Boxing


Mayweather Hatton Trainer Conference Call Part I

KELLY SWANSON: Thanks everybody for calling in. Iím sure as some of you saw on your alert for this call, we asked the question, ďWill someone be talking turkey?Ē And of course, here in the States, we have thanksgiving on Thursday but, as I think, most of you have seen even from 24/7, HBOís show that aired its premiere episode on Sunday, we have some very talkative trainers training these magnificent athletes.. And so today, weíre going to give those trainers an opportunity to tell you a little bit about whatís going on in the camps. Just a quick programming note, if you havenít seen the first episode of 24/7, you can catch it this afternoon in the States, a 4:30pm ET/PT, again, on HBO, and then it goes on HBO in demand.

So, without further ado, as always I am very pleased and happy to introduce Oscar de la Hoya, the President of Golden Boy Promotions, who will be on this call to make the introduction. Oscar, go ahead.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much, Kelly. And we are getting closer to the big events which will be held December 8th. We are extremely excited and proud to be working with Ricky Hatton and Mayweather. And the indications have been incredible with first having a sell out in 30 minutes with the gates. It goes to show you how of an importance it is to all of the fight fans who are anxiously waiting for this fight.

KELLY SWANSON: OK. Today we will first be joined by Billy Graham and Kerry Kayes first to Ricky Hattonís trainers. And then, in a short while after that Roger Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweatherís trainers will join us. Oscar, are you back? Oh, dear. Yes, one second, please.

I do have Billy and Kerry on the line. Billy Graham is Ricky Hattonís lead trainer and Kerry Kayes is his conditioning trainer/coach. And what Iíd like to do is at this time, Billy, if you can make a brief statement; we have invited both the U.K. and the American press on this call. So if you could make a brief statement about training, everybody does know youíre going to the States on Thursday to settle in on Friday, so brief statement about wrapping up this part of the training camp. And then, weíll turn it over to Kerry Kayes who will talk a little bit about Rickyís conditioning and then weíll open it up to the media. Thank you. Go ahead, Billy.

BILLY GRAHAM: OK. Well itís funny for me, Iím looking forward to going to Vegas. Normally I like to train at home. But this time, except for the traveling, Iím really looking forward to getting to Vegas. And the closer the fight is getting now I want to be around - I want to get out of Manchester now and be around in Vegas to get the feel of it all.

KERRY KAYES: Yes and weíve been -we actually come in the gymnasium this week on Sunday because I do the weight lifting with Ricky, which Iím sure youíll see on 24/7. So normally I do four days weight lifting with him. And because we travel in on Thursday, we came in the gym on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and tomorrow is last day of weights. So weíre going to stop weight lifting when we get to America, so that he can have more time and energy with Billy Graham.

Heís stronger than heís ever been, and I know everybody says that. But HBO filmed it this - on Sunday, they filmed his leg workout and he lifted over 30 tons in his entire leg workout. And his last set he was doing 1,100 pounds on the light press. Now, I know all of that sounds a lot and it probably sounds hard to believe, but HBO filmed it. And if the powers that be, deem and they show it on 24/7, I think a lot of you guys are going to shocked at Rickyís strength.

GEORGE ROSENWASER, VALLEY NEWS: My first question is for Billy.
My question is, the United States media is basically giving Ricky very little chance to win this fight. What are your thoughts on this? And what are Rickyís thoughts on place?

BILLY GRAHAM: Well, to be honest with you it just takes an awful lot of pressure off me. But Iíve not any of the things about it. Some people have told me some of the statements what theyíve said. But no, it takes the pressure off me, so let them. Victory will be sweeter when Ricky beats him. So I donít let him bother me so much. But, I think, some of the stuff what have been said, I mean if I had written them, all of a sudden Iíd be embarrassed at my lack of knowledge of boxing.

GEORGE ROSENWASER: And my second question is for Kerry. Iíd like to know what your background is in athletics, because I donít think many people in the United States know that.

KERRY KAYES: Well, Iím 58 years old, Iím nearly 58. And I first started training when I was 17. In 1976-77, I was on the British squad, and I actually was one of the first guys ever to fight full contact in England. I soon realized that the traditional cutting guys were getting beaten by boxers, so I started doing a little bit of boxing training.

Iím also an ex - well I won the British body building championships in 1994. So whether you like or dislike bodybuilding, we are experts at gaining and losing weight. Because if you take the aspects away from the sport, thereís no sport. And Bill Graham realized this maybe six or seven years ago and asked me to come on board. And one of Billyís statements has always been, ďA fight can be won or lost on the scales.Ē So itís my job to get Ricky strong and to do nutrition and, to do his weight management. Iíve actually gotten a power ownership in a nutrition company in Los Angeles. And Iím heavily involved in many sports.

GEORGE WILLIS, NEW YORK POST: The common percentage is that Ricky is a one dimensional fighter and I heard you mention it in the 24/7 show. Is that something that you want to - is that a perception you want to change before the fight? Or is it something youíd just like Mayweather to believe going into the fight?

BILLY GRAHAM: I think, if I had my way, Iíd rather change it after the fight. I mean, I - to be honest with you, I canít fool myself to luxury of thinking that Roger and Floyd are underestimating Ricky Hatton and don't know what theyíre looking at. Floydís an incredibly successful fighter and heís a very talented fighter. Floydís a top trainer and he obviously knows what heís looking at.

So, I think that - I donít think they are really underestimating him, but if they are, yes, Iíll be very - Iíll be a lot happier if they are underestimating him. To think that Floydís one dimensional, well I think itís Christmas.

GEORGE WILLIS: And what did you learn from your previous visit to Vegas that are helping you on this occasion?

BILLY GRAHAM: Well, to be honest with you, the first time I went I probably felt comfortable anyway. Iíve worked all over the world, and it doesnít really bother me where I am. But to be honest with you now - the last two fights have been in Vegas. I feel like Iíve just come back from Vegas and I feel extremely comfortable training there or being there. Iím familiar with the scenarios. Itís beginning to feel like a second home.

GEORGE WILLIS: Ricky had some concerns, I think, the first time you guys stayed at a house, and then the second time at a hotel, something like that, I donít know. But as far as that, what are you doing this time?

BILLY GRAHAM: No, it was the other way around. The first time we all stayed at a hotel. The second time they stayed at a house, we rented a big house and that worked fine. We didnít get no viruses or anything like that. So theyíre doing exactly the same, theyíre staying at the house. Me and Kerry weíre not staying at the house. Me personally, I like me own company, I like to be on my own before the fight. And then Kerry brings his wife over, so we stay at a hotel and leave Ricky to stay at the house, and it worked out perfect. So, thatís what weíre doing, the same. The same house, the same chef, same routine, because it worked perfect last time. Heís was in fantastic shape. Everything went smooth, 100 percent.

Same gym as well. You know, weíre going to everything the same so itís just like walking - going from Manchester, go to Vegas, and itís just like a second home. It is for me, now, these days.

GARETH DAVIES, DAILY TELEGRAPH NEWS: About a week ago, guys, we were - the British Press spent the day in up at Better Bodyís Gym, Kerryís gym in Manchester. When - just before Ricky did the interview with us all there, he was 143 pounds, on the scales, if you remember. Did you and do you in those last four days that youíre doing now, on the weights raised his weight to 247 pound with weight work? I just wanted to ask whether you go to Vegas bang on 147?

KERRY KAYES: Well what happened that day, the British - the boxing control had come down to do a test weigh in. And Ricky psychologically was probably not drinking as much water as he should have done. You also know Gareth that there must have been 70 press in the gym.

GARETH DAVIES : Yes.

KERRY KAYES: And it was very, very hot. So that first weigh in at 143 was a (INAUDIBLE). And when he finished his training session, he didnít have any electrolyte drinks, and he didnít have the pro recovery he normally has and he went straight on to the scales to really appease the British Board of Boxing Control. I might add that it was the fourth fast weigh in about a fortnight, and he was only seven pounds over and about a month ago.

The reality was, I donít believe that was true weigh. I believe he was a little bit dry. If you had weighed him about an hour or two later, it would have been more like 150.

GARETH DAVIES: Right.

KERRY KAYES: So next week is a very, very hard week with Billy and heíll be doing a bit of sparring, and heíll end up doing 15 rounds with Billy -on the Friday, eight days before the fight. And we want him at a weight that heís comfortable. So Iím reckoning heís going to be about 150, Gareth.

GARETH DAVIES: But do the weights that you do in these last four days put weight on him because of muscle or not?

KERRY KAYES: No, itís not possible because the - no, I think he meant the last four days of this week.

BILLY GRAHAM: I don't think so.

GARETH DAVIES: I do. Yes.

KERRY KAYES: Yes. Itís not possible to put on weight Gareth when youíre on such a restricted calorie diet. Thereís supposed to be a mountain of CV work, cardiovascular work that would override any weight increase. So, itís - the body - youíre sending two signals to the body, Gareth. One itís got to be fast and lean. And if he lifts weight, a body builder sends a signal that itís got to be big. We donít send that signal to Ricky because the cardiovascular work overrides that.

GARETH DAVIES: OK. Thank you for a very full explanation. Can I just ask - sorry itís taking so long. Can I just ask Billy one question, please? Billy, you said that itís less pressure that the American media are writing Ricky off. But is it giving you a lift - Iíve just come back from the states for the weekend, is it giving you a lift that everyone in America wants Mayweather beaten?

BILLY GRAHAM: I donít really care about that, to be honest with you. Itís not something where Iím going to consume myself with. So either way, I donít really care whether they want him win or whether they donít want him to win.

GARETH DAVIES: Fare enough, thank you.

CHUCK JOHNSON, USA TODAY: Billy, I know that youíve acknowledged that Floyd Mayweather is good boxer, if not a great boxer. I just want to know, I mean you guys mentioned the strength and the cardiovascular training that Rickyís doing. Tell me, I mean what do you see as the formula to Ricky Hatton beating Floyd Mayweather? Is it going to be strength that determines it? Endurance? What is it going to be?

BILLY GRAHAM: Itís going to be all of the things put together. Strengthen and endurance is always going to come into it. But itís the skill factor as well. The skill factor is massive, tactically itís massive. You know, all of the ingredients youíve mentioned itís all - itís not one without the other. You canít just be strong or you canít just be a clever boxer. Youíve got to the two. Youíve got to have all of the ingredients.

CHUCK JOHNSON: Do you think it makes a difference how the bout is officiated, how the referee handles the bout as far as determining whoís going to winning that fight?

BILLY GRAHAM: I donít - Iím not so sure itís going to determine whoís going to win the fight, but yes, a lot of people seem to be concerned about that. I mean Iím expecting to get a fair shake over there in America. Thatís all we want. You know, letís have a good referee whoís going to let the two best fighters on the planet, letís face it, theyíre the two greatest fighters on the planet. Let them both, you know, we donít want to Floyd doing what he wants to do. So, Iím hoping he donít stop Rick Hatton the way he wants to fight, you know. The styles are going to mesh. We donít want any squeamish referee. Let the fans what theyíve paid to see. This is going to be a spectacle. I mean let guys go on with it. Thatís what they fans want. Thatís what the fighters want. So I hope that that doesnít have any barrier on the fight.

CHUCK JOHNSON: Personality wise, does that come into play, at all, in this bout as far as the motivation for really wanting to look well in this fight, the two fighterís personalities?

BILLY GRAHAM: No. Both of the two fighters have got really different personalities, but I donít think thatís going to be the thing about the fight. These two guys are going to fight and going to try to beat each other. Thatís what itís going to come down to.

CHUCK JOHNSON: In a nutshell, give me your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather, the fighter, and Floyd Mayweather the person?

BILLY GRAHAM: I think Floyd Mayweather is an absolutely fantastic fighter. Defensively, heís breathtaking. His hands are unbelievably fast. Heís a great fighter. I mean Iíve known - Iíve got no argument to say that heís not - he shouldnít be regarded as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. Iíd make me look stupid. Iíd make myself look stupid. You know, heís extremely gifted. Heís a great fighter. You know, but thatís why we want to fight. My fighter will beat him. Ricky Hatton will beat him.

CHUCK JOHNSON: Now the person, Floyd Mayweather?

BILLY GRAHAM: The person well, you know, Floydís got himself a bad reputation of being a nasty person. And he is disrespectful to people all of the time, but thatís what Floydís like. I donít think Floyd is as nasty as he pretends. I found him - I think if me wand Floyd sat down after this fight is over and talk boxing and talk about different things, I think we probably maybe get on together. But I donít think at this moment in time weíre going to get along.

CHUCK JOHNSON: Are you surprised at all that this fight came together as quickly as it did? I mean, it seems like what it took was Ricky Hatton to pretty much call Floyd out on HBO after his last victory against Castillo?

BILLY GRAHAM: Well that might have been the thing that tipped it. No, I didnít think fight was going to be hard to make, because it was the obvious fight to make. Whatever you say about Floyd, I mean heís a warrior, you know, what I mean. That might have tipped the scale why he wanted to fight. But no, I knew this fight was going to happen. It was always going to happen. It was meant to happen. Itís what the fight - itís all of the boxing world, thatís what everybody wants to see. Two guys at the peak fighting each other.

CHUCK JOHNSON: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

RON LEWIS, THE TIMES of LONDON: Just one quick question, do you think, obviously, Ricky was in great shape last week. Is there any risk or what are you doing tonight, so he doesnít actually burn out in the gym before the fight?

KERRY KAYES: Well, what I find in my department is like on the weight lifting and the nutrition, today was the fourth time in this campaign that weíve had to up his nutrition. So weíre in a fabulous position where heís eating into the fight. So heís getting more and more nutrients in a low calorie environment, for all of the hard work that that heís going to do with Billy Graham next week.

Because what you guys have got to understand is, when Ricky trains harder every day, youíre basically sending a signal to his body that heís inadequate for the workload heís doing to it.

So the bodyís got to compensate. But before it can compensate, itís got to repair from the trauma of training. So now that weíve upped his nutrition, Iím very confident that heís getting lots of nutrients to repair that drama, so that heíll get into the recovery and the evolution of gaining fit stronger and faster, so Iím really pleased.

We mentioned earlier his weight. On there, he was lifting three weeks ago, he was lifting what he maxed out for the Castillo fight and he said Iíll be able to do extra. And I actually said no. The amount of poundage that youíre lifting with your legs, youíre going to start snapping bones. I also wonít distort that mentally he wanted to do a little bit more than the Castillo fight. So, on Sunday we did do but it was about holding them back for allowing him to get them little improvements that will mentally give him, you know, satisfaction that heís gone further in this campaign.

BILLY GRAHAM: In my point of view, Iím involved in training fighters. Itís well over 100. I really donít know how many times, thereís only Ricky Hatton, but itís been for many, many years, we prepared for so many 12 rounders thereís not a prayer that Iíll let him go over. Not a prayer. He knows what heís doing. He knows what heís doing as well. Everything is going perfect. Now way, will I ever bring a fighter and overtrained. Iím too long in the tube for that.

RON LEWIS: OK. One more question, Kerry, also I take it thereís a huge difference from welter weight this time, than there was for Calaxo?

KERRY KAYES: Well, obviously, but donít forget myself and Billy, you know, Billy Graham never wanted that fight. And donít forget we were training for one other faulty bound fight. We were taken to welter weight. We were only told that it was going up to welter weight when the opponent was changed, and I think, it was five-and-a-half weeks out.

Now, donít forget I stopped - I stop the weight training with Ricky two weeks out. So I only have just over three weeks to adjust his nutrition. So, you know, a lot of people say that it didnít look against Calaxo? The reality is Calaxo was a very big man coming down. Ricky was going up.

Now, me and Billy had just been on that tour with Floyd Mayweather and at every opportunity you could see me and Billy Graham weighing Floyd up. In fact, you know, we looked like a couple of guys. But we were looking a the structure of Floydís body. And Floydís not a big welter weight. Of course, weíve had 14 weeks campaign knowing that Ricky was going to be fighting at 147, so itís a completely different scenario.

RON LEWIS: Excellent. Thanks, lads. See you in a couple of weeks.

JAMIE JACKSON, THE OBSERVER NEWSPAPER: Just a quick one, which of Floydís previous opponents, or opponent if itís just one, who do you think has given him the most trouble in his career?

BILLY GRAHAM: I think most people would say Castillo. Iíve seen other people give him problems. Manuel Augustus gave him a few problems, but Floyd dealt with him fantastically. The Castillo fight, I actually think Floyd won both of them. A lot of people think that Castillo won. Yes, he gave him a fair workout. So maybe Castillo.

BILLY GRAHAM: Oscar de la Hoya. I think Oscar de la Hoya until he stepped off the gas was giving Floyd problems.

JAMIE JACKSON: So is it something from both those sides - both those fighters, that you can sort of use for Ricky going into it - going into this fight?

BILLY GRAHAM: Of course. I get things from all of the tapes. I get different things from all of the tapes that I watch but, you know, Iíve been watching Floyd for years. Obviously, Iíve been watching more - Iíve never watched him as an opponent, though. But this time we watched him as an opponent for a long time. And I take different things out to different fights, obviously, you know.

JAMIE JACKSON: Yes. I think, you know, in your opinion, is Floyd still at his peak, leveled out a bit, declined? How do you see him?

BILLY GRAHAM: I see him completely on to of his game. Jesus, he just beat Oscar de la Hoya, I mean where do you think heís at his game? Heís completely at the top of his game now. Heís at his absolutely peak. So is Ricky Hatton. Thatís what makes this fight so intriguing.

JAMIE JACKSON: OK. Just my last question, how do you feel, and his trainer, obviously knowing him quite well, I mean you sort of talked on this before, but some of the stuff that Floyd comes out with, I believe, I just read this in the paper, I donít know if maybe you could tell me but I think the word he used was bitch with regard to Ricky. Now, you know, is that fight talk or is that sort of in your opinion?

BILLY GRAHAM: Letís face it, letís face it, if somebody called you a bitch itís going to be effect you mentally. Youíve got to be very weak. He call him gator face if wants for me. I donít care what he calls him, you know. It makes no difference because it makes no different to Ricky. It certainly makes no different to me. I find it quite amusing. I just think heís wasting his breath, but if wants to do it, fine.

KERRY KAYES: The thing is he started calling him Vicky Half Fatton and Iím kind of thinking he was thinking he was going to get to Ricky. But nobody calls himself more fatter than Ricky himself, you know, what I mean.

BILLY GRAHAM : No, itís just ludicrous to think that. Look, if I had a fighter and that was effecting him, if Floyd was effecting, Iíd just say to my guy, you better get another job. If you canít deal with this, you better get another job.

JAMIE JACKSON: Do you almost think right there, thereís a sign that, you know, heís a little bit concerned about Ricky?

BILLY GRAHAM: I think if heís not concerned about Ricky heís a fool. And I don't think heís a fool.

RAYMOND RONDO, 411MEDIA.COM: Just a quick one. You know, since Hatton has been, I guess you could say, invading the U.S., you guys have had a couple of fights out here now, how does that compare to fighting out in the U.K.?

BILLY GRAHAM: In what way? To me it makes really absolutely no difference. I mean weíve been wanting to fight in the states for a good few many years, when, you know, we was packing out there, and people would that we were scared to come out of Manchester. We didnít want to fight this person, didnít want to fight that person. That was nonsense. It was incredibly frustrating for me and Ricky.

We was getting a bit uptight about that, because nothing could be further from the truth. We had talked about the States for years. No, sir, we love fighting in the States. I mean, obviously, we miss the British fans because they love us, anywhere in Britain, you know, they love Ricky Hatton. But it makes no difference to me whatsoever. I enjoy fighting in the States.

RAYMOND RONDO: So is that a big relief now that you guys have the opportunity to be fighting out there. I mean, do you guys wish it would have happened a lot sooner?

BILLY GRAHAM: Me personally. Me personally, I wish it would have happened sooner. I think it would - I think Ricky would have become a world star sooner if we had gone to America sooner. But after this fight, this fight is coming at the absolute perfect time.

RAYMOND RONDO: Great. Thanks.

EDDIE GOLDMAN, SECOND OUT RADIO: First question that I have, regards around a statement that Ricky made a couple of weeks ago on his media conference call, where he described himself as Mr. Pressure, and said, ďHeís going to apply as much pressure as possible.Ē And in response, Floyd said, ďHe welcomes that because he likes fighting going backwards.Ē

Could you comment on that whole idea of pressuring and maybe using some of the tactics that Castillo seemed to be relatively successful with in his first fight with Floyd?

BILLY GRAHAM: Absolutely. But I mean, you know, I know where Floydís coming from. I know where both sides are coming from. Ricky relishes fighting. Although Ricky can stand the fighting in real close quarters, he relishes fighting moves, and I like his fight moves because heís been training ever since he was a little boy to hone people down because thatís - most fighters run away from him.

And also, looking at Floyd, I can see where heís coming from, because I used to like fight pressure fighters myself, thatís why Iím so good at it. I know that Floyd will - must prefer to come to him, than to run away from him. Thatís why I say these fighting styles are going to mesh. Theyíre going to gel. Theyíre going to bring out the best out of each other, because Floyd likes to fight pressure fighters. But he donít like to fight anymore. Ricky brings different. Even - heís more intense than the other, sure, but heís also a lot smarter, much smarter.

I donít think heís - I donít think Floydís ever faced a more skillful pressure in his life, well I know that because heís not a more skillful pressure fighter on the planet.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: The perception, particularly among the American media that puts Floyd has a really heavy favorite in this fight, comes a lot from the fight with Calaxo which took place at 147, after Ricky had been fighter of the year in 2005. Yet that was a very difficult fight. Is the training that heís doing now, and all of that, meant to bulk him up? Because a lot of people consider him better at 140 but not really at a true welter weight.

BILLY GRAHAM: I think that - look, Ricky is a true junior welter weight. I said that all along. So that answers that question. But if anybody is judging Ricky Hatton by the Calaxo fight, wow that is fantastic. Because Iíve got inside information and I know exactly what happened in that fight. I know the exact reasons for that fight. He put on far too much weight from the scales and to the actual contest, which made him sluggish. He was carrying too much surplus weight in. I know all of the reasons for it. Plus, he was fighting a big southpaw. But the reason is mostly because he bulked up wrong. But, example, thatís the last fight heís ever had that silly fried breakfast and junk food on the day of the fight.

Now I really do hope that maybe the camp and all of you American press guys, I hope thatís what youíre going on. Wow, thatís wicked.

KERRY KAYES: Once Ricky makes the weight, weíve got to carry him up, we want to carry him up in clean nutrition, low calories and nutrients that are going to give him sustained energy for the next - for the work load that heís going to put on.

But Rickyís always had - and itís well publicized, Rickyís always had, what we in England call a fried breakfast. And weíve always been against it but heís always had it. Now, because he weight in at 147, instead of 140, and then he eats fried breakfast and then we have to give him clean carbs to give him energy for the fight he weighed too heavy in the fight. Heís also admitted that he had food during the day that was fatty foods.

So Ricky learned a massive lesson there. And so with the empty calories that he ate, it was giving him weight on this body but with nutritional value which did him no good in the fight.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: OK. I guess, heís cutting out the Guinness also.

KERRY KAYES: Not after the fight. Not after the fight. The other thing, as well, donít forget, and we keep saying this, we were only given five-and-a-half weeks notice for that 147 fight.

KELLY SWANSON: OK. Great. Everybody, please standby. At this time, we are going to be joined by Roger Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe and please Iíd like the other trainers stay on the line for just a quick minute. Weíre going to transition through because I havenít had a chance to see if you guys have been any more questions. But they have in the hold queue for a couple of minutes now. So Iím going to go ahead and introduce Roger Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe, Floyd Mayweatherís trainers at this time.

KELLY SWANSON: Another big hit for you in 24/7. I tell you, the trainers, I think, are making the show what it is. I don't know between you and Billy Graham Iíve heard a lot of great things.

ROGER MAYWEATHER: But I do know this. What (expletive) eating cereal got to do with (expletive) fighting? That donít got (expletive) to do with boxing. Heís eating better. Heís eating - that ainít got (expletive) to do with fighting. You can eat - you can drink beer all day and kill somebodyís ass, kill win fight. It has nothing to do with (INAUDIBLE). So I don't care about his weight or he got to make this weight, he got to make that weight, what that got to do with fighting?

Floyd ainít coming from 130 pounds. He beat de la Hoyaís ass at 154 pounds. So, obviously, it doesnít - what heís saying doesnít make sense. Skill wins fight. Thatís the only thing that do win fight, skill.

LEONARD ELLERBE: I think Roger said it - Roger covered it all. You know, when it comes down to it skill, itís always skill thatís going to win the fight. Floydís the better fighter. Floydís the better conditioned fighter. And Floydís the smarter fighter. So all of that, what heís talking about, him putting on all this additional weight, Ricky Hatton being strong, is a bunch of bullshit because at the end of the day, skill is what pay the bills.

FRANCES WALKER, BLACKATHLETE.COM: Thank you. Hello, everybody. Thanks for having me on the call. I have a question - I have two questions, actually for Mr. Graham, has Ricky Hatton ever fought anyone with the style and skill level similar to Mayweather during Hattonís days as an amateur?

BILLY GRAHAM: Yes, I mean Rickyís fought all kinds of styles of fighter, because he was a real tough amateur boxer. He was robbed in the world juniors. He won the Olympic games. .

But, you know, youíre talking about has he fought anybody quite like Floyd? No, heís not fought quite like Floyd, because there is nobody like Floyd. I mean Floyd is the best at what he does. But heís definitely fought similar. People with fast hands. Boxers/movers. You know, heís fought people with a lot of variety, but no, thereís nobody quite like Floyd. Heís fought plenty of that style.

FRANCES WALKER: OK. And, the second question, and this will be my last question for you, Mr. Graham, what makes team Hatton so certain that Ricky Hatton can break Floyd Mayweatherís defense, and make him fight a more offensive fight under pressure?

BILLY GRAHAM: Iím not saying he can make him fight a more defensive fight. Well yes he actually will make because he really fights. At some point in the fight, he will have to sit down and meet Ricky thatís for sure. He wonít be able to get on his toes and move the 12 rounds against Ricky Hatton.

What makes you think heís so comfortable he can beat Floyd is because I know Ricky Hatton better than anyone on the planet. I know what heís got. Heís not just a pressure fighter. Heís an awful lot more, heís blessed with all of these attributes that Floydís blessed with like fantastic peripheral vision, great variety, fantastic balance and reflexes. Coupled with his amazing strength and ferocity I think thatís going to be able to beat Floyd.

GARETH DAVIES: Just having heard what Leonard and Roger said, just then, you know, do you think theyíre bluffing when they say theyíre not all interested in the technical aspect of weight and all of those things, do you think theyíre just bluffing?

BILLY GRAHAM: No, I donít think theyíre bluffing, when theyíre talking about the weight training and that kind of stuff. No, I think that thatís what they actually believe, to be honest with you, because an awful lot of trainers do believe that. But no, I canít really - I canít really say. Iím not so sure - I donít think they think Ricky Hatton is as basic as what theyíre saying. I think theyíre clever enough to see that Ricky Hatton is a lot more complicated than the typical pressure fighter.

GARETH DAVIES: Thank you very much.

GEORGE ROSENWASER: Hello, my question is actually for Roger First, Iím wondering if you saw 24/7 on Sunday?

ROGER MAYWEATHER: Yes.

GEORGE ROSENWASER: What do you think about the body bag, that large punching bag that Billy Graham uses with Ricky Hatton, do you think that will happen in the fight?

ROGER MAYWEATHER: I donít care anything about that (expletive), because, you know, what punching bags donít hit back. It donít win (expletive) fights. All of the rest of that (expletive) donít mean nothing. There ainít never been a fight over there, that the greatest fighters in the world are from where Iím from, period. He ainít nothing but another fighter. And like Ricky Hatton is very tough. Heís very tough. Heís going to come. Heís going to come. And weíre going to ask him for his ass, too. Give me that. Youíve got to worry about that. When he answer that door, somebodyís going to answer that door with a baseball bat, beat him across his (expletive) head.

GEORGE ROSENWASER: Thank you, Roger.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: Thanks. A question for Roger, also, Billy didnít really see particularly concerned about Floydís style and thinks that using the pressure techniques that Castillo particularly used in the first fight, that might be effective against Floyd, while at the same time saying Floyd is the best fighter in the world. Can you comment on that?

ROGER MAYWEATHER: Well I ainít got to say that, because when Floyd fought Castillo the first time, you see what happened the second time, right.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: Right.

ROGER MAYWEATHER: OK, then. What happened the second time.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: Right. Well I agree that Floyd won both fights. The second fight was very clear.

ROGER MAYWEATHER: Well go ahead, and he can put all of the pressure he wants. He can put all of the pressure he wants. Thatís why Iím saying he can do anything. You know, it ainít about - it ainít about can he outbox Floyd? Do he have more skill than Floyd? Thatís the only thing he can do is pressure Floyd. But other than that, he canít do shit else. Other than he ainít nothing but a high profile club fighter. And the only reason why he get this big reputation now is because youíve got to remember this, I (INAUDIBLE) he beat (INAUDIBLE). And that fight was dead even. So I mean, and he got away with all of the (expletive) over there when he was from. He wonít get away with all of that shit over here.

But besides that, as far as boxing, as far as pure skill about boxing, the part about the best fighter in the world, well the bottom line is this, Floyd never had plastic surgery, I donít believe. I bet that (expletive) has. What can I tell you? Talking about what are you going to do? Heís going to bring his (expletive) face. Heís going to break his face. Weíre going to bust that ass up too. It doesnít make no difference. What else are you going to do?

Thatís the only chance that he got. He got put that ass on the line.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: Now, having said all of that, Iím assuming, also, on the other side of it, youíre not underestimating, because you could say itís a club fighter and then itís easy to overlook somebody like that. And we know - I mean youíve been in boxing for your whole life, you know what happens when you do that. How do you avoid not underestimating him.

ROGER MAYWEATHER: The bottom line is this. Floyd didnít get to where heís at. Floydís got history to win six world championships any weight and be undefeated. Floydís got the history to do it. Other guys have done it, but they all ready lost first. De La Hoya has done, he lost. Ali done it, he lost. But Floydís the only guy in history to ever do it and never loss.

And I don't think - the reason he donít lose, because he doesnít take his opponent lightly because he knows what Ricky Hatton brings to the table. He knows what Ricky Hatton brings to the table. And, I mean when you bring it, I mean weíve got to be ready for it. I mea heís a durable - heís a tough, durable fighter, but I want to tell him and his trainer, Iím sure theyíre on the line listening to this, (expletive) weight donít win a (expletive) fight, skill do. He can be 300 (expletive) pounds, what the (expletive) does that mean.

We ainít in no weight lifting contest. Weíre in a boxing match. So as long as weíre in a boxing match, the best fighter is going to win. Iím sure he knows what the fuck that is.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: OK. Thanks. Good luck to everybody December 8.

RAYMOND RONDO: So, weíve seen in some of Floydís previous fights that, you know, he allows himself to get trapped along the ropes whether itís by choice or not, and get banged to the body. Now, obviously, we havenít really seen anybody thatís been able to hurt him, or really be effective while doing it. Obviously, Hatton, thatís kind of his bread and butter going to the body, are you guys at all concerned about that? I mean is Floyd looking to just make sure to not get trapped along the ropes as he usually does?

ROGER MAYWEATHER: Floydís going to do what he do. Floydís going to do what he do anyway. It has nothing to do about all of the body punching (expletive). If you know anything about boxing, I mean, the greatest fighters in the world - the greatest heavyweight in the world is Ali, right. Keep him on the ropes, and hitting with body shots and all of that. At the end what did Joe Frasier get?

RAYMOND RONDO: Not a whole lot, at least not to the body.

ROGER MAYWEATHER : Joe Frasier hit the body - hit Ali to the body nine definitive times. So, Ali donít even throw body shots.

Now, Floyd is more skilled than Ali, so whatís that case?

RAYMOND RONDO: Thatís true. Although, when he did fight Castillo the first time, although Mayweather did win, he was pretty effective going to the body.

ROGER MAYWEATHER: Let me tell you something, you know, when he fought Castillo the first time, the fight should have never happened because certain things in fights should never happen but thatís besides the point. The bottom line is this, when he asked Floyd this, they say, ďYou want to fight Castillo again?Ē What did he say, ďYes, Iíll fight him again.Ē And what did he do the second time he fought him? Thatís what the best fighter in the world do. He donít say I ainít going to fight him. He says, ďIím going to fight him again.Ē And Iím going to show you why Iím going to whip his ass like I did the first time.Ē Thatís because of certain things that happened in the fight prior to leading up to the fight that hindered him from - actually hindering him from using his right hand, and thatís why.

GEORGE WILLIS: Hey, when you were at the press conference in New York Floyd was - actually seemed a little drained. He was talking about needing a vacation, and his schedule and this that and the other. And I was just wondering how is his mental state? Do you think heís maybe spreading himself too thin? Heís been doing a lot of things, Dancing with the Stars, now heís training for a big fight. I mean how has he been able to cope with is schedule over these last four or five months?

LEONARD ELLERBE: Well everything is working right according to schedule. Obviously, after the de la Hoya fight, we went on a world wide tour to several major cities, Floyd speaking with kids, you know, giving back to the community. You know, the de la Hoya fight allowed us to use that fight as a platform to cross over into the mainstream world, to go off and do a number of different things that no other fighter has been able to do because boxing isnít a mainstream sport. But, the attention and the focus that the de la Hoya-Mayweather brought to the casual fan, it was unbelievable.

So from that standpoint, there were a number of commitments that we made after the fight and it was quite a bit that we were doing. Then, I got him on the dancing with the stars show and the whole objective with that was to bring more eyes to the spot. And, I think we were very successful in doing that. And we have every indication that this fight is going to be very, very successful. Itís a mega event. And with all of that being said, that I think that the timing of Floyd getting off the show, it was right on schedule because it allows us right at seven-and-a-half weeks to prepare and thatís normally where weíre right on track with our preparation for any fight.

So heís well rested. Heís put in all of the work that he needs to put in. We had a great training camp thus far. We have tremendous sparring. We are working with two former world champions in Lovemore Nídou and Carlos Baldomir. So the preparation of this fight has been unbelievable. And weíre just looking forward to go on December the eighth.

GEORGE WILLIS: So youíre training with Baldomir?

LEONARD ELLERBE: Yes, Baldomir is one of the guys that weíre working with. And like I said, any time that - as a - because where Floyd allows himself to do - Floyd challenges himself. And thatís the key to this whole thing. You know, he donít want to just work with any sparring partners out there.

We - what me and Roger discussed is bringing in the best possible work to be able to push forward and to challenge him to be at his best. And obviously, with Ludmore and with Carlos being two former world champions, and both bring different things to the table. With Lovemore being more of a pressure fighter, and with Carlos being more of a durable guy. And both of them have four top level competition. You know, and these are the kinds of things that the great athletes and the great fighters need to challenge themselves, bringing in the best thatís out there, so that they will be able to perform at their peak best, come, you know, that night.

Article posted on 26.11.2007



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