Jermain Taylor conference call transcript!


Jermain Taylor conference call transcript!

Lou DiBella:  Thank you everybody for joining us and you know, we are looking forward on December 9th to another fight in Jermain Taylor's extraordinary run of this fight.  And I think it's very unheard of for a young champion to have a run of opposite and like two fights with Bernard Hopkins followed by Winky Wright and followed by very deserving title challenge on December 9th with Kassim Ouma.  Jermain has has been up to every challenge, we expect him to do the same thing on December 9th and we are real excited about coming to Alltel Arena and Jermain's home town Little Rock, Arkansas and everyone who knows Jermain knows he is probably the best of best known personalities in the  state of Arkansas and if you fly into Little Rock’s airport you will see cutouts of Jermain Taylor all over the airport.  December 9th  will cap off a huge week or so in the state of Arkansas with the hottest claim, (STT) title game with the Razorbacks on December second.  A week later  Arkansas's most renowned individual athlete Jermain Taylor undisputed middleweight championship is on the line.  As always I'm proud to work with Taylor, I think we have the best team in all the boxing and I'm proud to work with the undisputed middleweight champion of the world Jermain Taylor and Jermain wants to say a few words.

Jermain Taylor: Hello to all members of the press. I'm looking forward to the fight, it's going to be a great fight. I know Kassim is coming to fight and he wants my title and I will be ready for him. I want to wish all members of the press a Happy Holidays also.

Norman Horton Emanuel, do you want to say anything about how training has been going?

Emmanuel Steward: Well, I have enjoyed training with Jermain Taylor. Jermain has all the talent to be one of the best middleweights of all time…I mean that. He still has some things to work on but with his effort and willing to learn he’s going to be just fine. He’s in great shape and I’m looking for him to do very well in this fight and I'm just as excited about his next fight.

Norman Horton: Thank you Emmanuel.  At this time we will open questions up.


Question: Hi Jermain, how are you doing today?

Jermain Taylor: Feeling good, how are you doing?

Question: Very good.  I got to ask you because you have had such high level fights with Hopkins and then Winky Wright, are you going to be able to get up to this fight against the guy coming up from the 154 pound weight class, you are a huge favorite and also fighting in your home town, is it possible to keep getting up a 110 percent for every fight in a row?

Jermain Taylor: Well, I won’t have a problem getting up for this fight, I’m fighting at home and Kassim Ouma, he is a great fighter,  I'm not looking pass this man,  I'm taking him very serious because I know he comes to win,  but I want to do my thing at home and look good doing it. 

Question: What do you think his strategy is going to be because he is smaller, he has got a lot more experience, and you are obviously going to have the size advantage, you are big even in middleweight division.

Jermain Taylor: Yes, Kassim has a lot of experience, but I don’t think he can handle my power after going back-to back with Bernard and then Winky, I bring some experience also….once he feels my power I don’t think he will want to mix things up very much.

Question: Did you see Kassim most recent fight that he had with Sechew Powell in the New York in the summer.

Jermain Taylor: Yes, I did see that fight.

Question: Anything you can comment on what we can expect for you based on what he did in that fight?

Jermain Taylor: Expect me not to do as much backing up as Sechew did.  I won’t be on the ropes you will see a lot of movement. Kassim likes to get into a flow and if that happens he can be tough as the fight goes on, but I don’t plan on letting him get into his flow.

Question: Okay.  And down the road to me even you are the favorite in this thing, rematch with Winky Wright or what do you think we can expect in 2007?

Jermain Taylor: I don't know what's next, I want big fights, I want to fight the best. Right now my focus is on Kassim Ouma.

Question: Okay.  Good luck on December 9th.


Question: Hi Jermain, this question is actually for both Emanuel and Jermain -- question, you guys can answer it independently.  But you two guys are just really kind of new to each other when Jermain first trained in Detroit.  I'm curious as what you guys have learned about each other since then and how this training camp was different from the Detroit training camp.
Emanuel Steward: For this fight the one thing I have noted, Jermain is very comfortable boxing with a guy from the southpaw postion, he is boxing so effortless and  smooth and also I think he’s learning how to you use his feet and balance better.  He is looking more like a seasoned professional fighter than he did for the fight with Winky. I see a lot more improved and seasoned fighter who seems to be very comfortable now being in the position of being middleweight champion of the world as compared to before.  So I have been very impressed with what I see and  he’s putting his combinations together much better than before also. 

Question: Jermain, how is this camp with Emmanuel been different than Detroit?

Jermain Taylor: I have just have been listening to Emanuel and and taking everything in and I'm learning a lot, he is a person who takes everything you do and makes it better. I make mistakes, but he looks at it and turns it around and makes the best of it.  I just respect his knowledge so much and just listen to him because I know that I will never know more than he knows about boxing and I  respect him as a coach and as well as person. The only difference with this camp and the last one is we are in Miami not Detroit, I still got the same team I had in Detroit and  Emanuel is still Emanuel.

Question: And last question Jermain I appreciate the time.  You know, ever since this fight was announced, you have been saying how this is going to be exciting for you, it is your first time fighting as champion in your hometown.  Now that we are about a week or so away, can you tell me your thoughts are and becoming more exciting at this -- now that it is this close?

Jermain Taylor: Well it’s good to come home as a world champion and I really feel good about that. It won’t really hit me until I make that walk to the ring, but it’s a good feeling. I still have a lot to prove and still need to work on a lot of things but coming home as a world champion is a dream come true for me.

Question: How are you doing Jermain?

Jermain Taylor: Doing well, so how are you doing?

Question: All right.  You know, a lot of people say boxing’s problem is the top guys don’t fight each other. You and Winky had that draw against each other that’s a rematch boxing fans and the media would like to see….your thoughts on that?

Jermain Taylor: Exactly, that's what I’m talking about. I’m a boxing fan as well as a fighter and I want to see great fights. If a rematch can be made and it’s acceptable we can do it again. I wanted him for this fight, but I don’t think he really wanted a rematch.

Lou DiBella: You are talking to the undisputed middleweight champion of the world, okay, we are not supposed to be the people chacing Winky for the fight.

Jermain Taylor: Right.

Lou DiBella: The man turned down five million dollars.  I don't want to hear his name anymore.  If he wants to come to the table, his people know my number.  I want Jermain to worry about fighting.  I want Emmanuel to worry about making him the best fighter he can be.

Lou DiBella: If he wants to fight, the fight was always there, he turned down five million dollars.  I am not mentioning the mans name again.  If they call and they want to make a deal on terms that are favorable for the middleweight champion, then it's something to talk about.  Otherwise we will move past him.

Jermain Taylor: Put this in a paper.  If he is fine with being number two, then you know, he will be a number two because no will I split 50-50 with him.  If he likes being number two then stay number two.

Lou DiBella: And by the way,  when Winky fights in his hometown and he is the man with public attention, then he could start demanding 50-50.  When he wins the middleweight title, you can start talking about 50-50.  I mean, you know, it's wonderful to say you want to fight and then you fight yourself out of it. 

Question: So in terms of Ouma, Jermain did you say you take him very seriously.

Jermain Taylor: Yes. I take all fighters very serious.

Question: But do you think this is the kind of fight that, you know, that the fans are going to embrace -- coming off, you know, the pre-title fight you have just had?


Lou DiBella: I think Ouma throws a 100 punches around, that you know, he has never been in a bad fight in his career.  So, it's sort of hard I would think if you are a fan to not look at this fight as very interesting. I will be the first one to say, I was the one out there saying take an easy fight, take an easy fight.  Well Kassim Ouma is not an easy fight.  So I got overruled.

Question: Jermain, Emmanuel said a few minutes ago on some of his remarks about that he thought you could stay at middleweight for another year or so and I have also read some comments in the past couple of months from yourself talking about that, you know, maybe one or two more fights at middleweight and then moving up.  Where do you think you are now and do you agree with Emmanuel's assessment that you can stick around for two more fights at middle weight or what's your time plan for moving up in weigh.

Jermain Taylor: I have no problem with the weight, it's about big fights. That’s what I want big fights and to fight the best. If it’s a big fight at 160 at the time or if it’s a big fight at 168 then lets make the fight. I don’t really want to put any kind of time on when I will be moving up in weight

Question: So you are cool like with what Emmanuel said, you can stick around for another fight?

Jermain Taylor: Exactly, I can stay at 160 as long as I want, I'm having no problem with the weight. But if there is a big fight at 168 we will look at it and make plans from there.

Question: Let me ask you this, I know we are talking about Ouma and talked about a little about Winky Wright.  You know, I know there has been discussion about maybe if you win the fight against Ouma, fighting Sergio Mora and then fighting Calzaghe, the point being is that there is discussion about your future fight.  Is that a motivation for you because there is these big fights out there or is it in anyway distraction because you do have (indiscernible) take care of next week.

Jermain Taylor: Yes, it's a motivation.  It's a motivation all the way because I know that in boxing you have to win fights.  I like being the middleweight champion of the world. That is a big motivation on it’s own and I know other fighters are coming to take those belts….so I’m motivated very much against anyone I fight. When the time comes that I’m not motivated anymore, then it’s time to get out of the boxing business.

Question: Okay.  So you don't mind then when other people and I know you don't want to talk about it, but you don't mind when other people talk or speculate about you might fight this guy, you might fight that guy or you might --?

Jermain Taylor: I don't mind at all. That’s part of the business. Every fighter goes through that, actually I expect people to talk who I may fight.

Question: Do you have any thoughts about either of those guys because they are talking about those fights.  I know you got to beat Kassim, but do you have a thought or two about Mora fight or about the Calzaghe fight?

Jermain Taylor: For almost the last 6 weeks my focus is on Kassim Ouma. I have to get pass him or there won’t  be Mora or Calzaghe. I try not to look ahead to much because I can lose focus and that would not be good at all. I have seen some fighters talking about what they are going to do down the road and end up losing the fight they should have been focus on. I’m not going to make that mistake.

Question: Hello Jermain, regarding Joe Calzaghe what are your thoughts on him and do you feel about taking him on in the near future.

Jermain Taylor: I mention earlier that I want big fights and want to fight the best. Joe Calzaghe is a big fight for me and he’s one of the best. If we both keep winning I’m sure that fight is going to take place. 

Lou DiBella:  Joe Calzaghe announced a few days ago that he is fighting Peter Manfredo Jr in March   So obviously that fight can happen.  But you know Jermain has indicated that he is not afraid of nobody, he's gone at every big fight and every big opportunity out there.  And you know Calzaghe is the man of his age, so down the road, you know, we are going to take a look at that when it's presented.  But right now Calzaghe is fighting Peter Manfredo Jr in March and I’m sure there will more talks about making that fight later in 2007, but both fighters have to keep winning.

Question: Jermain what do you make of Calzaghe? Have you seen very much of him?

Jermain:    I saw his fight against Jeff Lacy and he has a lot of movement, he’s very good fighter and I don’t think he has lost a fight, but I have a lot of respect for him. He knows how to bring it.

Question: I wanted to ask you just about Ouma, his work rate is just so high, his punches  per round is just so high.  Do you think that you could run into a situation where maybe he is not hurting you, but he is throwing so many punches that he can sway the judges his way and that's for you as well, Emanuel.

Jermain: With Kassim you can’t let him get into a flow, that’s part of our game plan…..take away his flow and never let him get into it. I will offset his flow with my power. I don’t think he can hold up to my power.

Emanuel Steward : And that's what the difference is, no way I would like to see Jermain get into a contest or trying to see who can throw the most punches, it doesn't matter to me.  And he doesn't have to do that.  Jermain's punches have to be precision punches and with full power.  And when a guy is coming in and putting pressure, if he gets hurt, he feels that -- they come in a little bit slower and they throw a little less punching because there is a little caution factor. 

Question: Jermain, you mentioned that the things you like about working with Emanuel is that he takes what you have and make it better.  You also mentioned that you thought you still had a lot of faults.  So I am wondering,  from those first Hopkins fight to this point, what types of things have you had to work on or where do you think you have made the greatest improvement as a boxer?

Jermain Taylor: I keep my hands up a lot more and I’m working a lot more on my balance with my feet and learning to fight better with my size. Emanuel always tells me to use my size and not get to low where it’s easier for me to get hit. It takes time but I’m getting better. The other thing that is very important is that I have been in 3 big fights in a row and from that you can’t help but have a lot more experience  with being in big fights

Emanuel Steward: When he fought Bernard Hopkins, Jermain had never had a gradual transition to top-level fighters so to say.  Unfortunate for him and for Bernard to some degree that there just wasn't too many good middleweights out there, but he was fighting basically a different class, maybe like B fighters, so that's already worse for the most part, not only even junior middleweights, and then all of a sudden his first fight with a class guy, it sort of gave him a gradual transition, what he ends up the man himself, Bernard Hopkins.  And so that's rough when you make that kind of a transition overnight and to go through trial rounds with Bernard Hopkins in there first fight there was a situation in which Jermain got hurt slightly a little bit in the late rounds and still has three more rounds to go and he just gutted it out and just through his determination and starting to fight back made Bernard back off again, and so he was able to get back with the points that he build up.  So those two fights and then Winky Wright fight I think has matured him as a fighter.  Now he has made that transition now, and he seems to be very comfortable in the gym when he is doing things now because it's tough to go against two guys who I have never thought really either one of those guys ever been dominated in their entire careers after watching Bernard and watching Winky for 17 years old.  You can't get any tougher than Bernard & Winky..  So anything after that including another Winky Wright fight takes place.  It would be a lot easier than what he has been through those last three fights.

Question: Yes, one last thing.  And this is for you Emanuel, have you ever seen a boxer go through a stretch of just, you know, a back to back to back fight?

Male Speaker: No, never.  Bernard and Winky are extremely crafty fighters, great defense, great patience  and to go through both of those guys back-to-back because I have always been a big Winky Wright fan and I would tell anyone I see, I  would not want to fight Winky under any condition.  Winky Wright would have been a problem for anyone in the middleweight history. 

Question: Obviously Ouma's boxing has surprise you guys, but for you Jermain what's the key here, in my mind it would probably be the jab -- just catching a guy coming in and that being probably your best punch and your bread and butter, is that what you see being to keep you that night?

Jermain Taylor: Of course my jab, I feel I have the best jab in boxing. Everything comes off the jab. My jab will give Kassim problems and I plan on keeping out in front of him all night long


Question: Emmanuel,  you talked to everyone about Jermain his talent -- you know what ability he has but he just wasn’t able to put it all together and in your experience what have you - had to guard against in trying to feed him too much?

Emmanuel Steward:  Once he learns everything he’s going to be one of the best. It’s going to take time because he has some bad habits that’s just going to take time. Learning happens with time and I don’t want to do to much to soon with Jermain. What I like about Jermain is that he wants to learn and wants to improve himself I have always told you I would love to see him play football he would be a tremendous football player because of his tremendous strength physically and mentally and his coordination.  But he -- is different than any fighter I have seen when it comes down to his support from his State. Most fighters have support of a city.  Tommy even had a great city support but with Jermain when he talk he doesn’t say Little Rock, he saids Arkansas. I have been down and as soon as he get off the plane -- I mean everybody is talking about Jermain -- I mean the Governor, the Governor's wife they praise about him all the time

Question:  Lou can you tell us, talk a little bit about ticket sales -- where do we stand -- ten days or so before the finals?

Lou DiBella: You know -- there has been a lot of attention obviously for this first homecoming fight for Jermain but we are still doing pretty well at the gate and I anticipate that the majority of the ticket sales are going to come over the next ten days.  But you know we are -- going to have at least -- I am going to say we are going to have 15,000 people in the open.

Question: You are sold out of the lower price tickets already?

Lou DiBella: No there are still tickets available at every price range.  I would urge people who want those affordable tickets ….there are lot of tickets at 75, 50 and there are number of tickets at $25 for students, military and senior citizens.  Those tickets in the next ten days are going to be the first to go.  So I would urge people who need those affordable seats go and purchase them as quickly as possible.  One other quick note on one of our sponsors in this event is and there are ticket packages on Subhub that involves getting you know autographs and getting some (indiscernible) during fight week and some of the front seats -- the good portion of the front seats from those sales you can go to the family there.  So I would (indiscernible) anybody to go Subhub and get it.

Question: All right and question for Jermain.  Talk a little bit if you can about how your success has influenced the sport of boxing in Arkansas, which has not traditionally been a very popular sporting right?

Jermain Taylor: Boxing has picked up a lot in Arkansas. There are more gyms than when I started and I know I can take some responsibility for that. For some young kid living in Little Rock to come see the middleweight champion train will be motivation for him to say one day I’m going to be a world champion. I never had a world champion in Little Rock to look up to or go see train so I don’t think it’s no surprise to boxing picking up in Arkansas.
Norman Horton: We are going to take a couple of more questions and we are going to end this conference call.

Question: Thank you, you have been referred as the future of the middle weight event and I had opportunity to speak with you that was year ago the press conference with Bernard Hopkins and you give me straightforward about you know, you have been the kind of person that do what you think you got to do, this is undisputed middle weight champion of the world which you have title how do you feel about that now, you get confident and you still have that -- you know the attitude.

Jermain Taylor: You know I am still the same person.  I’m still hungry and have a lot more to learn and improve on. Nothing has change with me

Question: Between Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright which one do you think was more harder for you to fight.

Jermain Taylor: Who is the hardest opponent?

Question: Who was best opponent?

Jermain Taylor: Who is the best opponent?  I have to say Hopkins, Hopkins he held the titles and he was a tough opponent. That’s not to take anything away from Winky who was very tough also.

Norman Horton: This is going to complete Jermain Taylor conference call I want to thank all members of the media for their participation Lou, Emmanuel and Jermain thank you and I want to remind everyone that Jermain will be live today with Jimr Rome and Brian Kenny on ESPN.