Boxing


Manny Pacquiao Media Conference Call Transcript

14.11.06 - FRED STERNBURG: It’s “The Grand Finale!” – Three-Division World Champions Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales – will get it on for the third and final time to determine the best man in the ring. They each own a victory over each other. Both fights have been complete sell outs in Las Vegas and have sold well over 700,000 Pay-Per-View buys combined so we’re looking forward to another outstanding event where these guys just won’t give up an inch of ground inside the ring. Bob Arum yesterday announced at Manny Pacquiao’s workout that we’re already looking for in excess of 10,000 extra seats just to accommodate closed circuit spectators in Las Vegas because it looks like it’s headed to a complete sell out. We will be on HBO Pay- Per-View live on November 18th from Thomas & Mack starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. To tell you a little bit more about the event it’s my pleasure to introduce the CEO of Top Rank and the promoter, Bob Arum..

BOB ARUM: Fred, thank you, and welcome Manny to this conference call. We heard from Erik earlier in the week. Everybody’s anticipating this fight to take place, Saturday, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Just one note – the press conference will be held at noon at the Thomas & Mack on Thursday and the weigh-in will be held on Friday at 2:00 p.m., also at Thomas & Mack. It’s a pleasure now for me to introduce the pride of the Philippines, one of the great fighters in the world today, a terrific young man, Manny Pacquiao.

FRED STERNBURG: Manny it was very exciting watching you work out yesterday at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. You look like you’re ready to go today. How has your training camp been going and what are your feelings going into next week and meeting Erik Morales for the third time?

MANNY PACQUIAO: My feeling is we’re ready to fight on Saturday. We’re 100 percent conditioned physically and mentally.

FRED STERNBURG: I heard you say to the media at your workout that that this may have been your hardest training camp ever. Do you feel that that’s going to be a benefit for you against Erik Morales and that you feel that you really had to go all out to get the best out of you so that you could defeat the best of Eric Morales?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, yes. We train the hardest for this fight we worked twice as hard than any other training camp before. We’re going to put on a great fight and make the fans happy.

Q: Manny, the report said you had around 150 rounds of sparring for this match and rumor has it you’re looking to finish Morales in the first couple of rounds. Is that true?

MANNY PACQUIAO: That’s right. I have sparred over 150 rounds and, you know, I’m not going to promise that I’ll knock him out – I’ll do my best to make people happy – I’ll do my best to give him a good fight.

Q: Manny, just one more question. I know that over in the Philippines you have an acting career and doing some Filipino movies and commercials – do you plan in continuing that after you retire?

MANNY PACQUIAO: After my boxing career, I don’t know. We don’t know yet.

Q: Manny, what do you think about the Personal Velocity training that Erik Morales is doing. Do you think that’s going to help him on Saturday?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I think it’s going to help him to make his weight.

Q: You know somebody said yesterday that you are training for the fight but Erik Morales is training to make weight and it seems to me like that would give you a big advantage. Do you agree with that?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes. I’m training hard to win and to fight every minute of every round in the ring. Morales is training hard to make weight and training hard to win. That’s a lot for a fighter to do.

Q: Manny, your other two fights with Erik have had lots of action and they’ve been very exciting fights. What makes this kind of fight fun for you?

MANNY PACQUIAO: All my fights are really exciting which make them fun. I want to make people happy watching the fight so that’s why I train hard.

Q: Yes, Manny, we know in your last fight in with Barrera you were off on all scorecards before you TKO’d him – would you like to get a shot at him assuming you win the fight with Erik?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Well, actually no. I’m very close to my fight with Morales and I don’t want to talk about another fight yet.

Q: Manny, this question’s about your super stardom in the Philippines. You know you starred in movies – a movie has already been made about your life, you make music, you’re an endorsement machine, I think crime basically stops on the night of your fights and even the President’s husband attends your fights. And you know those are all great things but, on the other hand, you know, it might make you feel like the weight of a nation is on your shoulders. Can you talk a little bit about, you know, the pressures that you might feel and how you deal with that?

MANNY PACQUIAO: When I am in the ring I am also fighting for my people. I want to make my country proud and make my fans happy. It is very important to me because my country is important to me. That is why I must win. Our fight is bigger than the two of us because we carry more into the ring than most other fighters. We carry the heart and soul of our people, and the pride and honor of our nations. The pressure on us is enormous which is why I will be on the attack the second I hear the bell for round one. But there can only be one winner and that winner must be me and it will be me

Q: Manny, where did you get those calves and how much of a deal do they make with your punching power because the other day you looked like you were just killing the mitts.

MANNY PACQUIAO: My calves are naturally like that. It’s a very difficult thing to develop the calves and that’s where my power comes from. They are God’s gift to me and I was born that way.

Q: Can you talk to me about why you were so much better in the last fight with Erik Morales? You were so much more dominant in the last fight. What was the difference? What was the change between your first fight with Erik Morales and your second fight?

MANNY PACQUIAO: You know, the first one – the problem with the first fight was there were a lot of distractions with my manager and my promoter and my personal problems. I was on top of that first big fight in the early rounds but after I was cut, I lost focus and I lost the fight. But second one, I did great. I trained harder and we made our training count. I had the right gloves, I used my right hand more and more effectively and I went straight at Morales with a lot more confidence and weapons. So that’s why we dominated Morales in the second fight.

Q: Manny before you came to prominent attention in America, you had a very, very good career as a flyweight in your home country in the Pacific – when you were world champion at that time did you always dream of becoming a big name, a big success, in America?

MANNY PACQUIAO: When I became a champion I dreamed that some day I was going to be a superstar not only in the Philippines but also around the world and speaking like this because it would bring a lot of positive light to The Philippines.

Q: Manny, of all the fights you’ve had – you’ve had many, many great fights – which boxer gave you the most trouble in any of your fights?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I think all those fights that we finish by 12 rounds are hard. Morales, a hard fight like the Barrera fight, those were tough fights.

Q: Bob, do you think this third fight – I mean again those other two fights had been so action packed with them, could this third fight really help and just give the sport a little extra boost and a little kick here at the end of the year?

BOB ARUM: I guarantee it. As good as the first two fights were, the third fight is going to be the best fight. The third fight will be remembered in boxing history forever. Trust me – it will be one of the great, great fights in history.

Q: OK. And on a different note too and kind of on a different topic too, I was just doing something with your fight night series there on VERSUS, could you just talk about that show’s success and does it speak to the fans’ connection to the sport and its history?

BOB ARUM: Absolutely. When we went to VERSUS and made our deal with VERSUS, we said two things were important. One was to present news of the future – new fighters not a bunch of guys just coming out but guys who have been fighting professionally but were not known and could make their mark on VERSUS and would create a following for themselves on VERSUS. And then we would supplement it with shows from our vast library. Being in this business for forty years, some of the great fights, the stories behind the great fights in history for boxing over the years. That’s what we’ve been able to do. You know, if you show a Kelly Pavlik, up top as the main event of the show with up-and-coming middleweights, which we have done twice, and then you show them classic fight fights – Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns – you know, the whole history of the sport – the past greats, the future greats – that was the idea of the two series.

Q: Bob I wanted to know what you thought of Manny’s workout yesterday?

BOB ARUM: Manny always looks terrific to me. I call him the energizer bunny. He just keeps coming and coming and coming and it’s phenomenal because he never gets tired. In other words, if you’re going to fight Manny Pacquaio successfully, you have to be in top, top condition because otherwise he’s going to out-work you.

Q: After having fought Morales twice already and Saturday you will be – that’ll be the third time that you’ll be fighting him – do you think you feel – do you feel that you’re now more confident, do you feel that you know him better than ever and do you think he feels the same way towards you Manny?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I am very confident going this fight, but I know Morales is still a good fighter and he’s been working hard and he prepared his fight. I don’t want to give him a little bit of confidence so I will be testing early and will not stop. I trained hard this time. I’m not over-confident and I’m sure that he’s 100 percent conditioned and he’s prepared and I’m sure that it’s going to be a good fight. The people will love it.

Q: You’ve been mentioning that you want to make people happy every time you’re in the ring – are you referring to generally people of the world watching you or specifically the Filipino people Manny?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I want all the people that love boxing, the fans, I want them to be happy, – especially the Filipino people.

Q: Is retirement already across your mind – keeping your mind already at this point – this early?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Not yet, not yet. I’m still young.

Q: You’ve won multiple world titles, you’ve emphatically beaten future Hall of Famers like Morales, Barrera – you know, you have the love of the people whether the Filipino people, whether they’re rich, poor – all of them – and you have a wife and three kids and you’ve gone from poverty to becoming one of the top fighters, if not the top fighter in the world. In looking back at your career, at your life, what are you most proud of when you think about that?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I’m very proud of myself because I bring to this fight honors of my country – that’s it, you know. I’m very proud of not only me but my family – very proud.

Q: I know there was some discrepancy the last time we spoke at the Erik Morales conference call with the WBC – has that been clarified, is this going to be an eliminator fight, is Manny going to be seen as the WBC International super featherweight putting his title on the line?

SHELLY FINKEL: Manny’s WBC International championship will be the one that’s on the line. This is not an eliminator. Bob and I spoke about that yesterday and we both feel the same way – it’s the same as it was for the last fight.

Q: On looking back at the recent fights that we’ve seen on TV and comparing them to what we’re going to see next week, what does a fight like Morales-Pacquiao mean to boxing in general?

BOB ARUM: The last two Pay Per Views – Barrera, Rocky Juarez, Mayweather, Baldomir – turned out to be the fights that the customer frankly was gypped because they were not exciting fights and customers – and I’ve heard that from a lot of people – felt that they didn’t get good value. That’s why I am so pumped about this fight because one thing I know is that they’re going to get good value. They’re going to see a fight and along with that the undercard matches are also extremely competitive and should be very, very enjoyable. I’m very pleased that what we’re presenting is great – is full value for the dollar. this show will give the fans full value for the dollar and will create a lot of positive attention to boxing, which it needs..

Q: You’ve been fighting nothing but Mexican fighters the last three – maybe three plus years. Why are you just fighting Mexican fighters?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I think, you know, because all boxers right now in my weight are almost all Mexican boxers so there is no other lead fighter in America or any other place. Three of my last four fights will be against the same man – Erik Morales.

Q: And what have you discovered – are they different from other fighters that you fought?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, Mexican fighters are hard fighters – they’re good fighters and strong fighters in boxing.

Q: And if you’re to beat Eric Morales, who would you like to fight next?

MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t know yet.

Q: Many Asian fighters choose to stay in Asia, you know, whether it be Korean, Japanese, Thai, even Filipino fighters, fight the majority of the fights over there in Asia because they can make a lot of money over there but for you the majority of your fights have been in the United States as of late. Can you talk a little bit about why you decided to start fighting more here in the United States rather than in Asia?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Because there are a lot of good fighters here in America. The best fights are in America and I’m excited and grateful to fight in America.

Q: Would you say you were trying to challenge yourself against the best fighters in the world and see how you stacked up against them?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes.

Q: Would you say that it was more to do with like legacy, proving that you are indeed one of the best fighters in the world by challenging, you know, like you said the many great fighters here in the United States or, you know, from Mexico or really just in this region?

MANNY PACQUIAO: If there’s a big fight in Asia or outside in America, I can fight there. I can fight anywhere if there’s a big fight.

FRED STERNBURG: Manny, any last words to your fans?

MANNY PACQUIAO: My last word is thank you God for giving my strength every day and I would like to thank all the press and media all over the world. Thank you very much to all my fans and I hope, they’re going to be supporting me in Las Vegas. Thank you.

Article posted on 14.11.2006



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