Boxing


Marquez vs. Diaz II Undercard Announcement Interview Transcript

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions: Before we talk about the undercard, I just want to make another quick announcement. This Friday, July 2 there is going to be a special edition of Sólo Boxeo Tecate on Telefutura, which is going to go inside Marquez vs. Diaz II. It's going to be a 90-minute special, a deep look into the first fight and an analysis by some very well-known fighters, such as Israel Vasquez and others are going to be talking about the first fight.. Marquez and Diaz are going to be on talking about that first fight and what kind of adjustments they have to make for the second fight and they're going to be showing never before seen camp footage, how these two guys are preparing. So, in a way, it's almost like a 24/7 put into one 90-minute show and that's going to be a special this coming Friday, July 2, which is going to be on Telefutura. So, please make sure you watch out for that.

When we announced Marquez and Diaz II, the rematch of the fight of the year of last year at the Media Center at the MGM Grand when we did the Mayweather and Mosley fight, many of you were excited about this fight and fight fans were asking for a rematch. But the promise that I made there in front of all you media members was that we were going to put together an undercard, which is worthy of the fight of the year, basically a card which will include fights where each one of those could be featured on an HBO or on a Showtime as a standalone fight on the Boxing After Dark or a Showtime fight.

And that's exactly what we accomplished here. I believe that we have put together the best undercard, top-to-bottom, of any fight card that we here at Golden Boy have ever put together and that was a commitment we made to the fight fans out there. That's exactly what we wanted to achieve. As well, from a promotional point of view, I think it's great. We have Cerveza Tecate and AT&T involved again. AT&T, in fact, is cutting a special commercial to showcase the fight, to promote on all English and Spanish language stations. They're going to be spending close to $2 million advertising this fight. Tecate is activating in all of their outlets, as they usually do for a big fight, for fights of that magnitude so we're really excited to have them back on board.

NCM Fathom, the movie theaters, are for those of you who have been to movies recently you might have seen the excellent spot already, so NCM Fathom is fully behind it as well and fight fans will be able to see the fight live from movie theaters across the nation again. Again, underlying the importance of this rematch and, frankly, the importance of this entire card since the entire card will be shown live in the movie theaters as well.

Of course the fight is from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, a beautiful summer night in Las Vegas. The Mandalay Bay has so much to offer. They have special room rates as well, so I encourage fight fans to make the trip to Vegas. Tickets are available starting as little as $50 and ringside are $350, so a great time to go to Las Vegas.

Now, let's move to the card. Oscar de la Hoya is going to be talking about the card, the televised portion, but there is going to be another fight on where we will show highlights, which I'm, frankly, very excited about as well.

One of the young emerging stars from England, who is actually promoted by Hayemaker, David Haye and by Golden Boy, is a fighter by the name of George Groves. George is very quickly making a name for himself and he will be there fighting on the July 31 card and the pay-per-view will include highlights from George Groves. In George Groves' corner is going to be no other than the heavyweight champion of the world, David Haye, so it's going to be an exciting added attraction to have David and George Groves there at the Mandalay Bay.

Now, it is a pleasure for me to introduce to you the President of Golden Boy, my good friend, Oscar de la Hoya, who is going to be talking about those six fighters on the televised undercard, which have a combined record of 153 wins with only 12 losses and 108 knockouts between them. So, talking about explosive, I think it cannot get any more explosive than this undercard we have put together here. Oscar, please.

Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions:
I want to first thank all the staff of Golden Boy, Richard, the matchmakers, to everyone who put all their hard work into this fight card, it truly is something that is unheard of today in the boxing world. We're always used to getting the main event as the attraction and the undercard sometimes is left behind. But this is not the case. July 31 will be something very special. The first fight of the evening we have Jorge Linares, "El Nino De Oro" who will be fighting Rocky Juarez.

Now, the reason why this is a very special and interesting fight is because this is a fight where both fighters know they have to win or else their career might end. You have Linares, who is coming off a good win after suffering his first knockout loss in Mexico. He, obviously, has all the talent in the world. He was viewed upon by many writers as the up-and-coming next champion, young emerging star. And you have him facing a young veteran who never gives up in Rocky Juarez.

We feel this fight here, obviously, can headline any HBO night or Showtime, whatever you want to put it on. This fight can be a standalone in any of those network televisions. Also, as a special treat we have another great fight. The second fight of the evening will face Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero against Joel Casamayor.

Now, as a fight fan and a fan's perspective this fight has fireworks written all over it. Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, he has a strong determination to go out there and become world champion and to beat everyone that's put in front of him. Joel Casamayor is no pushover.

Yes, he is 38 years of age, but 38 years young. Joel Casamayor keeps on proving to us that he still has another fight left in him, so this fight in my eyes is evenly matched because it's the experience and because of the youth that both fighters bring to the table. It equals itself out with experience, youth, power, strength, speed and intelligence. You have that bundled into one fight that night.

And the third fight that we'll be televising will be Daniel Jacobs, the great sensation out of Brooklyn, New York, who will be making his first title appearance against Dmitry Pirog. He will be making a title defense against the young, emerging lion in Daniel Jacobs and I'm truly excited about this fight because as we all know that styles make fights and Daniel Jacobs has a tremendous style. He can pick it up whenever he wants. He has the power to knock you out. He has the speed, obviously, he has the intelligence. But Dmitry is a fighter who before we made this fight I studied him left and right. He's a fighter who keeps coming forward, but is very, very smart. He has your typical European come forward type of attitude, but he's very, very smart in boxing and I think this fight has fight of the year written all over it.

Any one of these fights on the undercard can be a candidate for fight of the year for 2010. That's what makes it so exciting is that not only Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz can once again give us the same action, the same excitement they did last year, but all of these fights on this card July 31 from the Mandalay Bay can give us a big bang for our buck. I mean talk about a big bang for our buck; it doesn't get any better than this. Obviously, we can put the biggest names out there on one card and spend a lot of money on putting these fighters together and doing a spectacular night, but the fact that we put all these guys together, the fact that we wanted to spend the money and to give the fight fans a treat and we're not fooling anybody here.

Everybody knows these fights are exciting. Everybody knows these fights can go either way. These fights are not mismatches. These fights are not fights where we know who is going to win. No, these fights are exciting fights that one punch can end it all for any one of these guys, so this is truly a special treat for us within Golden Boy and, hopefully, it's a special treat for all the media, for all the fans, for the boxing world. I'm really looking forward to watching this card July 31.

Schaefer:
Before we open it up for questions, I want to thank as well HBO and HBO Pay-Per-View. They have put their full muscle, marketing muscle, behind this card. It will be announced by their A-Team, so it will be a fully produced, HBO Pay-Per-View night of boxing and that's why with this card we're really happy we were able to deliver that. The fight of the year, Marquez and Diaz, really has become the night of the year and with these guys on the card, nine world titles, an Olympic gold medal, an Olympic silver medal between them, an amazing knockout ratio with 108 knockouts, 153 wins. I mean, as Oscar said, it doesn't really get much better than that.

We at Golden Boy made, as Oscar indicated, a huge financial commitment to this card to really deliver to the fight fans what they want and what they deserve. Having said that now, we'd like to open it up to the media for any questions they might have for Oscar or for me.

Q:
First of all, one of the complaints that I hear after a lot of these big pay-per-view cards especially is that the under cards really suck. And sometimes it's just a valid complaint and sometimes it's a little overblown. But it does seem like the days of having great top-to-bottom cards, especially on these pay-per-view events, they seem to have almost vanished. How important is it for you guys as well as the other big promoters to make sure that when fans are paying $49.95 for a big pay-per-view event that they get a good top-to-bottom card?

De La Hoya:
This is key in making sure that we not only keep our existing fans of the boxing world, but we attract more boxing fans and when you have a fight card like this one, I mean you have Jorge Linares, Rocky Juarez, Robert Guerrero, Joel Casamayor, Daniel Jacobs, Dmitry Pirog, a world champion, this is really from top-to-bottom, it's going to be a great night of fights. This is one card that we wanted to make sure and we didn't think about or care about how much money we spent. We just wanted to make sure that we have great fights, that the fans are happy because it's good for boxing.

Schaefer:
What I want to add to that is, and I'm taking certainly my fair share of blame for that, but you know when you have pay-per-view cards where you have two promoters involved, unfortunately often the undercard becomes a matter of splitting the spots and matching fighters from their respective stables fighting each other and I think that is one of the issues, which I often deal with when we do put these cards together. When you do a card, which is all Golden Boy in this particular case, then you sort of like don't have to get approval from other promoters and things like that. You really sort of can use your best efforts to put together the best possible card, and I think that's the result we see here.

Q:
I think, Richard, you told me recently that Amir Khan is going to be at the fight and that maybe - you didn't say for sure - you just said maybe he might fight the winner. And I just want to know if either one of you gentlemen have seen the quotes by Freddie Roach that were posted today on BoxingScene.com, actually, of Roach saying about Marquez and Diaz, basically he was saying he would rather fight Maidana next because they're both washed up; they're over the hill, in speaking of Marquez and Diaz. Do you guys have any thoughts on those quotes from Freddie Roach?

Schaefer:
I haven't seen those quotes and when I talked to Freddie last he felt very much that he would like to fight the winner of Marquez and Diaz and I just came back from London a couple of weeks ago and I know that is the fight Amir would be interested in as well. But Amir made it clear to me and, I have to admit, so did Freddie, that this is not the only option. Other options would be a Maidana or a Katsidis, so I think the good thing is in these weight classes you have so much depth that you can pretty much mix or match. I would love to see a Maidana vs. Amir Khan fight, no problem whatsoever, and then the winner of Marquez and Diaz fighting Katsidis, there's nothing wrong with that either. There are so many great fights out there in this particular weight class as a fight fan, first and foremost, we can just really be excited and look forward to some great match-ups, so it doesn't really matter who is going to be fighting who because we know it's going to be fireworks. And, yes, Amir Khan will be at the fight on July 31 and will be, of course, very closely watching on what's going to happen.

Q:
Hey, Oscar, did you have any thoughts on Roach's quote?

De La Hoya:
Well, the great thing about this is that, this is kind of like do or die for every fighter that we have on this card, for every fighter this is do or die, including the main event. Like Richard stated, the winner is going to move on and fight whoever at 140; that's going to be very attractive for them for the months to come, for their future. This is a fight where if Juan Diaz wins he has many options. If Juan Manuel Marquez wins, he has many options, so this is a do or die fight for both of them and I think that whether he wants to fight Maidana, whether he wants to fight anyone at 140, the winner is going to have that choice to make and that's why it's so exciting.

Q:
I know what the card is, of course, it's a good looking card. I wonder, what was the decision behind taking this specific card and trying to beef up, as it was alluded to in previous questioning about the complaint, and I hear the same thing from a lot of the fans that I come in contact with, readers and such, that they are disappointed with undercards. What was it about this particular card that made you decide to beef it up more than the most recent past pay-per-views have been, from Golden Boy as well as other companies?

Schaefer
Well, I think when you actually look at Golden Boy standalone pay-per-views, where you not forced to mix and match between two promotional outfits, fighters from their respective rosters, then I think Golden Boy usually delivers on big undercards.

I think this one here, as I said, I have to admit I think is the best we've ever done and I made that comment when we had the press conference and I really wanted to try to live up to it. We really don't want this to be a stand alone. We really want this to set a standard and set a trend and you can quote me on that. And when we're ready to be putting together our September pay-per-view, I want to do the same.

We want to have, again, a top-to-bottom solid card, which fight fans can be excited about and this one is hopefully the first of many steps in the right direction; not just from us, but from other promoters as well.

De La Hoya:
Just to add to Richard's comments, America was built on freedom, right? America was built on freedom.

Q:
You sound like Don King, Oscar.

De La Hoya:
Well, Golden Boy had the freedom of putting on a spectacular show and come July 31 we're going to give you fireworks. So, as long as we can have the freedom, as long as we can make sure that we're putting our fighters and we're matching them up against hard, tough competition we're going to see some great cards and when you have that freedom, it's a beautiful thing because we don't have to answer to anybody.

We don't have to go out and ask for permission to put this guy and that guy. It makes it much better for the promoter; it makes it much better for the fans.

Schaefer:
You know, saying you sound like Don King, love him or hate him, I have to say long before I was involved in boxing I used to have a little place out in Palm Springs and used to be watching the fights, and that was in the mid-80s, and Don King used to put on these great, great cards and I think people, fight fans, still talk about those cards and if we can go back to these cards, which really wasn't the main event, but it was just an event top-to-bottom, the kind of fights you just wanted to see a single one, then I think that's maybe a way boxing is going to evolve and, hopefully be able to bring new fans, additional fans, to the sport of boxing.

Q:
I think we've established that this is a very nice card, obviously. I don't think there's anybody that's questioning that and while I appreciate that as a fan, I'm sure many of the other writers and readers and fight fans appreciate that also. To play slightly the devil's advocate and not to get into a big argument about it, but my question is this, why isn't this the norm? Why are we celebrating a really good card, when this is the way it's supposed to be every time out because people are being asked to pay 50 bucks for a show?

Schaefer
I agree with you. I can't argue that. That's the way it should be and I think that's what fight fans deserve.

Q:
Oscar, do you have any comment about that?

De La Hoya:
Well, I go back to freedom, as long as Golden Boy Promotions can have freedom to put on the fight cards that fight fans want to watch, then it's going to happen. We have no problem with doing so.

Q:
But even when you do a show with another promoter, let's say you've teamed up many times with some of the big, big fights with Top Rank, Golden Boy unto itself has the ability to put on at least a singular fight of its own, as does the other company and maybe there's one that you have to mix and match or that you're going to flip a coin to see who gets the spot.

So, it's hard to see just because you control the entirety of the show that that should make it a better card. When you have a card that's split between promoters, you still have solo control over at least part of the card, don't you?

De La Hoya:
I'm sure Richard is going to agree with me here too. Sometimes have to go through budget with other promoters and you cannot spend so much money and it makes it difficult to make the right fights and we wanted to just make sure that with this fight card we didn't care about budget, we didn't care about how much money we were going to spend. No, we cared about how much bang you are going to get for your buck; that's what we cared about and so when you have other promoters it makes everything much more difficult.

Schaefer:
This is a major financial commitment on our part and we do hope that the fight fans, those who always complain out there, well, there wasn't really a good card or this wasn't good or that wasn't good, are going to come out and really support that card because at the end of the day who likes to lose a few million dollars? Nobody, so I do hope that when we give the product and we do have the product, that we are going to be proven right and that we will be encouraged by the fight fans by their support for this amazing card, that they're going to say we like it through their actions, by buying the pay-per-view, we like it, we support you when you put these kinds of cards together. If that's going to be the case, I give you my word. I give you my word that this is going to be the norm, and not the exception. But if fight fans are going to be like, oh, I'm not really going to buy it and so on, then it becomes a huge loss for us. Then I really don't want to hear any more either, well, you know what this is not good or that is not good. We are trying to basically sell here an event from top-to-bottom and I hope the fight fans, the fight freaks, are going to embrace it.

Q:
Terrific. What do you spend it on then if the budget is so big?

Schaefer:
Well, I think the overall event budget is going to be close to $4 million.

Q:
It occurs to me that there are so many story lines on this card. You've young/old, you've got guys who are coming back, guys who are slipping, guys who have great futures and guys, like Oscar was saying, who could be on their last legs if they lose. From a reporter's standpoint we want to help you promote this, what kind of access are we going to get to these guys over the next month?

Schaefer:
Very good question and I'm glad you actually bring it up because what we will do is our PR team will make separate conference calls with each one of these fights. So, there will be one for Jacobs/Pirog, there will be one for "Ghost" Guerrero and Casamayor and there will be one for Linares and Rocky Juarez so that you have direct access to them as well. If you do want to have specific one-on-ones and so on, then I encourage you to contact our PR team, for English, Monica Sears and for Spanish, Ramiro Gonzalez so that they can hook you up directly with the fighters and the fighters are excited to be part of that card and they made the commitment to us that they will make themselves fully available to all media.

Q:
So, how do we contact those two? Do you have e-mails or telephone numbers?

Schaefer:
Yes, you can contact Monica Sears.

Sears:
You can just call our main office at 213-489-5631 and they'll get you to us.

Schaefer:
And Monica will contact the fighters and will coordinate your schedule and the fighter's schedule and hook you up one-on-one.

Q:
Sounds good. Of the most compelling stories on the card, I mean there are so many of them, two of them are, Linares who was just a stud and then he gets stopped in one round and probably didn't look his greatest in his last fight. What is your assessment, Richard and Oscar, of what he has left and what's at stake for him in this fight?

De La Hoya:
Yes, Linares actually reminds me of what Amir Khan went through. If you recall, Amir Khan got knocked out in one round, and then he came back. People thought he was washed up and then he came back in a spectacular fashion and now is on top of the world. I feel the same way for Linares. Suffering a knockout in your career is not easy, and coming back from it is even harder, but this fight here, it's not going to be an easy one against Rocky Juarez. This is a true, tough test against a real fighter in Rocky Juarez. If Linares is not going to pass this test, if he's not going to win this fight, then we have to reevaluate his career. We have high hopes for Linares and obviously we still have high hopes for Rocky Juarez, that's what makes it so special.

We don't know what's going to happen. We don't know who is going to win. We're hoping both guys come out and fight the fight of their lives, and they receive the Fight of the Year Award. We just don't know what's going to happen. Linares reminds me of Amir Khan in a way where he has to look spectacular.

Q:
What about Rocky? Rocky is in every fight that he fights, but lately he's found a way to fall short, particular the low point against Litsau. He's been against Chris John twice, Barrera twice, what do you have to say about what he's got at stake?

De La Hoya:
We have to change Rocky Juarez's batteries. I think he's like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps on going and going, and he just has to train harder, stay focused and really go out there and be determined for those 12 rounds, because Rocky Juarez keeps on falling short, but he keeps on coming back. That's what I like about Rocky Juarez, he always makes the fight, he's always in the fight, he always has a chance to win the fight. That's why we made him fight with Linares because you don't know if Rocky's going to fall short, you don't know if Rocky's going to break through and win a world title. It's hard to say. He does have a stiff, tough test in front of him against Linares.

Schaefer:
The interesting thing is with Rocky Juarez, I actually had the conversation with him after his last fight because you see a pattern in every single one of his fights. Yes, in those big fights he came short, but he came short because of the first half of the fight. So if he could fight in the first half of the fight the way the way he fights in the second half of the fight, more often than not it's the other way around because it's a stamina or conditioning problem, but not with Rocky. Rocky's always better in the second half of the fight. He won against all of these guys. And if he can just start faster and better, I think it can really propel Rocky to a total different level. And he realizes that and he knows that. He said for his next fight, that's where his focus is going to be, to start the same way as he finishes.

Q:
Robert Guerrero is probably the most compelling story on the card, coming back from his wife's cancer and trying to chase down a Marquez fight. Is this move to 139 an indication that he might also consider moving into the Junior Welterweight division?

De La Hoya:
Guerrero's story obviously hits home for me because of what he's fighting for. Obviously that's always a huge motivation for any person to excel and succeed and to push yourself even further to really try and be the best. Guerrero is training hard. He's a great warrior. He has his future ahead of him. He can do so many things in the boxing world and he knows it and he's ready for it. This is another tough fight for him. He's obviously trying to position himself to compete at the 140 pound weight division. He knows that all the champions are there. He knows that's the hot weight division. This is not a do or die fight for him, but he's in a position right now where he can really, really open the eyes of many boxing fans and many boxing critics out there that he belongs at 140. In this fight between him and Casamayor ,we have ex-gold medalists, ex-world champions, fighters with all of the experience in the world. It's not an easy task but if he can pass it with flying colors, then we have another real player at 140 pounds.

Q:
This is a question for Oscar (in Spanish).

De La Hoya:
He was asking how important it was for us to put this card together and I told him, this is a big commitment from us within Golden Boy. It's a big financial commitment, as well, but it was important for us as the sole promoters to show the public and the boxing world that when we do it on our own, it makes it much easier for us to put these fight parts together, and each fight can be a headline on HBO or Showtime. He was asking me about Juan Manuel Marquez, how he's always wanted Pacquiao, he's always been dreaming about Pacquiao. I told him, look, if Juan Manuel Marquez wins, and it's obviously not a guarantee, he has the option of fighting Pacquiao, he has the option of fighting Amir Khan, he has many options. It's a matter of winning the fight in a spectacular fashion, and then we'll talk about his future, but first things first. July 31 will not be easy.

Schaefer:
I just want to quickly add something to that. For those of you media members who were there when Pacquiao and Marquez fought the last time in Vegas, where we all felt that Marquez should have gotten the decision, I pushed for the rematch and I was told, well, it's not right, the timing is not right. I can assure you that the timing is never going to be right. I don't think that Pacquiao is ever going to - or maybe Arum is ever going to want to have another piece of Marquez because, even though I'm not a boxing expert, I have learned one thing: styles make fights and somebody might have somebody's number, and Marquez has Pacquiao's number. That's why I think that fight is never going to happen again. But that's OK, because there are so many great fights out there for the winner of Marquez and Diaz. We are in such a deep division, as I told you before. Many, many great and exciting matchups can be made, so I just wanted to quickly make that point.

Q:
Richard, what do you expect in the sales in pay-per-view?

Schaefer:
This is such a great part that I do hope that even it would be somewhere in the 300,000-500,000 range.

Q:
Oscar, I'm doing a series of stories on all of the fights, but beginning with Guerrero. We know that he stepped out of the ring for a couple of times, rightfully so, to be next to his wife, Casey, and thank God she's doing much better and his entire family. I know that he's hungry. I know that he wants to get back in the ring like he did this year already. My question to you is, did he pose names to you about who he wants to fight? Did you pose Casamayor to him or how was that planned, with regard to Robert?

De La Hoya:
The way it was planned was, Robert, as a fighter now, being determined, and now he's saying I'm back, I know what I'm fighting for. He's fighting for his wife, he's fighting for himself, he wants to be a world champion. He's willing to fight anybody. Our thought was, okay, Casamayor is a dangerous opponent, an experienced opponent, different weight class. Casamayor is heavier. Yes, he's fast, he's strong. It will be very difficult for both fighters, but his team felt this was the right fight and the next step for him. He wants to fight anybody, 135 or 140, he wants to fight the best because he wants to be, not only a one-time or two-time world champion, he wants to be a multiple world champion.

I have to take my hat off to him because another fighter in his position, another fighter that would have his wife going through what she's going through, would probably just take its toll and someone else would hang it up and drift into the sunset. Not Robert. It's given Robert strength, strength that his wife wants him to fight on, it gave him strength because he knows what he's fighting for now. It's a whole different mentality for Robert and I really have to applaud that and I appreciate that because he's a warrior, a fighter that knows what he wants and he knows what he's fighting for.

Q:
Do you remember him bringing up any names in your meetings?

De La Hoya:
No, I don't. But he's willing to fight anybody.

Q:
Let's say he takes out Casamayor. What's next for him? Do you want to give out any names?

De La Hoya:
Well, first thing is first. I haven't discussed it with his team. I haven't discussed it with Robert, so I think the appropriate thing that I should do is focus on this fight, July 31, and then we'll see what happens. The beauty about long division is that there are so many great champions, there's so many opponents that are out there for him. One thing is for sure, we're not lacking chances, we're not lacking opponents in this division.

Schaefer:
Actually, he mentioned to me, as well when I talked to him, that he would love to fight the winner of Marquez and Diaz, as well, so the one thing he does want is the big fight. He's the kind of fighter who doesn't shy away from fighting anyone. As Oscar said, and as I said before, with Guerrero moving in that 140-lb weight class, 135-140-lb weight class, I think we have an exciting young fighter with a great compelling story added into the mix. Victor Ortiz, as well, so many really great names out there. It's really an exciting time to be a fight fan.

Q:
A lot of people talk about Juan Manuel Marquez but having been in Houston and having Juan Diaz in Houston, he's having training difference so nobody talks about him. What do you think about him - he's a warrior in the ring - if he loses this coming fight, do you think he will retire? Will he go somewhere else? We all know that he's going to school to be a lawyer, so do you think he has a big chance to beat Juan Manuel Marquez? He's training really hard; I've seen that, so do you think he has a chance to beat Juan Manuel Marquez?

De La Hoya:
Absolutely, he has a great chance of beating Juan Manuel Marquez, but as you first saw in the first fight, Juan Diaz was winning the fight. In this game, you never know what's going to happen. Unfortunately, he did get caught with an upper cut from the great Juan Manuel Marquez. There's no shame to that because he got beat by a great champion. But I'm sure his team, Juan Diaz has analyzed the fight, they've studied the fight, and I'm sure they're going to make adjustments because what they were doing the first half of the fight was working for them.

Whether he wins or loses, Juan Diaz will probably still fight again because that's the type of warrior he is. He wants to become world champion again. He has something to fall back on; yes, he can become a lawyer; yes, he can go to school and be happy there and become the lawyer he wants to become, but he's on a mission right now. That mission is to beat the guy that beat him because he knows he can do it. He knows he can make the adjustments to beat him, so that's why this fight is such an important fight. It's such a compelling fight. It will be such an exciting fight once again, because styles make fights. Whoever can adjust the best is going to win.

Q:
This question is for Oscar (in Spanish).

De La Hoya:
He asked - he heard through the grapevine that we have huge plans for September because it's, I believe, the two-hundredth anniversary of Mexico in September. He heard that we have great big plans with Canelo and some other fighters. I told him we're going to focus on July 31, but it is true, I am flying out to Mexico to meet with Televisa and talk about Canelo and September, but first things first. We have some very, very important fights July 31 and then we'll take it from there.

Q:
With Daniel Jacobs fighting for an alphabet title, was the plan always for him to fight for a title this soon into his career or was it just an opportunity that fell in his lap, and fell in your lap, so to say?

Schaefer:
Well, we obviously didn't know how these things would be unfolding at the middleweight division, so we didn't really make a plan but the opportunity presented itself, and the fact that Danny and Dmitry were both highly-ranked fighters, we quickly jumped on the opportunity. We discussed with Danny and Danny was thrilled to be fighting for a world title. To have a young man, a 23-year-old, with a record of 20-0 with seven KOs, from Brooklyn, NY, trying to carry on that rich boxing tradition from Brooklyn, and bringing a middleweight championship back to Brooklyn, is absolutely fantastic and amazing. He has made me a fan.

He's so exciting, Danny Jacobs, always in great shape, just a terrific, terrific young man. He comes across very well, very well spoken, and I really believe that July 31, if everything goes well, the American boxing public and boxing landscape is going to have one new world champion who can really carry the sport for many years to come and can really develop quite an attraction, not only on the East Coast but as well here on the West Coast because of the style and the way he comes across. We have big, big hopes for Danny and we're excited that he has that opportunity. I know with Dmitry Pirog, who has wins and two titles on his resume, who is undefeated himself with 16 fights and 13 KOs, this is not going to be a walk-in-the-park for Danny Jacobs. Some people have whispered in the back that it might be a little bit too much too soon for Danny, but we believe that Danny will be ready and will bring the title back home to Brooklyn.

Q:
Two more things you can add to Danny Jacobs resume, that he's humble and probably the most honest guy in the industry. I think it was Dan Rafael who wrote an article about him, talking about the upcoming title opportunity, and Jacobs himself even admitted that Sergio Martinez is the true champion out there, that he's just fighting for a title. You don't hear fighters saying that too often, so I really appreciate that part about him.

Schaefer:
Yep, that just shows you the kind of person he is, you're absolutely correct.

Q:
Absolutely. On Jorge Linares, I know when you signed him; you had big plans for him. Obviously he had the big setback last year and now he's on the comeback trail. You don't fight a guy like Rocky Juarez without something else - you don't take that fight just for the sake of taking the fight. I just wanted to know if something was in place for Jorge, should he win next month.

De La Hoya:
Yes, obviously, the door is well open for Linares if he does get to Rocky Juarez. It's not an easy fight, as Richard mentioned. Rocky is going to fight the first half the way he fights the second half of the fight, which will help obviously because we have fighters who always fight the beginning of the fight and then ease off towards the end.

Anyway, I feel that Jorge Linares, the sky's the limit for him because he's such a talented, talented fighter. He can move, He can box. He reminds me of Amir Khan, the way his career blossomed, that's what we're hoping for, for Jorge Linares. He did have that stumble, that roadblock with that knockout loss, but slowly but surely he's going to come back from it. That's the sign of a great champion. First we have to take care of this fight for him July 31, and if he comes out victorious, obviously there are bigger and better things for him. You never know what's going to happen.

Schaefer:
This, obviously, is a real test for Jorge. This is not just sort of like a layup. It's a real test for Rocky, as well. I do think that the winner, if they decide to stay at Lightweight, you have another name there that could fight the winner of a Marquez and Diaz, or fight Michael Katsidis. That would be an exciting fight as well. The same is true for Rocky, or if they decide to fight at the Junior Lightweight, we have conversations with our friends and partners in Germany who are the promoter of Vitali Tajbert, the WBC champion, so there are definitely opportunities there for whoever might win.

Q:
Going back to what you were saying earlier about when you're in control of your own cards, you do try to stack up the undercards; it does speak for itself, you are correct on that, Richard. How troublesome will it be for when a big super fight comes along, like should Mayweather-Pacquiao finally happen? Fans are going to want to see more than just the main event. This card is excellent, but with a main event, like Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz, you need an undercard to entice it even more. The mindset seems to be that, like a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, or even them two fighting whoever, isn't like those events sell themselves. So how troublesome is it for you knowing that when a fight like that comes along, you're going to want to have a bigger undercard? Obviously you don't want to hold up the show if a big undercard doesn't come, but at the same time, your name is on the product.

Schaefer:
I think we all need, as I said before, to make a commitment, as much as for Golden Boy, but really for all the promoters out there, to really try to make an effort to put together better undercards. I think the fight fans deserve that. As I said, sometimes it becomes a bit political and it makes it difficult, but having said that, if you do have a big card and you split the undercard, each promoter gets one, then there's really no excuse for it. I don't want to bullshit anybody because there's really no excuse, and I do hope that we can use this card in this event, which as I said before, hopefully will be embraced by the boxing fans and the media and the consumers, and say, hey, you know what? You guys are onto something. We support you and we're in your corner. We're going to buy these kinds of pay-per-views. That's what it really takes. Here we are, sort of like rolling the dice. We're taking a big financial risk. We're making a big financial statement. Again, I hope that we will get the support.

Q:
This reminds me of four years ago when you had Barrera and Juarez, the rematch. You had a fantastic undercard that night. It was including Israel Vasquez coming off the canvas to knock out Jhonny Gonzalez. How satisfied were you with the results of that evening as far as fan viewership and participation? And how could you compare it to what you expect to come out of this card?

Schaefer:
It was an OK performance; it wasn't a lights out performance. We didn't really have the Fight of the Year to deal with either as the main event, and I think here we do have an explosive fight on top of the card which we know can only be a good fight because of the styles of these two guys and the history. I think this is a little bit different so I do hope that we will get the reaction from the fight fans.

Oscar, do you want to give any closing comments?

De La Hoya:
Thank you very much. We're looking forward to being in Las Vegas that whole week of the fight. We will have all the fighters available. I will be available. We're looking forward to a special night of boxing. This is something of a start of new and bigger and better things for Golden Boy. We're looking forward to all the media going out to Las Vegas covering this fight and it will something special and something memorable that we're all looking forward to, so thank you very much.

END OF CALL

Marquez vs. Diaz II "Fight of the Year: The Rematch" is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Tecate and AT&T. The 12-round rematch of the "2009 Fight of the Year" is scheduled for Saturday, July 31 and will be for Marquez's Ring Magazine, WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles. The championship fight will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Tickets for Marquez vs. Diaz II are priced at $350, $250, $150, $100 and $50 and are on sale now. Tickets are available for purchase at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

The Marquez vs. Diaz II pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95 and will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Marquez vs. Diaz II fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.

Marquez and Diaz will appear larger-than-life on the big screen presented by NCM Fathom. Marquez vs. Diaz II "Fight of the Year: The Rematch"will be broadcast in high definition LIVE to more than 270 movie theaters nationwide at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Tickets to see this fight on the big screen are available at theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.

For more information on these events, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com or www.whorupicking.com, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing.

Article posted on 03.07.2010



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