SHOWTIME Conference Call Quotes: Malignaggi and Ngoudjo
In an excellent matchup, Paulie "Magic Man'' Malignaggi (23-1, 5 KO's) defend his IBF junior welterweight title against mandatory challenger and IBF No. 1 challenger Herman "The Black Panther'' Ngoudjo (16-1, 9 KO's) on the 2008 premiere of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, Jan. 5. The telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast)..
Article posted on 18.12.2007
The 12-round world title fight, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Groupe Yvon Michel, will originate from Bally's Main Ballroom at Atlantic City, N.J.
Tickets priced at $250 and $125 are on sale and can be purchased at the Bally's Box Office, by calling DiBella Entertainment at (212) 947-2577, Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
DiBELLA: I think this is going to be a great way to start the boxing year in 2008. This is a terrific main event, and I'll talk more about that in a second. I do want to talk about the undercard because I think for a fight that's going to be in a ballroom at Bally's, this is an unusually strong undercard. I want to take a second to mention some of the fighters that are going to be on the undercard.
One of Paulie's good friends, Nicky DeMarco, a junior lightweight will be fighting a four rounder and we have a 10 1 heavyweight, Kevin Burnett, on the undercard.
Now we get into world class fighters immediately. Lovemore N'dou will make his comeback fight on this card, and it looks like he'll fight a guy named Rafael Ortiz. Lovemore was beaten soundly by Paulie, but he's a former world champion, and he'll be on the comeback trail.
One of the most exciting young fighters in the world, a multi time world champion in the amateurs, and an Olympic gold medalist, Yuriorkis Gamboa, who fights out of Hamburg, Germany, by way of Cuba is on the card. He's 7 0 with six knockouts. In an indication of how good this kid is and how much he has progressed, he'll be fighting former world champion Freddie Norwood in just his eighth pro fight. I think this is going to be a great opportunity for people to see Gamboa, and I think Gamboa's a future star.
One of my fighters and one of the best young American heavyweights from Philadelphia, Penn., Chazz Witherspoon, who is 20 0 with 14 KO's, will be fighting Kendrick Releford on the card. Kendrick is a perennial testing ground for a heavyweight that's trying to make it to the top. This fight is a terrific match up and a great opportunity to see Chazz.
Glen Johnson, who at 40 11 2 is a former multi time world champion out of Miami, Fla., is on the card. He has beaten both Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jr., and is one of the very best light heavyweights in the world. If he gets past this fight, you can count him fighting either a Chad Dawson or Antonio Tarver or a fight of major importance in his next fight. That next fight is very likely to be on SHOWTIME.
Glen will be fighting Mike Culbert (30-4), of Boston, Mass. This is sort of a last test for Glen before he gets a big fight, and SHOWTIME will be creating a highlight package of that bout. The package of Glen will be aired on SHOWTIME, and Glen will join the SHOWTIME announcing crew and be interviewed during the telecast.
I'm very proud of the main event here. One of the stars of my stable of fighters, and I think one of the very best young champions in the world, Paulie Malignaggi, is going to get a chance to show his skills, his ability and why he's a future star.
I really want to thank Ken Hirschman and SHOWTIME for giving Paulie this opportunity. It's not an opportunity we're going to forget at DiBella Entertainment or Team Malignaggi.
He's fighting a number one contender who belongs with that moniker and deserves this title shot fight. I thought that Herman Ngoudjo beat Jose Luis Castillo. I think he proved he didn't have much left in the tank, and I thought he should have gotten a win in that fight.
Castillo went on to make Ricky Hatton look like a million bucks, but I think Herman softened him up for Hatton. He's got a great team around him. Yvon Michel has long been the premier promoter in Canada, and Dino is one of the very best managers and a real stronghold in Canadian boxing. Howard Grant is also terrific trainer.
Herman is, in my view, a legitimate number one contender and a dangerous fighter for anybody. But I think he's got his hands full on January 5, with a guy that may well be the best 140 pounder in the world. I'm going to start by asking Herman if he wants to say a couple of words. Herman?
NGOUDJO: I'd like Paulie to speak first.
DiBELLA: You'd like Paulie to speak first?
MALIGNAGGI: I want to thank everybody for setting me up with Ngoudjo. Having waited six months for a title defense is a little frustrating. I'm glad everything worked out, and I'm opening up the year with a bang. Herman came out with some tough words. He's got a big mouth himself.
Just want Herman to know you're not fighting Herman Augustus or Randall Bailey, you're fighting the best junior welterweight in the world. You're fighting the best fighter you ever fought in your life.
Believe me, when it's over, you're going to say this is the best fighter I've ever stepped in the ring with. Believe me when I tell you that. You opened your mouth, now be ready to try to back it up. I'm going to use your head as a pinball.
NGOUDJO: Everything you say pissed me off.
MALIGNAGGI: Don't worry about it. Don't worry about it. You already pissed me off. Get mad. Get mad. Okay.
NGOUDJO: I already said that.
MALIGNAGGI: You're a punk.
NGOUDJO: Is everything you're saying for the internet?
MALIGNAGGI: Shut up, you're talking crap man, shut up.
NGOUDJO: You can't say that stuff. I'm going to punish you for that.
MALIGNAGGI: Yeah, yeah, when your head is bouncing off my fists, remember I said like a pinball, like a pinball I'm going to use you.
NGOUDJO: You can't take it. That's the problem. You cannot take it, you're going to see.
NGOUDJO: That is the problem. You're going to take it, you're going to see.
MALIGNAGGI: Don't worry. I'm in, I'm ready for you, buddy. I hope you come as ready as you're talking. Believe me, everybody knows I'm coming ready. Malignaggi doesn't mess around.
NGOUDJO: Don't worry about that.
MALIGNAGGI: The best in the world. I'm the best in the world. Remember that. When you get in the ring and they're announcing my name, remember you tell yourself, I'm fighting the best fighter in the world.
NGOUDJO: With your mouth. That's your mouth, you know. With your mouth.
MALIGNAGGI: Remember that. I back mine up. Remember that.
NGOUDJO: You remember that. You're going to fight the biggest puncher and the best boxer in the world.
MALIGNAGGI: All right. I'll keep that in mind, too. When the bell rings, we'll see. I'm going to talk to you when I'm kicking your butt. When I use your head as a pinball, I'm going to tell you what I'm doing to you. I'm going to remind you of this conversation when I'm kicking your butt.
When you get to round five or six, and you're frustrated and you can't touch me and I'm beating the crap out of you, just remember what I'm telling you right now.
NGOUDJO: You think so?
MALIGNAGGI: Remember this conversation when I'm beating the crap out of you.
NGOUDJO: You're going to be my girlfriend in the ring.
MALIGNAGGI: I know you're like that. I don't go that route. I don't go that way, buddy.
QUESTION: Paulie, you said you were cool, but that Ngoudjo has made this fight personal. How has he made it personal?
MALIGNAGGI: He's talking crap. Look at my quotes on the internet. I always said I'm not overlooking Herman Ngoudjo. He comes on the phone talking crap. Before the conference even started, he came on the phone talking shit.
You just changed the whole outlook for me. All I need is extra motivation. I come motivated as it is, you don't need to add fuel to the fire. He just added the fuel to the fire.
If you look at my quotes prior to today. I said I respect Ngoudjo, he's a good fighter. But I'm going to be ready for him. You can read the quotes anywhere on the internet. He comes in talking crap, and now he's going to pay for his words. I'm going to beat the crap out of this kid man.
I'm going to kick your but.
NGOUDJO: I'm going to kick your but, man.
QUESTION: One question for Ngoudjo. Most people know you won that fight with Castillo. You trained through the holidays for that fight, which was in January 2007. So this is no big deal for you to be training through the holidays for a world title fight, correct?
NGOUDJO: It is a tradition for me to train during the holidays. So I have no problem to train on the holidays.
QUESTION: This is going to be a world title fight. Most people felt you did really beat Castillo last year, and you had that win over another former world champion, Randall Bailey. But you've only had about 17 pro fights. Can you tell us why you think you're ready for Paulie Malignaggi who is at the peak of his game today?
NGOUDJO: I don't want to come back to my last fight with Castillo and Bailey. Now I'm focused to fight this guy, and I'm going to fight him. I'm not just going to fight him, I'm going to put him down. I know I'm ready to fight this guy. He thinks he's the best fighter of the world, so I'm going to show him who is: Herman Ngoudjo.
I'm ready. I'm 17 1, and that is nothing for me. I'm going to prove to him that I am the best in the world.
QUESTION: Paulie, I know there is obviously some bad blood between you and Herman. But could you give us an idea what you saw in those fights that Herman had with Castillo and Bailey?
MALIGNAGGI: I don't have to see anything. Herman has to look at what he sees in me. I don't have to see anything. I can beat anybody in the world. I don't have to see a thing.
NGOUDJO: Don't worry. In January in the ring, you'll see.
MALIGNAGGI: Think real hard, think real hard.
NGOUDJO: You're talking crap.
MALIGNAGGI: Go home for the holidays, train hard, do your thing. Don't worry about it.
NGOUDJO: You think so?
MALIGNAGGI: You just keep training hard, don't worry about it.
NGOUDJO: Don't worry.
MALIGNAGGI: You keep saying you're going to kick my but. I hope you're ready to back your mouth up. I don't play that punk crap, man.
MALIGNAGGI: I back my mouth up. I don't play that punk crap.
NGOUDJO: Okay, no problem. When I kick your butt, you're going to see.
MALIGNAGGI: Okay. Guys, I feel like I'm listening to a broken record here. I feel like I'm listening to a broken record.
QUESTION: I'm wondering if you thought it was going to be an easier ride getting fights once you won the title? And just how frustrating has this process been of trying to get a fight?
MALIGNAGGI: It was definitely a little frustrating. I was surprised how difficult it was to solidify my first defense. But that's all behind me. I only look at the positives. I don't dwell on anything negative. The positive is I have to fight on the fifth, and I only look to the future. Right now my only focus is Herman Ngoudjo on January 5.
NGOUDJO: You're going to change your tune in the ring
MALIGNAGGI: You keep thinking that. I'm the best you ever fought, you stupid boxer. You understand that? You're not even close to the best I've ever fought. I'm the best you've ever fought. That is not an opinion, that's a fact. It's a fact.
NGOUDJO: That's an opinion.
MALIGNAGGI: It's not an opinion, it's a fact. I've been in the ring with sparring partners better than you. But I'm the best you've ever been in the ring with. That's the difference between us. Get that in your head.
NGOUDJO: Roy Jones was the best. Don't forget that.
MALIGNAGGI: I'm the best you've ever been in the ring with.
NGOUDJO: Roy Jones was the best.
MALIGNAGGI: You've never been in the ring with Roy Jones. We're talking about the best you've been in the ring with.
QUESTION: The holiday spirit is overwhelming.
MALIGNAGGI: What's he talking about Roy Jones? I know Roy Jones is the best. But you've never fought Roy Jones
NGOUDJO: I'm going to kick your but.
MALIGNAGGI: Okay, again. This guy doesn't say anything else.
NGOUDJO: Because I know I'm going to kick your but. You want me to say anything else?
MALIGNAGGI: Get creative, man. The media is listening
NGOUDJO: Don't worry about that. You're going to be my wife.
MALIGNAGGI: Come on, guys.
QUESTION: I've been to some of your fights and seen you before, I know you like to be brash and speak out. This one seems to have you a little more irritated than normal, what's the story?
MALIGNAGGI: Because he caught me a little off guard talking crap. I haven't disrespected him until today. Now I have no problem. I looked at him as a workman like type of fighter. But now he's a workman type of fighter with a big mouth. So I'm going to enjoy beating the crap out of this guy.
It goes back to what I said before. I'm the best he fought. Castillo and Bailey don't count. You know my track record, this guy's nothing close to the best I fought.
QUESTION: For somebody that's talking the way you're talking, we all know what a terrific boxer you are. You don't have a lot of pop though. Is this a guy that maybe you can summon the strength and knock out?
MALIGNAGGI: Whatever happens, happens. I don't dwell on the negatives. I just get in there and do my job, you know what I mean? All that is on paper. Not a lot of pop is on paper. When I hit you and I hit harder than you thought I did, you can't call timeout when I throw it. It's me and you in there at that point.
QUESTION: Obviously, this is a mandatory fight, so you don't have a choice but to take it. So I know you have to focus on that. But do you think about the other big possible fights? Do you think of other fighters that you like? Ricky Hatton seems to be a fight that people talk about a little bit.
MALIGNAGGI: Yeah, I noticed a lot of people talk about me fighting Ricky Hatton. Right now I'm focused on January 5, and shutting this chump's mouth up. So I'll discuss Ricky Hatton on January 6.
QUESTION: Herman, are you there?
NGOUDJO: I'm here.
MALIGNAGGI: And he's going to kick my but.
QUESTION: So I've heard.
NGOUDJO: Ready to dance with me?
QUESTION: When you fought Jose Castillo in January, when the bell rang at the end of the fight, how confident were you that you had won the fight? And how surprised were you to hear you had lost?
NGOUDJO: Sure, I was 100% the winner of that fight. I was down, I was very disappointed. But after a couple of minutes, couple of hours I felt better.
QUESTION: You felt better very quickly, you said?
NGOUDJO: Yes, I felt better very quickly.
QUESTION: How come you felt better so quickly when many people felt you should have gotten that decision?
NGOUDJO: Because everybody told me I won the fight, so I was okay. I don't complain about everything.
QUESTION: This fight has become very personal, but how do you not allow the personal matter to interfere with your style of fighting? Are you going to stick to what you do best?
MALIGNAGGI: I'm Paulie Malignaggi for a reason. I'm a professional. I do my business in a professional manner. This fight is going to be no different. He made it personal, but it's not going to be the first guy that made this business personal for me. I always handle my business in a professional manner no matter who is in there. He's not the right guy to do it, he's not the first guy to do it, and I'm going to handle my business the same way I always handle it.
QUESTION: Is priority number one to get the win?
MALIGNAGGI: Priority number one is to beat his butt. That's priority number one. Whichever way it comes it comes.
QUESTION: Herman, how are you going to eliminate Paulie's defensive elusiveness?
NGOUDJO: I'm going to make him dance, and I'm going to put him down, that's it. I'll make him dance for me, and then after, he'll go down.
QUESTION: Now that Christmas is around the corner, how are you going to deal with all the holidays and New Year's Eve in the middle of training?
MALIGNAGGI: Doesn't matter. I'm in training camp and I'm a professional. I handle all my business in a professional way.
For me, when I'm training, all days are the same. Weekends, weekdays, doesn't matter. I lose track of the days because I'm not paying attention to the days of the week whether it's a holiday or not. I'm a professional and I handle my business in camp.
QUESTION: Have you seen the video of Paulie fighting and you could use the same strategy that Cotto used for that fight?
NGOUDJO: I don't want to see it. I know it was crap though. I don't want to see it.
QUESTION: I watched your fight when you won your championship against N'dou over the summertime. You won that fight so easily. You dropped him and won probably all 12 rounds. Were you just on your absolute best game that night? Or what was it as easy as it looked? It was such a dominance performance.
MALIGNAGGI: Listen, he made me work. I came in strong. I had a great training camp, and I was healthy. I haven't been healthy for a lot of fights in my career, but I was healthy the last couple of years now. I think I was able to put it all together that night based on a great training camp and great training from my trainers. At the same time I was determined to win the championship.
QUESTION: It looked like late in that fight you were just having fun. He couldn't touch you.
MALIGNAGGI: That is the main thing, you can't go in there all serious all the time. Boxing is serious as it is. You got to enjoy yourself. I'm the kind of guy that I want to enjoy myself. Even when I'm fighting I want to enjoy myself. Some people say it's disrespect or I'm a clown in there. But I want to have fun in my life. I like boxing, and I want to have fun doing it.
QUESTION: I know you won the title, but was that your biggest win in terms of the way you felt?
MALIGNAGGI: It was the most important one of my career, but it wasn't the toughest fight. I was determined, but Lovemore gave me a good fight, nonetheless. It was the most important fight of my career at the time I fought it.
QUESTION: I think the understanding was there was going to be a rematch. Obviously the rematch has not happened. You won the fight so easily, Lovemore is now on the undercard. Do you have to fight him again? What is the story there?
DiBELLA: The story is we have agreed we'll fight him. But there are exceptions. I don't want to get into it on the call. If Paulie has an opportunity to fight a fight with Ricky Hatton, Lovemore would not stand in the way. But if our dance card is not full and we need a keep busy fight, then Lovemore will be that fight.
QUESTION: Lou, how many times do you think you can get Paulie in the ring assuming everything can go well in this fight?
DiBELLA: He can't sit just the way he just sat. And he's not the kind of fighter that wants to fight just twice a year. I'm counting that Paulie would fight at least three times this year, possibly four.
QUESTION: I assume you like the idea of a busy schedule?
MALIGNAGGI: The busier, the better for me. You're only young once. I feel like I have to take advantage of these years. That's what I have to do right now.
QUESTION: Do you feel like you need to win this fight by knockout or do you have faith that if it goes to a decision, that you can win one?
NGOUDJO: I'll knock him out. But even if it goes to a decision, I'll win in a decision, no problem.
MALIGNAGGI: I'm going to kick your ass.
QUESTION: What do you want to see from Paulie in this fight? Is there anything particular you guys have been working on in this camp?
BUDDY McGIRT: We've been working on certain things we have to do to beat Ngoudjo. He has a very good trainer in Mr. Grant. We know that he's going to be prepared. You try to put yourself in Mr. Grant's shoes, if I was training him, what would I have him do against Paulie. So mainly we're working on the victory, doing what we need to do to win.
QUESTION: When Paulie first came and started working with you, what did you see him?
McGIRT: He has a never say die attitude. He's sort of a perfectionist. When he get it's wrong, he gets mad and he's determined to stay in the gym until he feels he's got it right. I was sick last week and he stayed in the gym for 45 minutes after he was done working on a move we had been working on just to make sure he had it right. He wouldn't leave until he felt it was right, no matter how many times I said it was. That's what I like about him.
I like that attitude. Vernon Forrest and him have the same attitude. That is what makes champions.
QUESTION: The important thing is to win. Do you need to win impressively or is it just important for you to win?
MALIGNAGGI: Do I ever not win impressively? I think pretty much every time I won the fight I've either had a knockout or won every round of every fight I've had. So I don't think you can say any of my wins have not been impressive to this point to answer that question. Obviously, you always want to look impressive. I train to win and look impressive.
DiBELLA: I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I had my staff look at Paulie's fights and the scoring. His rounds won to rounds lost has got to be one of the most impressive in all of boxing.
When you look at his last two fights against Cherry, who looked pretty impressive since Paulie beat him. He won every round in his last two fights. He might have given Cherry one round and he had a complete shutout against N'dou. That is 21 out of 22 if you're being kind to Cherry.
MALIGNAGGI: And I'm not doing this against schmucks. I'm doing it against quality opposition. It's not just quantity of rounds, it's the quality of rounds that I'm fighting, and I think that speaks for itself.
QUESTION: Assuming you get through your opponent now, who do you want to fight next?
MALIGNAGGI: I don't keep that in mind right now. My only focus is Ngoudjo. I want the best fights possible, every fighter wants that. But right now I only have Herman Ngoudjo on my mind.
QUESTION: I'd like to talk about your last fight against Miguel Cotto. What went wrong with the Cotto fight? Do you think in your mind that you lost that fight?
MALIGNAGGI: Yeah, I lost the fight. It was a learning experience. I'm not a sore loser. If I lose the fight, I lost the fight. Miguel Cotto's a great champion. At the same time one day I'd like to get a chance for a rematch. I was a little inexperienced.
I do believe I gave Cotto his toughest defense in the 140 pound division. And maybe one day we'll do it again. But right now the focus and only the focus is Herman Ngoudjo.
QUESTION: Taking on Ngoudjo, he's not in your league based on the boxing report on him. Why did you take the fight?
MALIGNAGGI: He's the mandatory challenger in the IBF. It's the fight SHOWTIME wanted and we made it. I want to thank SHOWTIME for that opportunity. I don't handle the politics or the business of the sport. I just handle the job in the ring. The job in the ring is to beat Herman Ngoudjo. That is the fight that was made, so that's the fight I'm going to win January 5.
QUESTION: Herman, this is the toughest fight of your career. How have you changed your training to deal with the power of Malignaggi, keeping in mind he's the best that you've ever fought?
NGOUDJO: The power? You know, Bailey was a big winner. For your information, Paulie didn't take this fight. We are the mandatory challengers in the fight against Paulie.
It's not about a cake walk. Like Paulie said, we had nothing to do with the politics. I won in the eliminator and became the mandatory challenger. So come out on the January 5, and see if it's going to be a cake walk.
QUESTION: Herman, speed-wise, is there anybody that you've fought that's remotely close to the speed and quickness of Malignaggi?
NGOUDJO: Malignaggi is very slick fighter. He moves very well. He's hard to hit, he's very greasy and slippery. He dips and ducks and everything else. We are prepared for the task.
QUESTION: Did you bring in any special type of sparring partners for this?
NGOUDJO: If you've been checking in the boxing scene in Quebec, we have a slew of volunteers. We have one guy that is very, very similar. The only difference is he's a bit of a puncher. So we have two different guys I work with.
But our homework has been done. You know, everybody's saying happy holiday. It's not happy holiday. We've got to train through the holiday and the New Year. I'm sure our buddy, Paulie feels the same way. We have to work through the holidays on this thing.
QUESTION: How have you altered your training with Malignaggi's power?
NGOUDJO: If you don't have glasses, you should get some. I don't want to sound disrespectful, but Paulie's got 5 knockouts in 23 wins. If he's a big puncher, it doesn't show on the fight boxer and the box track. It shows he's a hell of a boxer. He wins fights by decision. He shuts guys out. The power factor, it's really not there. Look closer at the boxing record.
QUESTION: If you win this fight, what would you do next?
NGOUDJO: We're not thinking about what's next or next year. The only thing we're thinking about is January 5. After that, then we talk. But we're not looking past Paulie. We're not looking past January 5. We're just looking to get to Atlantic City and do this fight. That's it.
QUESTION: Will it be by knockout, do you think?
NGOUDJO: The boxers said they're going to knock everybody out and then nobody shows up. You know what I mean? So you've got to show up to the fight. What you have to do and show up and watch the fight and see what happens.
QUESTION: Herman said he was able to get over his first loss because he got so much support from the people. How long did it take you to get over the loss from Cotto?
MALIGNAGGI: It's not really something you get over. I never accept a loss. I don't accept it. I can never be happy with a loss. It was very disappointing night for me. But at the end of the day, I have a job to uphold. I have to do my job and continue to win my fights. It's not something I think I ever got over. I'm a perfectionist, and I have to have everything perfect for me to be happy.
My record is not perfect. Hopefully, one day I get a chance to avenge that loss. It's not something I've grown accustomed to accepting. I don't like the way it felt. And, obviously, it motivates me. It's a big motivator.
Expect fireworks on the January 5. I'm missing the holidays, so I'm going to bring my own fireworks on January 5. I'm going to kick your but, Herman Ngoudjo. See you guys at the fight. Bye bye.
NGOUDJO: I'll be ready, and I'll be there.
DiBELLA: I think you get a sense these guys are ready to get it on. You're going to see a terrific fight in the ring. They're both highly skilled boxers. It's always nice when there is a little bit of animosity, because that tends to make for a better match up.
It's a tremendous undercard, and I look forward to seeing the first big fight of 2008. It's at a small ballroom at Bally's. But there are still some very good seats left.
You can call Bally's Entertainment at 212 947 2577 or get them through Bally's. They are also available at Ticketmaster. So if you can't reach our office over the holidays, they're available through Ticketmaster.
Have a great holiday season, everybody. See you January 5. If you can't be there, it is on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. Thank you.
MODERATOR: On behalf of everyone involved in this fight card, Merry Christmas and happy holidays. We look forward to having 2008 being the magic number at SHOWTIME, beginning on Friday, January 4, on ShoBox, featuring the undefeated world ranked Peterson brothers, and the very next night this great, great title fight. Thanks for all your support.
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