diego has said this is a must-win fight. Is that the same situation for you?
Clottey: Yes. I respect him a lot and he respects me. When I get a fight with somebody, I always want to respect them and hopefully they will respect me. If I do not get to the ring, you are not going to fight. If you do not get to the ring, I am not going to fight. That night we will fight, and at the end of the fight, we will hug each other and that is it.
Question: Joshua, what was your reaction when you heard that Corrales wanted to fight you?
Clottey: I was very happy because I never expected that. I am very happy. He is a true warrior. None of the other guys want to fight me. He chooses to fight me for the first time coming to welterweight. I respect him for that, and God bless him for giving me that chance.
Question: Joshua, do you think he is making a big mistake fighting you?
Clottey: He is a boxer. Everywhere there is a fight, you have to go there.
Question: Diego, should we still have weigh-ins the day before, or should they be on the day of the fight?
Corrales: There should be something in place where we can regulate the weights. If they can find a way to regulate the weight loss and help fighters maintain weight, that would make a big, big difference.
Question: Joshua, do you feel you have an advantage in this fight because Diego is coming up to welterweight and you have been a welterweight for a long time?
Clottey: Welterweight is my house and Diego is coming in.
Question: Chico, do you have any closing comments?
Corrales: Well, Joshua, it was a pleasure talking with you. I am looking forward to seeing you on April 7. I think everybody should watch this fight. It will be a great fight. You have two styles that are going to match beautifully together and we are looking at an awesome fight.
Question: Joshua, do you have a closing comment?
Clottey: I am very glad SHOWTIME has given me a second chance. Thank you very much.
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