Boxing


Oscar De La Hoya Conference Call Transcript Part II

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.

FRANKLIN MCNEIL : OK and I'm going to get back to the sponsorship issue. Do you expect the sponsors to help finance future fights that don't include the name Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the level that they're doing so now?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Sponsors just want to, I mean, they want to be able to work, not only with a good company and with, you know, they want to have a good experience's and that's what we bring to the table, you know. I mean, we've been working with a lot of sponsors in all our other events that we do.

Whether it's on other Pay Per View fights, you know, because they have a good experience with us and we perform. You know, will it continue, absolutely, it's going to continue.

RICHARD SCHAEFER: As a matter of fact, you know, for upcoming big Pay Per View in July, with Bernard Hopkins versus Winky Wright, several of these sponsors have already signed up with sponsor activation 360 degree again,

And, you know, we are currently talking to two other very significant brands, corporate Fortune 500, actually Fortune 100 companies here in the United States, which we are going to bring to the sport as well. Another sponsor which just signed up is Bally's Fitness.

All these fitness, you know, the hundreds and hundreds of stores, they are now tied in with Golden Boy as well so we're really bringing more and more sponsors into having a great experience and in the scope of things frankly, sports sponsorships have become so expensive. If you're a company and you want to get involved with the NBA or NFL or most sports, it has become so expensive. So boxing you get great exposure and it is, compared to other sports, extremely inexpensive.

BERNARD FERNANDEZ, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: Yes, Oscar, I have two questions.

The first is all this talk about promoting boxing, sponsorships and everything that needs to do to be marketed properly. A few weeks ago, before I stop talking bad about you long enough to get into a Rosie O'Donnell Donald Trump sort of thing with Dana White of the UFC over the relative merits of boxing versus UFC.

One thing that you can say with UFC is that they seem to have done a tremendous job marketing that sport. Is ultimate fighting and boxing, are they competing for the same fan basis, is it apples and oranges? And is there anything that boxing can take from the model of what UFC is doing to increase its popularity?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well, I don't really think we're competing for the, I mean, the same audience. I mean if you take a look at UFC's biggest event that they've ever done which they said was going to pass, you know, millions and millions of homes.

I mean I don't think they've even reached the 900,000 home marks, you know, I mean the UFC is a sport that recently, you know, was introduced to the world, to the United States and, you know, it's obviously doing very well with the younger audience, but, you know, it doesn't have that history of boxing.

It doesn't have, you know, the 100 years of history that our great sport has, you know and I think that's the difference. I mean, you know, boxing will always be around but, you know, we have to ask ourselves, I mean, will the UFC be around for as long as boxing.

BERNARD FERNANDEZ : OK, one other thing that I wanted to ask you and fighters are going to hurt their hands. It's an occupational hazard at some point or another. You've had fights where you've had sore hands, bruised hands, you know. It happens a lot with Floyd. It doesn't seem to have necessarily been a problem when he's fighting a Baldimere (ph) or Gaddy (ph) where the gap and talent is so pronounced, you know, that he can fight one-handed or, you know, certainly not going to be the case with you.

I know that you and Freddy (ph) are aware of his history and that you will pounce on a situation like if he goes back to his corner after a round shaking his hand, or even if he lands a punch during the round and winces. How aware are you guys of that? And if you see at some point that, how prepared are you to take advantage of?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yes, I mean well obviously it really hasn't been an issue in our training camp. I mean, we really haven't discussed it. You know, we've just been preparing for, you know, the best Mayweather out there, you know, with the best handset someone can ever have, you know. I mean you know, him hurting his hands.

I mean if it happens, you know, if I smell blood I go for it. That's just who I am, I mean, I close the show and so, you know, if I see somebody that is hurt like a wounded, you know, like a wounded animal, you know, if you see 'em wounded, you have to go after it and that can be if that happens to Mayweather, I mean I'm going to fight as hard as I can to take advantage of that situation.

ED GRANEY, LAS VEGAS REVIEW : Floyd is kind of taking on what you'd expect in terms of wanting to be the villain and saying obviously you will the house fighter and the popular fighter, and when it comes to if it went to a decision, he said he's not worried that, you know, he would trust the judges make the right call, do you see yourself with any advantage in that light of being the house guy and who people will probably be routing for more so and is it something you even think about in terms of if it went to a decision?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : No, it's funny, I'm not even thinking about that and, you know, I mean I had the choice of having this fight in Los Angeles which is obviously my home. Or in Las Vegas which is Floyd's home and I decided, hey, let's do it in his backyard, you know, I mean Las Vegas is where he's from and, you know, I have no worries whatsoever.

I mean we're going to do a fight put on a great, great fight, obviously I know that on my part, but if it goes to the judges, you know, the decision is in their hands and obviously Nevada Commission always appoints competent judges to, you know, to do the right thing so I'm not worried about it whatever.

ED GRANEY: Can you talk you say you went in his backyard and yet and again he's obviously playing up the kind of good guy villain from his side of things, but if you, you know, do you expect or do you hope that it is true in terms of the support in that arena and whose side it will go to. I mean, this is his backyard, but it won't be a shock if the crowd is for you?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well, I mean that's a whole different story. I mean if the fans are, you know, cheering me on more than they are, you know, for him, I mean that's it's, you know, probably his fault. I mean the way he acts, the way he carries himself. I mean, you know, he didn't choose to be the villain. He is a villain. I mean that's just the way he is, you know, and, you know, that has nothing to do with any outcome or, you know, leaving it to the judges' hands. I mean we have to fight in there and we have to win the fight and like I said, if it goes to the judges, you know, Nevada's, you know, competent in having good judging in their state.

TREA THOMPSON, FORT WORTH STAR: Good. Obviously you said earlier you had no respect for Floyd, and I know he kept making remarks about you, but did he cross that line, that Vargas-Mayorga level with what he said about your brother on 24/7?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : It was way before that. I mean ever since I first met the guy, you know, I mean every since we wanted to tour and he started talking all that trash. I mean, you know, it's I did have respect for him obviously as a fighter, but it's just gone it's just he goes over the top so much that it's just that I lose that respect for him, you know. I mean, do I hate the guy, I don't hate the guy. I mean I'm not really that type of person to hate anybody but, you know, I think he just lost the respect I have for him.

TREA THOMPSON: Yes. Now this is for you and Richard, if you'll want to comment on this. Why didn't Floyd ever reach that transcended level you're at? I mean obviously he's a talented, sharp-looking guy and he definitely has no problem talking. What happened along the way where he didn't become one of those marketable fighters for the sport?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, I in my part, I mean, you know, you hit it right on the button. I mean he has no problem talking. You know, that's his problem. I mean, he just what comes out of his mouth is garbage, you know.

I mean I don't know what it is. I mean I remember talking to him, it was me and Sugar Ray Leonard, we were flying on a private jet back from I think it was the Boxing Hall of Fame and we were talking to Floyd, Jr., we were on the same plane together, and we were telling him, oh look, you're the future and you can be very marketable and this and that.

And he was just like, awe, whatever, you know, I don't care, you know. So his attitude has been, you know, has been just, you know, keeping him from being a Sugar Ray Leonard the way we had in the 70s.

TOM STEWART, BANGOR DAILY NEWS: I just wanted to ask you a question as it pertains to the promotion. You know, Floyd has cast himself in the role of the villain and do you kind of think for a promotion to be blockbuster like this one that there needs to be a good guy and a bad guy?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : No, not at all. you had the biggest one of the biggest fights to date with, you know, with Lennox Lewis and Evander let's say, you know you know, nobody was a villain there.

I mean, both of them were respectful and were nice and, you know. It was just that people wanted to see that fight and, you know, the fact that he says, oh I cast myself as a villain, no he didn't, that's just the way he is, I mean, you know.

TOM STEWART: OK and then just a second question. What do you see as Floyd's greatest strength in the ring? Is there anything that you really point to and you look at and you say, you know, he does a good job at that?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : His speed, he has good speed. But I'll tell you one thing, that night, May 5th, I'm going to be able to match his speed and I think, you know, his fast movements, his body movements are fairly quickly so, you know, we have to look out for his foot work, you know, which obviously starts and which triggers everything so, you know, we'll make sure that we cut off the ring good and attack.

STEVE SNYDER, RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL: I know you talked about it a little bit in Spanish, but I was wondering as far as the emotional impact for you fighting on Cinco De Mayo or Mexican Independence Day and the business impact, you know, the personal and the business, what are they for you?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : I just it just feels I feel proud, you know, of fighting on such important Mexican holidays, you know, especially here in the United States of America. I mean obviously, I'm a proud American and always will be. But fighting on those days which is Cinco De Mayo which is the War of Pueblo and the Mexican Independence Day on September 16, you know, those are special days for the Mexican National and obviously we know that a lot of Mexicans here in the United States and to me, it's just it's a representation of me supporting and being there for my family who are obviously Mexican and for families that are here in the States.

You know, we can celebrate, have a barbecue, gatherings with family, you know, it's a fun weekend, you know, for everyone so it just makes me feel proud.

STEVE SNYDER : And then the business impact of fighting on those days? Because I mean almost exclusively you fight on those days, right?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Exactly and it's obviously going into these fights I mean you don't think about the business side of it, but obviously it is, you know, a big holiday two big holidays for any events happening on those weekends and obviously with boxing being one of the primary sports that we support and when I say we, you know, I talk about my family, myself, you know, a lot of Mexican

RICHARD SCHAEFER : OK. I can maybe give you I think Oscar dropped off so while they reconnect, last (ph) question was about the financial impact and so on, I can give you for De La Hoya fight.

When he fought Fetu (ph) and I'm taking that out straight of the Security Exchange filing Form 10-Q from the Mandalay Bay Group, that fight was held at the Mandalay Bay, they actually claimed that earnings for the three and nine months ending October 3rd, 2002 reflect strong results on the Mandalay Bay where operating income rose 73 percent.

Results for the quarter were driven primarily by higher revenues principally due to the De La Hoya/Morales fight on September 14th so you see the kind of impact the De La Hoya fight has in Las Vegas. As a result, it had been implications on the stock price as well which shot up so the financial impact of a De La Hoya fight, not just in Las Vegas but generally I think, is absolutely tremendous.

Some of the other things I quickly would like to mention which might be interesting for the writers out there, and I don't think everybody is aware of that. If you look at the overall pay for view history to see biggest names in pay for events is Mike Tyson who has the lead with pay for view revenues of $545 million through his events.

Evander Holyfield is second on the list of all time with $543 million and then the third name on the list is Oscar with $492 million.

So if Oscar if we are doing about 965,000 homes for this fight here, Oscar De La Hoya will become the all time highest grossing attraction in Pay Per View history so I felt that is actually a very interesting piece of information as well which I don't think all writers may have available. I think they're getting Oscar right now.

KELLY SWANSON : Go head Oscar.

BRUCE PASCOE, ARIZONA DAILY STAR : Hi, Oscar. I was just wondering between the promotion you're doing yourself for this fight and also, you know, with the other fighters you've got going on in your company, has your time management kind of changed as far as when you prepare for a fight like this as opposed to when you weren't doing all this stuff before?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : No, actually I'm very dedicated when it comes to my training and I explained you make time for everything. There's, you know, there's 24 hours in the day and obviously, you know, have 10-14 hours to do work and, you know, you make plans for everything.

I mean it's no distraction whatsoever, I train when I have to train and, you know, I watch videos of my opponents when I have to do that and, you know, when it comes to training for a fight, I do it 100 percent, you know, and it's actually relaxing to me to talk business with Richard and, you know, call my office and it's motivating, it's relaxing, it's, you know, it really feels good to be informed of what's going on.

BRUCE PASCOE : What's a typical day like in timelines like training, you know, certain hours, there are certain hours of the day when you guys do get together on the phone or what? How do you work that out?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, we discuss obviously the boxing business and then we discuss business outside of boxing. You know, I talked a lot with my matchmaker, Harry Baumetz (ph), who makes the fights who puts the fights together, you know.

He's the one that I'm always questions about OK, do we have this guy and that guy, you know, let's make these fights happen and so it's fun to me. I mean this is why I turned promoter. I mean this is a fun job and I love doing it.

JOHN WHISLER, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS : Hey, you know, yesterday Floyd was being Floyd I guess and I asked him about whether he's watched 24/7 series and he said he has, and he said I asked him what he learned about you and he said that you have no personality, you're extremely boring. Have you watched what do you think about that comment first of all? And then have you watched him on that series?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA : Well, I mean I have watched it. I mean it's obviously, you know, I've contributed to the great ratings we've had and I mean obviously his comments I, you know, one ear out the other.

I obviously have no comment whatsoever on what he has to say but, you know, and the way he acts, I mean he's just, you know, as the fight gets closer and closer, you know, you tend to see it. He's getting nervous and more nervous and more nervous, you know.

I can see these things and obviously a big event like this can make you jumpy, and you know, and as the fight gets closer, we're going to be able to see it firsthand on 24/7 how Mayweather is just getting nervous.

Article posted on 27.04.2007



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