De La Hoya Interview; De La Hoya-Pacquiao 24/7 Nov. 23 Episode
Richard Schaefer: Welcome to today's conference call to discuss the "Dream Match" between Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. Those who have seen last night's episode of 24/7, it really was one of the best episodes if not the best. There is such a contrast between these two fighters, and yet they have so much in common. They are both exciting, explosive, and are training so hard and really want to win. They both carry the pride of their people, of their nations on their shoulders..
Article posted on 19.11.2008
Last week I was up in Big Bear and I saw Oscar, a skinny Oscar, 145 pound, so it's official. Pacquiao is bigger than de la Hoya. It is amazing how fast Oscar looks and yet how strong he looks. He hasn't fought at welterweight since knocking out Arturo Gatti in 2000. It's the first time he's training in Big Bear since his bout against Bernard Hopkins in 2004. So there is so much going on. It's such an amazing showdown. We are waiting with anticipation. But for now, the anticipation is over and I'm going to turn it all over to Oscar de la Hoya now, 10-time world champion in six different weight classes.
Oscar de la Hoya:Training camp is going well. It's actually great training with Nacho Beristain and being up here in Big Bear, it's once again ignited that fire in my belly, which hasn't burned in many years. So I'm ready to go. I've been weighing 145 pounds now for the last three weeks. The weight is no problem. I feel strong. I do have to admit that I - in the first couple of days that I did make the weight or I tried making weight, about a month ago, I did feel a little lightheaded and weak, but now that I have gotten used to it and now that weeks have passed by, I feel strong and fast and very comfortable with welterweight. And I'm even thinking of going back down to 140 after this fight, so we'll see.
Question: Richard had mentioned in his opening comments about the surprise that Pacquiao may actually be a little bigger than you right now in terms of the weight. Does it shock you to hear that that he would be heavier than you right now, two weeks before the fight?
Answer: Well, it actually doesn't shock me one bit. Like I said, I've made 145 already. I feel strong. I find myself joking with Nacho that in my career, I've fought at 130 all the way up to 160. Now I'm going back down to 145. So in a couple of years, I'll be hitting 135. The weight has been easy. It's been no problem. My way of training and my way of eating has just been very strict. And therefore it's been easy for me to make this weight.
Question: The weight of the fight is 147 pounds. Clearly your size is going to be to your advantage I would think. Why would you go all the way below 147, take off those additional two pounds when it is not necessary? You could be 48, 49, and make the weight the day of the fight or the day of the weigh-in.
Answer: Well, it's very important for us since I haven't made 147 since I fought Arturo Gatti. I just want to make sure that I feel comfortable, that I feel strong, that I feel full of energy.I want to make my body adapt to this weight class. And, now that we've been on weight for several weeks now, now I can eat whatever I want.
Question: A lot of the talk in the buildup to this fight has been the quite entertaining back and forth, quite frankly, between yourself and Freddie Roach as opposed to the back and forth between you and Pacquiao. The two fighters, yourself and Manny, seem to have shown quite a bit of respect for each other. You have never really been one to trash talk. But now it's really been you and Freddie going back and forth. What is that like to do that with somebody I know you professed great, deep respect for during your camp with him, him the same with you? It almost feels like at times during this promotion that you're righting Freddie Roach. You're not fighting Manny Pacquiao.
Answer: Freddie Roach has made comments. I'm still going to say and put on the line is that I still respect him as a trainer and I still respect him as a person.
And, it's obviously his way of pumping up his fighter. The great thing about me and Manny Pacquiao is that we don't need to trash talk each other. My motivation for this fight is Manny Pacquiao's explosiveness, Manny Pacquiao's punching power, Manny Pacquiao's speed, Manny Pacquiao's youth. That's my motivation.
So, I have nothing bad to say about Manny. And if Freddie Roach is going to say something bad about me, so be it. But I'm oozing with motivation, that's for sure.
Question: You went through the whole experience of moving up in weight from 130 all the way up to 160. And obviously Manny is making a huge jump. What is the most difficult challenge for a fighter who's making that kind of jump in weight? Is it the training or is it actually the fighting, fighting with smaller gloves and hitting, you know, fighting bigger opponents?
Answer: Well, the actual challenge is doing it right because a lot of fighters, they think that if you eat whatever you want to eat and then you have the liberty of eating any types of foods, they're going to gain the weight. They're going to fight at a higher weight class and you're to be successful. That's what a lot of fighters think. There's two ways of doing it, the wrong way and the right way. And I think if you do it the right way, you can be very successful, so the way I've been over the years. From the looks of Manny and who he has behind him, they're doing the right thing. They're gaining the weight properly. He's looking fast. He's looking strong.I think it's going to be an advantage for Manny to come up in weight. I think he's going to be the same Manny as we saw in the lower weight class.
Question: In terms of fighting bigger opponents who hit much harder, because I think you said Ike Quartey could hit like a truck for instance compared to... some of the guys like maybe John John Molina you fought at 130 and 35. That isn't as big of an adjustment you think as just actually the putting on the weight properly?
Answer: Well, when you put on the weight, you can take the punch. And obviously big or small, what matters is if you have a chin, if you have the heart, if you have the desire to win. And, because there's a lot of fighters who move up in the weight class and if they don't the chin, if they can't take the punch, they're going to get knocked out. For instance, with myself, I was able to move up because I can take the punch, because I have the heart, because I can fight. And that's the same with Manny.
I think the fact that he can take the hard punch, I think the fact that he can - that he has that will to win, he's going to come at me with everything. And it's not going to be easy.
Question: The big thing, the big issue is a win over Manny Pacquiao, what does it accomplish for you at this point in your career?
Answer: Well, it accomplishes that we put boxing back on the worldwide stage. It accomplishes that I prove to myself that I can beat a young, hungry lion like Manny Pacquiao and the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It helps me to realize that I can still do this against the young guns, the hungry lions out there. And, therefore we move on to the next if we come out successful.
Question: Having gone down below 147 for several weeks now, is this a matter of stamina? Is this something that you were hoping to focus on?
Answer: Absolutely. And coming down in weight is a big issue because I don't know how I'm going to react, how my body's going to react come fight night. I'm feeling great here in training camp, but come fight night, it's a whole different story. My conditioning has been a big issue for a lot of people over the years.
And that's my primary concern. When you combine my coming down in weight and my issues with stamina, it can be a big problem. And, therefore I'm just working hard and focusing on making sure I fight 12 hard rounds.
Question: Losing the weight, will you be sacrificing any power because, for some of us, you being the naturally bigger guy, we would think you would have a power edge. Do you think you'll be sacrificing any power by going down so far?
Answer: Well, from the looks on Daniel Zaragoza's face, I don't think we're sacrificing any power. He's holding the mitts for me and we're punching harder than ever. The first thing that Nacho Beristain told me when we started working together was 'I can bring out more power from your left hook.' And I looked at him and I said to myself, you must be crazy. What are you talking about? I have a pretty strong left hook. He said 'No, I can bring out more power from your left hook. It depends on the angle of where the punches are coming from.'
And I didn't believe him, but now I'm a firm believer. He's the best trainer I have had because we're going back to the basics. We're learning the ropes again and we're going back to throwing those one-two-three punch combinations that helped me win so many world titles. Sothe power's going to be probably even stronger come fight night.
Question: You're both a fighter and a promoter. And I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about how you balance your time between training to fight and the business side and is there any concern that the business of promoting your fight can distract you in any way from training to box on December 6?
Answer: Yes, well, when I become the fighter, I become a full-time fighter, 100%. Once in a big while, my partner, my CEO, Richard Schaefer, will come up or we'll talk over the phone.And I'll ask him a few questions on how things are going and maybe make a few suggestions on how we should promote. But I have all the confidence in the world and in my team at Golden Boy Promotions, to take care of the job at hand.
It's no distraction whatsoever. I'm here in Big Bear in the mountains only a couple hours away from my office in downtown LA. And it's strictly boxing up here. It's strictly Manny Pacquiao, thinking of Manny Pacquiao, eating, breathing, sleeping Manny Pacquiao. It's the focus that I've learned to have over the years. I believe if I would've started Golden Boy Promotions 10 years ago, it would've been a huge distraction because I would've wanted to be involved with everything. But, I have a good team, a great team that can take care of the job at hand.
Question: Are there any - either any boxers or any athletes in any sport at all who you've used as a model of how to manage both the business side of what you do and obviously what got you to where you are, which is being an athlete?
Answer: I've actually looked at so many athletes' careers. And I've looked at all of the negatives, not the positives. I've looked at how they've mismanaged their careers. I've looked at how they don't have a strong team around them. I've looked at athletes who go bankrupt, who spend too much money, I look at all of that. And that's how I created, my perfect world. That's how I learned. I've been able to establish myself as one of the smarter athletes out there because of the mistakes that these athletes have made in the past.
Question: Does Manny Pacquiao's youth and speed and relentlessness going to affect you come December 6? He puts so much pressure on, how are you going to handle it? Do you have some kind counterattack?
Answer: Yes. I've had problems with boxers, strictly boxers in the past. When you look at my career, at my losses, they've been to the likes of Mosley and Mayweather and Bernardo Hopkins. Those guys are boxers. Those are slick boxers. And I've had trouble with that type of style, even with Stevie Forbes in my last fight. That style kind of irritates me a bit. But if you have a fighter who is going to come at me, a fighter who is going to throw strong punches with full force, with full speed, and is going to stay in front of me and has the heart to fight as hard as he can, then I welcome it. I open up the door and I let them right into my home. Hey, let's fight.
Question: You invited roughly around 10 to 15 ex-world champions from Mexico to the fight how did that go and what fighters are confirmed?
Answer: I had the pleasure of going down to Mexico in my last visit about a couple of months ago before I started training camp for some business. And it so happened that there were about 20 champions, past champions, the greats from Mexico, who were there at the press conference and I invited all of them to the fight. And they all accepted and so we're very glad. I feel very fortunate to have these great legends, talking about the fight and the Chiquita Gonzalezes and Pipino Cuevases of this world, the greats from Mexico who will be supporting me 100%.
Question: You've had so many great fights, so many superstar performances. What fights of yours are you most proud of? What do you see as your best performance? And if I wanted to show someone the absolute best of Oscar de la Hoya, which fight would I show them?
Answer: Well the fight that I'm most proud of would probably have to be the Ike Quartey fight. When I fought Ike Quartey, I fought him in his prime. He was undefeated. He was strong. He was fast. Nobody knew who he was. But what made it so special is that a lot of people don't know that I received a cut over my left eye during training. And we stitched it up and we went along with the fight like if nothing happened. And in back of my mind, I knew that if he would hit me in that eye, it would bust up open and maybe it would be stopped. But I fought through it. I trained hard and we won the fight in such a spectacular fight with Ike Quartey. And that was probably one of my proudest moments.
But probably the best fight that people have seen me in would have to be when I fought Julio Cesar Chavez the first time in 1996. Even to this day when people ask me how that fight went and can you describe it, it's hard to describe because I felt like I was floating in the ring. Everything was just smooth and my punches were coming out with ease and everything was just like a blur. So that fight was my best performance I have had in my career.
Richard Schaefer:I'd like to add that HBO will be replaying as part of the HBO Classics the weeks leading up to the fight, the de la Hoya versus Quartey fight, a fight which hasn't been seen for quite a while, so all of you that have not seen that fight, make your readers aware or listeners aware that this fight, de la Hoya vs. Quartey fight, will be replayed on HBO the week of the fight.
Question: How has Nacho Beristain worked for you? You've changed trainers several times. How has it affected you, how has it helped you?
Answer: My first choice really wasn't Nacho Beristain. My first choice obviously was Mayweather because, he trained me for the Forbes fight and I didn't think that Mayweather was going to go out and started training Ricky Hatton. So we decided to get another great trainer. And that was Nacho Beristain. And I am extremely happy of the decision I made. Nacho Beristain is a great trainer. He's a trainer that makes you work extra hard. He doesn't take no for an answer. He goes back to the basics. And it's funny because he reminds me of - a little of "The Professor," who trained me for the Chavez fight the first time. He has that similar style where he makes you work every single time, every single day. If you get it wrong, you have to do it again, do it again. So, it's worked out great and we have such a great relationship now that, we feel very comfortable with each other.
Question: For a while there, you tried to sign Manny Pacquiao. What happened there? At the time that you were acting as a promoter and trying to sign Manny Pacquiao (as a fighter), and it didn't work out. Did you ever think at that time when you met with him and tried to work out a business agreement where Golden Boy Promotions would promote his career, that a year and a half later you would wind up facing the guy in the ring?
Answer: No. Never in my wildest dreams. And that's why this fight is called the "Dream Match." I mean, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fight Manny Pacquiao.When he looked into my eyes and I looked into his eyes and we shook hands and we had a deal, and he talks about honor. I never thought I would fight him. That's also one of the reasons why this fight is so personal to me because of that night when we signed the deal and he turned his back on me, he's going to have to pay come December 6.
Question: Is there any element of residual, feelings on a personal level because of what happened were you kind of mad at him because of what went down?
Answer: It's very personal for me. That moment there is what makes it personal because, I don't want him to be talking about honor and how he honors honor and this and that and, no, he didn't honor me that night, so I'm not going to honor him come December 6.
Question: I have one other question for you, Oscar. There have been two somewhat significant pay-per-view fights over the past couple months. There was the fight that you guys were involved with at Golden Boy between Bernard Hopkins and Kelly Pavlik with him getting that big victory and then a couple weeks ago in New York between Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones. That was pay-per-view, and of course was supported by an HBO 24/7 three-part series.
With the pay-per-view numbers that came back for those two fights were, clearly disappointing to everybody involved. Not because they weren't interesting fights with big names or anything like that. Of course, your fight with Pacquiao, is a big fight with big names. I am just curious, are you at all concerned because of the way the economy has been going in the United States that your fight and the receipts could suffer because of that?
Answer: Well, obviously it's a big concern. Obviously it's a big concern for us because of the economy. But when you have a big fight like this one here, the Dream Match, and when you have sponsors that are lined up doing promoting, when you have sponsors like Cazadores and Tecate Beer and Coca-Cola, who are giving you rebates, and if you buy every single product, you're going to watch the fight for free. So if you buy a tequila bottle, if you buy a 12-pack of beer, if you buy Full Throttle Energy drinks, you're going to watch the fight for free. So I think now in these days, people are picking and choosing what fights they want to buy and which fights they want to see. And I think people are waiting for this one on December 6.
Richard Schaefer:The economy is clearly a concern for everyone. And those who say it's not, I think they're lying. So I really believe there are implications. But, you know, Oscar is right. Those two fights, they didn't have the in-store presence and point-of-sale activations with over 66 million impressions. They didn't have that. We all know that Hispanics are very passionate boxing fans. They didn't really have a Latino angle either.So, I think you look at these and other factors for example; pay-per-view fights have done better on the West Coast than on the East Coast. So, you look at some of these factors then you look at the other signs, with the venue, with the closed circuit sales, with the closed circuit in Las Vegas as well, the excitement is building. You see the kind of coverage we get now already weeks out of the fight. The signs are very promising. But, of course, the economy is a concern. And I agree with Oscar. I think people do pick and choose. And, maybe the time where you have October, November, December, every month a pay-per-view maybe that time is over. The time of monthly pay-per-views is over. And so I think what that will do is actually good news I guess for the fight fans. It will clearly shift events, which maybe in the past would have landed on pay-per-view, it will shift them to television and you really only have a handful, the elite, the very best fights and match-ups on pay-per-view. And frankly I guess that's the way it should be.
Question: Exactly. There's been so much discussion about the size difference between yourself and with Manny and you talked about the training and how you say Nacho has brought out a little bit more power in your left hook, which I find hard to believe also. But all that being said, you are the favorite in this fight. Would you disappointed if you were not able to stop a fighter that is obviously a smaller guy than you? And would a knockout really put the icing on the cake?
Answer: I will be extremely, extremely disappointed if this fight doesn't end in a knockout. It will be a total disaster for me.
Question: You said about 20 of the Mexican champions are going to accept an invitation to the fight. Does that include Chavez?
Answer: Well, I believe Chavez is going to be on Pacquiao's side. I heard Chavez and Marguarito are going to be on Pacquiao's side.
Question: Does that bother you at all that Mexico's greatest champion is going to be on the other side?
Answer: Oh, no, not at all because the one fighter that I looked up to the most or the fighters from Mexico that I looked up to the most will be on my side, which is Ruben Olivares, Pipino Cuevas, Chiquita Gonzalez, and Finito Lopez. So those types of fighters are the fighters that I really admired growing up.
Question: And one other thing -- can you tell me what's changed for you? Because I remember a couple months ago when you talked about fighting Pacquiao that you thought this is a fight that you could potentially lose if you don't train the right way and that you didn't feel like you needed a knockout. Now it seems like you have a little bit more edge to what you're saying, that you do need to knock him out. And I think that you believe that you could knock him out all along. So what's changed between then and now? Is it just one of those things when a fight gets closer, this is just how it is?
Answer: Well, yeah, what happens is when you prepare yourself for a fight, you get stronger, you get faster, you feel more confident. As a fight gets closer, you're almost at 100% and you feel like King Kong and you can destroy anybody. That's just exactly the way I feel right now.
And I'm sure Manny Pacquiao's feeling the same way. When we start training camp, we're at 10%, but at the end of training camp, we're at 100%. And our, strengths are up, our speed is up, and we can conquer the world. That's just the way I feel now.
Oscar de la Hoya:Yes, and if you thought the first De La Hoya/ Pacquiao 24/7 was good, wait until you see the others. We gave them access like there's no tomorrow.
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., presented by Tequila Cazadores and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools, Full Throttle Energy Drink and Southwest Airlines.De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao, a 12-round welterweight battle, will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.The fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
HBO's all-access reality series "De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7" returns with an all new episode on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
DE LA HOYA/PACQUIAO 24/7
NOV. 23 EPISODE
Debut date: SUNDAY, NOV. 23 (8:30-9:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 23 (12:30 a.m.), 24 (11:30 a.m., 11:55 p.m.), 25 (7:30 p.m.), 26 (8:30 p.m.), 27 (6:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 28 (11:00 a.m.), 29 (9:30 a.m., 12:15 a.m.) and 30 (11:15 a.m.), and Dec . 5 (9:30 p.m.) and 6 (10:30 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 25 (3:20 a.m.) and 28 (1:00 a.m.), and Dec. 12 (9:00 p.m.) and 13 (10:00 a.m.)
HBO On Demand availability begins: Nov. 25
Oscar de la Hoya’s wife Millie arrives at camp in Big Bear, Cal., while cameras follow Manny Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee as she tries to keep up with his training schedule in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, special consultant Angelo Dundee offers De La Hoya words of wisdom, and Pacquiao tries to keep from over-training and peaking too soon.
The executive producers of DE LA HOYA/PACQUIAO 24/7 are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; coordinating producer, Dave Harmon: producers, Scott Boggins and Johnson McKelvy; narrator, Liev Schreiber.
VANITY FAIR COVERS DE LA HOYA VS PACQUIAO
The interest in the Dream Matchup between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao is spreading through mainstream national media outlets at a rapid pace. vanityfair.com is doing an interesting series on the De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao fight (using De La Hoya as the theme). The entire series will run through fight week. Check out parts one and two below with a third and final installment, including an extensive photo gallery, coming soon.
http://www.vanityfair.com/online/ culture/2008/11/03/anatomy-of-a-fight-part-two.html#entry-more (very cool graphic in this section).
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., presented by Tequila Cazadores and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools, Full Throttle Energy Drink and Southwest Airlines. De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao, a 12-round welterweight battle, will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. The fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
HBO's all-access reality series "De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7" returns with an all new episode on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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