Showtime Conference Call Quotes: Chad Dawson-Jesus Ruiz
Undefeated “Awesome” Chad Dawson (23-0, 1 NC, 15 KOs), of New Haven, Conn., will make the first defense of his WBC light heavyweight title against hard-hitting Jesus “Chuy’’ Ruiz (19-4, 17 KOs), of Long Beach, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Mexico, in the co-featured bout on Saturday, June 9 on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). In the other SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-featured attraction at The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn., former undisputed 175-pound world champion Antonio “Magic Man’’ Tarver (24-4, 18 KOs), of Tampa, Fla., will battle New York-based Elvir “The Kosovo Kid” Muriqi (34-3, 21 KOs) for the world IBO light heavyweight crown ..
Article posted on 30.05.2007
Tickets, priced at $35, $50, $100, $200 and $500, are on sale at TicketMaster outlets, online at TicketMaster.com and at The Connecticut Convention Center (860) 249-6000. The event is presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, in association with Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and AT Entertainment.
DeGuardia: It is going to be a fantastic night on June 9 where we have two world championship fights that are certainly befitting of the network SHOWTIME, which has been showing the greatest and best fights in boxing today. The Chad Dawson-Jesus Ruiz fight, coupled with the Tarver-Muriqi fight is certain to excite the fans nationally on SHOWTIME. For those that want to (tickets for) The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, they can go to TicketMaster.com where tickets are available. They are selling steadily, but they are still available and the seat prices are from $35 to $500. It will be an exciting night as the state of Connecticut certainly is going to welcome home the new WBC world champion making his first defense. It is fitting that Chad Dawson is doing it in his home state of Connecticut.
Dawson: I am looking forward to an exciting night and a great fight. I want to thank SHOWTIME for having me on the card. It is a pleasure to be on the undercard of Antonio Tarver, former world champion. So I want to look my best and show everybody a good night.
Shaw: Chad Dawson is not on the undercard of Tarver, DeGuardia or anybody else. It was going to be a Chad date if we could get (Paul) Briggs on the card. I thought that being on the same card with Tarver and (with) a big win over Chuy, God willing, that it would set up the Tarver fight. That is why this fight came about the way it did. I just wanted to clarify that for everyone on the call.
Ruiz: I have been waiting for this opportunity for my whole life. Every boxer in the world dreams of the WBC title. We want the green belt. I was born in Mexico, but I now live in Long Beach, California and training in nearby San Pedro. I have been training hard for two months for this fight – mentally and physically. I have watched a lot of Mr. Dawson’s fights. I think that he is a great fighter and we will (put on) a big show on SHOWTIME.
Begin Press Questions.
Question: Chad, how tough is it for you not to overlook a guy like Chuy Ruiz?
Dawson: You cannot overlook any fight. I am definitely coming to fight. I do not look past anyone. I am looking forward to a great fight and hopefully everything will go according to plan and we can get hooked up with a fight with Tarver.
Question: Chad, how is training going with Floyd Mayweather, Sr.?
Dawson: It is going great. We just picked up where we left off last training camp. Everything is going according to plan.
Question: Chad, how has that great fight against Tomasz Adamek in February (on SHOWTIME) helped you going into this fight? What did you learn from that fight?
Dawson: It was a big victory for me. I just have to go back to camp and pick up where I left off. It depends on the fight. I have a lot of confidence. I am still kind of high off that win. So I want to go in and show everybody that I am even better than the last one.
Question: Do you think guys are trying to find ways to avoid fighting you at this point?
Shaw: What they want to do is they want to ruin boxing. The old guys want to fight all the old guys. Like a senior league. Chad Dawson is the best fighter out there at 168 and 175. He is a premium fighter and they know if they go in there, they are bound to take a loss. So the last person that they want to fight is Chad Dawson. But that is why they are avoiding Chad.
Question: Chad, is there anything that you learned about yourself in the Adamek fight that you did not know going into that fight?
Dawson: I learned a lot. I learned from Floyd. Floyd is not only teaching me training, but he is teaching me the boxing game too. Floyd is teaching me to just get up off the canvas on my own. He has taught me a lot. He let me know that I am at a different level, a higher level now, and that guys are going to be stronger and better. So I have to be ready for that.
Question: So you take that into camp knowing that maybe you have to push yourself a little bit harder or go the extra mile?
Dawson: Definitely. After the Adamek fight, the only thing I was thinking about was my next fight and what I wanted to do, and how much more impressive I have to be.
Question: Is there a certain confidence that comes with being the world champion? Do you get a different feel about yourself when you step into the ring?
Dawson: Yes, a little bit. I might be a little bit different. Like I said, I want to impress everybody better than I did in the last fight. But when I step into the ring, I am still going to be the same old guy.
Question: Chad, some of the more recent fights on television have not been all that exciting. Do you feel like you have a greater responsibility or a little bit more pressure to put on a good, exciting performance?
Dawson: No, not really. The most important thing is me going into the ring and doing my job and leaving the ring with my title. Of course, I want to impress the fans and I want to show everybody what I can do. But boxing is just a sport that is changing right now. Like Gary says, the older guys do not want to fight the younger guys. The older guys want to fight the older guys. That is the way it seems right now.
Shaw: Let me also help out with that answer. Chad’s style is a pleasing style. It is a fan-friendly style. He comes forward, he jabs and he follows the jab up. He is looking to end the fight. The other guys that are fighting out there that you are referencing are fighting cautiously. They are fighting to survive 12 rounds, and that is not pleasing, it does not help boxing. But Chad Dawson is a fan-friendly fighter.
Question: Chad, you are working with Floyd Mayweather, Sr. and training in Vegas, right?
Question: Did you train in Vegas for the last fight too?
Dawson: Yes, I did.
Question: So how do you like training in Vegas with Floyd?
Dawson: I love it. When I am here, it is all boxing. I have been working everyday, no distractions. I just love the gym. I am training at Top Rank and a lot of good fighters and you all get a lot of response. So it is the best.
Question: Chad, what do you know about Jesus “Chuy” Ruiz?
Question: I have seen that he is a tough guy and a good fighter. I know that he will come to fight. I am not looking for somebody who is going to come in the ring just to go to a round. I know he will come to fight.
Question: Chad, does it bother you that a lot of the buildup to this fight is not so much about this specific fight, but about future fights that you might have with some of the other guys in the division or possibly down at 168?
Dawson: It does not bother me. I just have a job to do on June 9 and if everything goes according to plan, then we will look for those other fights.
Question: Do you feel an extra need to really look spectacular and impressive in this fight?
Dawson: I want to look impressive and I want to also just be myself, be the boxer that I can be. Hopefully everything will go OK. Like I said, I know he is coming to fight and he is definitely going to bring the fight to me. So I just have to be prepared for that, and I am prepared for that.
Question: Jesus, why do you think you will be able to defeat Chad Dawson?
Ruiz: Every boxer is looking for this chance. This is my golden opportunity. I watched the fight with Mr. Dawson and Tomasz Adamek. I know that Mr. Dawson (possesses excellent boxing skills). He (knows) the art of boxing. But I think I do, too. I have the face of a boxer. In the majority of my fights, I won by knockout in the first round. I do not think he has ever fought with a puncher like me. So we will see what happens (when we exchange). That is one of my ways to win the fight.
Question: Jesus, is it going to be bombs away from the opening bell? Are you going to try to test Dawson immediately?
Ruiz: I will be trying to win from the first to the last round.
Question: Chad, would you consider doing the super middleweight division?
Dawson: Yes, definitely. I can still make 168. For me to go down to 168 would not be a real big problem.
Question: Chad, do you approach this fight any differently because of Ruiz’ punching power?
Dawson: No, Adamek threw big punches too. I approach this fight like I approach any other fight.
Question: Chad, what do you know about Jesus and what do you expect to see from him?
Dawson: I expect him to come to fight. I expect him to come forward the whole fight. But Adamek is the same type of fighter as Jesus. I expect him to come forward, but it will be pretty hard.
Question: Chad, could you tell us a little bit about how your relationship with Floyd Mayweather, Sr. has evolved since he began training you up until this point?
Dawson: When we first got together, we had our differences the first couple of weeks. But now it is going smooth. He usually shows up about 20 minutes after me and I am already working on things that we have been working on. So our relationship is good.
Question: Jesus, what did you learn about Dawson from watching the Adamek-Dawson fight?
Ruiz: (Adamek fought with) a European style. (He did) not move a lot. They are like a tree. That is Adamek, I am sorry.
Question: So Adamek fights with a European style, very upright?
Ruiz: Correct. I think the Mexican style is different. Much (more) movement. I will not be like Mr. Adamek. I will not be standing back.
Question: Joe, assuming Tarver-Dawson pans out, when do you foresee the fight transpiring?
DeGuardia: Assuming they both get by, we will look and everybody will get together and see if there is something we can make for the fall. That is when Tarver is expected to fight next and I imagine that is when Dawson is expected to fight next as well. But both of these guys have their work cut out for them on June 9. So nothing will be done on that until after June 9.
Question: Joe, could you briefly sum up the state of boxing?
DeGuardia: Well, the state of boxing is doing pretty well, quite frankly, when you look and see that you have an event that can do over $2 million buys and set a record. You have SHOWTIME putting on two world championship boxing events from a historic boxing city like Hartford in one night. Every week, you have boxing events taking place. So I would say, other than what the doomsayers are saying, the fact is, in reality, that boxing is still thriving and it is thriving on major networks like SHOWTIME. It is thriving on Pay-Per-View, which is your real gauge of what the common person is doing and whether they want to buy and pluck down their money for an event. It is thriving in the venues throughout the country, where we are setting records on attendance.
Question: Chuy, you lost a couple of real close fights, especially to Briggs. Did you feel you were robbed in that fight? Do you feel that you need a knockout over Dawson on June 9?
Ruiz: Yes. I am working to win each round and to connect (with) hard punches any place on (his) body. I think that the fans (who follow me know what to expect). I put Briggs on the floor in the second round and one of the judges (scored the round) score 10-10, (another had it) 10-9 and only had it 10-8.
Question: So you definitely feel you got robbed against Briggs and you feel you are a naturally bigger fighter than Dawson?
Ruiz: Yes, I am.
Question: Chad, is there anything you are working on in camp to combat what Jesus is going to bring to the ring?
Dawson: It depends on the fight. I am just working on my boxing skills and everything else will be right. Adamek was a great fight, and I performed up to my ability. I am just going to go back and pick up where I left off.
Question: Jesus, are you planning to swarm Chad, keep him trapped in the corner or the ropes, and look for the knockout?
Ruiz: No, I am going to try to connect (with) my hard punches from the first to the last round, and if the knockout comes faster (it comes). I will not lose the opportunity to end the fight at any moment.
Question: Chad, it seems like you just got a little overconfident and got dropped late in the fight against Adamek. How would you compare style-wise Chuy Ruiz to Tomasz Adamek?
Dawson: I cannot really compare them. Adamek tried to come forward, but I stopped him. He tried to do a lot of things, but my hands beat him. A lot of guys do not think I can punch, but as you can see, I had Adamek backing up the whole fight. He did not want to jump in and get caught himself. Whatever Ruiz brings to the table, I have got something for that too.
Question: Was your performance against Adamek a career best performance?
Dawson: Yes, that is my best performance to date.
Question: Style-wise, is that the kind of fight that you want to fight every time out?
Dawson: Every fighter is going to be different. I am the type of fighter that I can switch up. If a guy wants to brawl, I can brawl. If a guy wants to run around the ring, I can just outbox him. I will win those points. It does not really matter. I am ready for anything.
Question: Chuy, I know it has been tough for you to get fights. What do you have to say about Dawson giving you a shot for the title?
Ruiz: I want to thank Chad Dawson for giving me the chance. I think that this time Chad is going to dance with the ugly lady, the one who will ruin the party for him.
Question: Chad, how does it feel going into your first fight defending a world title?
Dawson: It feels good. Everybody dreams about having a lot of title defenses. I am excited and I am going to come out and show my hometown fans a good fight and a good show.
Question: Jesus, you had a pretty long layoff before your last fight between 2004 and 2006. Are you afraid that you are going to be coming in a little rusty?
Question: That was not the first time that happened in my career. But I never stop the boxing machine. I enjoy running in the morning. (Even with no fights), I was training and getting ready. But it (has) not affected me. I live across from a police boxing gym. I am still there. I live at the beach and I run on the sand. I am training all the time. I never stop running and I never stop training.
Question: Chad, what did you do to reward yourself after you became the light heavyweight champion? How did you celebrate?
Dawson: I celebrated with my family. I bought a ’07 Escalade.
Question: What color is it?
Dawson: Midnight blue.
Question: And when you drive it around town, do people know it is you?
Dawson: My girlfriend drives me around.
Question: If you win this fight, maybe you will be able to buy something for yourself?
Dawson: It is my truck, but she looks better in it.
Question: Who is handling tickets for family, friends and all of that?
Dawson: My job is to train. My manager is handling all of that. I am out here doing my job and he is doing his job.
Question: Chad, how many times have you fought in Hartford before?
Dawson: I think this is my first time since I was an amateur.
Question: So this is like a home game for you. Is there added pressure on fighting in Hartford where it is going to be a packed arena with a pro-Dawson crowd?
Dawson: No, there is no pressure. I think Hartford is just about 40-45 minutes away. So there is no pressure. As long as I have been in the gym and doing what I am supposed to do, everything will be good.
Question: So you are looking forward to this?
Dawson: Very much.
Begin Closing Comments.
DeGuardia: I appreciate everybody’s input and comments, and I look forward to seeing you all on June 9. Once again, the Connecticut Convention Center promises to be an exciting, exciting, fan-filled night of boxing to witness Chad Dawson’s return to Connecticut as world champion against knockout puncher Ruiz, and Antonio Tarver against Elvir Muriqi as the co-headlining world championship bout. Tickets go from $35 straight up to $500. There are a limited amount of $500 seats, but the rest are all fan-friendly priced. $35, $50, $100 and $200, and they are all available on TicketMaster.
Dawson: I am just looking forward to a big and exciting fight on June 9. I will definitely be bringing my A game, so I look forward to putting on a real good show.
Ruiz: I am not famous, but I am up for every fight. The people tell me that they plan to see a great fight. I will make a great fight with Mr. Dawson.
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