Boxing


Daniel Jacobs & Dmitry Pirog Media Conference Call Transcript

K. Swanson: Thanks everybody for calling in again. You can see that we are in full swing for the July 31 Marquez vs. Diaz II Fight of the Year: The Rematch, including these wonderful Undercard conference calls that we are participating in right now. We're happy to have Daniel Jacobs and Dmitry Pirog on the call right now. The translator for Dmitry will be Vadim Kornilov. And without further adieu, I'm going to introduce Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Boy Promotions..

R. Schaefer:
Thank you, Kelly, and welcome everybody to today's conference call. Only a couple weeks to go to the big showdown - Marquez vs. Diaz from the Mandalay Bay, we've had a series of conference calls, and today I'm really excited to have two great fighters on the call. One of the most-anticipated fights on that outstanding undercard is going to be the WBO Middleweight Championship of the World between Danny Jacobs and Dmitry Pirog. This is a tremendous opportunity for both fighters. I know they're going to be very well prepared. I know that both of them are training extremely hard, and so I would like to thank both fighters and their teams for being on the call today.

First I would like to introduce Dmitry Pirog, who is going to be assisted by a translator, Vadim Kornilov, who will be translating for him. This fight by the way, between Jacobs and Pirog is going to be brought to you by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arthur Pelullo's Banner Promotions and German Titov Promotions. And I would like to acknowledge the co-promoters, particularly Artie Pelullo, who I made the deal with to have been able to put this fight together. I know, Vadim, we talked about the fight for a while as well, so I appreciate your assistance and your support in getting this done.

Dmitry Pirog, with a record of 16-0 with 13 KOs is obviously a puncher, but he is an excellent boxer who brings a combination of the European style and American style boxing to the ring. He has an impressive 81 percent knockout rate. I think that tells you what this young man is all about, and his last two opponents he stopped inside the distance, and just before that he actually had a win against a name we all know very well, and we all know that he's a tough guy, and that is Kostya Tszyu, which I think was the most notable win in his 16-0 career.

It is a pleasure now for me to introduce to you Dmitry Pirog, who will be making his U.S. debut at the Mandalay Bay, and again Vadim will be translating. Dmitry will make a short opening statement, and then Vadim will translate that.

D. Pirog:
Thank you, Richard, for the introduction. I'm really happy to be here. I'm happy to be having my first fight in the United States. I have a lot of respect for my opponent who is also a great fighter, also has not had any losses in his career, and I think that makes the fight very interesting, and I'm really looking forward to the fight. I'm glad that I have Banner Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions during this fight. I'm looking forward to being here and giving everybody a great show.

R. Schaefer:
Now it is a pleasure for me to introduce to you a young man from the same Brownsville Brooklyn neighborhood that produced some of the most famous fighters of our generation, including Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Shannon Briggs. The 23-years-young man is undefeated with an outstanding record of 21-0 with 17 knockouts, 85 percent KO ratio. He is the current NABF and NABO Middleweight Champion. He has been one of the most accomplished amateurs, winning the 2003 Junior Olympics National Championship, 2004 United States National Champion in the 19-and-under division, a 2004 National PAL Champion, 2004 National Golden Gloves Welterweight Champion, 2005 National Golden Gloves Middleweight Champion, 2005 National PAL Champion, 2006 United States Amateur Middleweight Champion, and the list goes on and on.

Clearly a young man who, with a tremendous background, started boxing when he was 13 years old and now as a 23-year-old, 10 years into it, he's going to challenge for the Middleweight Championship of the World. He is a young man who comes across very well, has tremendous skills inside the ring, and outside the ring he is just as nice as they come. Very well spoken and an example for the young children from his neighborhood and from across the United States. I think that Danny Jacobs has the opportunity to become the face of boxing here in the United States. He knows he's going in against a tough opponent. It is a battle of two undefeated. It is a pleasure now for me to introduce to you, "The Golden Child," Danny Jacobs.

D. Jacobs:
Well, thank you, Richard. That was a stellar introduction. I really appreciate that. I just wanted to correct you on one thing. I started boxing at the age of 15. So when I say that, I mean that this boxing thing is just really natural for me. The skills that I have and possess and with hard work and dedication, I believe that come July 31, it's going to be an amazing night, not only for me and Dmitry Pirog, but for the whole card.

This fight also has a big significance because, as you all may know, I didn't have a chance to make the 2008 Olympic team. When you think about the Olympics, you think about U.S.A. versus Russia. You don't think about anybody else other than the Russians. And Dmitry is probably the top, if not one of the top Russian fighters out there, and I'm probably the top Middleweight American fighter. So to me, this is my Olympics and this is my gold medal that I never had an opportunity to win, as well as the WBO belt. This is going to be a stellar fight because I know I'm hungry. I'm pretty sure he's hungry. He's training hard. And two undefeated fighters who are young and in their prime, it just goes for a great fight. I'm excited and ready to put my skills against his and see the outcome.

Q:
Danny, have you watched a lot of tape or DVDs on Pirog, and if so can you give us your scouting report, give us your take on his style?

D. Jacobs:
Well, not only do I watch tapes of Dmitry and watch the YouTube clips, but I dream about this guy. I go to sleep thinking about this guy. This guy is all I think about, and this victory is all I think about. So the analysis that I get of seeing him fight is that he's a very crafty fighter.

He's not the average European fighter. He takes little bits and pieces of American fighters and he added to his arsenal, which is amazing. His hand speed is average, but his footwork is pretty good. His head movement is average, but he's a great fighter and he throws tons of punches. So I just look for a great fight. We have a game plan that we're going to execute. I can't give you my game plan, because then I'd have to kill you, but we have a game plan we're going to try to execute to a "T" come July 31.

Q:
You say he has "pieces of the American style." What is that? Are you talking about head movement-?

D. Jacobs:
When I say that, I mean as far as the defense he tries to emulate- you know how you've got that Floyd Mayweather with the hand on the shoulder and the right hand by his head? It's like the shoulder roll kind of stance. There's little things you could pick up that he has like he has a little Philly-shell type of defense at times. So he's really not the average European fighter.

Q:
Did you see any evidence of punching power? Athletically speaking, is he on par with you?

D. Jacobs:
No. I haven't seen any evidence of any punching power. I think his knockouts mostly are of accumulation of punches. I don't see any big, one-punch-knockout punches. I believe all his punches really come from just arm punches. Not to discredit him from anything because he's a good fighter, but at the same time this is what I get from watching his tapes.

Q:
Danny, when you turned pro a couple years ago after you didn't make the Olympic team and you, in your mind, thought about how about my pro career is going to go, are you on schedule where you thought you would be as far as fighting for a world title, two, two-plus years, into your career? Maybe not even quite two years full yet. Or has this been a little bit quicker, a little bit slower? What's your take on the roadmap of Daniel Jacobs's career so far?

D. Jacobs:
I believe the road to this WBO Championship has been above and beyond. I think we've probably moved a little faster than my imagination. When you think of somebody turning pro, you think about that long road that they have to go to get to that championship level. And with the team I have behind me, Al Haymon and Golden Boy, pushing me and getting me the right fights and moving me up the ladder accordingly, I think everything has been going great, and I'm happy and I'm grateful, and I just have to dominate and take advantage of the opportunity.

Q:
We talked a little bit about this very briefly when the fight was first made, and I thought your answer was very eloquent at the time. We talked about the notion that you are fighting for a major world championship, but of course it had been stripped away from Sergio Martinez a week or two before you got the opportunity. So can you just put in perspective the fact that, yes, you and Dmitry are going to fight for a world title and it's going to be a good deal if you win it. But also the fact that there's a guy out there that is clearly regarded, by the public anyway and certainly by the press, as the legitimate champion, if you will. Can you talk about where that puts you?

D. Jacobs:
The statement that I gave you was that I think that the fans will consider me a "paper champion." Personally, I don't agree with the statement, but at the same time I know boxing fans and I know how the fans will perceive me. But at the same time I think it would discredit myself and discredit my team for getting me here and getting me the opportunity and me hopefully winning the belt. All that hard work, I think it would discredit a lot of people for me to call myself a "paper champion." So I definitely will consider myself a champion. And like I said before, if I had an opportunity to take it from Sergio, that's what I would do.

Q:
Dmitry, what are your general thoughts about coming to the United States to have a significant fight, since you have never fought here before?

D. Pirog:
I'm very happy to be here, and even though it's my first fight in America and it's a world title fight right away, I'm still looking forward to it. I really want to get to July 31 because I've fought in Europe and I feel in America the fans are a lot more like fans should be and they understand boxing a lot better. I'm going to enjoy the fight a lot more in America. I've been looking forward to a fight in America because I think the fans will always appreciate good boxing from both of the boxers participating. I'm hoping to have a good fight, have a good time, and make sure the fans enjoy it from both myself and Danny Jacobs.

Q:
Danny, you talked about how that this fight maybe came a little faster than you expected. Can you talk a little bit more about that? If you had your choice, when would it have taken place, the world title shot? Also, the same question for Dmitry. Do you feel that this is a little too quick during your career, and if you are ready for a world title fight at 16 fights?
D. Jacobs:
I don't think it's too, too fast. I don't think that I'm not ready for the situation. I think that I'm very well prepared and that I will hopefully be the victor come July 31. Initially going pro, when you're amateur and you look at these guys who had been pro for so long and never had a title shot, and when they get that title shot they're about 25-0 or maybe about 27-0, somewhere around that range. But initially, if I had my choice, I would have fought for a world title maybe 17-0, but that's just from a boxer's standpoint because I fight so this is what I do. So if I can get an opportunity quicker, why not? I have the skills, I have the youth, and all we had to do was just get a little bit of the experience. And with each fight I think I'm getting a little bit more experience to take it to the next level.

D. Pirog:
I don't think it's a problem at all. We both had an amateur experience, we both have the skills and we have the experience that we need for this fight. We've both had good fights. We've had oppositions. Many of the opponents I've faced previously thought they were going to defeat me and I had a record even lower, so I don't feel that it's that important. Psychologically, I'm ready for a fight like this, and that's the most important. As long as I feel confident and I want to do it, that's what makes the fight happen.

Q:
Dmitry, I'm curious, this is your U.S. debut, it's a big title fight. You're probably going to be more of the underdog. Danny's well-known here. Do you feel that you need to fight any differently than you normally do in order to impress the judges or do you just have to fight your game?

D. Pirog:
I'm not planning on radically changing my fighting style. I don't think it's necessary. There's a game plan for every fight, but the fighting style I'm keeping I'm happy with it. I enjoy fighting in the style in which I fight, and I think that every boxer should enjoy fighting the type of fight that he enjoys fighting.

As far as in America, the fights that I've had in Europe and all over the world, many times you feel like you're coming from somewhere and you're the underdog. What I like about fighting in America, and the reason I've dreamt of fighting in America, is that the boxing scene is a lot more developed. I think what's most important is to give your best and fight well and everything should be fair, as far as the judging and the fans and everything else. So that's why I think everything's going to be okay, and I'm very confident about fighting. I don't feel like anything is going to happen that's going to disappoint me.

Q:
How did you get first get into fighting and what do you love about it?

D. Pirog:
The way I got into boxing is very interesting. When I was really young, I was actually a chess player. I used to play chess, but I wasn't getting enough activity, so I decided to join a sport. So I went to a local gym, it was like a sports gym that has a lot of different sports. You can play soccer, you can do different things there, and I was going initially there to play soccer, but I went into a boxing gym. I tried it and I really liked it, and it just stuck to me, and I was boxing from then on as an amateur and then I went to professional.

As far as what I enjoy the most in boxing, the two things I feel are the most important is the adrenaline during a fight. I really enjoy the actual fight. The second thing that's important is that I'm fighting and I'm the only one responsible. There's nobody else in the ring except for me and my opponent. It's not a team sport, and I really enjoy that as well.

Q:
Danny, you seem to be astute and I wonder what the history of the middleweight division might mean to you. With guys like Bernard Hopkins having dominated it, and then right up the road from you in New York, Marvin Hagler having been a great middleweight, and you seem to really take a lot of pride in being an American in this weight class. Do those things mean anything to you? If you can, elaborate on that.

D. Jacobs:
It definitely means a lot to me. The boxing fans consider the Middleweight division one of the best because it's the best of both worlds. You have power, and you have speed, and you have movement, and pretty much everything that a heavyweight and a lightweight combined in one. So with that being said, I definitely think July 31 has the big puncher and the boxer and the good movement, so it goes for a great show. But just the history in the Middleweight division, with Bernard Hopkins having the belt and defending it, I think he made a world record defending the Middleweight division. And a lot of other guys I've looked up to growing up, I can't name them right off the top of my head, but the Middleweight division has a lot of history, and hopefully I could be just another guy that makes in that division. That's what I plan to do starting July 31.

Q:
Do you see this as a starting weight class? A lot of guys are moving up and going to 175 and then eventually the heavyweight, maybe even cruiser weight. Do you see that? I know it's kind of far in the future, but do you see it as part of your future?

D. Jacobs:
That's definitely something in the future. I wouldn't consider it something in the near future, but definitely something that I would consider. What I want to do first now is worry about the Middleweight division and worry about each fight as it passes. So maybe the 168 division has something to offer, which I'm pretty sure it does, if I get to that level, but I'm making 160 fairly easy. Well, not fairly easy, but I have to work hard to get down to it. Once I see myself working hard and I won't be able to make 160, that's the time I'll probably move up to 168 and take it from there. But I definitely have plans on skipping weight divisions and also be making history in each division.

Q:
Richard Schaefer started out by introducing you as a person from the same areas as Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe. How much does their history mean to you, and how much do they really serve as a motivator?

D. Jacobs:
Wow. It's something that you wouldn't even believe. You'd have to be from my neighborhood to understand that, to feel that. It's like a Mexican fighter representing their country. They put their flag on their back and they rep their country to the fullest. That's how I feel when I'm going in there and I come out to my music. I come out to somebody like a Jay-Z, who's from Brooklyn, or somebody like a MOP, who's from Brooklyn, and I just get that adrenaline rush and it gets me in that mind frame to represent because I know everybody is watching and everybody's looking for me to succeed, to be that next thing from Brooklyn because we have a long history of great fighters. I just want to be one of those guys who just come up the ladder right under somebody like a Zab Judah or somebody like a Riddick Bowe.

Q:
Do you embrace that pressure and that history, does it in any way turn out the better talent in you?

D. Jacobs:
I embrace it. I don't try to outdo myself. I'll outdo the previous fighters because they were their own fighter. I'm my own fighter. I want to create a lane for me. If I don't become the best, if I don't become the greatest, then so be it. But as long as I make a name for myself and at the end of my career the boxing fans will say, "You know what, that Danny Jacobs from Brooklyn, he was one of the best in his time." So I'm not really trying to overdo anybody. I just want to set my own lane and take it from there.

Q:
This has been alluded to before, but maybe you can elaborate a little more on it. I know in all of your amateur career you've had many tournaments here and there and have faced up against many European fighters. I wonder if you'll do anything to accommodate your style to change to accommodate their European approach, which is generally different from the States' as far as this forthcoming fight.

D. Jacobs:
I think the game plan that me and my team has put together is a great plan. I can't really get into details; that would be giving it away. But I think the fighters that Pirog has fought in the past don't present the same skills that I have or the same speed. They just don't match up to me on that level. So I think that with me adding some different people to my team and giving it 100 percent, I think it just goes for a great show. And I believe that come July 31, I will really have to die in that ring, because I don't see anything that can stop me with the shape that I'm in and the hunger that I have and the drive that I want to put down.

R. Schaefer:
Thank you, Dmitry. Thank you, Danny, for participating in the call. Thank you as well to all the media members. I know many of you, including myself; I can't wait for July 31 for the first bell to ring on this amazing card.

I do want to point out quickly as well that the site, www.whorupicking.com, is up and that fight fans are going to have a chance to pick who they think is going to win on this card with all the major fights on it and some other cool stuff. So make sure you check it out.

Again, the fight is July 31 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Tickets are on sale now and, for as little as $50.00, you're going to be able to witness one of the best cards in boxing in recent history, including this fight we discussed today, the WBO Middleweight Championship of the World between Danny Jacobs and Dmitry Pirog.

Again, thank you all, media members. We will have our next media call next Tuesday, July 20, with Juan Manuel Marquez and "Nacho" Beristain. Thank you so much, and I'll see you all in Vegas.

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 Cerveza Tecate and AT&T. The 12-round rematch of the "2009 Fight of the Year" is scheduled for Saturday, July 31 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be for Marquez's Ring Magazine, WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles. The championship fight 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 visit www.marquezvsdiazonthebigscreen.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 17.07.2010



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