DEVON ALEXANDER, MAROCS MAIDANA, ADRIEN BRONER & ELOY PEREZ

February 18, 2012 by
Filed under: Boxing News 

Monica Sears

Thank you, all for being here. Welcome, everyone, to today’s call. I just wanted to start off by saying we will have Adrien Broner and Eloy Perez on the first half of the call, and then shortly after we’ll joined by Devon Alexander and Marcos Maidana. Before Fight Week kicks off next week I will be sending around the full Fight Week schedule, either this afternoon or tomorrow, so we’re very excited for this great event happening next weekend. And at this time I will turn the call over to the COO of Golden Boy Promotions, Dave Itskowitch. Dave?

David Itskowitch

Thank you, Monica. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today for the Arch Enemies conference call. Our main event features Devon Alexander vs. Marcos Maidana in a 10 round welterweight fight, and our co-main event features Adrien Broner vs. Eloy Perez for the WBO Junior Lightweight World Title. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with The Great Promotions and Universum Box Promotions, with Broner vs. Perez being presented in association with R&R Promotions.

It’s going to be an explosive night of boxing in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center. We’re going to be live on HBO at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, but we urge everyone to come out, get tickets, check the fight out live at Scottrade. They start at just $27.50, so it’s a great buy for anyone who wants to see some world class boxing in St. Louis. Tickets are available at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, and by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com.

As I said, our co-main event features two great, young undefeated fighters, the newly crowned WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion, Adrien Broner, defending his title for the first time against number one rated Eloy Perez from Salinas, California. Eloy is the current NABO Junior Lightweight World Champion. As I mentioned, he’s the number one rated WBO Junior Lightweight contender. He has a record of 23-0-2 and 7 KOs. He’s coming off of two impressive performances where he won by knockout, and he’s shown the world that he’s ready for this title shot. So now, to say a few words, I’d like to introduce the undefeated, number one rated WBO Junior Lightweight contender, Eloy Perez.

Now, before we turn things over for questions I’d like to introduce a young man who’s just 22 years old and, as I mentioned, in November captured the WBO Junior Lightweight World Championship, he’s from Cincinnati, Ohio, and he’s got a record of 22-0 with 18 KOs, Adrien “The Problem” Broner.

Q.Eloy, I understand your training’s going really well. Can you talk about the intensity level and what you think you’ll need to bring to this fight in order to bring it to Adrien?

Eloy Perez

You know, our training camp has been going perfect, as planned. I’ve had great sparring, I’m well prepared, and I’m just excited to be the newly crowned champion. Adrien is a good fighter, I’ll give him that, being the champ and doing his job, but he’s never fought anybody like me and I don’t think he’s as good as me. I’m just tired of hearing his mouth and always rambling off. It’s time for a new good role model, and I will be the new crowned champ.

Q.

You said he’s never fought anybody like you, what balance do you bring to the table that you don’t think he’s seen?

Eloy Perez

I just don’t think he’s fought anybody as smart as me in the world to win, and I feel like this is what I’m destined for and this is what I’ve prepared for my whole life. I’m hungry, and I’m willing to do anything. I’m willing to go in a box by the time I leave, I will come out a champion.

Q.

Do you see this as a boxing match, or do you see it as more of brawl? You’ve been siting down on your punches a little bit more the last fights, do you think he can feel your power, or do you think you have anything he hasn’t seen there?

Eloy Perez

You know I can’t talk, but I will talk. My record, it doesn’t mean anything but when he gets in there he’s going to know what it feels like and he will know that I’m here to stay and I’m here to fight. It’s not going to be an easy night.

Q.

Adrien, he says that you haven’t seen a fighter like him. Can you talk about that or do you think he’s just coming up with things to say? What was your take on that?

Adrien Broner

Listen, Lem, you and I know, you know boxing, man, I’ve seen guys like him in the amateurs. This is nothing new to me, do you know that. It’s the same mind but different bodies, man. It’s the same man. I’m going to go ahead and do my thing. He’s talking just a little just to talk. He knew what he got himself into. He took a bite, too much, he can’t chew, man. Now we’ve got to fight. He talks a good game, but you know at the end of the day your skill has got to talk for you, so he’s got to make me respect his boxing skills.

Q.

Adrien, in your career what fight do you think you’ve learned the most from? I’m going to take a stab and say the Ponce De Leon fight because of the pressure of being basically in a crowd that was his crowd and also some of the criticism you took, rightly or wrongly, from the fight. Did you learn anything from that fight? Do you think you matured in that fight, and if so, in what ways?

Adrien Broner

I learn from every fight, even my first professional fight. I still have a lot to learn. I’m a sponge of the game. I’m young. I’m 22. I still have a lot to learn. In the Ponce De Leon fight I stayed poised and I did what I had to do to get the victory, so it wasn’t a crowd pleasing victory, but the fact remains that I came to his hometown and I beat him unanimously. At the end of the day I did what I had to do and people don’t always like it.

Q.

Last question for you, Adrien. There are some people who are saying that you’re potentially the next Floyd Mayweather type of fighter, the next fighter to climb the ladder and to build a really good reputation and to become potentially a superstar, do you embrace that opportunity? Is it something that’s daunting to you, or are you ready for it?

Adrien Broner

I’m very mature for my age and a lot of people are saying I am the next Mayweather, but look, I’m going to be me, not Mayweather. He has his own legacy and I’m not trying to be him. I don’t ride off other people’s waves. I respect him to the fullest. I learned a lot off just watching him. He’s a great guy. But I’m going to do what I do, and that’s be Adrien Broner, and I’m going to do it my own way. I look up to him, but we’re trying to do more or trying to get to where he’s at, so I’m going to do what Adrien Broner does.

Q.

In your record, I’ve seen your last few fights, you scored real nice knockouts in your last two bouts against Jimenez and Perry, but you only have seven knockouts in your career. But your power has looked very good in the last couple of fights. I’m wondering, what has happened in the last couple of fights, have you been working on your power, or is it sort of sometimes that thing happens? What do you attribute to the newfound power? Because you’re a good boxer but I didn’t see a lot of power earlier in your career.

Eloy Perez

Earlier in my career my trainer would say, you’ve got to learn how to box before you learn how to fight, and now’s the time to fight and show the world what you’re about and what kind of skills I’ve got. I will show all my skills against Adrien Broner. I won’t take anything from him, he’s a great fighter, he’s got skills, he’s fast, and he’s the world champ, I’ve got to respect him, but I’m hungry and I’m willing to do anything that I need to do to become champion. When it comes to the power, it’s always been there, but now I’ve got to go for it. You only get one opportunity in life and this is my opportunity to shine and so I’ve got to give it my best and go all out.

Q.

Can you put your finger on, or explain in any way why it has looked so good the last two fights, but was not there in so many fights previous to that?

Eloy Perez

It’s just the way my body’s changing. With time and I’m just getting stronger, better, and faster, and I’m peaking, and this is my time. I wouldn’t tell you what I’m doing different because I’m not doing anything different besides going harder and getting better. The power is coming, and I’ve been blessed with that, and I’m just excited for February 25th.

Q.

Do you feel like you’re ready now to be in a world title fight at this stage of your career?

Eloy Perez

I am, and I’m going to take that title home with me, so I hope Adrien Broner’s taking good care of it and polish it for me.

Q.

I want to ask you about that, because it’s become a little bit of a fun thing that a lot of boxing fans joke around about, talk about, that’s not the most significant aspect of the fight, of course, but can you just take a minute and explain how that started and where that comes from?

Adrien Broner

I’d just like to say, first off, flashy, Dan, I feel like everything’s got to be neat and everything’s got to be right before I put on my performance, so I brush my hair.

Q.

Did you do that originally to sort of be like your schtick, your thing, or was it you did it and it just happened and people kind of laughed at it and found it to be funny and amusing?

Adrien Broner

It’s just something that came up. I felt like getting my hair brushed. I feel like I need to be fixed up. So that’s why I did it. They loved it, so I’m going to keep doing it for the fans.

Q.

You heard Eloy just talk about showing a little bit better power in his last couple of fights, when you look at his record and you see he’s undefeated, so there’s something there, but he’s got 7 knockouts in 23 wins, do you think much about the punching power, or do you just know that you have the feet or possibly the power yourself to take care of a guy like him?

Adrien Broner

You can’t tell how a man fights by his record and every man doesn’t fight every fight the same. At the end of the day I just make sure I’m in shape, because when I’m in shape, man, I’m not going to lose, you know that. I don’t care what he has, what he’s done or how hard he hits, but you’ve got to hit me. Power and working on your power, you get in shape, that doesn’t mean anything if you can’t hit anything. So, you know what, that’s just all talk. He’s going to have to defeat me. He’s going to have to defeat me, man. And I’m going to be in his face all night. If he thinks he’s stronger than me, then what can you do, man? The other guy is saying he’s going to kick my behind with no feet, man. I’m serious when I say this, I’m ready. I’m ready and I’m going to make a statement and I’m going to show people why I’m the world champion.

Q.

It sounds, the way you’re talking, that you think maybe this is an easy fight. Do you think that it’s an easy fight?

Adrien Broner

It doesn’t matter what type of work it is, I make hard work look like easy work and I keep easy work, easy work. At the end of the day it’s all easy money

Q.

Okay, so if it’s that easy, let me ask you to look ahead for a minute. When you look at the landscape of the Junior Lightweight Division or perhaps guys at Featherweight that might move up or yourself that might go to 135, who do you see out there as your big fight? This is obviously an important fight for you, you’re fighting a quality opponent who’s undefeated, but what’s your big fight, a main event type fight that you can see for yourself in the future?

Adrien Broner

I’m not running from anybody. I’m not a matchmaker. I’m not a promoter. I’ll fight anybody they put me in front of. So at the end of the day I’ve got to get in the ring and show them what I can do.

Q.

Eloy, I notice that you’ve been fairly humble most of your career. What is it about Adrien Broner that’s made you more vocal leading up to this promotion?

Eloy Perez

You know, he’s the world champ, people look up to him, people look up to the champs and he should be a role model, and you have your dad combing your hair on national television. Respect your dad. He’s the one that gave you life. If I asked my dad to ever comb me he’d smack me across the head. But I’m just a respectful kind of guy, you know? I own that. I own my life. But, Adrien Broner, whatever floats his boat, whatever he does to pump him up, more power to him. And it’s been working for him. There’s nothing much else to say about it.

Q.

This fight was on the table for you back in November, just speak about why you didn’t take that fight at the time, what wasn’t right about the timing and why you wanted to fight now?

Eloy Perez

I’ve always wanted to fight. It didn’t matter if it was in Cincinnati or in Salinas, St. Louis, it didn’t matter where it was, I was ready to go. But I also have a manager and a team and something they didn’t agree with, with the terms, and everybody’s got a job and I let them do their job and do mine.

Q.

Adrien, why are you obsessed with the hair brush thing? Is it that you need a schtick to get your notoriety, or do you really care about how you look?

Arien Broner

Like I said, everybody’s got their ways of doing things and for me I’ve got to stay fresh, fly and flashy. So I’m going to make sure I’m fresh, fly and flashy in the ring too as well. I’ll never change. This is how I grew up, no matter if I’m in the ring or on the streets this is going to be Adrien Broner, so you either like it or love it. And if you like it or love it doesn’t matter, I’m still going to be Adrien Broner, so this is just me.

Q.

If you win, will you have another different schtick to display, or are you going to stick with the hair brush?

Adrien Broner

Listen, man, if you were in the ring you might be brushing my hair. Listen, man, I love it, the fans love it. so that’s just me. It’s not a gimmick. That’s just me. I didn’t make this up. I didn’t plan it out. This is something I felt like needed to be done, so I just do it to brush my hair.

Q.

Eloy, have you allowed yourself to think about what it would be like to join Andre Ward, Nonito Donaire, Robert Guerrero, these world champions in northern California? I know you’re looking at one fight at a time, but with a win here you’d be joining those guys.

Eloy Perez

It’s going to be a blessing when I do win, and I’ll be right up there, I’ll be proud of myself and be proud to make something out of life. I’m Mexican. It’s in my blood. All of Adrien’s problems were against Mexican fighters, and I’m a Mexican and I’m going to solve the problem. I am the answer.

Q.

In your quest to solve the problem, do you feel that his gimmicks are a problem for him, or does that spur you on a little bit?

Eloy Perez

I just want it. I just want to be a good role model for everybody out there, and I feel like I’m the real champ. I’m going to be successful and I’m going to give it to the people. I’m the people’s champ. I’m to be the people’s champ.

Q.

Adrien, the two opponents who probably gave you your biggest test were Ponce De Leon and Fernando Quintero. What Eloy has in common with those guys is he’s very difficult to hit. He’s not going to stand in front of you. When you think back to those two fights of ours, why is Perez a good matchup for you?

Adrien Broner

Like I said, man, I’m still young, I’ve got a lot to learn, I’m still learning, and in this fight I’m going to make a statement. We don’t go back. We only move forward, and that’s what we’re going to do. Those fights are in the past and I moved on and I learned from those fights and you know what, now I’m 22 and 18 knockouts, what can you say, man, I’m always progressing.

Q.

Adrien, you’re going to be fighting a lot closer to your hometown than Perez will be. Do you think you’ll feel any kind of home court advantage on February 25th?

Adrien Broner

As you can see in the Ponce De Leon fight, it doesn’t matter if I’m millions of miles away or if I’m right at home, I’m always at home because when I’m in the ring I feel like I’m in a bed. I’m comfortable. It really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter where the fight’s going to be at, man, I’m still going to do what I have to do to get this victory.

Q.

Listen, Broner has gone 10 rounds just once, and that was against Ponce De Leon, and he went 8 against Quintero in 2009. Those are the longest fights he’s had. Do you feel like the 12 round distance is potentially a problem for him, and do you think you gain an advantage as the fight becomes longer?

Eloy Perez

No. He’s strong on both hands. He can be quick and he’s proven that he can last long. But all his problems were against Mexican fighters, and I’m Mexican, my blood’s Mexican, that’s my raza, and I’ll take it to deep waters or to shallow waters to until it’s mine. And the title is going to be mine.

Q.

Which one of you two guys has fought the tougher opposition, the tougher opponents?

Eloy Perez

I think I have the hardest career. Everything I did at Golden Boy or anything in my past I conquered. I’ve learned from my career, my two draws, I’m blessed that I have them. I’ve learned a lot and I feel like I have the harder experience and I have the most experience. I’ve seen it all.

Adrien Broner

Hey, man, listen, you know and I know who had the toughest opposition. That’s why I’m on HBO and this is his first time on HBO. We’re not going to talk about records. He’s got to see me February 25th, man there’s nothing else to talk about, he’s got to get it.

Q.

Are there any closing comments you’d like to make before we let you go?

Adrien Broner

Yes. Like I said, “Mr.HBO” will be in the building, aka “Mr. Easy Money” aka “The Problem,” aka “I Knock People Off For Fun.” I will be in the building February 25th at St. Louis, and bring out the sunglasses because I’m going to shine.

Eloy Perez

All you’re going to hear is “And the new…” and “Viva Mexico” because I’m going to do this. I’m the people’s champ.

Monica Sears

All right, thanks, guys, very much. Have a good afternoon. And at this time I will turn the call back over to Dave to introduce the main event for February 25th. Dave?

Dave Itskowitch

Thanks a lot, Monica. Again, as I mentioned, in the main event we have two elite fighters moving up in weight from the Junior Welterweight division to the Welterweight division in St. Louis’ Devon Alexander “The Great,” and Argentinean knockout artist, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. To say a few words now I’d like to introduce a young man who every time he steps into the ring he seems to put on a performance that is a fight of the year or a fight of the year candidate, he’s got thunderous punching power, 22 of his opponents haven’t made it past the third round, he engaged in a fight of the year in 2010 with Amir Khan, he’s a blood-and-guts warrior, he’s got a record of 31-2 with 28 KOs, he’s the current WBA Super Lightweight World Champion, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. And also translating for Marcos will be his advisor, Sebastian Contursi.

Marcos Maidana

First of all, thanks to all the organizers, Golden Boy, HBO, and Universum for giving me the opportunity to fight back in the U.S. for this great fight. As you said, I’m going to make my best efforts to give the people a great fight on February 25th.

Dave Itskowitch

Thank you, Marcos and Sebastian. Now, to say a few words I want to introduce a young man who’s one of the most talented boxers on the planet, he’s a former two-time world champion, and he’ll be fighting in his hometown of St. Louis for the ninth time, he has a record of 8-0 in St. Louis, he has a record of 22-1 with 13 KOs, from St. Louis, Missouri, Devon Alexander “The Great.” Devon?

Devon Alexander

Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for having me. I’m ready to rock and roll. This is going to be an exciting fight for me, my debut at 147, and I’m definitely excited about getting in the ring with a warrior like Marcos Maidana. And I’m just ready to rock and roll.

Q.

Devon, obviously a lot’s been made of the accusations, or alleged accusations from Maidana’s camp about steroid use. Kevin Cunningham, your trainer, was obviously very upset about that. And I have to ask, you being in your hometown and this being your debut and a big fight for you, how do you feel about those accusations and the fact that you guys are going to be drug tested?

Devon Alexander

When I first heard the news, when my coach first told me, I laughed. I laughed and I was like, what, are you serious? You know my whole career has been clean and no drugs, no nothing, and all of a sudden this accusation about me taking performance enhancement drugs is ridiculous. I will take any test that they want me to take. I can test every day if they want me to test every day. But it’s just ludicrous to even think that or put that out there. I’m not really worried about it but it’s just the point of just putting it out there. I don’t mind taking the test. I’ll take the test. I’ll take the test the night of the fight, the day before the fight, three days before the fight, and three days after the fight. It doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day you’ve still got to get in the ring and you’ve still got to perform, and that’s what I plan to do.

Q.

Given that you grew up in a rough area in St. Louis and a lot of your friends that you started out with in boxing are no longer here as a result of the illegal drugs, does it offend you in any more of a way given that I know that your story is that you resisted that type of lifestyle?

Devon Alexander

It does because I don’t like to take any drugs. I’m a drug free type of guy. I can’t really even take Tylenol PM because it makes you dizzy or woozy. I can’t even take Tylenol really because it has a certain type of effect on me, the regular Tylenol. My body is clean; I don’t infect it with beer, alcohol, smoking, drinking, weed and all that. So for them to even consider that is ridiculous. But like I said, you can’t let that distract you. You’ve got to go on and you’ve got to handle your business and take the test. If they want you to take the test, take the test. But other than that, I’ve still got to get in the ring February 25th.

Q.

Obviously, you’re a guy that seems to be very calm most of the time, most fighters get juiced up as the fight gets closer, but, Bradley, you were pretty juiced up for that fight before the fight. Are you any more inspired by those allegations to make more of a statement than you originally had planned to against Marcos Maidana?

Devon Alexander

Definitely. I was going to make a statement anyway regardless, because the rumor’s out that I didn’t look good my last few outings against Kotelnik, Matthysse, and Bradley, so I was aiming to make a statement regardless. Like I said, it’s my debut at 147, and I’m going to be ready to rock and roll. I’ve got my legs. I’m strong and fast. And I’m ready to rock and roll.

Q.

Marcos, you guys had an issue with, I guess, the judging, you were concerned about being treated fairly in Devon’s hometown, and I guess a lot was made of the fact that Lucas Matthysse lost a close fight. Can you express your concerns why you were so concerned and put those into words for us?

Marcos Maidana

I have no concerns at all. In the ring there will be only Devon Alexander and myself who fight each other, so I don’t worry at all.

Q.

Admittedly, you’ve had some issues with some boxers that you faced, Erik Morales, Kotelnik, Amir Khan, and even to an extent, DeMarcus Corley. How does Devon stack up to guys like that and how do you see yourself breaking him down over the course of the fight?

Marcos Maidana

I don’t think I can compare Devon Alexander to all the ones who you mentioned before. I know Devon is very fast, not as fast as Amir Khan, but he’s very fast and he’s a very good boxer. But of course I trained very, very hard for this fight, I had a great training camp here, I’m fast, I’m strong, and I have faith in myself that I’m going to win.

Q.

Sebastian, will you ask Marcos about the fact that in the last fight that Devon had against Matthysse, also a real strong puncher from Argentina, had Devon in a little bit of trouble in that fight, went the distance, and he lost a close decision. A lot of people thought that Devon won the fight, but a lot of people thought that he got a little bit of home cooking because the scores were so close and the fact that he had been knocked out and all that. Does Marcos think that he needs to score a knockout because Devon has had good luck, or just good performances in his hometown?

Marcos Maidana

Yes, I’m going to do my best. I’m going to do my job in order to knock him out of course, but if not I know I have to win by a wide margin in order to get the decision because sometimes you have these local decisions, everybody knows that, so I think the best for me is to try to knock him out and to put an end to the problem.

Q.

Yes, just what was it that, knowing the history of the way that the decisions have gone in St. Louis in the recent fights, what was it that made you decide to accept the fight in St. Louis? A lot of guys wouldn’t do this. They wouldn’t go to the hometown of the other guy.

Marcos Maidana

I took the fight because I have faith in myself that I can win this fight, I can beat Devon Alexander in his home backyard, and to demonstrate that I can beat anybody and that I’m not scared of anyone out there.

Sebastian Contursi

As far as my part as his advisor, I said the same thing. Of course we know we can beat Alexander. We just want to be treated fairly. And all of this big issue that has been made about the doping test, there are a lot of lies out there; we just requested for a regular, usual doping test to be performed. That’s all. And all of a sudden we have lawyers, we have this and that, and Kevin Cunningham trying to intimidate us. It’s not going to work. We just wanted to have a doping test. We never, ever made any allegations or accusations to Alexander. And I have the proof myself because the exchange of e-mails that I had with Mr. Tim Lueckenhoff and with Eric Gomez, we just requested a doping test because we heard rumors, and of course they are rumors, but we never pointed out that Devon Alexander, and we are sure that Devon Alexander has nothing to do with drugs, illegal drugs or anything like that. But after what happened in the Chavez-Rubio fight a lot of people are doubting about the WBC, the Texas Commission, so why are people saying something? Is it wrong to ask, to request for a doping test? I don’t think so. That’s it. We don’t want to hear about lawyers or accusations from the trainer and this and that. So I think the right decision has been made in order to eliminate any drugs from the equation. That’s all done.

Q.

He [Marcos Maidana] holds one of the titles at 140 pounds. This is a fight he’s taking at welterweight, and I’m wondering, is this a situation where he’s coming up to fight this fight and whatever happens he’s going back to defend his title at 140, or are his days at junior welterweight over regardless of the outcome of next Saturday’s fight?

Marcos Maidana

Well, it depends on the outcome of this fight on how I feel at 147. I feel good, but I need to be in the ring in order to have a final conclusion about it. But there’s always a chance for me to go back to 140 and defend my title.

Q.

Now, I know you’ve heard a lot of conversation on this call and I’m sure elsewhere about you fighting at home is sort of like a double-edged sword; you fight at home because you have fans that turn out to buy tickets and you have an excited crowd on your side, and there’s nothing wrong with that, and there are those that say he fights at home because he’s there and he gets good fortune from the judges. Are you tired of that talk? What do you think about all the people that say, oh well, Devon Alexander, he’s a good fighter but he gets all these hometown decisions?

Devon Alexander

Well, I am, frankly, tired of all the speculation and all the suggestions that talks about me fighting in my hometown. It’s not my fault that I’m a big draw at home, do you know what I mean, and there’s nowhere else to take the fight. If I’m a big draw at home then so be it. But this fight, I’m not going to leave it in the judges’ hands. I’m going to win conventionally and I’m going to win by just keeping quiet about the whole situation. There’s not going to be a doubt in the judges’ mind, in the fans’ minds, or in Marcos’ mind; there’s not going to be a doubt that I wanted to fight, there’s no hometown favoritism or anything. I want to leave it out of everybody’s hands because at the end of the day me and Marcos are the only guys getting in the ring, so I want to leave it out of everybody’s hands.

Q.

When you say you’re not leaving it in the judges’ hands, does that mean you’re saying you’re going to get a knockout in this fight?

Devon Alexander

If it comes to that, yes, I will. But you know me, everybody knows me, I don’t get in the ring thinking of knocking anybody out, but I’m definitely going to be right there and it’s definitely going to be a good fight.

Q.

When you had the fight with Matthysse last summer, who was, frankly, a similar fighter to Marcos, they’re both from the same country, they’re both pressure fighters, they both are similar size, both have excellent punching power, and you had some struggles in that fight even though you ended up winning the fight. What was it that made you decide to go back into the ring with another guy like that from Argentina that has big power and a fearless nature in terms of the way he fights?

Devon Alexander

I believe in my skill, I believe in what I’m capable of doing. That fight was at 140 and this fight is at 147, so it’s a big difference. A new Devon Alexander is going to be in the ring February 25th.

Q.

Is that because you feel better at the weight?

Devon Alexander

Oh, definitely. Definitely, I feel much better. I don’t have to cut the weight like I had to in the Matthysse fight, and you’re definitely going to see a different Devon.

Q.

Any concerns about his punching power, which is obviously very good?

Devon Alexander

We all grown men, everybody hits hard.

Q.

He seems to hit particularly hard.

Devon Alexander

Well, I hit hard too. Everybody knows Maidana’s got power, but that’s not my concern. My concern is what I’m doing in the ring. That’s not an issue. I’m not concerned about that. We all know what he’s capable of doing, but I’m worrying about what I’m doing.

Dave Itskowitch

Just one other thing that I wanted to be clear on, people are talking about that we’re fighting in St. Louis and the concern over home cooking. I just want to be clear, the judges, all three judges for this fight are from outside of the State of Missouri. We have one judge from England. We have one judge from Connecticut. And we have one judge from Puerto Rico. So it’s a neutral panel and I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that was the case when Devon fought Matthysse also. Tim Lueckenhoff he’s the commissioner who likes to make sure that everybody gets a fair shake and he’s been very cooperative with both sides in terms of making sure that there’s neutrality on the judging panel. I just thought I’d -

Q.

What about the referee, where is the referee from?

Dave Itskowitch

He’s from New York.

Q.

Who is the referee?

Dave Itskowitch

Steve Smoger.

Q.

As far as the training goes, I know you’ve been strengthening and conditioning for a while now, but when you hear something like this along the lines of the accusations, you said you laughed at first, but Kevin seemed to be a little more fired up about it. How much more motivation does that give you to get in there, because it doesn’t seem like Maidana’s team had ever questioned anybody about something like this before.

Devon Alexander

Well, I was already motivated before, but I have even more motivation to get in there. The way it’s probably going to go they’re going to probably think I’m going to be on something because I’m in great shape, tremendous shape, and I’m going to be ready to rock and roll, I’m going to be in the fight all night. So they can speculate all they want, speculation, rumors, or whatever it is, at the end of the day you’ve still got to get in the ring and you’ve still got to handle your business. This just adds motivation from what I already had growing in camp, so I’m ready to rock and roll.

Q.

Because you do live in St. Louis do you know the implications about steroids and things like that, just thinking back to Mark McGwire and baseball, having your name attached to something like that, whether it’s true or false, how does that feel internally to you?

Devon Alexander

Like I said, I’m a clean fighter. And it’s just ludicrous for somebody to even approach me like that, for that to even coming out of your mouth, drugs in the same sentence as Devon Alexander, because everybody knows Devon Alexander’s clean. So it’s just ludicrous that it was even brought up. That’s why I say I laughed, I thought my coach was playing at first, but it was true, so what can you do? I was shocked. I was very shocked.

Q.

I remember Devon saying that he was surprised at the initial press conference that Marcos was a little bit smaller and he looked a little bit chunky. Is the weight for Marcos, has that been a little bit of an issue, and has he seen his power translate up to 147?

Marcos Maidana

I don’t even know why Alexander would say that, because I never had an issue with weight for this fight. I never had a problem to make 140, so now I’m 147. I always kept myself around 158, 159 pounds, so no, not at all, I don’t think I was ever chubby.

Q.

Has he found that the power in training, does he feel like his power has translated and come up with him from 140?

Marcos Maidana

Well, I felt great. I felt very strong during the sparring sessions and all the work that we have done during this preparation. I feel great. So I think I can be as strong as in the 140 pounds, but let’s see. Let’s see if I hit hard in 147.

Q.

Devon, I just want to know, how far have you been struggling to make the 140 pound limit, and then just how much stronger are you feeling in training camp knowing that you don’t have to lose seven more pounds?

Devon Alexander

I’d say the last couple of fights I’ve been struggling to make 140. It’s been harder, when it usually would be a walk in the park for me, but these last couple of fights I’ve been struggling and training all week just to make140. So the extra seven pounds is definitely going to have me back to the old Devon Alexander that you guys saw in my previous fights. So the extra seven pounds, that’s going to help me.

Q.

I just want to know what it means to you mentally knowing that you don’t have to strain to lose that extra weight, because everybody always speaks about the physical part. I just want to know mentally.

Devon Alexander

Mentally and physically it’s great because you can eat constantly, you can eat, I’m supposed to, and lose weight constantly. So it feels good. Mentally you know you’re there, physically you’re going to be there, your whole body’s going to be there, and not just 65% or 60% of you there. So you’re definitely going to be all the way there and there’s not going to be any more excuses.

Q.

I just wanted to ask, with Marcos having such a big following in the U.K. and now with him moving up to 147 for this fight and with Amir Khan looking to move up to 147, if he does come through and he does beat Alexander, would that be the most likely target for yourselves, a rematch with Amir Khan at 147?

Marcos Maidana

Well, at this moment I’m 100% focused on Devon Alexander, which is not an easy fight. As far as Amir Khan, I’m not thinking about him anymore, like I said a few months ago, because we had a great fight, I chased him for almost a year, and he always refused to give me a rematch even though I’m 147, so I’m not thinking about him anymore. I’m just focused on Alexander now.

Q.

Sebastian, does the thought of such a dangerous fighter such as Marcos, does that make things more difficult when trying to find opponents, and do you have to go to people’s backyards?

Sebastian Contursi

Yes, definitely.

Q.

People don’t seem to want to fight Marcos, do you have to maybe to make concessions to get Maidana the opposition that we all want to see him fight?

Sebastian Contursi

Yes, yes, of course, you’re absolutely right. Yes. After Marcos had that great fight with Amir Khan, which we always said that Amir Khan won fairly, but it was a great match, a very close fight, so I think we deserved a rematch, and he was always turning us down. But other than that, it was difficult to get opponents, yes, you’re right about it. We had to go to Robert Guerrero’s backyard last year, and unfortunately he got injured so the fight was canceled, but other than that we heard a lot of names out there but when it was time to fight they backed off. Yes, so that’s why we have to go to the opponent’s backyards in order to have a good fight. Maidana has always said that he wants to face the best, and he thinks that by facing the best he has to go to their backyards.

Q.

Does that also lead to you having to sacrifice on the negotiations such as with the Alexander fight being a 10 round fight where you would have preferred obviously a 12 round fight? Do you have to make these sacrifices in order to get Marcos opponents?

Sebastian Contursi

Yes, that’s true too. But there’s a point I want to make clear, from the very beginning this fight was supposed to be an eliminator for a title, of course a 12 rounder, like any other major fight, but we were told by Golden Boy that Team Alexander didn’t want to pay the sanctioning fees, and if you look at the contract it says 10 or 12 rounds. Of course we are used to fighting for 12 rounds, and so is Alexander, so we don’t understand why this fight is not for a title, regardless of the WBA, WBC, or anything like that. We could have fought a 12 rounder, but yes, that’s one of the things we have to sacrifice in order to get the major fight, for which we are very grateful to Golden Boy, because they deliver what they promised, a big fight in February.

Q.

He works so hard, Marcos, every time he’s in the ring to earn his paycheck, what does he make of his fellow countryman, Carlos Chavez, the footballer, refusing to play football for his club team Manchester City even though he earned €250,000 a week?

Marcos Maidana

To be honest with you, I like football a lot, but I’m not a real fan and I’m not into the situation of Carlos Chavez. So there’s nothing I can say about it. Sorry.

Q.

I’m just wondering, calling from the U.K., it’s been a while since Golden Boy has come over and put a big show on over here. I think the last one was Kahn and McCloskey and before that it was Mitchell and Katsidis, the joint promotion, are there any plans in the pipeline for Golden Boy to come over and do a big show in the U.K. again in the near future maybe?

Dave Itskowitch

Nothing in the schedule in the immediate future, but hopefully we’ll be back in a short time, possibly to do an Amir Khan fight. But we enjoy promoting shows very much in the U.K. and look forward to coming back soon.

Monica Sears

Thank you to all the press for being on today’s call. Again, like I said, we will be sending out a full Fight Week schedule. And I just want to turn it over to Devon, if you have any closing comments before we let you go.

Devon Alexander

I want to thank everybody for having me on, thank Golden Boy, thank all the people involved, Scottrade in my hometown and HBO so thanks for everything.

Monica Sears

Well, thank you to all the press again. Thanks, Dave, for hosting the call, and be on the lookout for the full Fight Week schedule of events starting next Wednesday. Thank you, and see you all in St. Louis.

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