Hopkins vs. Dawson head to head press conference
Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson as well as the entire undercard boxers took part in the final press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday ahead of the WBC light-heavyweight title clash on Saturday night.
Below is what Hopkins, Dawson and the rest of the undercard had to say on Thursday.
BERNARD HOPKINS, WBC & Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I would like to say it is good to be back in Los Angeles. I made history here years back with Howard Eastman in the middleweight division with my 20 title defenses. I am excited to be back making that history.
“I didn’t know Dewey Bozella from a can of paint, but I heard his story and then I did my own research. I saw this wasn’t a charity case.
“Even though I did what I did without bragging about it, but there is a difference between being accused knowing you did something and actually doing it and paying the price.
“Dewey and I understand what that dark place means. Whether you committed the crime or you have been accused of something you didn’t do. The place is still going to be the same when you get there.
“That is where I go when I get ready for war. You try to figure out what my secret is. I systematically calculate and go back to a place that is very dark. I go back to that place without putting myself in a position where I won’t lose my freedom.
“If Chad Dawson brings everything that Gary Shaw said he would bring to the table and I bring everything that I have been known to bring to the table, everyone that buys pay-per-view will get their monies worth.
“My goal is to be fighter of the year. My goal is to make history again.There aren’t athletes in any sport four years from 50 that can do this.
“[To Dawson] You have Winky. Fine. But I don’t understand why you hire a guy to help you take you driver’s test when he failed his.
“I want Chad Dawson not to be the Chad Dawson that many writers have written about. You all have seen me. You know what I can do push ups and all.
“I want you [to Dawson] to bring the best out of me.
“I am challenging Chad Dawson to try to knock me out. I want to see the best Chad Dawson.
“Sometimes you win sometimes you lose, but at the end you all win, the customers win.
“Right now I am begging this guy to do everything he said he was going to do because guess who wins? Boxing.
“My birth certificate is what it is. Stop putting me in a category with the average 40 and up person. Gary Shaw is only a few years older than me. Look at him and look at me!
“Saturday, October 15, you are going to have to rewrite history.This is going to be a show that you are going to have to say to yourself, ‘Wethought we had seen it all, but we haven’t.’
“I just need Chad Dawson to bring his half. I am going to bring my half. Then you have a party. You have a fight.”
CHAD DAWSON, Former Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I am excited to be here. This is what I have been waiting for my whole career. I am ready to fight against a great champion.
“Hopkins has done a lot for the sport of boxing. I truly believe that.
“I am looking forward to coming out and showing everyone that I am the best light heavyweight in the world. It was Bernard Hopkins, but now it is going to be me.
“It has been a great camp. I have been here for almost two weeks. I am comfortable. This has been the best camp I have had in the last two or three years.
“On Saturday night I am going to be the new champion of the world…believe it!”
JORGE LINARES,Former Two-Division World Champion
“I want to thank everyone for being here. I want to thank my two new trainers Alex Ariza and Freddie Roach.
“There are only a couple of days to go. It has been a great camp. I sparred a total of 30 rounds against Manny Pacqiuao. We helped each other. I want to thank him as well. It is going to be a great fight.”
ANTONIO DEMARCO, WBC #1 Rated Lightweight Contender
“I am excited to be here. I feel chills. I feel very excited. I feel like crying and I will not miss this second chance. I am ready.
“I just want to say I am a dreamer. Everything that you have in mind you can achieve your goals. It has not been easy to get a second shot, and I won’t miss this opportunity.
“I want to thank the people in Tijuana for giving me a plate of food when I didn’t have any and now I am here.
“I ultimately want to be like Bernard Hopkins.”
KENDALL HOLT, Former World Champion
“His [Danny Garcia’s] father has all of this energy, but talk is cheap. He is saying that he is going to prove this and that. He is not the one that is going to be hit by this right hand and by my left hook.
“Who has he [Danny Garcia] knocked out? You cover the fights and you read the articles. Name one person that we are going to talk about one day that he has knocked out.
“It is hard to hit something you can’t reach. It doesn’t matter how many knockouts you have, it is who you have knocked out.
“After this fight, he is going to have to beg for another chance.
“I am going to do my thing. [I will show my] blazing speed and hard power.
“Garcia has never been hit by someone like me. He has never been in there with someone as experienced as me.”
DANNY GARCIA, Top Undefeated Junior Welterweight Contender
“We had a tremendous camp. We worked hard. We took it to the next level.
“I am ready to fight the best. Kendall Holt is one of the best. That is why I am in this business; to compete against the best.
“I am ready and I will be a winner on Saturday night.”
PAULIE MALIGNAGGI, Former World Champion
“This is a hard act to swallow, I mean follow.
“For my fight, the points are going to the Golden Boy side. This is one for our side. I have been in there with a lot of guys.
“When Oscar was reading all of my opponents, I was starting to feel old.I have been in there with a lot of great fighters.
“Come Saturday, night I am going to put on a show. I am going to put on a great performance with the backing of the strong team.
“This has been a great year and next year will be even bigger.”
ORLANDO LORA, Welterweight Contender
“I want to invite the fans to come and see a great fight.
“I have been through some adversity. Right now, I am here to show that I belong on this level and you will see what I have on Saturday night.”
DEWEY BOZELLA, ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award Recipient Making Pro Debut
“I want everyone to know that this wasn’t handed to me. I am here to win. I have been through ups and downs.
“I know what it is like to be locked up, and I like freedom better.
“People think this is an easy sport. For Bernard Hopkins to be at the level he is at today is amazing. When I got to camp, I was so far off. I only had about 20 percent of what I have now.
“To everyone on this dais, you’re a champion no matter what happens because you have dedicated your life to this sport. I am proud of ever single one of you all.
“I am not here for a charity case. I am here because I had to earn it. Boxing is about responsibility and discipline and that is what kept me going.
“Now I have the opportunity to fight on the Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson undercard and I am going to give one zillion percent of what I have. I want to show everyone that I am not busted (takes shirt off).”
NAAZIM RICHARDSON, Hopkins’ trainer
“I am very impressed with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
“What do you say about Bernard Hopkins that you haven’t already heard?He is not only one of the greatest athletes of this era; he is one of the greatest personalities.
“He always has a sound bite for you that are going to carry the promotion.This is important for boxing because we need that spark.
“Everyone needs to recognize what you are watching what you are witnessing.
“Chad has been an outstanding champion.
“When you look across the ring and you don’t see a step up fight and you see an absolute legend, your corner can’t tell you how you are going to respond until that day comes.
“Come Saturday, Dawson, who I have a great deal of respect for, is going to look across the ring in the eyes of one of the greatest of all time.”
JOHN SCULLY, Dawson’s Head Trainer
“I just want to give a shout out to the rest of the training team
“I actually go way back with Naazim. I have a lot of respect for him.
“I haven’t trained Chad since he was a kid. I have seen him since the very beginning. We go way back. I have seen him grow from a little kid to the man he is now.
“Everyone has that time to come out. I believe Chad Dawson is more than ready and he realizes this is his time to come out.
“I am looking forward to a great event and great fight.”
WINKY WRIGHT, Dawson’s Assistant Trainer
“I want to thank Gary Shaw and the Dawsoncamp for accepting me. I came in to lighten the mood and have fun with him [Dawson].
“Bernard is a great champion. He wouldn’t be where he is without fighting great fighters. He doesn’t duck anyone and there aren’t a lot of champions who do that.”
FREDDIE ROACH, Linares’ Trainer
“We have had a great training camp. We dragged Jorge around the world. He has been helping Manny Pacquiao get ready for his fight with Marquez.
“We know we have a great opponent in front of us. Don’t miss this one. It is going to be a great fight.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“I have been in there with some good fighters: Chavez, Whitaker, Mayweather and Pacquiao, but I do have to admit that Hopkins is the best fighter out of all of them that I ever faced.
“People throw around the word great. In the history of the game there has only been a handful, maybe, of great fighters. It is my honor, as it should be to everyone here, to be in his presence.
“We are not going to see another fighter like Bernard Hopkins.
“Bernard Hopkins keeps turning back father time but that statue [Ripley’s Wax Figure] actually looks older than the real Hopkins.
“Jorge Linares vs. Antonio DeMarco is going to be a matchup of styles and it is going to be an exciting one for the fans.
“Danny Garcia turned professional in 2007 and we are thrilled to have him as part of the Golden Boy Promotions stable of fighters.
“Paulie Malignaggi is known for his flashy style in and out of the ring.
“Dewey Bozella will be making his professional debut and his pay-per-view debut. He can only give hope to people. He sends a message to never give up no matter what.”
GARY SHAW, President and CEO of Gary Shaw Productions
“I really believe, not because I am the co-promoter of this card, that this card from top to bottom is as good of a card I have ever seen whether on pay-per-view or on commercial television.
“We have great fights that are evenly matched.
“[Points to trophy] It is called the promoters cup. The promotional company that wins the most fights Saturday night will leave with it.
“John Scully is not a new trainer. He is actually an old trainer. He was probably Chad’s original trainer.
“I’ve never seen Chad Dawson as happy, as in good of shape, as I have seen him.
“[Looks at Hopkins] I believe this fight is going to be your retirement party. I am glad I am going to be there for it.
“[To Hopkins] Chad Dawson is a different Chad Dawson than you have seen, than any one else has seen. You can say whatever you want; you will not get into his head. I guarantee you that.
“[To Hopkins] You can take home the wax, we will take home the Tecate girls.
“DeMarco happens to be one of my favorite fighters. He is one of the most humble people I have met in all of boxing. He is always happy, he is always smiling. He is a pleasure to be around and a great fighter.
“Kendall [Holt] has the biggest punch of any 140 pounder. Danny Garcia is a nice young kid. I have a lot of respect for him, but when Kendall hits him with the right or the left, its going to be lights out. I guarantee that.”
October 14, 2011