Boxing


Jermain Taylor vs. Cory Spinks Conference Call

02.04.07 - John: Okay. We would like to first just thank the -- thanks to the media for joining us on the call to talk about Border Battle, May 19th, FedEx Forum Memphis, Tennessee, middleweight champion Jermain Taylor defending his title against another boxing champion Cory Spinks in what should prove to be a great fight. We are proud to introduce right now the president of DiBella Entertainment, Lou DiBella. Go ahead Lou..

Lou DiBella: Thank you John and thank you all for being with us. On May 19th we got a great event in a great city, Memphis, Tennessee. This is a big weekend for Memphis. It's the National Barbecue Championships and as my friend George Willis who writes for the New York Post pointed out to me, it's sort of like almost like a Mardi-Gras atmosphere in Memphis, people come from all over the region to party and eat some good Barbecue. And I know that my co-promoter and good friend Mr. Don King would be very thrilled by that because as I told some members of the press, the only thing King knows more about than boxing is barbecue and if you have ever been lucky enough to eat a meal that's made by his wife Henrietta or go down to Don's complex in Florida, you will get some of the best barbecue in the country. So Don knows barbecue and I'm sure Don will be making good use of the festivities of fight week. Jermain Taylor is the real middleweight champion, the undisputable middleweight champion. He has beaten Bernard Hopkins' twice, fought Winky Wright, Kassim Ouma in his last boxing fight who is one of the 2 best 154 pounders in the world. We knew it was a difficult fight and Jermain came through with flying colors. When Sergio Mora elected not to fight in Memphis, we looked for the biggest possible challenge for Jermain Taylor and we looked to a man who had been calling out Jermain and asking for the opportunity and a man who is a great champion in his own rights, a man out of St. Louis, Cory Spinks, which gives me the opportunity to work once again with the legend and a Hall of Famer and one of the few promoters in the world that's often better recognized than his fighters. So I am going to just turn over to Don King for a second to introduce his fighter Cory Spinks and then when I get the phone back, I will tell you a little bit more about ticket pricing and all the other details. But here he is, the man, the president of Don King Productions, a legend in his own time and his own mind and a man really, who is recognizable world wide, Don King.

Don King: Thank you Lou. Well, first let me say to all the media, we are very happy that you are here on this phone call with us for this legendary fight that's going to take place on May 19th in Memphis. But first let me start up by saying, we want to thank Lou DiBella and Jermain Taylor for taking this bout and to giving us the opportunity to dethrone him. I mean rarely do you find a fighter of the ilk of Jermain Taylor; a great, great middleweight boxing champion and a promoter like Lou DiBella that we would say, you know, Dam the torpedoes, full steam ahead. We are going out there to give the boxing public what they want, a credible performance with a guy that has the competitive adversary. And I just want to thank you Lou for doing that and really you -- we are still at the phase in the spirit of competition in this sport that is dying rapidly unless we do something like what you are doing, to sort of resurrect it, you know, and to make it be what it used to be, recapture the glory of yester year and bring it to the forefront of public and the boxing public, they will see. We have a great-great champion in Cory Spinks. We call him the next generation as -- his father was a champion and his uncle was a heavyweight champion, it's rarely you find that in a family. But he as an esteem colleague, a guy who is I consider, one of the best out there is Kevin Cunningham. Kevin Cunningham is the trainer and the mentor of Cory Spinks and he is also on the line and he is the guy that really directs spiritually psychologically and physically, you know, the access to the mind and the body and the spirit that's so direly needed in many of these fighters, that he always brings up in two to four that is new. So I commend, I really commend Jermain Taylor, because Jermain Taylor is just simply, what we call in the vernacular getto, something kind of different, we call it SKD because it takes this type of a risk, you know what I mean, this is what champions are made of and this is what makes champions and champions are. So it's a thing here that we are very happy, so I want to introduce Cory Spinks to you and I want to also introduce Kevin Cunningham to you because they are double trouble, they are men that make things happen; they are tied to the hip and you are going to have an extraordinary performance on May 19th, I assure you that and so -- and it's just -- we know this is the only business in the world where a guy says good luck and you know, it's really not good luck but you know you take it because it is a courtesy and then they give you an opportunity, and you know they are coming to try to take off your head but yet you can embrace after, that's what makes this sport so remarkable. And I just want to be able to embrace Lou and just thank Jermain, you know, not only for the opportunity but those we have taken advantage of this opportunity and that we certainly will like to be able to give him -- to be as kind to him as he was to us. And we certainly will be able to give him a chance to try to win his title back. And that's what makes boxing so great because it's so unpredictable. So without further ado -- and we will come back to you later on in the program for your questions -- let me bring on the next generation, a dynamic individual, a guy who defies all odds and rises to the occasion, he is hip hop in his blood. St. Louis is only three and a half hours away from Memphis, you know what I mean, so it's a thing here that everybody in St. Louis is going to be migrating down to be at the FedEx arena on the 19th of May. So it’s going to be a big winner for Lou, so I know he will have a winner at the box office but would he have a win in the ring, let me give you Cory Spinks, the undisputed champion of the super Welterweight and a guy who just reclaimed his thrown, he is always riding a crest of glory; Cory Spinks, the champion of the world.

Cory Spinks: Hi, hello. I have just been wanting to fight the best and Jermain is one of the best out there. So I just want to restore that going back to when fighters in boxing would fight anybody to make a good fight for the fame, you know, that's what I want to restore back to this game. But, I am just pumped up about this fight and ready to go.

Don King: Talk to them Cory.

Cory Spinks: Me and Jermain have known each other since we where amateurs. We have been good friends but we both know what we have to do. We are in the game of gladiators, that's what we are. And we just got to go in there and do our thing, do what we do best and execute and gladiate.

Don King: Well you guys are in store for a big war. Now Kevin Cunningham, we have got Spinks' camp on the thing there, do you want to add something to that before they go on to the questions and answers?

Kevin Cunningham: Thanks Don. First of all, I want to thank Lou DiBella, Jermain and the whole Taylor camp for giving us this opportunity. When none of the other mack daddy fighters would give Cory a shot, you know, they talk about being pound for pound and this that and the other, but you know, these guys are hand picked, ducking and tip-toeing around a difficult fight. Lou and Jermain called us and said, ‘Hey, we want to give you guys the opportunity,’ and here we are stepping up to the plate to take advantage of that boxing opportunity. Like Cory said, we have history with St. Louis and Little Rock, the boxing programs have a lot of history with each other. We have been competing since Keith and Cory and Jermain—they have been boxing—since they were nine years old. They fought in same tournaments coming up. So we know Jermain and Jermain knows us and it's going to be a really interesting fight. Jermain is the best middleweight in the world. Cory is the best junior middleweight in the world. Cory is just the type of guy that is willing to take on any challenge. I mean he couldn’t get anybody in his weight division, any other mack d fighters in his weight division to step up and fight him. This opportunity came so he is willing to step up to the middleweight division and take on the best middleweight. He is not just stepping up to the middleweight division to fight for a title. He is stepping up to fight Jermain Taylor, the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Cory is going to step up and show the world why he should be considered one of the best fighters in the game. And it's an opportunity for Cory to make history, to be champion in three different weight classes. We look at it as a win-win situation. The fight is in Memphis. That's like being at home for us. It's like being at home for Jermain and we know Little Rock is going to be in the house. The Lou is going to be in the house and I think this is going to be the biggest fight in Memphis since Mike Tyson and Lennox Louis. Promotionally, it's going to be huge for DiBella Entertainment. We are getting ready, we are in camp and you know, like I said, we are cool with Jermain, we are cool withthe whole Taylor camp and all of that but come May 19th, it is going to be all business and we come to get what he got and you know, that's what this is all about, that's what this whole thing is about. And I know he is getting ready to keep us from trying to take what he have got, so it is going to be a great fight and I am glad to be involved with this promotion.

Lou DiBella Thank you Kevin and Kevin Cunningham is one of the class acts in boxing and one thing I do want to note before I move on to making a few other announcements and introducing Jermain is Cory Spinks and Kevin Cunningham have been asking for this fight for a year. When Sergio Mora popped out, it wasn’t like there was some great search had to be done. Cory had been out there and Kevin had been out there saying, we want an opportunity, we want to fight the best, we will fight Jermain Taylor and when the opportunity presented itself particularly being in Memphis which is driving distance from both Arkansas and St. Louis, this made perfect sense and I do thank Cory Spinks and Kevin Cunningham and Don King for stepping up to the challenge. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday April 4th at 10 am CT. We will also have another press call on April 4th where we will be announcing the sensational under card including the HBO co-feature. We want to hold off on announcements till all those fights are absolutely and completely done. But tickets will go on sale April 4th. They will be available at the FedEx Forum box office, all Ticket-Master outlets, ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 901-525-1515. That’s FedEx Forum box office, all Ticket-Master outlets, ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 901-525-1515. I am happy to announce and proud to announce the tickets are priced at $550 for the front ring side, $450 for the second tier ring side, $125, $95 and there will be 7000 tickets available at $45 along with $25 seats for students, senior citizens and active military. And if you know, people who went to the Winky Wright - Jermain Taylor fight know that those tickets were priced more than double these ticket prices. And we are really looking to bring in as many people as possible from Missouri and Arkansas, from Tennessee, people attending the barbecue fest, we want to make this an affordable event and a centerpiece of that weekend so I urge everybody to support and go buy their tickets. I think it's going to be a great event and next Wednesday you will here the entire under card and I think you will be blown away by the quality of the show. Without any further ado, I want to introduce the young man who I have worked with his entire pro career. He is the undisputed and indisputable middleweight champion of the world. He is a guy that's got a lot of haters in this business, but when you are at the top of the mountain and you are as good and decent man as this guy is, you are going to have haters, that’s just the way it is. He does his job every time, he gets out there, he performs, he defends his title. I'm proud to be his promoter, the undisputed middleweight champion of the world Jermain “Bad Intention” Taylor.

Jermain Taylor: Thanks Lou. It's going to be a great night. If anybody has ever been in Memphis in May they will know there will be a lot going on in the city, and you got the fight, you got the barbecue thing, there will be lots of activity going on all around the city. I've known Cory since I was a kid. I'm looking forward to fighting him; it's going to be a great fight. I have never met Don King, looking forward to meeting him. I know Kevin Cunningham from the amateurs and it’s is going to be a great night. I know Kevin Cunningham will have Cory prepared for the fight. I'm not going to say what I'm going to do, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that, I am just going win, that's what I do. I have got a lot of people saying that you do this wrong, you do that wrong, but I always win somehow -- and that's just what I do, I win. I am not going to go in there thinking about how I'm looked at, I am going in to win, that's what I do, it's going to be a great fight night, so everybody just come on out and have a good time.


Eddie Goldman: Hey guys, how is everybody doing today?

Cory Spinks: Good, how are you doing?

Eddie Goldman: Okay. First question I want to ask Cory and I guess Kevin might be able to answer that. Cory you are generally recognized as the best Junior middleweight fighter in the world. Why do you want to go up now to fight a middleweight and particularly against the guy who is the best middleweight in the world?

Cory Spinks: Because there is no one out there who wants to fight me, I want to fight the best and Jermain is the best middleweight out there. I just want to restore that back to boxing. I will fight anybody anytime and no one scares me. I just want to go out there and be the best I can be and make history.

Kevin Cunningham: As far as that goes, if you follow boxing, you know that Cory is willing to fight. He takes on any and all. He is willing to put his title on the line against anybody. He wants to fight the best in his weight division or in this case we have to move up to the next weight division. Jermain is one of the only mack d boxing superstars who is willing to give Cory a shot. So that's what it means, the question answers itself. Who else can Cory fight other than some no-names? If he fights the no-name guys, then you say he is fighting nobody. So I mean what else is a guy a like this to do?

Cory Spinks: Right. Jermain has the same attitude as me. He will fight anybody. I have respect for him for taking the fight because we both came up in the same class and we both look at this boxing game the same way.

Eddie Goldman: And Cory do you plan to stay at middleweight or go back and forth?

Cory Spinks: Well it all depends what’s ahead.

Kevin Cunningham: We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

Cory Spinks: Right. When we get to it.

Eddie Goldman: Okay. And a quick question for Jermain, another southpaw you are facing, is this just a coincidence that this is going to be the third southpaw -- with you?

Jermain Taylor: I don’t know man, I am getting a little sick of southpaws. But you know hey, I will fight anyone, just like Cory said I want to fight the best. You can put me in there with whomever, it does not make a difference, I'm going to win, that's what I do. I am ready to fight whether it’s Southpaw or someone like myself.

Eddie Goldman: How frustrating is it for you, and I'm certainly not taking anything away from Cory since he is one of the best fighters in the world, but the other guys that you have already been fighting in middleweight, you can't seem to get fights with.

Jermain Taylor: I don't care man, at the end of the day it's all about putting the money in your pocket. So whoever wants to fight and make statements about me, I don't worry about all that kind of talk. What I care about is feeding my family. Whoever comes to the table and wants to challenge me for my belts I will take on anybody.

Lou DiBella: I also want to point out to everybody who is listening that this fight was offered to a large number of middleweights who turned it down. Among them former IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, present WBA middleweight champion Javier Castillejo, former WBA middleweight champion and a man who many view as having beaten Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Stern we can go through more, obviously Sergio Mora. You know, from that point on particularly with Miranda and Pavlik having a scheduled fight, we are fighting the best guy out there.

Don King: And none of those names you just named Lou, have the marquee value of Taylor and Spinks.

Kevin Cunningham: No, no. And they don't do nothing but show you there are just a lot of fake boxers out there. Because a boxer will fight, a real boxer will fight anybody.


Dan Rafael: Hey guys, how is everybody today?

Jermain Taylor: Great.

Dan Rafael: Hey Jermain let me ask you, what were your thoughts about Sergio Mora not wanting to fight this fight because it happened to be in a place that he didn't view as a good enough place to do a fight for the world middleweight championship?

Jermain Taylor: When you have a chance to fight for the world middleweight championship you take the opportunity no matter where the fight will be. You may not never get another chance. I’m never concern where the fight will be held. He took the easy way out, he was scared, and he was chicken. I know he was scared.

Dan Rafael: I don't happen to be one of these people being critical of this particular fight, but there are those out there who have said or written that well, Jermain Taylor got through the two fights with Bernard and the Winky Wright, and now he is going back and fighting a second consecutive junior middleweight, how do you react to that kind of criticism? Which I personally think is a little unfair but --?

Jermain Taylor: Oh well man like I said, it’s always going to be something. You can’t make everybody happy and it doesn’t even bother me no more, let them talk. I am still number one and the middleweight champion of the world.

Don King: Well let me answer that too Jermain. Number one, if there is any fakery in this, boxing is only eight categories. Welterweight then its middleweight then its light heavyweight then it's heavyweight. All these other manufactured weight categories of junior this or super that, this is something they just added to the repertoire to make more champions, be able to get more fees, be able to give more people an opportunity to be a champion.

Dan Rafael: Will you promote more championship fights Don?

Don King: Well you promote more championship fights because you have got all the different weight categories Dan. When you get over 147, you are middleweight going back to the days of Ray Robinson and all the way back to the Marquis of Queensberry rules. So you have to take that with a grain of salt when you go to that junior thing. Cory Spinks is a middleweight, you know what I mean? The fact of the matter is that all of these junior categories that they have put in there is just increments of being with the champion. So what they are talking about in Jermain, Jermain is a great champion. He is a great guy, he is a great fighter and they always find an excuse not to be able to face you when you are as good as he is. You can say ‘no’ 1000 ways, you can only say ‘yes’ one way—sign the contract and let's fight.

Lou DiBella: I say amen to that Mr. King. But I have got to say something else. I remember a conversation I had years ago with the late Eddie Futch. And Eddie was talking about one of these match ups between, you know, a guy moving up, I think it was at the time, a guy at 147 moving up to 154, and Eddie basically like just waived off whether it was significant. And what he said was, there are two kinds of fighters, guys who can fight and guys who can’t fight. And a guy who can fight moving up a weight class is a hell of a lot more dangerous and a hell of a lot more meaningful than fighting a guy who can’t fight at his natural weight.

Dan Rafael: Jermain, so you don't really put any stock in that criticism at all; do you?

Jermain Taylor: It doesn’t bother me not one bit, no sir.

Kevin Cunningham: He shouldn’t because he is fighting a guy that everybody else is ducking. Give him credit for that.

Dan Rafael: I’ll give him credit Kevin. Let me ask Cory and Jermain also if they could just spend a minute or two addressing their relationship as amateurs and how that started and how they got to know each other and did they ever fight each other, I mean, I can imagine they were --?

Cory Spinks: As amateurs, you have local tournaments, like the Silver Gloves in Arkansas. We would have tournaments in St. Louis too. We were in the same region so we know each other and we would be at different state tournaments and we would go as a team to the nationals.


Dan Rafael: That went to the nationals?

Cory Spinks: Yeah.

Dan Rafael: Okay. But you guys are on different weight classes of course right?

Cory Spinks: Yes.

Dan Rafael: Okay. Did you ever spar together, Jermain or Cory? Did you guys ever get in the ring together?

Cory Spinks: No.

Jermain Taylor: We never fought.

Dan Rafael: What's that Jermain?

Jermain Taylor: Oh we never fought.

Dan Rafael: Have you guys kept in touch during your pro careers as you both -- you know, because you turned pro different times Cory much earlier than you Jermain, you were with the 2000 Olympics I guess Cory would have been on track?

Cory Spinks: We didn't hang out. We are good friends but we just know what we have to do. Like Jermain said we got to put food on the table for our family and don’t nobody else want to fight us so, hey, sometimes friends have to fight friends. But when we get in the ring, we will do our thing. But outside, you got to have sportsmanship about it. You got to always remain friends.

Dan Rafael: Okay. Thanks a lot guys. I am looking forward to this fight.

Jermain Taylor: All right.

Cory Spinks: Me too.


Jason Gonzales: Hi everybody, how's everybody doing today?

Male Speaker: Great.

Jason Gonzales: I have got a couple of questions. Cory, any concerns that you might not have significant opportunities considering that you are moving up to 60?

Cory Spinks: None at all. Like I said, I am a fighter. I have been blessed with this tremendous gift. You can’t trip off things like that. You just got to go in there and get the job done.

Jason Gonzales: So you are putting on the weight -- the right weight, you are going to feel strong at 60.

Cory Spinks: Yeah.

Jason Gonzales: Jermain, hello Jermain.

Jermain Taylor: Yes sir.

Jason Gonzales: Are you still working with Emanuel Steward?

Jermain Taylor: Yes sir of course.

Norman Horton: Excuse me, this is Norman Jermain’s publicist I would like to interject something about Emanuel Steward, Jermain's trainer, could not be on this call today. He normally is, but Emmanuel has had death in the family. So he will be available in several days and I am sure all of you know how to get in touch with him.

Lou DiBella: And our condolences go out to the Steward's family on the loss of Emmanuel's younger brother.

Don King: Yeah, mine too, I want to -- I am going to call him directly. I didn't know that he had died. I know he was sick when he came back from Germany. I mean he was really, really sick. So he died?

Norman Horton He passed away Don and it's -- you know, Emannuel has taken it pretty bad.

Don King: Well I am really sorry to hear that. And he has my condolences but I will give it to him directly.

Jason Gonzales: Now Jermain, you said you have been on the record as saying that 2007 will be your last year as a middleweight? Jermain?

Jason Gonzales: Jermain, have you said that 2007 is your last year as a middleweight?

Jermain Taylor: Here is what I said. I said that I will fight anybody, whether it's up or down. Emanuel Steward has a good weight program while I’m in training and I have no trouble making weight. I can fight wherever. I can move up. It doesn’t make a difference. I can stay at 160. I am comfortable at 160, but if it’s the right fight at a higher weight I will move up.
Lou DiBella: They got one thing that team Taylor agrees upon is that it's all about the Benjamin Franklin.

Jason Gonzales: Now Lou, my last question is for you. What, pending of victorious outcome, what are you guys looking to do in the future? Is it to fight the winner of the Pavlik-Miranda fight --?

Lou DiBella: I am looking at Cory Spinks you don't look past a great champion. You know, there are obviously a lot of activity going on that could create big money for Jermain. But Jermain first has to get past a great champion instinct and then you have guys like Roy Jones, you have guys like the winner of Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright, the winner of Miranda and Pavlik, Joe Calzaghe the winner of Calzaghe and Manfredo, there are no shortage of big name fights and big name opponents out there. But we are not even going to consider them until we get past Cory Spinks May 19th, in Memphis Tennessee.

Jason Gonzalez: Thank you very much everybody and I would like to wish every -- all of the participants the best of luck on May 19th.

Jermain Taylor: Thanks.

George Willis: Hey everybody how are you all doing?

Lou DiBella: Hi, great George.

George Willis: Lou and Don, you know, you have got the huge fight between Mr. De La Hoya and Mr. Mayweather on the fifth, do you think your fight will catch a wave of momentum off of that fight and was it important to have it in Memphis because you will have such a huge regional interest as well?

Lou DiBella: Don you want to start?

Don King: Well let me say this. This fight will establish itself in itself. It is going to be a marvelous fight between De La Hoya and Mayweather and that fight is in its own identity. They are counting it to be one of the largest non-heavyweight fights in history. That will remain to be seen. But it has great, great energy. You got to realize too that this fight is coming back off of a fight that a guy pulled out of, with the pretenders rather than the contenders you know. We are catching it and it's like damage control, George. But this fight will take off itself and as Lou was saying with the rib contest down there in Memphis—and Memphis has such a history itself—It's going to be good. It's going to be a great fight for the magnitude of the fight that it is coming off on damage control. Everybody has been talking about more and more and more, and then when time got to go to the firing line, you know, so we are coming in as a fill in and so being a fill-in for a champion of the great esteem of Cory Spinks automatically stops the clock. Now it becomes a risk factor for Jermain Taylor and Lou DiBella. And this is what really is going to be the spark there. Regionally wise, it's going to be superb. This is going to be bigger than anything you could have done with Mora. I don't care about the pretender and the contender and all that—that’s television, Hollywood. So what you are doing here, you have got fighters that's fighting. They can’t want to get out and say ‘take two. take three’ and you don't get it in to take two and take three.

Lou DiBella: I am sorry Don, but then George you know, the Latin Fake seemed to not realize that, there is Mayweather and De La Hoya, and yet there is -- this is a big country and there are events that could be made elsewhere to generate huge interest and we wanted to go to Memphis because it was a terrific fight town and you know what, Mr. Mora chickened out and what happened, we were able to get a great champion who comes from a city that's driving distance from Memphis along with Jermain who comes from a city which is driving distance from Memphis and hold the event, and George, you know this is better because I know you have got family down in Memphis, this is one big crazy weekend in Memphis. So we are looking to have this fight's going to be part of a whole cultural event in Memphis that weekend. And you know, we have already talked to Mayor Willie Harrington and he is all excited about the fight being there, but this is a huge weekend in Memphis. It's one of the big weekends of the year in Memphis and you throw a prizefight of this magnitude of regional interest into the arena that weekend and you have one huge weekend in Memphis. So you know, I think De La Hoya is going to be it's own event. It's going to do great on May 5th, God willing it's a great fight. Taylor-Spinks will be a good fight and a great promotion. But I know that on May 19th, we are going to have a terrific event in Memphis, in a city that's going to be excited for that event.

Don King: It's going to be history in the making and the south will rise again, George.

George Willis: All right, good luck to you all.

Lou DiBella: Thank you.

George Willis: Thanks.


Sandra Malone: Hi, this question is for Jermain Taylor. Are you concerned about the criticisms about you not -- in the sense not convincingly being in the competition? Are you going to try to step up, due to the pressures, step up and have a convincing win?

Jermain Taylor: Yes ma'am. I don't worry about having to much pressure to win or look good, I just win. So whatever happens convincingly or not, I will walk out of that ring as the champion.

Sandra Malone: So you don't feel any pressure to go out there?

Jermain Taylor: I don't feel any pressure, no ma'am. This is my profession and I don’t allow myself to have added pressure on myself. You prepare yourself with a good training camp mentally and physically and do the best you can, just go in there and give the best performance you can.
Sandra Malone: Okay. And I have a question for Cory. What are you doing to prepare for this fight?

Cory Spinks: Training.

Sandra Malone: Are you doing anything different, are you?

Cory Spinks: Just working hard. You got to work hard and be prepared. You got to work hard for what you want to to get.

Sandra Malone: And where are you training?

Cory Spinks: South Florida.

Sandra Malone: Okay.


Chris Givens: Hi Jermain and Cory. I appreciate you guys taking the time for the call. I want to ask Jermain; it seems to me that -- Jermain you there?

Jermain Taylor: Yeah.

Chris Givens: All right. That's mentioned there. Do you think that your fight against Winky and against Ouma, you guys had a pretty good relationship in your previous time and I am hearing on this call also that you and Cory have a past history and you seem to be pretty friendly? I am wondering if -- do you think it will help you maybe if you disliked some of the guys that you fought more so than you do? Ever since Bernard, you have been pretty close with all of your opponents.

Jermain Taylor: Well I think not it's a different kind of relationship with me and Cory. I actually know Cory from being at different tournaments when we where young. I didn't know Winky Wright, I didn't know Kassim Ouma or Bernard Hopkins. I feel like it is going to be a better fight. I know Cory will be well prepared and he’s coming to take what I have. So it is going to be a great fight.

Chris Givens: I know that you consider Memphis to be almost a second hometown; you really enjoyed training there and fighting there. I think that Cory is going to bring quite a few fans from St. Louis, is it going to be -- what's your, what feeling you are going to have when you hear this, it's going to be a pretty good evasion for Cory too, how is that going to drive you as -- you know, what are your thoughts about the -- maybe a split crowd?

Jermain Taylor: The crowd will not bother me, once the fight starts I don’t really hear the crowd, you are so focus on the guy you are fighting the crowd is not something I’m even concerned about. St. Louis will be in the house and so will Little Rock, It will be a lot of excitement in the arena and in the ring.

Chris Givens: And can you talk a little bit about kind of giving Memphis a second chance. They know that there was some disappointment in the turn out for the Winky fights a lot due to ticket prices. But do you consider it's kind of like giving Memphis another chance after what was a somewhat disappointing turn out last time?

Lou DiBella: Let me just jump in for a second. I don't think it's so much giving Memphis another chance, I don't think they need another chance. But I think it's pricing tickets in a way that really allows people to afford them and you know, I know that with the ticket pricing that we have here and the way we scaled the buildings, there are over 7000 tickets, actually over 8000 tickets priced at $45 and under and a ring side ticket is less than 50 percent of what it cost when Jermain fought Winky and frankly Winky didn't sell a single ticket in the state of Florida. No one came in from Florida to Memphis. I expect there to be busloads of people coming in from St. Louis. So it's not a matter of giving Memphis a second chance, Memphis doesn’t need a second chance. It's a great fight town and great sports town.

Don King: And they got a great man Willie Harrington, and it's just a great town. So we are going to make it something different. And the combination of the DiBella and King is also going to add to this, to really get the population out in mass to be there. So the arena will be filled and I love the way Jermain talked and said, ‘What is winning? There is winning and then there is nothing.’ You know, they can say all they want, but second, third, fourth, fifth, it don't mean nothing. It's first and that's it. You know, so you got to be able to try to go win and that's why we are coming with that same attitude to come in not because we dislike Jermain, we love Jermain because he is the only one that extended the olive branch to give us an opportunity. So but that means in this big a sport, a gladiator has to be a gladiator as Spinks is. So therefore we are coming to win. We are not coming into accommodate him because he gave us an opportunity. That makes the difference, too, knowing that it's a competitive sport and Jermain couldn’t have said it better, so succinctly. So that's what is going to make it. Two guys locking heads and horns both wanting to win. That's what's going to be the magnetism of this fight.

Chris Givens: You know, last question I have guys and this is actually for Cory, and Cory you may not want to answer this with Jermain listening in on the call but I was just kind of curious. You never fought him but you certainly know Jermain as a fighter, I wonder if you could talk about may be, some of the things about his strengths and weaknesses, some of the things that you might be kind of focusing on and training and some of the things, things that Jermain might bring in the ring.

Cory Spinks: I would rather not say.

Kevin Cunningham: He is just an all-around great fighter and we are getting ready for him.

Don King: That's all, that's all we’ll talk to at this point.

Kevin Cunningham: I would say this guy [the questioner] is from Arkansas too. I think he is a spy!

(Cross talk)

Chris Givens: I will be happy to wait till May 19th to find out, I appreciate it guys. Thank you.

Kathleen Holland: Good afternoon.

Don King: Good afternoon.

Lou DiBella: Hi Kathleen.

Kathleen Holland: Hi, I have a couple of questions, first for Jermain. Jermain, in the Winky Wright fight, he was able to utilize his right jab pretty effectively against you. How do you plan to neutralize the right jab of another southpaw in Cory Spinks, and will you be spraring with Andy Lee in training camp?

Jermain Taylor: I don't want to talk to much about how I will handle his jab, but I have learned a lot fighting southpaws in my last two fights and you always learn from your mistakes. Emannuel Steward will have a good game planed for this fight. We will be ready and prepared to make adjustments if we have to.

Kathleen Holland: Right and where will you be having training camp.

Jermain Taylor: I am going to actually train in Memphis.

Kathleen Holland: Okay. For Cory, Cory, do you ever take advice from your world famous world champion father Leon and Uncle Michael for not only this fight coming up but for your previous fights?

Cory Spinks: Yes, all the time. They always give me advice and you know, they motivate me.

Kathleen Holland: Right, thanks for your time.


Chuck Johnson: Hi guys how are you doing?

Lou DiBella: Hi Chuck.

Chuck Johnson: All right. Let me ask you Cory, you know, you rebounded strongly from that loss to Zab Judah. I just want to know how tough was such a loss in front of your home fans to recover and come back strongly here.

Cory Spinks: Because that wasn’t Cory Spinks. Plus I have to forget all about that. That’s behind me because I know that wasn’t me so to me that didn't happen.

Alan Hopper: Cory, why don’t you tell about how weak you felt that night and how much stronger you felt at 154. That was interesting to me.

Cory Spinks: Well you know, I had personal problems and you know, I was beaten before I even got in there. So I don’t even think about this. That didn't happen to me because that was not me. So I moved on and you know, I became champion again, that is what champions do. They bounce back so and that's what I did.

Chuck Johnson: Do you feel like many fans will look at that loss when they think of Cory Spinks.


Kevin Cunningham: I mean, out of almost 40 fights, they are only going to look at one fight in his whole career, come on, man….

Cory Spinks: I am a fighter. I can't worry about what critics think. I have got to go in there and win like Jermain said. You can't worry about what critics think. You just got to go in there and put food on the table for your family and win.

Kevin Cunningham: That fight was almost three years ago. So he has moved up in weight, took on the best junior middleweight in the world in his first fight after moving up in weight. He took on the guy that destroyed Kassim Ouma in his first fight moving up in weight and we are still talking about Zab Judah who has lost his last two fights? Come on, man….

Chuck Johnson: That was a very prominent fight, that’s why I asked. Like I said, he rebounded strongly; I just wanted to know his thoughts about how he has rebounded and how he has been able to do that because I think it's a remarkable that he has done that.

Cory Spinks: I don’t know any more than that's what great boxers do. They bounce back.

Chuck Johnson: Right.

Don King: Guts and glory, Chuck, guts and glory. The guy is going out today, he got the guts, he got to get the glory down and the glory got to turn into the Benjamin Franklins that Lou DiBella was talking about!

Chuck Johnson: Jermain, let me ask you, I mean, I know that Cory has a game fighting for the middleweight championship of the world but what's in this for you as far as, you know, you talk about moving forward in your boxing career, what's in it for you in this fight, can you put that in words?

Jermain Taylor: Another win.

Chuck Johnson: That’s it, okay.

Don King: Talk to him Jermain.

Chuck Johnson: What's the challenge for you?

Jermain Taylor: Every fighter I go up against will be a challenge. The challenge is keeping my belts. Cory is a hell of a fighter man, Cory has speed, the way he moves, how slick he is, I have watch Cory fight since we where kids so I know what he will bring to the table, he’s coming to win and take my belts.

Lou DiBella: I was going over a list of the opponents that Oscar De La Hoya fought in his early prime, the opponents that Shane Mosley fought in is his early prime, Trinadad fought in his early prime, all the great fighters, look at a list of who guys who have fought five fights in a row again. Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright, the guys ranked one and two with middleweight before Jermain beat them; Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks, the guys ranked two and one, Cory being one, at 154 pounds at the junior weight class of his own division. I mean, these are five of the best fighters in the world, all of whom have an -- two of whom are going to the Hall Of Fame and the other two got a good chance of getting there. So you know what I mean, it's a little bit bizarre, the criticism we are getting and you know, with all due respect to Edison Miranda, because I find him very amusing, like the guy is funny, but what has he ever done and who has he ever beaten? I mean if he stepped up to the top I think he would get smacked around right now.

Chuck Johnson: All right guys, I appreciate that, thank you.

Lou DiBella: Thank you Chuck.


Jason Abelson: Good afternoon gentlemen, thanks for taking the call. I just wanted to ask Cory, let me just ask, what was your reaction when you found out that the Rodney Jones fight wasn’t going to be on TV, did that motivate you at all?

Cory Spinks: Like I said, I can't worry about those kind of things, I just got to go in there and win, you know? I had to get that mandatory out of the way, so I didn’t worry about it. I just went in there to win.

Jason Abelson: You didn't take it personally at all, you didn't think hey, this is a plate against me and -- you know, so it was just strictly business, you didn't take it personally?

Cory Spinks: No, I didn't take it personally, no. I just went in there and won.

Jason Abelson: And for Jermain; Jermain, you know, Bernard keeps talking about you and you see some kind of video press release or anything that might have been -- is it from video press release where you said that you know, he passed the sports on to you after you beat him and now he is taking his words back and passing it on to Miranda, you know, what are your thoughts on that, you know, you still seem to be in the guys head?

Jermain Taylor: I didn’t even know he said that but thank you for the letting me know. The big cry baby is still crying. Why should I care what Bernard is talking about. That kind of stuff does not bother me at all.

Jason Abelson: I appreciate that guys. Thanks a lot.


Jason Gonzales: Hi guys, couple of follow up questions. Cory, how do you think Zab Judah is going to fair in his fight with Miguel Cotto?

Cory Spinks: It depends on what Zab shows up.

Jason Gonzales: Right.

Cory Spinks: That's the answer. It depends on what Zab shows up for the fight.

Jason Gonzales: Right. Then the other question is, who are you going to -- who is going to walk you out to the ring? What artist?

Cory Spinks: We don’t know yet.

Kevin Cunningham: We got a whole list...

Cory Spinks: We have a list to choose from.

Jason Gonzales: But it's going to be off the hook right, Cory?

Cory Spinks: Yeah. You got to make the fight—you know what it is—this is a big fight. This is going to be just as big as the Mayweather-Oscar fight.

Don King: Yeah. It will be the biggest fight of 2007 outside of Mayweather-De La Hoya. But we are going to do something hot.

Jason Gonzales: Now my last question is for the promoters, for Lou and Don. There was open scoring in Jermain Taylor's last fight against Kassim Ouma --

Lou: We haven't even discussed it with the organization or among ourselves. So probably it's premature to discuss it.

Norman Horton: Don open scoring is the issue, question is for you.


Don King: I think open scoring is a very good thing. And even though the way they are doing it is butchered, I think that that’s the first beginning. In everything, in every sport, you got the instant replay, you got the call back on a game—they lost the Super Bowl because one time a mistake was made and nobody called it and the Browns didn't win the Super Bowl. They didn't get a champion. So the thing here is that it is time for us to come in to the 21st century. And so I'm a strong advocate of that. In fact, I wrote an opinion out in the New York Times several years ago, about open scoring. You know what I mean; you do what have to do. Some of the critics would say, ‘Well, the guy knows he is ahead and we will do this that and the other,’ it doesn’t matter. You know what I mean? If a guy also knows he is behind, he will then go out and do what he has to do to try to win. So if it goes both ways, they just can't wait around because a guy runs. You know Joe Lewis said, ‘You can run but you can’t hide,’ you know what I mean, so you got to be able to go out there and do what you got to do. But I think the public should be aware. It will change a lot of those bad calls when a man do win and then lose. You know what I mean? So it’s a thing where people would know who are in it, who the judges are and who would be the culprit, who would be the suspect and who would be altruistic guy with integrity. I think it’s time for us to go into the 21st century and let the people know what's going on. And instant replay can be installed, too, like you could go back and replay the thing there and have a chance to question a decision, if it's a foul or a low blow or something, whether it's intentional or unintentional. It's good. It is an aid to the referee, it's an aid to the sport, in my opinion, rather than something that would be a gift. I'm an advocate of open scoring.


Franklin McNeil: Hi guys how are you doing? My question is for Jermain.


Franklin McNeil: Looking at this fight, and looking at Cory, a fighter who is very elusive and so is conscious from a lot of different angles, I believe in many ways, this is one man's opinion, but he may be even a more difficult fight for you than I would say a Sergio Mora who would have been like the --.

Jermain Taylor: Like I said before Cory is coming to win this fight and take away what I have. I have watched Cory develop as a fighter from the time we where kids fighting in tournaments. I know what to expect from Cory. All you can do is just be well prepared and give your best effort.
Franklin McNeil: Okay. Thanks a lot.

Norman Horton: Lou, Don, we will take a couple of questions and kind of start closing out.

Lou DiBella: That's find, five more minutes of questions and we will close out.

Eddie Goldman: Hi, a quick follow up question particularly for Don and Lou. This fight of course is going to be in Memphis and it's closer to where Jermain is, even though it's not that far from where Cory is, there has been a lot of controversy about scoring, do you think that should it go to a decision, that in light of all the controversy of recent fights, that there could be a fair decision in Memphis?

Lou DiBella: Damn right, to be honest with you, I thought Jermain beat Winky Wright in Memphis and we were the local hometown kids and I didn't think we got the benefit of anything there. I think as long as you have good quality judges and the judges are going to be carefully selected, I think we'll get a fair decision.

Eddie Goldman: And Don, you want to comment on this, did Don leave?

Lou DiBella: No. But I know Don would back up what I said, since nobody stands usually in more support of the judges than Don King.

Eddie Goldman: Okay. Thanks.

Alan Hopper: Lou is echoing his opinion on Don's behalf, right?

Lou DiBella: No that was my opinion on Don's behalf.

Eddie Goldman: Okay. Thanks.

Valerie McConnell: Jermain I would like to know what have you been doing for your training and working to prepare yourself for this fight.
Jermain Taylor: Well actually, I did not start training until about a week ago, I am working on a lot of things, but with Cory on the phone I don’t want to talk to much about that, you can call me back on my private number or contact my publicist Norman Horton.

Valerie McConnell: Yes that will be fine. And I have a second question for you Jermain. Being that you are from Little Rock, Arkansas and Tennessee, what type of reception have you received from your associates that know you from growing up in Little Rock?

Jermain Taylor: Everybody loves me in Arkansas. I go to Memphis almost every weekend and it's just a home away from home. Memphis has always showed a lot of love for me.
Norman Horton: You want to give a closing statement or anything?

Lou DiBella: Thank you all for joining us. I want to thank Don and team Spinks for their professionalism in getting this done so quickly and for all your help. HBO for helping make it possible, John Cirillo, my publicist Norm Horton, Alan Hopper, thank you guys. You worked really well, really quickly. I also want to thank Prize Fight boxing, that is going to help with some local details and the FedEx Forum which for anyone who has seen boxing there, it's just a great venue and beautiful town of Memphis, it's great Mayor, be there on May 19th to see one of the fights of the year and eat some really good barbeque. Thank you all for being with us.

Article posted on 02.04.2007



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