Boxing


Floyd Mayweather Conference Call Transcript Part I

RICHARD SCHAFER, CHIEF EXEUTIVE OFFICER, GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS, INC .: Thank you Kelly and thank you to all of PR team. I think these weekly conference calls were terrific. They were attended cumulative by over 700 media members from different parts of the world. I think it was a big success in itself to give you weekly updates..

Welcome everybody the World Awaits. The clock is ticking De La Hoya versus Mayweather. Ten days to go, it's going to be great, and a great fight week ahead. Every day something different is planned, a lot of activities, a lot of things going on.

Just a quick update on the odds, I talked this morning with the MGM odd makers and book maker and the fact is that the fight is getting tighter and tighter, closer and closer. A lot of people are picking Oscar now and we are like a one and a half round favorite.

It opened at two and a quarter to one back in February so it's getting tighter and tighter, closed circuit sales are going through the roof setting new records everywhere throughout the United States, in Las Vegas. So everything is set, the stage is set for a great, great fight. A great promotion and I want to thank you all for your support and I look forward to welcoming you all next week in Las Vegas.

It is a pleasure for me now to introduce to you a fighter who really has become the face of boxing. He's a ten time world champion, in six different weight classes. Nobody else has ever accomplished that. And it is a pleasure for me to turn it over to my friend Oscar De La Hoya.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, PRESIDENT, GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS, INC.: Thanks Richard I appreciate it very much. Everyone who is on the call thank you for being on and it's what ten days a way and I'm excited. I'm ready to go, I can't wait. I've been training as hard as I can, as smart as I can and we strongly feel that yes it's going to be a good fight. It's going to be a great fight, but we're ready for anything.

And truly I think this fight here aside from all of the other fights had or other events I've been involved with, this one here, I'm just anxious. I just can't wait to get inside that ring and to let that bell ring. I just can't wait to run over to his corner and just starting fighting. I mean that's, I can feel it now, I dream about it every night.

So it's actually fun. I'm enjoying this training temp; I'm enjoying this whole event. So I'm making it worth my while. So it's definitely going to be a big fight.

KELLY SWANSON : OK, great thank you Oscar. Operator, if now we could open it up for questions.

DAN RAFAEL, ESPN : Thank you. Hello Oscar how are you today?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Hey Dan, good.

DAN RAFAEL: Oscar can you, you just mentioned before you're excited about this fight, being involved so many other big fights and big events and promotions in your career. Can you say that this in your mind is definitely the biggest one or is there another fight that may be in the same time frame ten days before the fight where you had a sense of something even, that it was bigger at that time?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: No, this by far has to be the biggest. Just being involved with the whole promotion obviously because we're promoting it, it just feels and it seems that much bigger than any other fight I've been involved with. Leading up to the events, just with all the interviews I've been doing and photo shoots of various magazines.

And people wanting to go to the fight, celebrities and it just feels really big. And so when I was involved with the Trinidad fight we didn't have this, we didn't have all this. We didn't, I mean, we didn't have national sponsors or putting our, the fight prints on cans. Or we just didn't have all that stuff, so it's really exciting, this is what it's all about.

DAN RAFAEL: Oscar let me ask you one more question. Put your business hat on for a second and take off your fighter's hat for a minute and just can you talk a little bit about your own personal satisfaction of being involved on the promotional end what everybody probably thinks will end up being the greatest revenue fight in the history of boxing.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well this is the way boxing should be promoted. If Golden Boy Promotions was promoting the Trinidad fight with me, we would have easily done more than two million homes. If other big events were promoted through Golden Boy we would have gone through the roof.

And it really is it just feels different with working with my staff and working with the other staff in the past. It's just whole different feeling and we just bring something new and fresh to the table. With sponsorships it's just a whole different promotion and I'm just really, really proud of our team.

Golden Boy Promotions who really has been doing all the work in the behind the scenes, putting the press together and making sure everything is running smooth. From Richard Schaefer who, I mean, I kind of, it's hard to explain the gratitude I have. What he brings to the table. I've never ever in my life worked with another individual like Richard Schaefer. It really is amazing.

KEVIN IOLE, LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL : If you could choose one or the other, would you prefer to have the wisdom that you've acquired of 15 years as a professional fighter or say the athletic ability and the energy that you had when you first were starting out?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : I think probably the wisdom, the wisdom of the, of all these years that I have accumulated. Because the, my body, right now, I feel like if I was 25 again. And so it's a matter or doing the right training and preparing yourself. But the wisdom that I have accumulated over the years, I mean, that's priceless.

KEVIN IOLE : Do you think the Oscar De La Hoya of 1997 could beat the Oscar De La Hoya of 2007?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well I think the Oscar De La Hoya of 2007 can beat the Oscar De La Hoya of 1997.

STEVE CARP, LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: I just wanted to follow kind of up on what Dan was asking you about. You've been in these mega fights before whether it was with Vargas or Trinidad or Chavez. What have you learned over the years in terms of promoting those fights that help make this promotion what it's been?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well you know what I have learned Steve is that those fights that I was involved with, the Chavez's, the Whitaker's, all those fights, they easily should have surpassed the million mark easy. Without a doubt, because the way we're promoting, the ways we're letting the world know that hey there's a fight.

I mean, this is, we're promoting like no other promoter has ever promoted. And we're bringing in something new to the table with sponsors and it's, the synergies that are, they're just amazing with the Tecate Beer and the Casa Dorez (ph) bringing in Southwest Airlines and Dr. Pepper, I mean, it's incredible.

I mean everybody knows about this fight. So it's just been, and it's team effort. I mean it's a team effort and obviously with having Richard Schaefer, the mastermind it's a pleasure.

STEVE CARP : The one thing I wanted to follow up with. Was this fight more than any of your others has new media opportunities whether it's on the Internet or through this reality thing that HBO's been doing with the two camps, how much do you think that really puts this over the top when you didn't have those opportunities in past.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Right, obviously any media adds to the excitement and adds to the, it brings attention; it draws attention to any event. But what really sets it apart is what our sponsors are doing to take the fight out there to the public.

I mean, Tecate Beer putting our, putting the fight image on their cans. On every can out there that people drink and then every store you go in, you'll be able to see the fight imprint on the can. And what Casa Dorez (ph) is doing and Dr. Pepper and Southwest Airlines, I mean, that's those are new fans that really haven't been introduced to boxing. So and obviously with HBO, what they're doing with the 24/7 show, I mean, that's just priceless.

CHUCK JOHNSON, USA TODAY : Yes, it's been said that this fight is the type of event that boxing needs to really give it a boost and start things towards the road of prosperity. Is that too much to expect from this fight? Or can you tell me that is, it isn't.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : No it isn't. I mean, this is, that's what it's going to do. Our lives will be on the boxing world inside that ring and the only thing we have to do is perform. And perform as hard as we can. I keep on saying this, in my end I'm going to perform as hard as I can. I'm going to fight as hard as I can, because now it's up to us.

Everything else outside the ring, to take the fight to the public and to make sure the public knows about this fight is done. Everybody knows about this fight and so now it's up to us to perform.

CHUCK JOHNSON : Can either you or Richard tell me what is the advertising budget for this fight? I mean, I see the advertisements everywhere. Is there any advertising budget, a figure there?

RICHARD SCHAEFER : Well actually the interesting thing is, you have obviously a certain amount which spent through the promotion, but then as Oscar just said, with these sponsors which we are able to bring to the table, it's real easy to see 160 degree, fully integrated sponsorship package where these people are, these sponsors are not just paying to put their logo on the ring and the banner above the truss (ph).

But they are converting tens of millions, and I mean tens of millions of dollars in their, from their own advertising, all of these, these are national companies which have tremendous advertising budgets on the radio, print, TV, billboards and they are converting some of these dollars to promote the fight. So if I would have to add the value of these sponsors up, you're talking in excess of $50 million.

LANCE PUGMIRE, LOS ANGELES TIMES: Good, good. Hey I was wanting to know every, a lot of the stories that have taken place on boxing cards before this one has talked about how boxing is slumping. Now obviously with this fight, you've got a lot of momentum. How does boxing the sport capitalize on that momentum and keep it going and keep the attention that's going to be on this fight there on the sport?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well we, for instance, HBO brought in this new series 24/7. It would be wonderful if HBO can do that for every major fight. I mean it would be great for the sport; it would great for the event. But I think it boils down to fighters fighting each other. The best fighting the best, that's what it boils down to.

And I think what this fight is going to do, when all those fighters out there are watching this event. They're going to say, you know what, I want to be there. Let me fight the best. And it's not only going to attract fans, it's not only going to attract the attention to the boxing world.

But it's going to make the fighters say, hey, I want to be involved in these big fights. And I think that's how you are going to create that momentum, fighters fighting each other and one big event after the other.

LANCE PUGMIRE : It's also about promoters though isn't it as well and making sure that the promoters can work together and?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Absolutely, I mean, that's exactly what we've been talking about within Golden Boy Promotions is promoters working with, together, with each other. I mean that's what we have to do. We have to get together and make these fights happen.

RICHARD SCHAEFER : And Lance, if I may add as well. I'm getting really sick and tired about all these people writing and talking about the sport of boxing is dying. It's really is a handful of promoters and we know who they are. They keep pissing on the sport. And they keep going the sport is dying, the sport is dying, the sport is dying, and that this is wrong.

The sport is not dying, look at these numbers world wide where people are going tens of thousands of people into venues to watch this sport. The ratings HBO is bringing with these kinds of events, it's unparalleled so it's really not dying.

It is these certain promoters which keep being negative about the sport because their basically being, they don't have the talent, they don't have event. And it's a matter of being jealous. They're throwing out all of these negative vibes and that has got to stop. These promoters if they think the sport is dying, they should stop promoting, go and retire.

RICHARD SANDOMIR, NEW YORK TIMES : This can be for both of you guys. If those other fights that you had in the past Oscar should have gotten much higher pay-for-view numbers, what then is the fundamental flaw of the other promoters out there that they haven't been able to do all the things that you guys have done for this fight promotionally.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Alright, in my part I think it would have to be attracting the sponsors. I mean, obviously the sponsors that we're attracting now it's because of what we represent. What our company represents.

We're a legitimate company. We're a company that is respected in the boxing industry and the word is spreading. And that's why we are attracting so many sponsors. And I think that's been the difference.

RICHARD SANDOMIR : And Richard what are the others doing wrong?

RICHARD SCHAEFER : Well I think it's a combination. I think the sponsors are very important, fully integrated. With this fight here we have close to a billion, a billion consumer impression. I mean, that's unheard of. And the only way you can do it is with the support of these sponsors.

But the other part is as well the positioning of the fight. I think you saw that what we did with De La Hoya, Mayorga or with Danger Zone. I mean that was in my opinion a perfectly executed promotion. And what we are doing as well is we are its non ego driven promotion. It's about the fight, about the fight that's giving them exposure.

You don't see the promoters out there parading around and I give you an example. Like when Oscar fought Felix Sturm, which was for the sixth weight class. The only fighter ever to become a world champion in a sixth weight class. And the second fighter of that card was Bernard Hopkins going for a nineteenth title defense of his undisputed middle weight championship.

Both guys on the same night, both guys on the same night and the fight is a little over 300,000 homes. I mean, that is in my opinion one of the worst promoted events in the history of boxing, to do that kind of homes. So it's really has to do with the excitement the promoter brings to the table.

The kind of exposure he brings to the fight. The kind of sponsors you attract and it really is not just putting a logo on the ring mat and see you later.

ROBERT MORALES, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS : Oscar can you talk, can you explain the difference in your current frame of mind, thanks to all of Mayweather's trash talk versus the frame of mind you might have been in had Mayweather shown you some respect during the press tour.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Oh, it's night and day. Night and day, I mean, he ask for it and he's going to get it. When I go to the gym, I train hard anyways for any fighter. It's just my work ethic is very professional. But when a fighter just talks that little trash, for some reason it just sparks something in me. It takes me to a whole new level. It really makes me a student of the game. I want to learn, I want to run more. I want to run extra miles. I want to spar more rounds. And everything has just been running smooth and everything is perfect.

I mean with Freddie Roach in my corner for the first time, I'm so motivated because of him. I want to impress him. I want to train hard every day so he can see that I am a fist fighter. So everything is perfect.

ROBERT MORALES : One last thing Oscar, just to follow up on that. Yesterday Floyd said that those who wear their hearts on their sleeves always come up short. Basically if you fight angry you have no chance of winning. And of course I always say that well look at Mayorga and Vargas. What do you think of that sentiment that a lot of people do have that you can't fight when you're angry.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I'm not going to fight angry. I trained angry, but I'm not going to fight angry and that's going to be the difference.

PAUL GUTIERREZ, SACRAMENTO BEE : Hey just in looking back in your career, very, very few of your fights have you shown a genuine dislike for your opponents. I mean, Vargas comes to mind, Mayorga. But it seems like, is there a genuine dislike growing toward Floyd now or just still more of a resect level there.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: It's just that, everything he talks, everything that comes out of his mouth, it's motivating to me because it just makes me work that much harder. But there's no respect whatsoever there.

PAUL GUTIERREZ : And lastly, so much has been made about how many different hats you wear be it the promoter, the boxer, do you need boxing or does the sport of boxing need you at this time?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : I will always need boxing. Boxing is what made me. Boxing is what's always going to make me. The sport is a sport that I just have so much passion for and that I love. And obviously that's one of the reasons why I turned promoter. To continue on receiving from the sport and also contributing to the sport because it works both ways, but obviously boxing is, I owe everything I have to boxing.

FRANKLIN MCNEIL, NEWARK STAR LEDGER : Yesterday I asked Floyd a question regarding the weight. A lot of people have been talking about the weight and how it would affect him. And he stopped right away and said; hey it's not going to have anything to do with weight, smarts. Do you agree with assessment or not?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Yes, absolutely. I mean, I have to agree with it to a certain extent because, you know, a few pounds do make a different. I mean, when you have two smart fighters in that ring, you know, then you know, what is going to be the advantage. Well, I mean, the punching power, the speed, the weight, the, you know.

You can be smart in the ring but he's not fighting no pushover here. You know, it's going to make a big difference.

Article posted on 25.04.2007



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