CONFERENCE CALL QUOTES
TOMASZ ADAMEK & CHAD DAWSON,
JESUS CHAVEZ & JULIO DIAZ
Press Release - 1/26/2007
One night before the Super Bowl, a world championship doubleheader will transpire on “Super Saturday’’ on SHOWTIME. In SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’S main event, two of the light heavyweight division’s brightest stars will clash when exciting Tomasz Adamek (31-0, 20 KOs) risks his WBC belt against hard-hitting southpaw and WBC No. 2 contender “Bad’’ Chad Dawson (22-0, 15 KOs). Making his first start since he won the IBF lightweight belt in a bout against Levander Johnson that ended in tragedy 16 months ago, Jesus “El Matador” Chavez (42-3, 29 KOs) will defend against IBF interim champion Julio “The Kidd’’ Diaz (33-3, 24 KOs) in the telecast’s opener (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
Fans attending the fight card at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla., will get a third world title fight: IBF Junior Middleweight Champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks against IBF No. 1 contender “Smooth” Rodney Jones. Tickets, priced at $27, $52, $102, and $202, with a limited number of $502 Golden Ringside seats, are on sale and can be purchased at the Silver Spurs Arena box office weekdays between 10 a.m-4 p.m.; by calling (407) 839-3900; by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com or at any TicketMaster outlet. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions, with the main event presented in association with Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
Question: Jesus, this is your first fight in 16 months. How are you doing?
Chavez: I am feeling pretty good. I am pretty psyched to get back into the ring. I know it has been a long journey for me, both mentally and physically, but I think that I have done a pretty good recovery on those issues. I have never really fought any easy opponents. I think taking on and getting ready to fight Diaz in my first outing after 16 months is quite a task for me. I have done it before. I had a break just as long after my fight with Eric Morales and I took on Carlos Hernandez. So I have been in this situation before. I am looking forward to boxing again with Diaz and regaining and maintaining the world championship status.
Question: Julio, what are your thoughts fighting a great champion like Jesus Chavez?
Diaz: I am really excited. We have been working very hard and have been waiting anxiously for this opportunity (for Chavez to be is ready). Now we are here and a week away and we are excited and ready to go. It will be a tough fight and a great fight for all the fans. I think everyone will enjoy it. We know Chavez is not a guy to take lightly. So it will be a very action-packed fight and I am very excited and looking forward to it.
Question: Tomasz, what are your thoughts about fighting on U.S. television?
Adamek: I am very happy to be on American TV and on SHOWTIME. I am a hard fighter and I will fight to the end. You will be happy watching me.
Question: Chad, what are your opening thoughts?
Dawson: I want to thank Tomasz for giving me the opportunity to fight for the world title and want to thank Gary Shaw and Don King Promotions for putting on the fight. I am looking forward to a big fight. I know it is the toughest fight of my career. I am prepared and ready.
Question: Jesus, you have had so many problems. Are you healthy or do you feel you will have to fight with a certain amount of pain and injuries for the rest of your career?
Chavez: I am not sure. I am ready to fight. Obviously, there are some aches and pains every once in awhile, but nothing that should stop me from competing at my level.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you will face against Diaz given the time off?
Chavez: I am not sure exactly what it will be until I am in the fight. Right now, I am just concentrating and preparing for the fight. We have had a phenomenal training camp and we are as ready as can be.
Question: Jesus, how difficult is it for you to mentally overcome and get into the fight after having been through the tragedy that you have been through?
Chavez: I think in this matter: I have been blessed with the Levander Johnson family. They have been very supportive of me and of my continuation of my boxing career. I have managed to conduct myself well and I do not know about it taking a toll or it is going to hinder me in any way in the fight. But then again, I will not know until I am in the fight again.
Question: Chad, why did you leave Dan Birmingham and join Floyd Mayweather, Sr.
Dawson: The split between Dan and I was nothing personal. It was just I thought I would be better with a trainer like Floyd where I could work on my punches together more. Dan is a great trainer and so is Floyd, but I think I fit in better with Floyd.
Question: Jesus, can you detail the specifics of your injury?
Chavez: I injured my left shoulder. I think it has been wear and tear because it just started to hurt and it continued to hurt. I did not really regard the pain. I thought it was my left hand just having some swelling. But after awhile, it just started hurting and I went and got it checked out and it turned out that I had a torn rotator cuff. So I had to have surgery from that and go from there.
Question: Jesus, was it just the shoulder or did you also have an elbow problem?
Chavez: No, just the shoulder.
Question: And how is it feeling now? Have you had any setbacks after the surgery?
Chavez: No. I have a pretty good doctor. I have been with him through two other surgeries before and the team that he hooked me up for rehab did a wonderful job and had me ready to go.
Question: Jesus, did you have two other surgeries on that arm?
Chavez: No, separate arms. I have had both of my shoulders surgically fixed. So they better watch out. I have got two brand new arms.
Question: At some point between then and now, did you also have your appendix taken out?
Chavez: Yes, I did. That happened about two months ago.
Question: And how are you doing since then?
Chavez: I am doing well. It is unfortunate I have had all these medical setbacks and have had some stop and go’s in my training. But right after that surgery, I was in the gym the next day. I was not working out, but I was in there walking around and watching everybody work out. Sitting on the sidelines for a year and a half had me starting to feel like a benchwarmer. The way I look at it, it is time to get off my rear and take care of business.
Question: Do you feel hungry to fight again?
Chavez: Hunger like I have not experienced before. Wanting to succeed, dedication and all that. I am indeed the champion in this situation, but I consider myself the underdog based on everything that has happened to me. I know there are a lot of questions directed to me right now and most of them are whether I am physically and mentally going to be ready because of what happened. But I think I am going to answer everybody’s questions on Feb. 3 and leave it up to that. My hard work is going to pay off. I am hungry, I am mean as I can be and I have two brand new arms. Do not be surprised if even the referee goes on this one.
Question: Jesus, when was your second surgery on your other shoulder?
Chavez: In 2003.
Question: Julio, do you feel you could be lulled to sleep thinking Jesus is not 100 percent?
Diaz: I do not think that is an issue. I saw him get injured with Morales and that did not back him up at all. It did not affect him. So, no I am not using that as an advantage. I am not even thinking about it. I am thinking about how he is a strong fighter. That is all I am ready for.
Question: Julio, can you talk about how you said one should not be fooled by how well spoken and nice Jesus is and how he is such a great sportsman?
Diaz: You cannot be fooled by that. You can be a best friend, but in the ring it is different and it is a sport. Outside the ring, I think he is a classy and well-educated person. But we are fighters and in the ring, you have to be as mean as a dog.
Question: Chad, what do you see in Adamek that you think you can exploit that Paul Briggs was not able to do in 24 rounds?
Dawson: Briggs and I are totally different fighters. I am more of a boxer. I do not go in to burrow.
Question: Is it true Mayweather was training you for the fact he would not be in your corner?
Dawson: Mayweather will be there.
Question: Julio, did you learn anything from the (Jose Luis) Castillo fight that you can apply in this fight?
Diaz: Definitely. I became a stronger fighter physically. That is an advantage for me. I have been a strong fighter even as a kid, but now I have developed and feel strong as ever. I know he is all pressure, but that does not bother me. Almost all my career, I have always been the boxer and the faster they go forward, the easier it is for me. I am usually the one going back until I see my opening and then it is over. Pressure will not affect me at all. In fact, that is what I am expecting and hoping for.
Question: Julio, you stated you did not think Jesus had enough power. His sparring partner says he thinks Chavez has the power to compete up to 140. Do you believe otherwise?
Diaz: Well, of course, if you ask all my sparring partners, they are going to think I can knock out Mike Tyson. That is just everybody’s job. I respect if his team hypes it up and my team has the best things to say about me. But I guess there is only one way to find out – Saturday, Feb. 3. I am the only one that is going to witness and feel that power and he is the only one that will feel my power. We will just go from there. That is all that matters.
Question: Tomasz, is it frustrating or is it hard to keep focused since you have fought just twice in the U.S. and have been unable to showcase your talents as you might like?
Adamek: I have only fought twice in America and all America saw me. I was the best fighter in 2006. I was good, and I am going to be good, and I am going to show (everybody) again.
Question: Tomasz, Mayweather Sr. says all his fighter has to do is just out jab you and the rest will come easy. Do you think Mayweather is giving Dawson false hope?
Adamek: You will see everything on Feb. 3. You will see who is better and you will see how good I am.
Question: Do you think any boxer could beat you with just their jab?
Adamek: I am the champion. I am the best one right now and I am going to be here for a long time.
Question: Tomasz, when was the last time you fought a southpaw?
Adamek: I believe three years ago.
Question: Chad, expectations have always been very high for you. Are you ready to meet those expectations?
Dawson: Yes, I am. This is what I have been working for my whole career.
Question: Did you think this opportunity would be so soon?
Dawson: I have been patient and it is here.
Question: Jesus, you went through something very traumatic with the Levander Johnson situation. Did you seek professional help to help deal with the emotional toll that it took on you? Or did you talk to fighters who have had an opponent die after a fight?
Chavez: I did get a little bit of professional help briefly. I was not in there too long. For some reason, I did not think it was helping me much. I think that I am a lot stronger mentally to sustain the therapy work that I was working on. So I opted to stop getting that kind of help. Like I said before, the biggest challenge is going through the situation. I think my biggest encouragement was my family, friends and the Levander Johnson family helped me through. There is no other better way to go about that. It was worth every cent.
Question: How long were you in the therapy?
Chavez: A month or so. I would go in once a week. So maybe (I had) four sessions and decided that it was not for me.
Question: Was that in Austin, Tex.?
Chavez: Yeah, it was in Austin.
Question: How much personal contact have you had with the Johnson family since?
Chavez: Briefly, sporadically I have talked to Craig Johnson. Actually, he is the only person I have talked to. He seems to be the Levander Johnson representative. When I was in New Jersey for the funeral, I got a chance to meet the family, friends and public officials from New Jersey. It was a beautiful ceremony. I just felt so welcome and I felt like a warm embrace. There were no hard feelings for what had happened. I think that was probably the biggest breakthrough that I have had.
Question: Have you talked to Craig since then?
Chavez: Yes, I have talked to him last week as a matter of fact. Actually about two weeks ago.
Question: What has he told you about the situation in terms of you coming to terms with it?
Chavez: Well, recently, we just asked about each other’s families and is everything OK. We do not touch the subject as far as grieving or anything like that. It’s a procedure that I think we are all trying overcome at some point and we probably do not want to touch it.
Question: Would you have preferred taking a tune-up fight against a lesser opponent?
Chavez: Sure, but that is not what has happened. The IBF required that I fought the No. 1 contender and here I am. I am doing everything possible and everything I can in myself, both mentally and physically. Like I said, I do not appreciate taking any slack in my career. I never have and I will not stop doing that now. I take on the biggest and baddest contenders out there.
Chavez: Jesus, what is the best advice you have gotten during these last 16 months?
Chavez: There has been so much that I could not point to any one particular thing out. I have friends and a loving community surrounding me. There is not one specific comment that I would pick out in this matter. They are all good.
Question: Jesus, with regard to your physical problems, can you talk a little about your initial disappointment when the injury first occurred?
Chavez: The opponent then is no more or less than the one I have in front of me now. I never have and I never will discredit any one of my opponents by name or gender or character. I prepare for each one of my fights 100 percent and to the best of my ability. It was a little discomforting to give up a big fight. The only difference in this matter was the payday.
Question: During the injury and sabbatical, was there ever a time you considered retiring?
Chavez: No, that is nothing that came to mind. I am a warrior and that seems to be the story of my life. I am an overcomer, an overachiever and I am going to have to prove that once again.
Question: What do you know about Julio Diaz?
Chavez: I know Julio well from watching his family, his brothers on television and watching some of his fights. I am a big fan of their boxing style. As a matter of fact, Julio Diaz and I shared a dressing room once in Las Vegas. There is nothing but respect. I think the respect is mutual. Like he said earlier, nice and tender outside the ring, but that is outside. Inside he will show his true colors and I am going to show mine.
Question: Jesus, with your fighting style so grueling and relentless, have you ever thought about what is going to happen when you get to a point where you do see another fighter injured? Are you going to be able to pour it on like you used to before the injury?
Chavez: I think that is something that we are going to have to come to terms with. That is a pretty natural and normal question as far as whether I am going to be the same fighter after what happened. None of us really knows exactly how you are going to perform the next fight out because sometimes they say the fighters are made for each other and sometimes there are fighters for another. So it is difficult to say. If I have someone hurt, do you expect me to take it easy? I do not think anybody on my team expects me to soften up because I think something tragic is going to happen. I think that is for God to decide.
Question: Tomasz, compare your two performances against Briggs? Were you happy with your last win?
Adamek: Definitely, the second fight I was healed and did not have any injuries. Definitely, the second fight was much better for me.
Question: Who do you think is the best light heavyweight in the world apart from you?
Adamek: I do not worry about anybody. I can fight anybody. I am ready for everybody and I want to fight everybody.
Question: Have you seen much of Chad Dawson? What are you expecting in this fight?
Adamek: I believe in my power and believing can make miracles. I will see what he can show in the ring and I will adjust to it.
Question: Chad, did you think Briggs fought the wrong fight and you have to bring something different to this fight?
Dawson: I would not say that Briggs was the wrong fight. That is his fight. As I said, we are totally different fighters. I believe in my boxing ability. May the best man win on Feb. 3. I am up for it and it sounds like he is up for it. So everybody should look forward to a good fight.
Question: Chad, do you see Tomasz as the best light heavyweight in the world?
Dawson: I have to go into the fight thinking he is the best light heavyweight in the world. I am not going to look past him. I think he probably is the best. He is a champion.
Question: Chad, how do you think you are ready for a fighter like Tomasz at this point?
Dawson: Now is the time to step up the competition. I believe in my ability in this fight and it will show in the ring.
Question: Tomasz, do you think Dawson is ready for you at this point?
Adamek: I believe that if he is the (No. 1) contender, he is ready to fight.
Question: Julio, how do you think the tragedy with Levander has affected Jesus? Do you think we are going to see a different Jesus Chavez in the ring?
Diaz: No, I do not think so. I think I am going to see the same person. In fact, a little more motivated since he has been out of the game for a little bit. I think it will be exciting for him to get the feel of fighting again in the ring. I am pretty sure he will be fine once the lights are on him and he is on the stage.
Question: Julio, you are promoted by Sycuan Ringside Promotions. They have only been in business a couple of years yet have had a lot of world champion. You could become their latest (fourth) if you win, which is a big deal for Sycuan and, of course, you. Your last fight on SHOWTIME was against Castillo. Although you lost, what did you get out of the fight and how did you come out of it mentally and emotionally?
Diaz: Well, I think mentally I came out a lot better. I fought as a baby with Castillo. That is the reason I took that fight. I wanted to get spanked and learn my lesson. I kind of had that mentality and everything went good. I was never knocked out. I was never in the ropes in trouble. My eyes frustrated me. I could not see because of cuts. I am not used to getting beat up like that. So it was more out of frustration. But right after that, I was never hurt. I came back and got another knockout after that and I have been on a streak since and got even better. I have matured and I have been a destroyer ever since. I am more excited now.
Question: So in other words, the kid became a man after that fight?
Diaz: Right, because I needed it. If I had to do that fight again, honestly, believe it or not, I would prefer it go just the way it went. I do not have any regrets on making that decision of the fight.
Question: Jesus, do you feel frustrated because you did not fight Marc Antonio Barrera?
Chavez: No, I think I have pretty much answered that question already. I am just as excited to fight Julio Diaz as I would have been Marc Antonio Barrera.
Question: Chad, what do you think Mayweather has brought to the table as far as improving your performance as a fighter?
Dawson: I am throwing punches right now, throwing harder punches, going to the body more. He is working on my head movement and not staying in front of a fighter and moving.
Question: Tomasz, would you ever entertain the thought of going to a catch weight or moving down a weight class and taking on Joe Calzaghe?
Adamek: Light heavyweight is the perfect weight for me and I am going to stay in the same category. I never have talked of changing my weight.
Question: Tomasz, have you ever been knocked down in your professional career?
Begin Closing Comments.
Adamek: I do not have anything more to say. Everything will be OK and I will see you all at the conference in Orlando.
Dawson: Good luck to all the fighters on Feb. 3.
Chavez: I am just excited to be on the card. Glad to have been on this conference call with the media. Looking forward to Feb. 3. You have to take chances and do what you have to do. I am glad to take the chance and be in the ring with Julio Diaz and it is going to be a great fight for both him and me. We have great expectations of each other and we are going to show that. The winners of this fight will not either of us, but the viewers.
Diaz: We are excited and will see you guys next week. Do not blink because it will be an exciting fight.
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