BERNIE BAHRMASEL: Thank you. Welcome to the international media conference call for Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux. We are ten days away from the Middleweight World Championship Title Unification at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, featuring the WBA, IBO and WBC “Interim” Middleweight World Champion, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin versus IBF Middleweight World Champion, David Lemieux.
This past Saturday night HBO’s outstanding Road to Golovkin-Lemieux premiered. This coming Saturday night at 11:20 ET/PT, HBO’s epic face-off featuring Max Kellerman, Gennady Golovkin, David Lemieux, Abel Sanchez and Marc Ramsey will premiere.
The Pay-Per-View is Saturday, October 17th, 9 p.m. Eastern Time, 6 p.m. Pacific, live, produced and distributed by HBO. Thanks to the media across the world for their continued support of this event. We will have a full fight week media schedule to be distributed later this week, and we look forward to seeing media around the world next week in New York City at the world’s most famous arena.
The first part of the call will have Tom Loeffler, Oscar De La Hoya, Abel Sanchez and Gennady Golovkin. The second part we will also have Oscar, David Lemieux, Marc Ramsey and Camille Estephan.
At this time it is my pleasure to introduce Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions.
TOM LOEFFLER: Thanks, Bernie. We couldn’t be more excited about this promotion. Ever since we announced the fight, the title unification fight between the two biggest punchers in the Middleweight Division. That was back in July, and the momentum has grown. I have to give Oscar and his company, Golden Boy Promotions and the entire Lemieux team a lot of credit for accepting the fight with Gennady Golovkin. It’s a true middleweight unification fight. It’s going to be in a sold-out arena at Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden has been very supportive of this event. HBO Pay-Per-View has been very supportive of the event, and the numbers are very optimistic on the Pay-Per-View side.
We had a very successful media training day yesterday with Gennady at the Wild Card West Boxing Gym and Brian Viloria was there also. It’s a tremendous co-feature with Chocolatito Gonzalez versus Brian Viloria. And with that, I would like to bring on our co-promoter on the event, Oscar De La Hoya.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much, Tom. I would also like to thank Tom and K2 Promotions and Gennady Golovkin for taking this match-up. Obviously this is a match-up that a lot of people across the globe are salivating about.
You have two punchers, two fighters who are gladiators, are warriors, and have great knockout punching power. This is one fight that the whole world is excited about. So thank you very much to Gennady Golovkin for taking this huge chance against David Lemieux.
I’m pleased today to call ahead, and name this an epic showdown that will surely be “bombs away” between Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux on Saturday, October 17th, live from Madison Square Garden, live on HBO Pay-Per-View. HBO is the best network to watch boxing, so I know you will have a phenomenal telecast, and, trust me, you will get your money’s worth. IBF Middleweight World Champion, David Lemieux has an impressive record of 34 wins with 2 losses and 31 knockouts. I watched him train in Montreal recently, and let me tell you he is looking incredible. He is looking sharp, he is looking fast, he is looking strong and eager to get inside the ring with “GGG.”
David Lemieux and Gennady Golovkin represent what I feel is the next generation of talented champion fighters of our sport. I mean for the fans, obviously this is very exciting. These guys don’t hold back in the ring, which means guaranteed action from the first bell. The fans are the real winners here October 17th, and I cannot wait for this event, and obviously we’re extremely proud to be working alongside Tom and his team at K2 Promotions, so thank you very much.
TOM LOEFFLER: With that, just to add on to what Oscar said, it’s two champions coming into the ring, both putting their titles on the line, and that’s what the fans have responded to. As Oscar said many times, the best fighting the best and that’s what the fans and the media want to see. The Pay-Per-View is priced very reasonably at $49.95. We had a great response from the “Road To” show that aired last Saturday, and the “Face-Off” is going to air this Saturday, and that’s actually a unique format, where it’s not only the two fighters facing off but also the two trainers, Marc Ramsey is the strategist behind David Lemieux, and David has been undefeated since he’s been working with Marc. Abel Sanchez really has laid out the whole blueprint for Gennady’s “Mexican” style and the transition that he’s made with the professional style which has allowed him to get 20 knockouts in a row. So with that being said, I want to bring on the phone Abel Sanchez from his training camp in Big Bear Lake, California.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Good morning, everybody. We are extremely happy to be part of this epic event. I think it’s about time that promoters and managers and fighters put their records on the line, put their belt on the line, and the best fight the best, and I’m glad that Tom is the kind of promoter for Gennady that’s going to endorse everybody and Oscar being the same way, so we’re finally going to see a fight that the fans have been waiting to see, the kind of fight that the fans have been waiting to see.
We are looking forward to the 17th. I know Marc is going to have David very ready; Gennady is going to be ready, and like Oscar said, it’s going to be “bombs away.” So we are looking forward to an explosive fight, for as long as it lasts.
TOM LOEFFLER: With that, I would like to bring on the phone the WBA/IBO and WBC “Interim” Middleweight Champion, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Good morning, everybody. I have great strength, and I feel good. I’m ready for October 17th. I think we are ready for a good event. Good show, good event, you know, not just one fight.. Thank to you my coach, Abel Sanchez and thank you to my team, K2 Promotions. This is a big deal. This is a big thing for us, for boxing fans, for people and for our sport of boxing. Thank you.
Q. Good day everybody. I’ve got a question, I think probably primarily for Abel. We are talking about a very offensive, aggressive fight, but what kind of defensive instruction have you given to Gennady or have you worked on defense for this fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think it’s important to point out that the HBO CompuBox system, Gennady is the third-best defensive fighter with 10 or more fights. Ward, Canelo a lot of those guys are behind him, so when it comes to defense, I think he is pretty adept at it. We have worked on all of the aspects of training, just because we have a force in front of us. We have David Lemieux, who is a strong puncher and an aggressive kind of fighter, come forward, so we work on all aspects of it, to make sure that we are ready for whatever David brings.
Q. Would you like to see Gennady recognized a little more for that defensive skill? I think that ranking would surprise a lot of fans.
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, it doesn’t really matter to me if he’s recognized for it or not, as long as the fans enjoy his style of fighting. I think this fight has done so well at the box office and his numbers on HBO have done well, hopefully the Pay-Per-View does well because of that, because of his style because of his aggressive style and David’s also. That’s what the fans want to see. The fans want to go back to those days, those yesterdays of great fights, where the guys just, with intelligence and with defensive skills fight great fights and they sit in the middle of the ring and go at each other. I think that’s what this fight is going to represent, and that’s what’s going to happen.
Q. Gennady, as Abel was talking about, we know that your defense is maybe a little bit underrated. We all know about your great knockout streak and your offense. David Lemieux is also known for having offense. I would like to know from Gennady, does he think more about the power that Lemieux has or the fact that he has been knocked out in the past and therefore he thinks it will be a big difference of him able to get to Lemieux’s chin. In other words, is there one thing he’s more interested in, protecting his own chin from his punching power or looking to go get him because he’s shown the fact that he hasn’t been able to maybe take the best punch previously. I would like Gennady’s thoughts about that.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: No, you’re right, same power, same defense, same style, yeah, you’re right. I think different style of boxing class, and boxing IQ.
Q. Will you be able to take his punch better than he will be able to take your punch?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Yeah, I think we both have great punch. David is strong, too. I know my power, so it’s not just power, just a little bit different class, you know, boxing class, timing, speed, discipline, and this is very important for us.
Q. Abel, could you weigh in on that?
ABEL SANCHEZ: What he’s trying to say is I think he is the fighter in the fight. They both have power and speed and great knockout records but the IQ, the boxing IQ will be the difference, because I think he thinks that it’s a different class, as far as that part of it, and he will be able to get to David, because he will figure him out, but David can punch so it’s not like it’s going to be an easy fight. So both of them have punching power, but the IQ is higher in the sense of boxing wise.
Q. Understood. Gennady, one of the reasons why there have been some bigger-named fighters who haven’t really been interested to fight you at this point, they say, yeah, Gennady, he’s not that well known, he doesn’t bring a lot to the table, and I look at the way this promotion is going the expectations for this fight, the way that your television ratings have been on HBO, and then I see you in this major commercial on TV with the Apple Watch. Seems to me people can’t say Gennady Golovkin doesn’t bring anything to the table anymore. Can you address that? You seem to have crossed over to a certain degree where now it will become worth while for people to fight you because there will be riches involved in that.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: You know, I am a boxer. You know, thanks to my promoter. I know David is a champion too. This is a big deal for us. This is my first Pay-Per-View.
Q. Tom, could you address that, people can’t run from him because there is no money?
TOM LOEFFLER: Dan, I think that excuse was not valid anymore over a year ago, I mean, when Gennady sold out the Stub Hub Center, when he had over 12,000 people at The Forum. People used that excuse in the past of a reason why it didn’t make sense to fight Gennady, but you see with this promotion and with the dance partner, with Gennady having a marketable opponent with him, who is another champion, I mean, that brings this to a whole different level, and that’s what we’ve always said is the marketability for Gennady, and you touched on the Apple commercial campaign that we did with Gennady that debuted on Monday Night Football, and we got a tremendous reaction. He’s just a marketable fighter and a likeable fighter, and David Lemieux is also very marketable, very popular as a champion as well, so it’s just the chemistry of the promotion and the two champions fighting each other that’s taken this to a completely different level.
Q. Tom, one thing very quickly, by the way. I certainly know who Gennady is, and boxing fans and other boxing writers know who Gennady is but they didn’t identify him in the commercial. Any particular reason for that? There might be some people who don’t know him; they saw it but they’re not sure who it is.
TOM LOEFFLER: They’ve done five or six different spots with different people in different segments so they haven’t — they didn’t distinguish the people, the individuals on the commercial campaign, but they definitely have on the Apple web site. They have identified who is in each segment. That’s how they’ve identified the people.
Q. Abel, everybody improves as they go along, and I understand that. In 2011 Lemieux lost to Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine Just how dangerous is David Lemieux? I know he’s got a lot of knockouts, but as Evander Holyfield once told me, “It’s not how much knockouts you have, it’s who you’ve been knocking out.” In your mind, when you look at his ring record, just how impressed are you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: First off, going back to the Rubio fight, I think he was a young man of 22 or 23 years old who everybody was laying riches in front of him, I believe before that fight, they had an HBO special on him. They were touting him as the next big thing at 22 years old. I believe he was a little too young, he fought a guy who was very experienced. Marco Rubio took all he had to throw for the first six rounds, and then tired him out and was able to put him away. That was inexperience on David’s part.
The skills are still there, the punching power is still there, it’s just inexperience that made him lose that fight, in my opinion. Then Marc Ramsey comes in after those two losses, and now they’re on a roll. They are on a roll because Marc has taken over now, not only physically but mentally over David’s boxing program, so it’s easy for David now to just listen to somebody instead of being the boss and doing things his way, now he’s got a guy that’s running the show for him.
He’s fought in the last three or four fights he’s fought some I think pretty good fighters, the last fighter, N’Dam. N’Dam was a World Champion, went down a couple of times I guess, but he’s a very difficult guy to fight. He beat Curtis Stevens, I witnessed that, down in Santa Monica so he’s not a bad fighter.
So David has got — I’m not going to say an extensive resume, but he’s got fighters on his record that have done something, and the thing you can’t take away from David is he can punch. He proved that in the last three or four fights, he can punch, so that’s something that on the 17th, it could go either way. If David lands a good punch and Gennady is not ready, maybe Gennady goes down, so we’re definitely looking for the best David Lemieux and the biggest punch.
Q. Guys, my question is for Tom. Tom, regarding Gennady’s first Pay-Per-View, what would you consider to be a success?
TOM LOEFFLER: You know, Bob, we’re always conservative with our estimates. HBO was very supportive of the event. They wouldn’t have green lit or supported the event if they didn’t think it was going to be successful. When we made the deal with Golden Boy, it was a fair deal as far as the structure of the promotion, and I think as the promotion has gone along, a great indicator for Pay-Per-View sales is ticket sales, and when this event broke the presale record of any boxing event that MSG has had and sold 15,000 tickets within the first week, that’s a huge indication that the Pay-Per-View is going to be successful, but I’m always conservative on the estimates, and I’m very optimistic on the results for the Pay-Per-View.
Q. Do you feel, and this is piggy-backing on Dan’s question, but do you feel that Gennady is well known enough around the country to attract people? Because Lemieux — David Lemieux is a Canadian, he’s well known to boxing fans, but is he well enough known that people are going to say, I have to see this fight?
TOM LOEFFLER: I think it’s more so than the individuals but the combination of the two champions fighting each other. Gennady is breaking through where he’s going into the mainstream. We brought him to different entertainment events and a lot of the entertainers said he’s their favorite fighter, so he’s definitely crossing over. When you have a match-up against a guy like David Lemieux — look if this was somebody that wasn’t known or two fighters that weren’t known in the main event, we wouldn’t have sold 15,000 tickets in the first week, so I understand what you’re saying as far as you need a broader scale, broader base for the Pay-Per-View, and it’s a risk that we took.
When we sat down with Oscar and his team at Golden Boy, neither fighter has been on the Pay-Per-View, also with Chocolatito and Viloria, same situation, but when you put that combination together it’s a great value for the fans and for the event and I think the boxing fans will really respond to this event.
Q. And having Chocolatito on the card also increases your Hispanic viewership, I would think.
TOM LOEFFLER: No question. It’s a perfect combination having Chocolatito against Brian Viloria. Brian Viloria is very popular, he was on the 2000 Olympic Team for the United States and brings a strong Filipino following with him, and Chocolatito’s Hispanic following, so it’s a great one-two punch, and that’s really where our optimism is as far as the success of the event.
Q. Abel, Gennady recently said you have been working on his “Mexican” style. Can you elaborate what that means to be fighting a “Mexican” style?
ABEL SANCHEZ: The Mexican style that we’re trying to develop with him, we have been trying to develop with him is just a more of an entertaining style, a style that is reminiscent of fighters in the past, Duran, Gomez, Sanchez, Chavez and even Oscar’s fights of 20 years ago, or 15 years ago, where guys stood in the middle of the ring and went at each other and used their legs and gave the fans the kind of fight that they deserve for the money that they’re paying.
So to answer that question a little easier, it’s more of an entertaining, aggressive, American public type of fight.
Q. And how would you say Gennady has progressed in adopting this Mexican style in the past few fights?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think he’s done well, I think this is the fight that finally presents a challenge to him mentally. I’ve always said in the past great fighters, it’s not so much the physical challenge but the mental challenge, that it’s important to them, and in this training camp he has proven me right by the attitude and the atmosphere in the gym has been so much different because he does perceive a challenge and perceive a fighter that is as strong as he is and punches as long as he does, and for as long as the fight goes he will have to be on his P’s and Q’s as, just like David will, and the guy that lands the first big punch, the other guy is going to sleep.
Q. I hate to bring up André Ward’s name, but do you believe a lot of fighters are starting to use Gennady Golovkin’s name to get recognition for themselves? The seem like they are calling him out saying he is ducking fighters or he’s not as good of a pound-for-pound fighter, but they always seem to have his name in their mouth.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think it’s history. I think every young fighter is calling out the older fighter, and when the older fighter gets it, the young fighter is calling him out. At one point when Gennady was beginning, of course we were mentioning other names that were above us, but that’s just the nature of the beast. That’s something that has to be done so that your name is in print, but at this point it’s okay for André to call his name out, but André needs to fright. André needs to fight to be relevant. André needs to fight so the people tonight don’t forget who he is. Just because he won six, four years ago and has fought two times in the last three years, against nondescript opponents doesn’t make him qualified for those kind of fights, so I think when he starts fighting and becomes relevant, I’m sure that fight is down the road, but until then doesn’t make any sense to us.
Q. Gennady, there have been terms through this promotion and this conference call about breaking through, being more entertaining with a “Mexican” style, this fight finally presenting a challenge. There is a couple of other significant middleweight fights coming up in the near future with Quinlan/Jacobs, and Alvarez/Cotto. Do you see this as a break-through fight for you, and where do you see yourself in a year’s time with these two significant fights on the horizon as well?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: You know, right now I’m going to focus on David Lemieux because he is good fighter. He’s champion. The future, yes, of course, but now the middleweight division it’s a good situation, very interesting situation, three or four fighters, Alvarez, Miguel Cotto and Andy Lee, I want unification title. My goal is always about middleweight division; my focus is on that weight division. Why not?
Jacobs is very good, too, not just for us for middleweight division. Great three or four fights in the future.
Q. At the age of 33, certainly not to say you’re old but is there any acceleration or rush to do — get these fights made sooner than later?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: That’s promoters. I feel great, I feel like I’m 20. Look at Bernard Hopkins; he’s 50. He’s like 30 he is like a young guy, very smart guy.
Q. He’s also an alien, but —
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: (Away from mic.) Yeah.
Q. My question is about the stakes for the fight. The fight stands on its merit quite well, but there are big stakes down the line. This question is for Oscar if he is still on the call, and Tom, have you guys made an agreement in principle to have the winner of this fight, fight the winner of Cotto and Canelo?
TOM LOEFFLER: I can go first on that, Michael. As you mentioned, there is a lot at stake, not only the winner having unified the titles, but then also is in the position of being the mandatory for the winner of Cotto/Canelo, which is also a great fight a month later. So it’s exciting times, as Gennady alluded to in the Middleweight Division.
It would be premature to start having any discussions with Oscar because we don’t know who is going to win on October 17th, and we don’t know who is going to win November 21st, but after all that shakes out, it’s going to be great times moving forward and just continuing the path of trying to unify the titles.
Q. Oscar your thoughts?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yes, it would be premature to talk about such a match-up. October 17th is such an important fight for “GGG” and David Lemieux and November 21st is an important and dangerous fight for Canelo and Cotto, so we don’t know what the outcome will be and we don’t know what’s going to happen so it would be very premature to even discuss it.
But it’s definitely — it’s definitely, you know, something to look forward to.
BERNIE BAHRMASEL: That would wrap up our end of the call. Tom, Gennady, if you have closing comments?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Thank you so much, everybody. Don’t miss my fight October 17th, it will be a great show for people. Thank you so much.
BERNIE BAHRMASEL: Abel, just a couple days before leaving for New York City, how are things going up there?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Things are going great, wrapping up the training camp, it’s becoming that event that we all had hoped it would be and we’re looking forward to the 17th, putting on a great show in front of a sold-out crowd.
BERNIE BAHRMASEL: Thanks Abel and Gennady for joining us. Tom, go ahead with your closing comments.
TOM LOEFFLER: Just to emphasize two champions in the ring, Gennady has a great dance partner with David Lemieux, that’s what is going to create fireworks in the ring. On the promotional side, I have a great partner with Oscar and Golden Boy Productions, and they’ve been very support with the whole promotion, and I think all the fans and all the media are going to be in for a great event October 17th.
BERNIE BAHRMASEL: Thanks, Tom. We will turn the call over to Cecilia to introduce David Lemieux’s side. Cecilia.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: I want to thank all the media members for joining us today. Now for the second portion of the call and to introduce Team Lemieux, I would like to reintroduce Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you, very much, Cecilia. As all the media has heard about the details of this terrific event, let me go ahead and introduce to you Team Lemieux. First off, I am pleased to introduce to you Camielle Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management and manager of David Lemieux. Camielle?
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: Thank you, Oscar, looking forward to a wonderful event. Everything has been said; there isn’t too much more to say. I will give you a little bit of our perspective as we head into this with ten days left. We have the top-two middleweights in the world fighting each other. This is a real treat. It’s a real treat for the fans, a breath of fresh air for boxing.
This will be like two Titans fighting each other, two major mountains. Imagine Everest versus Kilimanjaro, I’m excited. The pleasantries are finished, now it’s time for the action. We are coming to New York to meet Golovkin and take the belts; that’s the goal, and the only goal. We have done our homework very, very well. We feel extremely confident because of the work we have put in, and the stage is set.
There are ten days to go, can’t wait for the 17th, MSG is going to be rocking!
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you, Camille. And now the man in charge of getting David Lemieux ready for this battle October 17th, his trainer, Marc Ramsey, Marc?
MARC RAMSEY: Hi, everybody, it’s a pleasure to speak with you today. We just had an amazing training camp. David just reach every single objective that we fixed for that great victory for next week, and we have, like I say, a very, very good training camp. Now we working on some finesse, and everything is going to be ready for next Saturday.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you, Marc. David is ready for this test, he is looking the best I’ve ever seen him look. My business partner, the legendary Middleweight Champion, Bernard Hopkins and I were in Montreal at David’s workout facility, and take it from us, we know a thing or two about what it takes to fight the very best, and what it takes to be world champion, and David has it.
He proved that in June with an exciting win over the dangerous Hassan N’Dam, and he will do it again October 17th. So now I am pleased to introduce to you the current IBF Middleweight World Champion with a most impressive record of 34-2, 31 knockouts, from Montreal, power puncher, David Lemieux.
DAVID LEMIEUX: Hello, hello. Thank you, Oscar. Thank you, everybody. It’s been a great camp. It’s been a great — it’s been a great training. Everything has been on spot. Never had a more complete camp than this. I have been pushing myself to the maximum with each training, with each exercise, with everything envisioning the big day ahead of me, October 17th, so I did everything I had to do to make sure I have no regrets October 17th, because the plan is to walk out of that — out of Madison Square Garden with those belts and hopefully without a broken nose (Chuckles.)
CECILIA ZUNIGA: We will start the Q and A portion of this call.
Q. David, Gennady Golovkin, when other fighters get asked about fighting him they either ask for way too much money, or they just say no. Yet when this fight came up, by all accounts from your team, from Oscar, from Camille, you wanted this fight right off the bat, not wanting to do anything else after you won your title. Some guys would sit on it, take an easier fight. Tell me what was in your mind that made you decide, you know what? I want the fight that everybody else doesn’t want to fight?
DAVID LEMIEUX: The initial plan in my head is that I’m ready, and it’s now or never; let’s do it. Golovkin is at his best. I’m getting to my best, and I will be at my best on October 17th, so in my head if I beat the best middleweight there is, everybody is pointing their fingers at, I’m going to be the best so that’s the plan.
I’ve been working very hard over the years, and I got a very significant win the last fight, I got the title. I got the IBF. Now we took a big step and we’re over here, unifying the titles. So we’re ready for it, that’s why I took the fight.
Q. David, I think most people look at it and say it’s going to be an exciting fight; that’s just the way you guys perform, but you’re the underdog in this fight because of the top kinda streak that “GGG” has been on over the last few years and they look and say, Lemieux got knocked out a few years ago, lost a couple of fights, how do you see that shaping up? Do those losses haunt you or do they drive you, or do they not matter anymore?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Those two losses are completely insignificant to where I am today, because, you know, everybody has their path, everybody has their ways of doing things and their evolution and becoming a champion, you know. Some guys go undefeated, some have defeats and become the greatest fighter out there. They have 0 significance and are in my past, those two losses, were miscalculations. I lost those two fights because of things I neglected, and I changed everything in my life to be where I am at today. So I think it’s been a big achievement from my behalf to where I am now, and the changes that I have needed to do to fighting for a unification title, so it’s a big step I took, and, you know, the numbers speak for themselves.
Everybody understands the gravity of this fight, and I think the people are going to be surprised with what I bring to the table October 17th. I’m a big underdog in this fight, and to me it makes no difference, I know who I am, and I know what I’m going to bring to the table, so we will see after the fight.
Q. David, one thing that we know you bring is punching power. Do you feel like if you’re able to get to him that your power — he’s shown a great chin, if you ask him and his camp they say through 300-plus amateur fights, his 30-plus professional fights, he’s never been on the floor, never been knocked down, never been seriously hurt in a fight, but I’m not sure he’s ever fought a guy with the pure power that you have. So do you feel like if you can touch the chin or get to the body or whatever that you can be the first guy to do some serious damage to this guy and maybe get him on the deck?
DAVID LEMIEUX: You know, I don’t look at his past or his future or anything like that. I’m going in there, being me being neutral and him being neutral, we’re two hard punchers, and it’s going to be — we’re both at 0-0 when we enter into that ring on October 17th.
It’s going to be a hard test in front of me but I’m really not worried and, yes, I do have power, but I’m not going into this fight only with power. I’m going to need all the tools in order to be sharp in a fight of this degree. He’s a very good fighter, very smart, but I think I got a lot of surprises to show the world.
Q. How weary do you have to be of his punching power which has been his calling card. He’s got 20 knockouts in a row.
DAVID LEMIEUX: Power is not something that frightens me. Nothing really frightens me when I’m in the ring, when I know I’m prepared. I know I’m going to take on the strongest there is, and I’m very confident in my strength so I have zero worries going into a fight against anybody when I’m perfectly ready, which I am today.
Q. Much respect for your willingness to tangle with Gennady Golovkin so soon after winning your first World Title, obviously a lessor competitor would have milked it. With the recent defeat of Lucas Matthysse and the potential defeat of Canelo at the hands of Cotto, do you feel any extra motivation to keep the Golden Boy Promotions name relevant in boxing? Can you carry the Golden Boy banner on your shoulders, if need be?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I think the names associated with me are going to be very proud to be associated with me, as long as they’re associated with me, Golden Boy, Eye of the Tiger, everybody with me is going to be proud. I bring a lot to the table, and I’m going to bring a tremendous amount of greatness on October 17th, so nobody is going to be disappointed, not the fans, not my family, and not my teammates.
Q. What are your thoughts on the Canelo/Cotto fight? Who do you think is going to win that, David?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I think it’s a very interesting fight, Cotto being the veteran, Canelo being the young, hungry guy, but I think the younger, hungrier guy has the advantage in this fight, being Canelo. Cotto is a great fighter, but I will give him the edge, I think, to Canelo on this one.
Q. We all know that you and Gennady Golovkin are the middleweight power punchers, and I know this has been touched on a little bit in the call but simply, who would be more important in this fight the good chin or the power punch?
DAVID LEMIEUX: The biggest heart!
Q. The good punch?
DAVID LEMIEUX: The fighter with the biggest heart, that can take and receive — it’s not about power this fight it’s about character and toughness and determination and who wants it more. We’re both hard punchers, everybody knows that but let’s see beyond that.
Q. My question is for David. David, I will ask my question in English, but I will appreciate if you can translate your answer right after in French just for me. Abel Sanchez told us the difference in that fight will be the boxing IQ. That Gennady Golovkin has the edge on that factor. Do you think that your lack of experience can be a factor, and you will do your best to show that you have the real great and final experience necessary to make it a good match?
DAVID LEMIEUX: You want it in French or English?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I think Abel Sanchez and the whole team are quite underestimating me, but come October 17th I’m going to be very, very well prepared with my boxing abilities, my boxing skills, my strength and everything around it, so I’m going to be a very complete fighter. I’m not just David Lemieux, the power puncher, but I’m also David Lemieux the fighter.
So I’m going to come in there very complete and make sure that everything is well rounded to perfection.
Q. In French, please?
DAVID LEMIEUX: (Answering in French.)
Q. David, I wanted to talk not so much about the fight but the whole promotion leading up to the fight. Most of your fights in the past have all been local affairs, taking place at the Bell Center, this one has been quite different with the whole Pay-Per-View, press conferences in New York, LA, conference calls, lots of public training, I’m just wondering how that whole being on a much bigger stage, how it’s been for you and have you enjoyed it?
DAVID LEMIEUX: It’s been great. You know, this is the biggest achievement a fighter can have, to get a chance to unify the titles at Madison Square Garden being built up the way it is. I think I’ve come a long way, Golovkin has done a great job. We’re two great fighters, and we’re there to show the world what they want to see, but there will be only one who walks out of that place with the belt, and I’m planning to do that.
This has been a great, great camp, it’s been a tremendous achievement, you know, getting the IBF World Title against a very hard opponent, very good opponent like Hassan N’Dam, and now even higher, fighting against Golovkin, unifying those titles, so I’m very confident going into the fight. I’m very happy, very pleased with myself and my team to be where I am and to be doing what I’m doing.
Q. Getting a taste of it, how eager are you to continue at this level and have bigger and bigger fights as your future emerges?
DAVID LEMIEUX: We’re at a big fight right now, so I will take care of that and the future comes fast enough. The future comes fast enough, so I’ll take it a step at a time. You know, I want to do great things in my life so I’m — you know, that’s why I have to achieve great things. This fight for me is very important, not just to fight it but also to win it and to show some — to shock the world. I’m a big underdog in this fight and it’s perfect by me, I will be the same in the ring.
Q. Is that a role that you cherish? I mean, I don’t know that you’ve ever been an underdog in the past. How have you adjusted to being that, everybody saying, “David, you’re an underdog” it’s not words you’re used to hearing.
DAVID LEMIEUX: Yeah, well, it’s not a problem by me. I know who I am. I have a lot of confidence in myself and my team does, also, which is why we’re at where we’re at right now and a lot of fighters duck a lot of fighters, I don’t. Golovkin is a very good fighter, but I am also a very good fighter so it’s going to be even better for me when I win. To me it makes no difference. I don’t really pay attention, the numbers or to people who give out a lot of show. I’m focused in the fight, I’m fighting Golovkin in the ring, it’s me against him, and nothing else matters.
Q. David, I wanted to ask, after fighting most of your career in Canada, how important is it for you to come to America and put on a good show for a U.S. audience?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Well, you know, boxing, everybody knows that it’s — U.S. has dominated boxing and the big TV and everybody is there, so it’s very important for me to make sure I create a nice, strong fan base in the U.S. and then the world. It’s been very hard work but it’s finally pay off, especially since I fought against Rosado, coming in the fight in the market sensor, at first I got booed, then when I left the ring I got a standing ovation.
I think I bring enough to the table so I can — I’m a fan-friendly type of fighter, so I make sure I always respect the fans by giving them the best fight I can.
Q. Do you expect to have a fair amount of Canadian fans in house for you at The Garden?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Yes, actually I do. There is a lot of Canadians, Quebecers, coming down to support me, we will have a big — few buses that are coming down to support me, so, yes, I have a lot of Canadian fans here that have always been pushing me and motivating me since the beginning of my career and have been a great help in my great achievements in life in the boxing world.
So, yeah, I expect a nice crowd on my behalf.
Q. Oscar, we’ve seen the sport basically dominated by one guy over the last couple of years, now he’s supposedly retired. What’s your opinion, is the sport best when one guy is dominating, like maybe what Tyson was in his heyday or when you were in your time, or is it now about other people trying to make themselves known and become the best?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: No, we’re definitely going into this very unique era, the next era in boxing, which is very exciting, because not only will we be able to witness greatness from one individual fighter but a handful of fighters. October 17th, with Golovkin vs. Lemieux, the winner obviously will become, you know, the undisputed middleweight champion of the world and will be recognized as the very best.
We have November 21st with Canelo versus Cotto, another superstar in the make inning whoever wins that match-up so, you know, boxing was dominated in the past by one individual, whether it was Tyson, whether it was me or Chavez, Mayweather, in recent years, so we have exciting times to look forward to, but we will be able to witness several champions who will carry the sport for years to come.
Q. When you say boxing now, I know a lot of people were disappointed with the Mayweather/Pacquiao and they stayed away from Mayweather’s last fight. Do you see an opportunity — I don’t know if it’s to “revive” the sport but take it to a different level than trying to have 2 million Pay-Per-View buys and generate $4 million. Is it good to get back to the basics again?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: It’s always great to get back to the basics. For me, the Mayweather era was not about the respect, it was not about seeing who was the very best about — it wasn’t about the fights; it was about the business. And what we’re witnessing here with Golovkin and Lemieux, it’s about honor and pride, it’s about who is the best middleweight in the world. The same with Canelo versus Cotto.
As long as we can give the fight fans the best fight possible, you know, boxing will always continue to grow, the fight fans will continue to buy Pay-Per-View and will we see another 4 million Pay-Per-View fight? Absolutely! As long as we can keep on putting the best against the best.
Q. My question is for Marc Ramsey. I would like to hear your thoughts on Abel Sanchez talk about “GGG” having a higher boxing IQ and if like earlier, David, you could answer in both English and French, that would help me.
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: To be honest, I don’t care. I don’t focus on what Abel Sanchez say or don’t say, because the night of the fight it’s going to be Golovkin against Lemieux, it’s not going to be me against Abel or something else, and if you look at the three last fights of David Lemieux, I really believe the three trainers of the last three opponents underestimate the ability and the IQ of David Lemieux to box. When people look at David Lemieux on video for sure the first thing you see, that guy has a lot of power, but they underestimate the ability of David Lemieux, and also his ring IQ, and they going to be the next ones to be surprised.
Q. Would you please answer in French?
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: (Answering in French.)
Q. Anything you have done differently for this fight, preparation wise?
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: No, we’ve — we train like we train usually, for sure we have a specific opponent. We analyze very well Mr. Golovkin, but at the same time it’s important for us to know what David Lemieux can bring to the ring and impose on that night, not only follow what is Gennady Golovkin but impose what is David Lemieux, what he can bring to that ring is very important, and we did a very good job at it the last eight weeks.
Q. Could you answer in French?
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: (Answering in French.)
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thanks, Mike. Now I would like to introduce David for his final comments. David, do you have any final comments?
DAVID LEMIEUX: October 17th, history will be made. It’s going to be a fight to be talked about for years to come and I’m extremely excited to be part of this great event and to be showing the world, you know, a great night of boxing. Unifying those titles is the absolute goal for me on October 17th, thank you.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thanks, David. Marc Ramsey, do you have any final comments?
MARC RAMSEY: Just that our piece of the puzzle are together and don’t miss the show; it’s going to be great event of boxing.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you, Marc. Camille, any final comments?
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: Simply like to thank everybody for being there, being attentive to what we are doing and bringing boxing to the levels that it’s been for so many years. It’s the “Sweet Science” and these guys are going to contribute to the history and we are very, very confident that we are going to have a new superstar in David Lemieux. To repeat Oscar’s words, we have a great team around us with Oscar, Bernard, Marc, I feel like we have done fully all our homework and if we have been underestimated, then the price will be paid.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you, Camille. Now to make the closing comments, once again, Oscar De La Hoya.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you for being on the call. Like everyone said, we’re all excited. October 17th will be one for the ages! It will be exciting, it will be historical, champion versus champion, sold-out arena will be a great indication that this event will be a total success all around, so we will see you fight week. We have a lot of exciting updates and a lot of — we have the training session, the media workouts, so we will see you in New York, thank you.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Golovkin vs. Lemieux is presented by K2 Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with GGG Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management and is sponsored by Corono Extra. The event will take place Saturday, October 17 from Madison Square Garden and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. ET and the first fight begins at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Tickets for GOLOVKIN vs. LEMIEUX are on sale now and priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50 and can purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com.