Boxing


Alexander-Urango Interview Transcript

Mr. Don King- Well, thank you, Alan. My thing is this: we've got a superstar here in Devon "the Great." And so, it's gonna be something--first, happy birthday, Devon: you know, belatedly, but nevertheless, let's put things in their proper perspective. All right? And so, now for a birthday present, you know what I mean, you have to go in there and knock out Juan Urango, all right? And so, that's--you know, it's one of those things that--so, it's gonna be a great exciting show, a brawl, so to speak, that's gonna take place at the great Mohegan Sun.. I'm just delighted to be at the Mohegan Sun. And whatever they say, their word is their bond and they go out and they deal with it on those premises. So, they're gonna put together a tremendous outing. Jay Z will be there that Friday night to give you a lot of rapping and songs and things in terms--and the next night, you know, it's gonna be an extravaganza with Devon Alexander "the Great" taking on Juan Urango. Devon's one of the most phenomenal young men we've had in a long time. His attitude is impeccable. His smile is addictive. You know what I mean? Yet, when he gets into a ring, he's a killer. So, it's a thing here that everyone will have to see and get as high up on him as we are. And hopefully, you know, you will see it in live and in living color on March the 6th. But, he's a phenomenal young man, got a great attitude, got a great trainer in Kevin Cunningham. And Kevin Cunningham is sort of like a teacher, you know what I mean? He used to be a former police officer. His word is his bond. Loyalty: the big L is always there for him. And this is what he has really taught. And you can see the appreciation and the effect of the product and his teaching is Devon Alexander, and he truly is "the Great." So, all the boxing fans around the universe, around the world will get an opportunity to see these two great champions fight each other. Naturally, I'm bias because I'm Devon Alexander, but we have Leon, who will be able to likewise be for his guy, who is Juan Urango. So, we ain't no kin, so we can bend. So, we can get right down to it. There's gonna be a real great exciting card. We want to get an opportunity for everybody to bear witness, you know, to a phenomenal fighter that's on the rise and there's no stopping him now. And he has a teacher, friend, trainer, confidante in Kevin Cunningham. It couldn't be no better than that. So, I think that you all are in store to see a return to glory of how things used to be, how they will be. So, my theme is yesterday, today and tomorrow. So, we are now promoting, and the Mohegan Sun is the fortunate one to have this opportunity to bring it to the floor in being a native person, an organization that was here before anybody got here. It's really fitting and proper that they should be the one to introduce this great phenomenon to the world. So, you have it from me, you know what I mean? And any questions, don't hesitate to ask because I'll be right there to answer them. But, right now, it is Devon "the Great's" opportunity to demonstrate to the world that what Kevin Cunningham and myself already know of the greatness and the depth of the--of his talent and skill and ability. So, without further ado, Alan, take it right back and just let everybody--you know, give everybody the opportunity to speak their peace because this is it.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Thanks, Don. Really appreciate it. Now, let's hear from Devon's sole life long trainer, another St. Louis guy, Kevin Cunningham. Kevin, I know you're out in Las Vegas. Tell us about when and where you started this camp and let us know how it's been going.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Oh, well, we're in Las Vegas, and the weather is great. We've been here since--we arrived on January the 4th and we've been here for about five and a half weeks. And we've had an excellent five and a half weeks of training. We've still got another two weeks to go before we move over to Connecticut. And Devon's looking tremendous. He's ready to go. He's weighing about 146 pounds right now. And everything's going great. We've had some great sparring with a kid by the name of Mark Milligan [sp], Welterweight, and another kid we brought in Tyrone Chapman [sp]. So, we've had one of the best camps that I've ever had. And we're looking sharp and we're ready to go.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Hey, Kev, I know that your fighters have been known to come into the ring with famous music stars. Are you gonna have anybody bring Devon into the ring?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: If the fans thought the interest with Cory and Nellie was big, they don't want to miss March 6th. We got the biggest star in music teaming up with Devon. He's touted as the next biggest star in music. Devon's touted as the next big thing in boxing. So, we joined--they're joining forces, and on March 6th, it's gonna be an explosive ring entrance and Devon's gonna be explosive when the bell rings.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Well, we look forward to hearing that full announcement. Now, we also have Juan Urango's promoter. Leon Margules is on the line to fill us in on his fighter's camp so far. Leon?

Mr. Leon Margules: How you doing, Alan? Thank you very much. And, Don, it's always great to be involved in a Don King promotion. Don is the most famous and probably one of the most well known people in the world as well as certainly the greatest promoter of my day. And he was a promoter long before I knew anything about boxing. In the days when I was a fan, I used to go watch Don King promotions. So, it's an honor to be part of the card. It's also an honor to work again at the Mohegan Sun. They're a wonderful place. If anybody hasn't been at that arena and seen their wonderful hotel and their facilities, it's just a nice place to be. So, we're all blessed in that regard. I'd also like--.

Mr. Don King: --Yeah. You know, let me say that Bob Yalen is the man. He is the guy that has great honor, great ability. He was a boxing statistician and ratings man. So, he knows it from soup to nuts and he has the quality that is really something, a phenomenon of keeping your word in the business. So, that's what we've got there, Leon--.

Mr. Leon Margules: --Yeah, I know that--.

Mr. Don King: --Bob Yalen.

Mr. Leon Margules: Yeah, yeah, Bob's a great guy and a great friend. And of course, whenever you're on HBO, it's a big event because HBO is the heart and soul of boxing and they've been for the last 30 years. And usually, when it's HBO boxing and it's HBO Boxing After Dark, it means it's a very important night in our industry and a very important fight. I'd also like to thank Kevin Cunningham who's a wonderful trainer and human being, and Devon Alexander for taking the chAlange because any time you're a world champion and a young world champion and you have just made it to the top of the game, it's rare and it's refreshing that you're willing to take on all comers like Devon is. And that's when you get to my champion Juan Urango. Juan is not only the current IBF champion. He's a two time world champion. And when Kevin said you're gonna knock him out, well, if you do, you're gonna do something no one else has ever done. Juan Urango has two losses, both by decisions when he stepped up in class to fight early in his career against Ricky Hatton and recently when he went up in weight to fight the undefeated Andre Berto. Other than that, Juan is perfect with 22 wins and 17 knockouts, one draw. So, you know, Juan is the experienced guy. Juan has been on the big stage before many times. He's--this is his third time on HBO. He's battled a lot of the great fighters at his weight, including the classic war he had with former champion Randall Bailey, who Don used to promote back in August. So, we're very, very excited. And we believe that Juan is the biggest, strongest and best puncher in the division. And if Devon can hang out and hang in there with Juan Urango for 12 rounds, then Devon may be the guy that Don thinks he's going to be. But, we believe that our experience and our strength and our perseverance will prevail, and at the end of the day, Juan will add the WBC belt to his IBF belt and become the unified champion. I don't have much to say about his camp. That's a Pete Fernandez issue because Pete's the one been running training camp. I'm only the promoter. But, I really want to thank everybody for this opportunity, Devon for taking the chAlange, Don for giving us the chance, HBO for underwriting the fight, Mohegan Sun for staging the fight and my fighter for allowing me to be his promoter.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Leon, thank you very much, and thanks for mentioning what a beautiful property Mohegan Sun is. We hope all the writers on the call will be able to come up and see that great property and the Mohegan Sun Arena, it's a great place. You mentioned Pete Fernandez. Pete is the new trainer of Juan Urango and we have him on the phone. Pete, do you want to set up how you guys have done your camp for the callers, and then we'll turn it over to questions and answers from the media?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Yes. First and foremost, yes, I am the head trainer, but I do want to make one thing clear. I've had a magnificent assistant in my camp, Anthony Wilson, known as "Chill." He's done a tremendous job helping me. Juan--you're right. He is a physical specimen. He's a tremendously strong puncher, strong individual. On March 6th, you know, it's gonna be fantastic. I actually--I may be a fan that day, but it's gonna--.

Mr. Leon Margules: --Don't forget to do your work, though, you know?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Yeah, I have to do my work, unfortunately. But, we've had magnificent sparring. We've had the great Gotho Figueroa [sp], Francisco Figueroa in camp with us. We've had Daniel Connor [sp], just a magnificent, magnificent fighter, 10 and 0, you know, just getting ready for Devon. Devon--I've met Devon: a real true, true gentleman. I met him when Nate Campbell fought Timothy Brantley and he fought Junior Witter. I had a few words with him. I don't know, Devon, if you remember me coming up to you and saying some really, really nice things to you. But, you know, it's--at the end of the day, it's all business. My guy's gonna be prepared, and prepared 100 percent. We're coming to win and we're coming to put on a beautiful, beautiful show. And I wish everybody luck. The one thing that I am really, really, really excited about is how all this came together and how all promoters are working--as Don knows and Leon knows, you know, I've done small promotions in Tampa and how guys on the higher level can work together and bring things together. And it's just--for me, it's just a wonderful thing, so thank you.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay, Pete. And you're training up in Tampa, right?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: We are in Tampa at the Fight Factory, my gym. My gym is Fight Factory, a beautiful facility.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay, great.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: You might have seen it on Boxing After Dark--I mean, on--I mean--I'm sorry--on 24/7, the Codo [sp] Packial [sp] fight. They did 24/7. Codo set up camp at Pete's Gym.

Mr. Don King: Right.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Thanks, guys. Kira, can you please let the journalists on the call know how they ask questions?

Mr. Don King: Let them say this, too, Alan, though. We bought the house out of retirement. No one has been in the house where Devon lives except Mike Tyson. They've never been able to use that house as a thing, but Devon is so good that the house came out of retirement to receive in house Devon, you know what I mean, so he could come there and get prepared for greatness, you know? This is the house where Tyson made his mark, the one that they're living in out there in Las Vegas.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: We call it the house of greatness.

Mr. Don King: That's what it is. That's what it is, and--that's what it is. And so, it came out of retirement to welcome the--with glory Devon Alexander "the Great."

Unidentified Man: Juan Urango, "the Twins," "the Iron Twins."

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay, Kira. It's all yours.

Unidentified Man: Oh, my God. We've got--I've got a promoter for a trainer, okay, Don?

Mr. Don King: Yes. You know, and I tell you something, we love that because the tougher Juan Urango is, when Devon beats him, that makes him that much better because Juan Durango is a great champion, a great fighter, a hard puncher. But, all that goes into the pot when he meets Alexander "the Great."

Operator: If you'd like to ask a question, please press star, one on your telephone keypad. That's star, and the number one.

Operator: --First question is from Danny Melendez with Behind the Ring.

Mr. Danny Melendez: Hello. Can you hear me?

Unidentified Man: Yes.

Unidentified Man: Yes.

Mr. Danny Melendez: Yeah, this is Danny Melendez from Behind the Ring. My question is to Devon Alexander. Juan comes from an extensive amateur background and he's a big puncher. What is Devon gonna do to stay away from those big punches?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Well, first, I come from an extensive amateur background, myself. I've got 300-and something amateur fights and I've been there with the best. So, I mean, a lot of guys, when I fought Junior Witter, some said, 'He's too young, he's in experienced. Junior Witter fought some of the best guys out there at 140, and now he's saying the same thing about Juan Urango. I've been bred, I've been brought up to do this, you know what I mean? I've been--me and my coach have been working at this since I was seven years old in my old gym. So, I mean, this right here is just another steppingstone for me to become the greatest in the game. So, I mean, I'm not worried about his experience or--I mean, of course he's gonna come brawling. I'm not worrying about that. I'm gonna be ready for whatever he brings to the table.

Mr. Danny Melendez: All right, Devon, thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Dan Rafael with ESPN.

Mr. Dan Rafael: Hey, everybody.

Unidentified Man: Hey, Dan.

Mr. Dan Rafael: How's it going today?

Unidentified Man: My man Dan.

Mr. Dan Rafael: How's it going?

Unidentified Man: Big Dan, Big Dan Rafael.

Mr. Dan Rafael: I'm getting all kinds of greetings. Hey, Devon, let me ask you, here you have--you had your fight with Junior Witter where you won your title. Now you're in a unification fight. Can you just talk about the long wait, the expectations that you've had to sort of get into the position where not only where you would be a world champion, but you would be involved in a, you know, somewhat significant fight on the level of like an HBO and how important it's been to you to get to this position?

Mr. Devon Alexander: I mean, it's been very, very important. I mean, like I said, I've been working towards this my whole life, you know? Me and my coach, we started at the old police station. And I've done seen Cory become undisputed champion, and now here it is my turn. I mean, it's been a long anticipation. But, you know, I put God first and my career, for Him to guide my career to where He wants to lead it to me and He's led me to--for the first defense of my title is for unification. Now, I'm fixing to become the unified champion at 140. So, I mean, I just can't ask for no more. I mean, I'm just blessed. I mean, everything is falling into place. And they're not calling me Alexander "the Great" for nothing.

Mr. Dan Rafael: Devon, you know, it's been some layoffs for you along the way. I know I've been critical of the way Don has handled your career in the past. Can you talk about whatever level of frustration there may have been getting from the point where you're this undefeated prospect to getting to get to the world title and now to get to this unification match?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Well, I'm a self motivator and I'm a hungry person. I mean, I love what I do. I love boxing and I love to get in there and show the world that I can be one of the best fighters that ever did the game. And far as, I mean, the long--whatever my promoter has lined up for me, I'm gonna go with it. I just put my trust in God on that because whatever's meant for me to get--like I got the belt, I got the title with Don. It was meant for me to get it August 1st, you know? So, I'm not tripping off the long layovers or anything like that. I mean, I love to get--I would love to fight every month. But, if that's not the case, then I'm not gonna sweat it. I'm gonna stay in the gym, gonna work hard, and that's what Kevin always told me to do: work hard, train hard until we get our opportunity, and once we get our opportunity to get in the door and blow, we blow.

Mr. Don King: And that's what teamwork is about, Dan. That's what it is: one for all and all for one.

Mr. Dan Rafael: Is Juan there?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: He's here.

Mr. Leon Margules: Yes, Juan is here.

Mr. Dan Rafael: Is he speaking English or Spanish? Spanish, right?

Mr. Leon Margules: No, he only speaks Spanish.

Mr. Dan Rafael: That's what I thought.

Mr. Leon Margules: But, Pete Fernandez will translate for him.

Mr. Dan Rafael: Terrific. Pete, could you ask Juan for me, I believe it was Leon that mentioned in his opening remarks that this is gonna be now his third opportunity on HBO in significant fights. He had the Hatton fight: didn't work out so great for him, lost the decision, the fight with Berto, stepping up in weight to chAlange for that title. Now, he's back in his own division fighting for the unification. Is it sort of like three strikes and you're out? How very significant important is it for him to win this fight and still want to continue his career at the level he's been at?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: This is a new year for Juan Urango, you know? He doesn't know--you know, he doesn't play baseball, and strike three, no, you're not out. And he just--you know, just tune in on March the 6th. You know, people are gonna be surprised.

Mr. Dan Rafael: Okay. Thank you very much, guys. Appreciate the time.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Okay.

Operator: Our next question comes from Tom Timmermann with The St. Louis Post.

Mr. Tom Timmermann: Thanks. Hi, Devon.

Mr. Devon Alexander: What's up, Tom?

Mr. Tom Timmermann: Most of your--all of your recent fights have been against guys with way more experience than you have, older guys who have a lot more fights. What's that been like for you getting in the ring with guys with significantly--significantly older and significantly more experience?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Well, I mean, this is boxing and you're gonna fight guys that's older than you, that's got more experience than you and that's gonna be, I mean, probably better than you. But, like I said, it goes back to when I was in the old gym when I was seven years old. I mean, since I was seven, I've been fighting guys--if I was seven, I'd be fighting guys that was nine. If I was nine, I was fighting guys that was 13, I mean, and so forth. So, I mean, it doesn't matter who I fight. This is boxing. I'm gonna be prepared. Me and my coach are already--as long as I execute the game plan--he always has the perfect game plan. Long as I execute it just like I'm gonna do March 6th--you guys are gonna see me execute the game plan [unintelligible]. So, it doesn't matter who I fight or the experience or whatever they got going for they self or whatever niche they got, power, speed, it doesn't matter. We're gonna be able to handle whatever they bring to the table.

Mr. Tom Timmermann: You're a guy who's always in good shape and ready to go. So, what's it been like being in the camp this long getting ready for this fight?

Mr. Devon Alexander: It's been amazing. It's been amazing. I've been wanting to come to Vegas and get some of this mountain we're on because there ain't nothing like it, you know? It open them lungs up and I've been waiting on to get back out in Vegas. But, it's been going good and it's a blessing. I've got my brother Lamar here. I've got some guys, good guys around me that's looking out for me and making sure that I'm getting whatever I need and it's just going perfect, so ain't nothing else to do but to get in the ring March 6th and bring the belt back to St. Louis.

Mr. Tom Timmermann: Okay. Thanks, Devon.

Mr. Devon Alexander: No problem.

Operator: Our next question is from the line of David Castle [sp] with Team 1380 Sports Radio.

Mr. David Castle: Hey. How are you doing, Devon?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Okay.

Mr. David Castle: Hey, just a quick question: you came in with--at about a pound and a half under the weight limit against Junior Witter, and you're facing a guy in Juan Urango that's more powerful than Junior Witter, just a completely different style. Are you gonna--are you planning on coming in about a pound, pound and a half under, or are you going to just kind of use all the weight you possibly can since you're facing a bigger, stronger guy this time?

Mr. Devon Alexander: I mean, nothing's different. Nothing's different as far as my weight is concerned. I mean, I'm gonna continue to train hard and whatever I weigh in on that day, I'm gonna--if I'm gonna be a pound and a half or a pound, it doesn't matter. I'm gonna--still gonna--you know, the next day, I'm gonna be strong as ever and I'm gonna be fast as ever, so it really doesn't matter where I weigh in at. But, I mean, of course, he's a big guy. That's something I don't care about. You know, I don't care that he's big, you know? I've been fighting guys bigger than me my whole life, so doesn't matter. I can come in and fight two pounds under. I'm still gonna--you know, the next day, I'm gonna be strong and fast as ever.

Mr. David Castle: And a question for Juan if I can get one in.

Mr. Leon Margules: Certainly.

Mr. David Castle: Juan went down against Randall Bailey. Showed a lot of heart to get back, but is--I mean, it is a tough question. Randall Bailey's a great puncher, but are people kind of questioning Juan's chin, especially as of late?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: He said, first of all, that he wasn't hit on the chin. He was hurt right in the eye. And Randall Bailey punches like a mother fucker, brother.

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: He said anybody goes down, anybody gets hit, anybody goes down.

Mr. David Castle: All right. Thank you.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: You're welcome.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Ryan Burton with Boxingscene.com. Go ahead, Ryan.

Mr. Ryan Burton: Yes. This question is for Devon and for Kevin, actually. Everyone's talking about Juan Urango's power. Do you feel that Devon's power is being overlooked here?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Definitely, definitely. You know, that's all we've heard since we signed for this fight is Juan Urango's strength and power. And it's funny because Devon's not a feather fisted puncher. So, you know, Devon's extremely fast, but he can hit, too. He's got a lot of pop in his punches. So, you know, but that's cool. That's okay. They'll see on March 6th that it's not--you know, if they're thinking Devon's gonna be in the ring running around and ducking and running and all of that, that's gonna be--that's not the fight that they're gonna get. So, you know, just tune in March the 6th and you'll see that Devon--if they're underestimating his power, they're gonna be in for a rude awakening because he's gonna be hitting hard and fast.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: We hope so.

Mr. Ryan Burton: And one other question: just what does this mean to St. Louis if you can come back with two belts and join Cory Spinks, another champion, what is the whole vibe in the city like?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Oh, the city is vibing, man. I mean, it's almost like the fight is happening in St. Louis. I mean, we've got a St. Louis promotion going on even though the fight's not happening in St. Louis. It's being promoted in St. Louis like it's happening there and everybody in the city's gonna be watching. So, I mean, it's gonna be crazy when we come back as unified champion.

Mr. Ryan Burton: All right.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Don's gonna have to put Devon's next fight in the football stadium he's gonna be selling so many tickets.

Mr. Don King: And I can hardly wait because Mayor Francis Slay called me up. He's all excited. He gave Devon the key to the city, said I'm giving him the key to the kingdom. He said, so, you know, now--so, everybody's excited about this fight in St. Louis. It's a new thing, and we're gonna make it happen for you.

Mr. Ryan Burton: All right.

Mr. Alan Hopper: And if I'm not mistaken, HBO's doing a little package on Devon for the fight and they went and interviewed Mayor Slay, I believe, didn't they, Kevin?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Yes, sir. HBO did the little piece and they went and interviewed the Mayor and, you know, interviewed several other people in the city and everybody's ready.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Well, and they're describing Devon as an example of what's right with the youth of St. Louis as opposed to what's wrong. Isn't that correct, Kevin?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Yeah, definitely, definitely. He's an example for what you can--you know, how your life can turn out if you do the right things and stay focused.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Being a former police officer in St. Louis, can you speak to that a little bit, what it means to have a guy like Devon come out of the hood and do what he is doing?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Oh, it means everything because, I mean, that's everything I've ever stood for, just staying focused. Regardless of the conditions in which you came up in, you don't have to be a product of your environment. And Devon is living proof of that and he stuck with the program, stayed focused, worked hard. And, you know, that's where--that's why he's where he is today.

Mr. Don King: And that's what America's all about, giving hope where there's hopeless and despair, you know what I mean, and those who would overcome that by having faith in God. They put God in the forefront and that faith is seeing him through, and this is what really counts. He can be what he want to be, and this is what he wants to be is something decent, strong, drugless, none of those things that everybody think they have to do for peer pressure as well as their own desire for addiction. He's clean. This is a young man that's clean, in the same environment, facing the same difficulties, the same type of despair, but he's overcoming it with the hope and faith in God and dedication, hard work and commitment. That is phenomenal.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Yeah, Devon, can you speak to that a little bit? I know you're obviously born and bread, LaShawn [sp] High School and all of that. What does it mean to you to be coming a role model for the youth of St. Louis?

Mr. Devon Alexander: It means a lot to me. You know, I grew up in the rough side of North St. Louis, and I've done seen it all. I've done seen the gangs. I've done seen killings. I've done seen drugs. I've done seen it all. So, I mean, that's one of my goals--I mean, that's what I'm aiming to do is to try to encourage more youths like myself. You know, I started off with 30 guys and they all--most of them fell astray and fell off and got into other stuff that wasn't gonna help them in the future. And that's what I want to do. I want to encourage and I want to show young kids that they can do it, I mean, no matter what the situation. I mean, I wasn't--I definitely wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. So, I mean, if I can--I need--if I can show them that they can do it, that's what I want to do. And if I can encourage 110 people, I wish I can do that.

Mr. Alan Hopper: How'd it make you feel that the Mayor of St. Louis, a major American city, picked you at 22 years old to get a key to the city?

Mr. Devon Alexander: I mean, it feels good. I mean, it feels good. Like I said, I mean, it's like a dream coming true. I mean, it's all falling together for me. And, you know what I mean? I'm just taking it all in. I'm just taking it one day at a time, staying focused. It's a great honor that Mayor Slay even is mentioning my name. And like a--from a kid from nothing to something and the Mayor mentioning my name is a great honor. And I'm just so humbled to be in this situation. And I'm gonna make the most of it and stay on top.

Mr. Don King: God bless my man, and I love Francis Slay. He's a great man. And that's really something appreciative, and Devon is appreciative. And he's working hard and it's much more difficult to go straight than it is to go into the curves, you know what I mean? So, he is doing that. So, it's the hardest job is what he has. And he can show them, if they be dedicated and committed, they can do it, too.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Eddie Goldman with No Holds Barred.

Mr. Eddie Goldman: Thank you very much. Hello, everybody. First question for Devon: Devon, there's a lot of talk about Juan Urango's power and knockout ability. Could you tell us what you think your advantages are in this fight over him?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Well, I mean, I think the power is not an issue because, I mean, I've got power, too. I mean, everybody's overlooking that I've got some feather fist. No, that's not the case. But, I mean, everybody's talking about his power, and it's okay. But, I've got speed. I've got slickness, and I've been around slickness my whole life. So, I mean, I'm just gonna add that to my power. And, I mean, it's just gonna be an explosive night. I mean, people are gonna be surprised at what they're gonna see out of Devon Alexander "the Great" because once I--it's a thing with me, when I fight the best, the best come out in me, and I'm just explosive.

Mr. Eddie Goldman: Is the best fighter that you've fought thus far in your career?

Mr. Devon Alexander: He would be. I mean, the way people talk, yeah, he would be, you know? He--I take nothing from him. He's two time world champion and I take nothing, nothing from it. It's just time for me--it's my time to, you know what I mean, come in the boxing scene and make a name for myself. And it's just the wrong fight for him right now.

Mr. Eddie Goldman: And a similar question for Juan: Juan, could you tell us what you think your advantage is over Devon in this fight?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Number one, training hard and preparing for "the Great," preparing for everyone, but he's preparing--this camp, bar none, has been his best camp yet. And he--the kid is in magnificent shape.

Mr. Eddie Goldman: Okay, Pete, but let--what does he think of Devon and what does he think his advantage over him will be?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: He says all fighters are not the same, but fighters like Alexander--that he's fought with--against fighters that are better than Alexander. He said, but come March 6th, he's gonna be victorious.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Name one fighter that he's fought that's better than Devon Alexander.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Leon Margules: Who's that, Don asking that question?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Kevin Cunningham.

Mr. Leon Margules: Oh.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Name me one fighter, and I'll guarantee you I can argue that--I beg to differ.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Ricky Hatton.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Ricky Hatton's better than Devon Alexander? Boy, you guys--I hope you fight better than--.

Mr. Leon Margules: --I don't think--Kevin, I don't think he's saying that Ricky Hatton is better than Devon Alexander is now. But--.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: --That's not what he's saying--.

Mr. Leon Margules: --But, the young Juan Urango--.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: --Because Ricky Hatton reminds me of--.

Mr. Pete Fernandez- --Wait, wait, wait, wait. Kevin--?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: --Ricky Hatton reminds me of--.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: --When a young Juan Urango fought Devon Alexander--when he fought him, he was an undefeated world champion.

Unidentified Man: We'll have to wait till March 6th and then settle this shit, okay?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Yeah. We'll--listen, Ricky Hatton reminds me of Juan Urango. Both of them are tough fighters, but neither one of them have any skill. So, you--I understand where you're coming from with that.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay, thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Kevin Blatt with onthegrindboxing.com.

Mr. Kevin Blatt: How are you guys doing? Got a couple of--I've got one question left, actually, after everything. And I'm gonna actually direct this towards Urango and his camp. I was watching recently the fight against Berto, when you guys moved up to fight Berto. And the one thing I saw that Berto had as a huge advantage over you guys was his actual hand speed. Now, Alexander has some great hand speed. I was wondering if you guys did anything in camp to prepare yourself for that.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: He said the Berto fight, for him--this is him speaking--he said the Berto fight for him was like a sparring session. He says he really didn't want that fight, but that fight was like a sparring session for him. He said this fight is a lot different. There's too much on the line for this fight. This fight, he's 100 percent focused, 100 percent wants it.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: What does he mean it was like a sparring session. You fight for Welterweight Champ of the World on HBO, but it's like a sparring session.

Mr. Leon Margules: [Unintelligible] wasn't at risk is, I think, what he's telling you.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: What's that?

Mr. Leon Margules: In other words, the IBF allowed him to go up in weight and keep his title win or lose.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: So, fighting for the Welterweight Championship of the World on HBO didn't mean nothing. Is that what--?

Mr. Leon Margules: --He's just saying it doesn't mean as much to him because he wasn't jeopardizing his world championship that he already had.

Mr. Kevin Blatt: Well, I was just wondering if there's anything that you guys actually different in preparation for the actual hand speed of Alexander, which is actually very fast.

Mr. Leon Margules: That's a Pete question and a Chill question.

Mr. Kevin Blatt: Yeah, exactly.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: We did do a lot, you know. And, you know, we--put it this way: we did do a lot, okay? I'm not gonna say what we did. We did do a lot, a lot. Put it this way: Anthony Wilson is no longer 50 years old. He's now 75 years old.

Mr. Kevin Blatt: Yeah. Thank you.

Mr. Leon Margules: And Joe's been catching pads and has been with Juan Urango for a very long time.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: We're not trying to match Devon's hand speed, you know? We're not. You know, as a trainer, I want to make one thing clear. I don't put myself above anybody and, you know, this is directly at Kevin. Kevin, you're a trainer. I'm a trainer. Let's just prepare our boys for March 6th and forget all these--you don't need to be asking questions about, you know, anything else. Let's just see each other on March 6th and let's do this thing, man.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: What do you mean I don't need to be asking questions about any--we on a conference call, man. I mean, is this your first conference call or something? What are you talking about?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: What business of yours what his remark was about when he fought Berto? Berto's in the past, man. You know, worry about March 6th, what's coming--what's ahead of you.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: I ain't worried about March 6th. We got March 6th. And you gonna wish you never showed up for March 6th.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Then, tell your boy not to put track shoes on. Tell your boy to take--.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: --Oh, man, this dude's a clown, man. Move onto the next--.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: --My boy.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: This dude's a clown.

Mr. Kevin Blatt: Well, thanks for answering my question. Thank you.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Talking 'bout a clown.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of--.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: --Yeah, you're a fucking clown. That's what I said--.

Operator: --David Castle with Team 1380 Sports Radio.

Mr. David Castle: Thank you. Now that you guys are nice and warmed up, I actually had a--.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: --You gonna have to sit this one out, man.

Mr. Don King: [Unintelligible.] Get it all down, brothers. This is what it's all about, man. Everybody can say what they want to say, no holds barred, as I said earlier, and everybody can get down for what they worth, you know what I mean? This is what I like about this thing now. Everybody can be a reporter. You don't have to come in and try to divide the house, but come in and try to promote the fight and get the idea of questions of what--about the bout is about, not what the promoter and the fighter is doing [unintelligible].

Mr. David Castle: HBO might have a better undercard with Kevin Cunningham against Pete Fernandez, seemingly, what they've got going on here.

Mr. Don King: Yeah, that can be arranged, too, you know what I mean? That's what promoter extraordinaires do.

Mr. David Castle: What I want to ask to both guys, I want to ask--first, I want to ask Devon and Kevin, I know you guys personally--and then I want to ask the same question to Juan and Pete: you guys--Pete said move on, let's talk about March 6th, things like that, and Kevin, I've seen both guys throughout different websites kind of talking about future fights, talking about what goes on when they win. But, the fact is, you know--and they've also been questioned for doing this. You know, first I'll ask Devon and Kevin, and then I'll ask Pete and Juan. Do you feel like either of you have lost any sort of bit of focus based on the fact that you're talking about future fights instead of focusing on the 6th. I'll ask Kevin, and then Devon first, and then Juan and Pete.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Are you ready for--you want me to respond first?

Mr. David Castle: I do.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Okay. First of all, anybody that knows anything about Kevin Cunningham knows that I'm focused on whatever the task at hand is. Secondly, I--you know, there was some questions on the internet about different fights in the division, so we responded to them. But, that didn't take any focus off what we're doing out here. We don't come to camp for eight weeks, train and running mountains 8,000 feet above sea level and grind the way we do and not be focused. So, come March 6th, you'll see why.

Mr. Leon Margules: You know, let me--I'd like to say something, even though the question wasn't asked of me.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Leon Margules is speaking.

Mr. Leon Margules: And that is that one of the things that make Devon and Juan great is the lack of hesitation that either one showed in wanting this fight or willing to accept this fight.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: That's right.

Mr. Leon Margules: I know that Kevin and Devon really wanted this fight. And when I said to Juan, who do you want to fight, he says, I always wanted that little green belt. So, I know both fighters wanted this fight and neither guy is looking past each other because they've both accomplished a lot in the ring to this point. But, of course, writers and stuff ask what are you gonna do next or what are you gonna do if you win or all that stuff, you know? That's when Don and I are supposed to do our jobs as promoters and make our guy as much money as we can. But, this particular fight, both of these guys wanted to fight each other and really figure out who the best, because these are the two best 140 pounders in the world. You know, you're gonna see Amere Kahn [sp] fighting these kind of guys.

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Right.

Mr. Leon Margules: You know, he's dodging everybody. You're not gonna see--Bradley's on the other network. So, you know, so these are the two guys--the winner of this fight can honestly say they've got two of the four belts and they've unified the title and they're the best at 140 pounds. These are the two best 140 pounders in the world.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Pete, would you like to add anything to that?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: We're just--all we're focused on is Devon Alexander, nothing else. We're--all we're focused on is March 6th. There is no--for us, there's no March 7th: March 6th.

Mr. David Castle: Okay, I think that covers it, Operator.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Michael Garrett with SE Fistica [sp].

Mr. Michael Garrett: Hello, gentlemen. Quickly, Kevin, could you comment about how your opinion is of this fight with Urango versus how you were feeling going into Witter? In other words, do you feel this is gonna be a fight that's gonna be more competitive or do you feel that Juan's style might match up better for an even more explosive performance from Devon? And secondly, the last fight on Showtime answered a lot of questions and I think it quieted a lot of speculation regarding Devon's ability to impose his will on another fighter. Are you looking to have a similar type of explosive and dominating performance on your HBO debut in hopes of getting that bigger fight with a bigger name and having Devon make a name for himself on the national scene on the HBO stage?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Well, first of all, we're definitely looking to--we're always looking to be explosive. We're always looking to be--put on a fan friendly, TV friendly fight. So, in respect to the Witter fight, we had a game plan. We prepared for a smart, tricky veteran former world champion who's fought the best 140 pounders in the world and he was real slicky and tricky. And everybody that Junior Witter had fought prior to us, he made them look horrible, I mean, from Zab Judah to Chop Chop to Tim Bradley to--everybody he fought, he made them look bad. But, you know, Devon looked good beating Junior Witter. So, you know, as far as the experience, you know, that we're hearing this experience stuff, you know, we'll be prepared to deal with ever any experienced guy has to bring to the table. Devon has boatloads of experience. He's had over 300 amateur fights. He was one of the best amateurs in the world. And, you know, he's fought overseas, you know, all over the place. He's got 19 fights. And I've always overmatched Devon coming up. He's always fought guys with lots of wins, lots of experience, former champions coming up through the ranks. So, he's been prepared for this moment the whole time. And I think this is gonna be one of the most exciting fights HBO has put on in a long time, because one thing about it: we know that Juan Urango is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, junior welterweight in the junior welterweight division. He's one--he's probably--he's definitely the biggest junior welterweight in the world. So, we know he's strong, he's tough, he could take a punch and all of that. So, we're prepared to dish it out. So, whatever he can take, we're prepared to dish it out, we're prepared to give it to him all night and we're definitely gonna put on an explosive performance.

Mr. Michael Garrett: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Eddie Goldman with No Holds Barred.

Mr. Eddie Goldman: Thank you. I have another No Holds Barred question for Don King. Don, a number of years ago, of course, you put on the middleweight unification championship series. Now, you're having two of the fighters fight to unify two of the major belts at 140 pounds. Do you see that there can be more unification of these belts, especially recently since the sanctioning bodies met in Mexico to try and work together?

Mr. Don King: Yes, I do, and I think that's what will make the world's best fighter is to get all of the belts and to be, you know, the undisputed champion of that, and then let the other guys just be basic world champions being a super champion as they have already stated. I think Devon is en route to doing that, and we will call out everybody with a belt and whoever else is out there that they think that they want to be to beat the best, and we'll do that, also. That's what makes this exciting. That's what brings back AKA, the Mohammed Ali's, the Larry Holmes, the Ken Norton's. You know what I mean? You have to be able to identify. Right now, nobody knows who's the champion of whatever it is, and that's what we've got to do to restore boxing. You've got to get heroes. And heroes is destined to be heroes when you fight the best like you've got Juan Urango taking on Devon Alexander "the Great." And this is what Leon was saying and reemphasizing that is exactly the direction that we want to go because this is what it is: the world's good trainers, is you've got a Kevin Cunningham that he can chAlange a Pete, all right? So, you know, these are the things that will happen and make the excitement come back into the game, unifying these champions and getting a guy that the people can relate--identify with, not getting handpicked opponents and running away like Amere Kahn is doing and even left his own promoter, the guy who really restored him after getting knocked out in one round. But, that part is gone. That's one thing that this camp has that the rest of them don't have is that type of loyalty, dedication and commitment that a Kevin Cunningham and a Devon Alexander, Don King, we work as a team. It's Team Alexander, you know what I mean? And so, this is what would have to be restored to get these guys to be back. You had a Team Tyson, you had a Team Ali, you know, and a Team Norton. All of these people there, they didn't have to go through the [unintelligible] warfare and internal dispute. They put all their aggression and hostility on the opponent, you know, not on the family. And so, this is a family affair. And what you're seeing now is what opens the door to doing that is by becoming the best undisputedly without anyone being able to question it.

Mr. Eddie Goldman: Okay, thank you.

Operator: Once again, if you'd like to ask a question, please press star, one on your telephone keypad. That's star, and the number one. Our next question comes from the line of David Castle with Team 1380 Sports Radio.

Mr. David Castle: Hey, me once again, guys. This will be probably my last question. It's actually for Kevin. Just knowing the way Devon grew up in St. Louis and, you know, Devon mentioned earlier there were 30 people--30 kids that started out just boxing. What did you see from the beginning, Kevin, that was different about Devon that you kind of felt that, you know, this one's gonna be different, than this one's going to make it?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Hard work and dedication: it's simple as that. Devon always been the hardest working kid in the gym. He'd be the first one to show up and the last one to leave. And he just wanted to get better. He wanted to learn more. He was like a sponge. He wanted to soak up anything he could learn about boxing and any new move, any new punch, any new combination. He wanted to stay after to practice and learn it, perfect it. And he was dedicated. And, you know, Devon has been successful at every level, at every level, from the Junior Olympic Level, he was gold medalist, National Junior Olympic Champion gold medalist. He was USA Champion, National Champion. He's been an elite fighter at every level that he's competed at. And one thing that Devon has, and that's skills. And skill is what pays the bills and that's what's gonna be the difference in this fight on March the 6th.

Mr. David Castle: And, Devon, what drove you from that early age and what drives you to this day?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Oh, man, the passion for boxing. I mean, I love what I do. This is my nine to five. This is my job. Just like you take your job serious or a normal guy on the street take his job serious, that's how you're supposed to do it. This is my nine to five. This is how I feed my family. This is how I become great. So, I mean, this is what I love to do and I just got that passion to get in there and love to do what I do.

Mr. David Castle: Thank you, guys. I appreciate it.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay. While we're waiting to see if there's any final questions, I want to--.

Mr. Don King: --Don't be hesitant. Just come on, man. This is what you want. Now you're gonna get it right from the horse's mouth. You've got them all on there, so we want all the bloggers and all the reporters and everybody that's coming in to talk about promoting boxing and promoting a world prize fight unification, you know what I mean, that's what we want. Come on with it.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay. While we're waiting to see if there's any more questions, let's ask Juan and Devon to--if they'd like to address each other individually. Pete, could you ask Juan, you know, if there's anything--while we have the fighters on the phone, if there's anything he wants to directly say to Devon and what he can expect from him on March 6th?

Mr. Pete Fernandez: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Juan Urango: [Foreign language spoken.]

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Just, you know, God bless him. You know, Juan's a very, very religious man. He says God bless him and may God be with him, God be with both of them, be prepared and let's lace them up, put the gloves on and let's do it March 6th.

Mr. Don King: It's war, Pete, it's war. You're being very diplomatic, but it's war, Pete, it's war.

Mr. Leon Margules: If you know Juan Urango, he's a very diplomatic guy before he gets in the ring, Don.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Okay. And, Devon, would you like to say anything to Mr. Urango?

Mr. Devon Alexander: Oh, man, same here. You know, I wish him all the best, you know? I mean, I really don't like to talk to my opponent before I get in the ring with them.

Mr. Don King: They ain't no friends, so they can bend, you know what I mean? This is what it is. Knock the stick off my shoulder.

Mr. Leon Margules: If you didn't know better, you'd think Pete against--.

Mr. Don King: --Kevin--.

Mr. Leon Margules: --Kevin would be a better fight, but--.

Mr. Alan Hopper: --All right, any final shots, Kevin?

Mr. Kevin Cunningham: Hey, hey--.

Mr. Don King: --Knocking his ass out: that's what the final shot is. All of this [unintelligible] BS, man, we going to war. Ain't no friends here. We all going out there. We'll be friends after November--March the 6th--November--March the 6th. We friends March the 7th.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: March the 7th, I'll shake your hand and I'll kiss you and I'll hug you. March the 6th, it's war.

Mr. Don King: War: that's what it is, you know what I mean: war.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Hey, good luck to everybody. Good luck to everyone. Good luck, Kevin. Good luck, Devon. I wish everybody good luck. Anthony, you got anything--last thing to say? Hey, we'll see you guys March 6th, man.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Is there any more questions before you guys run?

Mr. Don King: Anybody out there, you know what I mean? We want to go in there and beat the guy. We don't wish him no good luck, we don't wish him nothing, you know, nothing but hardship, aches and pains and headaches and stomachaches and cracked rib cages, you know what I mean? That's what we want. And then, we can talk about the healing process on the 7th.

Mr. Pete Fernandez: Bring some Band-Aids.

Mr. Alan Hopper: All righty. That looks like it's a wrap. We want to thank you for joining the Don King Productions conference call supporting Alexander versus Urango at Mohegan Sun on March 6th, the World Championship Unification at 140 pounds.

Mr. Don King: --And we want to thank Harry Davis [sp] and Ross Greenburg [sp], you know, for being able to put this show on and have the visionary opportunity and implement that vision into putting this kind of fight on at Mohegan Sun. These guys are undefeated. They've really been up there doing it and they did it with honor and they did it with integrity. And I want to thank Bob Yalen for doing a tremendous job in being able to acquire this fight and to bring it there to the Mohegan Sun. They've got a great man in Bob Yalen, honorable guy, keeps his word and that's what really counts in this business because that's very rare and hard to come by.

Mr. Leon Margules: All right, guys.

Mr. Alan Hopper: Thank you very much.

Article posted on 22.02.2010



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