Miguel Cotto Conference Call Transcript

23/02/2006

Miguel Cotto Conference Call Transcript

OPERATOR:  Good afternoon and welcome to Top Rank call with Miguel Cotto. 

At this time, all lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise.  After the speaker’s remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period.  If you would like to ask a question, during this time, please press the star key followed by the number one on your telephone keypad.  If you would like to withdraw your question, please press the pound key.  Thank you.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to your host, Mr. Lee Samuels.  Lee, the floor is now yours.

LEE SAMUELS:  Greetings everyone.  It’s a big day for Top Rank, the champ is with us.  Miguel Cotto has been training very hard in Deerfield, Florida and getting set for his big fight on HBO, on March 4th in Bayamon.  He’s been training there for quite some time and he’ll tell you about his training and about his fight coming up.

At this time, I want to introduce to you Todd duBoef, the President of Top Rank and he will outline the fight card and what’s happening with Miguel; Todd.

TODD DUBOEF, PRESIDENT, TOP RANK:  Hi guys.  I’d like to welcome everybody there to the call.  We’re really excited about going back to Puerto Rico, its great television.  It’s a great event.  It’s always exciting to be in Puerto Rico when Miguel fights.  It’s something that he wanted to do and we wanted to promise that we would constantly go back, so we’re really excited about it.  Gianluca Branco will be arriving on Saturday into Puerto Rico.  He will be having a number of events going on.  Miguel, himself, will be in Florida until Sunday where he will be on Republica de Portiva (ph) on Univision and then will be sending himself over to – with Ricardo Jimenez to the island and get ready for the final preparations for his fight with Branco.

We know there’s a lot of interest going on in this division, from 140 to 147 to 135, everyone’s been talking about and Miguel is in the center of all of it.  He’s given us some terrific performances, the last, you know, five years and we see that 2006 is going to be incredibly exciting and its going be, really, his breakout year.  So, at this point, I’m going to open this up to Miguel, to tell the press – why don’t you give them a little – talk to them a little bit about how your training’s been going and then we’ll open it up to questioning.

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  Yes, the preparation’s gone real well here, you know, outside of not being close by to my family, what I’m used to but I think it’s been really great.  I think a great atmosphere.  I think I’ll be able to do all my work and I think it’ll show the night of the fight.

LEE SAMUELS:  That’s great.  Miguel, thank you and Todd thank you and then, Jason, why don’t we start with the calls.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  The floor is now open for questions.  If you do have a question, at this time, please press the star key followed by the number one on your telephone keypads.  Once again, to ask a question, at this time, it is star, one on your touch-tone phones.

Our first question is coming from Diego Martinez of Reforna Newspaper.

DIEGO MARTINEZ, REFORNA NEWSPAPER:  (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  The question was why did, you know, with this being such a good division, 140, after Branco, what are you looking at?  Are you looking at the big fight?  The answer is, you know, the opponents are going to come.  They’re not – I don’t choose the opponents, Todd does and maybe Todd should tell us what ahead of me after I – after Branco.  Maybe he’ll have a better answer than I do.  All I know is that I get ready to prepare myself to fight and that’s my job.

TODD DUBOEF:  If you want me to respond to that I will respond that our philosophy has always been that we’re not chasing anybody.  That we’re going to create it.  We’re going to create the money with the Miguel Cotto business and we’ve done a great job with that and Miguel has done a great job and you know, he’s been a very – he’s one of those feared fighters.  That it’s very difficult to get people to want to fight him.  It’s not in their best interests to fight Miguel Cotto because at this point in their career, there’s a huge risk, so we’re going about our game plan.  We’re looking at, hopefully, the Branco fight and Miguel to have a sensational performance there, look terrific; fight, hopefully, in June 10th and then come back towards the end of the year and – towards the fall and look for the big fights, like, if it was Castillo (ph) or Patton (ph) or Maywethers (ph) or whatever, so we’re in the mix.  We’re ready to go.

DIEGO MARTINEZ:  OK, thank you, Ricardo.

LEE SAMUELS:  OK, Jason.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question’s coming from William Trillo of boxing2006.com.

WILLIAM TRILLO, BOXING2006.COM:  Good afternoon, thank you.  Miguel, first question, you moved your training camp to Florida, on this occasion and I’m just wondering why, with the fight in Puerto Rico, in your home that you decided to take your training stateside.

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  I think the idea was to, you know, try this out, see how it works out.  We know that the big fights are coming.  We’re looking forward to those big fights and we know we’re going to have to have some special training, some special concentration to do, so we figured this was the right time to do it, you know and be ready for the next big fight.  We’re going to have to do it.

WILLIAM TRILLO:  OK.  Branco, after his loss to Gotti (ph), has come back with fights with four successive knock out wins.  There’s been a little bit of question of Miguel’s chin over the last three – two of the last three fights and does Miguel feel that this is a good chance for him to show that his chin can – is – can be tested and proven to hold up under a guy who’s putting on a knockout tear right now?

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  You know, when I go out there, I go out there to do my job, do the best I can.  You go out there, you know you’re going to get hit, so obviously, I’ve been a hit a few times the last couple of fights but I come right back and I show them what I can do when I’m hurt and I think that’s also just as well as being able, not only, to land some shots, I’ve been able to prove that I can take shots.

WILLIAM TRILLO:  Fair enough, thank you so much gentlemen.

LEE SAMUELS:  Good questions Billy (ph), thank you.  I appreciate it.

WILLIAM TRILLO:  Thank you Lee.

LEE SAMUELS:  Jason, let’s move on.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question is coming from Jason Gonzalez of fightnews.com.

JASON GONZALEZ, FIGHTNEWS.COM:  Hello, good afternoon Mr. Samuels; good afternoon Todd.

LEE SAMUELS:  Hey Jason.

JASON GONZALEZ:  What’s going on?

LEE SAMUELS:  I’m glad you’re on the call, fire away.

JASON GONZALEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Jason in New York.

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

JASON GONZALEZ:  OK.  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  The question was, you know, the same time that you’re going to be fighting on HBO, there’s also going to be another fight on Showtime with Lacy (ph) and Calzagi (ph); you think that’s going to take away from some of your audience on that night?  I just go out there to fight, you know.  People have a choice, which fight they want to see.  I’m sure, you know, there’s an opportunity for all of us to get some exposure here and I’m just going up there and do my job.

JASON GONZALEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  The question was, there’s been some talk that  you had your problem with your eardrum before, especially, after your last fight,  how do you feel now and did you have anything done with – on it?  Every thing’s fine.  We had it checked out.  We had everything taken care of and its 100 percent.

JASON GONZALEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  The question is, here in New York there’s been a lot of talk about you fighting Jim Tensman (ph) against Paul Malanoji (ph), are you – do you know you’re interested in the fight?  Like I said that’s not my job.  You know, Todd can answer that better than I can.  All I know is that I got Branco in front of me.  I’ve got to take care of the Branco business first and once I’m done with that then we can talk about June 10th.

JASON GONZALEZ:  Todd is it possible if you could comment on that.

TODD DUBOEF:  Yes, as you know, last year we held the Puerto Rican – the Saturday of the Puerto Rican Day parade, as we did last year when he fought Muhammad al Duliath (ph).

JASON GONZALEZ:  Right.

TODD DUBOEF:  So, there was a challenge for the date, about a couple weeks ago.  We then deposited – put up – made an agreement with the Garden that we’re going to go with Miguel on that date and Lou DiBella (ph) is coming to Las Vegas to talk about the fight.  He will be here this week and it’s a possibility.  Obviously, Miguel is right.  Branco is his number one concern and our number one concern but we will – I’ll have negotiations with Paul Malanoji’s (ph) promoter this week and start to see if there’s a fight to be made.

JASON GONZALEZ:  Very good, thank you.

LEE SAMUELS:  Jason.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Once again, if you do have a question, at this time, it is star one on your touch-tone phones.

Our next question is coming from Marc Abrams of 15rounds.com.

MARC ABRAMS, 15ROUNDS.COM:  Hi guys, actually, it’s a question for Todd.  You just talked about the June 10th thing, obviously, there is another fight that has been closed to signed; can you elaborate anything more about possible television and all that.

TODD DUBOEF:  Well, no.  I mean you know my job, right now, is to look after the Miguel Cotto business and to look after Miguel.  If, you know, if other networks or other television companies or – have other priorities and they want to take another event that’s their decision but I can’t say to Miguel, oh we’re not going on that date.  I have an obligation to him and I can’t move the parade, so we’ve made the commitment to them and you know we’re big boys.  We will do some type of distribution that no one will – everyone will be very satisfied with and we’ll put on a terrific event on June 10th and I’m not going to make announcements yet to what our plans because obviously, March 4th is the most important thing right now and I assume soon after that we will be able start putting together a game plan for what we would do on June 10th and who the opponent would be.

MARC ABRAMS:  And one question for Miguel, obviously, before the Corley (ph) fight there was a lot of problems with your weight and all, the last couple of fights there really hasn’t been that problem, do you see any problems, still staying at 140, I guess, for the next year or so?

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  Yes, I feel that maybe, this could be my last year at 140.  I know I can probably make 140 the next two to three fights and then move on to 147.

MARC ABRAMS:  Thank you and good luck.

LEE SAMUELS:  Thanks Marc, I appreciate it.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  We do have a follow up question coming from Diego Martinez of Reforna Newspaper.

DIEGO MARTINEZ:  Hey Miguel (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  The question was, you know, you came back after an automobile accident, what made  you come back and you’ve done so well, even after that and what did – how did you get started in boxing?  I, you know, I just wanted to do something with my life.  I thought I was capable of doing that.  I came back strong and you know, I look back and I know that could’ve been my career but you know, the way it’s developed every thing’s worked out fine.  I just started boxing because I wanted to lose some weight and I liked it and I enjoyed it and I stayed with it.

DIEGO MARTINEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

LEE SAMUELS:  Thank you.

TODD DUBOEF:  Can you imagine how many we’d have in boxing, right now, on the press stuff (ph)?

LEE SAMUELS:  Oh boy, me included.

TODD DUBOEF:  Everyone needs to lose a little weight, promoters, too, though.

LEE SAMUELS:  Jason, any more questions?

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  We do have our next question coming from Tim Smith (ph) of New York Daily News.

TIM SMITH, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:  Hey guys, how’s everybody doing?

LEE SAMUELS:  Good, thank you.

TODD DUBOEF:  Good.

TIM SMITH:  Oh, good.  Just a question for Cotto, isn’t Deerfield Beach, Florida, isn’t that where Don King’s headquarters are and was there some specific reason you ended up training in Deerfield Beach as opposed to some other place, you know, in Miami or something?  That’s …

TODD DUBOEF:  Tim, maybe I can respond to you, all right?

TIM SMITH:  OK.

TODD DUBOEF:  Miguel Diaz (ph) who, obviously, is a very important part of, you know, works with us at Top Rank and also, works with the Cotto’s, had been scouting out places and we decided that Florida was the best place.  There was a – the idea was possibly go to where Arturo Gotti (ph) was at Vero Beach (ph).

TIM SMITH:  OK.

TODD DUBOEF:  There were other ideas that they planned out.  There’s a new facility there, a gym that is operated and they had some houses that were nice and everything and they felt that was the best place, so basically, you know, I think, you know, I think my biggest concern would be that its in Don King’s backyard, so I guess I’d be responsible for that one.

TIM SMITH:  Yes.  I want to know if Don was sending over care packages or anything while he was training.  I mean try to sign him away or something.  You’re putting a hen in the fox’s house or something.  This is crazy.

TODD DUBOEF:  No but I think that you know they wanted to stay in Florida.  There was – we talked about Orlando.  We talked about a number of places and like Miguel said, this was – just to try it out because as he knows and as we’ve discussed it, you know, when you have big fights you go away to camp and you’re going to have to go away seriously and be locked down and have a real formal training camp, so this was a way to, you know, test the waters, you know and you know, dip his toe in the water and this was what we felt was a good idea.

TIM SMITH:  Was this the first time that he’s been away from Puerto Rico to train for any extended period of time?

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  Yes, the longest I’ve ever been away from home was one month when I was in Australia for the Olympics.

TIM SMITH:  OK but in terms of training …

TODD DUBOEF:  Yes he’s never …

TIM SMITH:  … strictly for a professional fight, this was the first time he had been away from Puerto Rico?

TODD DUBOEF:  Correct.

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  Yes.

TIM SMITH:  Was there – Ricardo can you ask him if there was any kind of adjustments he had to make, you know, I mean did he get, like, homesick or I mean was there – did he get bored?  I mean, you know, when you’re not at home there’s, you know, you can’t raid your own refrigerator.  I mean were there things that he just had to do to just keep himself going nuts?

TODD DUBOEF:  That’s why he’s not at home.

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  You know, to be honest with you, the only thing is just not seeing my family on a daily basis, not seeing my kids.

TIM SMITH:  OK.

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  That’s the only thing that’s really, you know, out of all this.  Everything else has been fine; it’s just not seeing my kids on a daily basis.

TIM SMITH:  Yes, OK.  All right, OK that’s it and how does he feel about making, you know, coming back to New York again in June, you know, around the Puerto Rican Parade schedule.  I mean does he think that that’s something that he’d like to – like, you know, Oscar sort of made Cinco de Mayo a big thing for himself in Vegas.  I mean does he foresee making this a special kind of date for him in New York, you know, throughout his career?

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  Yes, you know, it was just a great experience.  I think that it’s something that you know things that you never forget, you want to experience it again and not only me but I think a lot of Puerto Ricans get to go there, you know, as part of the parade, just to see a fight and I think it was great for everyone.

TIM SMITH:  Does he foresee being able to do this, like, every year?

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  You know if Tom Frank (ph) feels that that’s the way to do it.  You know, if that’s – if they’re having success I’m sure we’ll be doing it a lot, as much as we can, throughout my career.

TIM SMITH:  OK.

TODD DUBOEF:  I think Tim, to answer the question, yes.  I mean I think the Puerto Rican Day Parade is a natural for him.  Obviously, New York is a natural for him and we’ve seen the success that he had in New York and you know, in large part, I mean the wonderful response he even got in Atlantic City, you know and Tito’s (ph) had a wonderful – had wonderful success at the Garden, so the Garden is a very special place for us, as a promoter and for Miguel, too.  We’ve all discussed to be almost his home away from home.

TIM SMITH:  OK, all right very good.  All right guys, thank you.  Bye.

LEE SAMUELS:  Thank you Tim.

TIM SMITH:  All right.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question is coming from Jason Gonzales (ph) of fightnews.com.

JASON GONZALEZ:  Two questions; my first question is for Todd.  You know, to expand on what Tim was talking about, you know, with training in Don King’s backyard, just about a week ago the WBA welterweight champion Luis Cavazo (ph) signed six contracts and one of the names that he signed to fight was Luis Cavazo (ph).  Is that a possibility, considering that Miguel just said that he’s going to – he plans to move up to 147, could that be like the first fight at welterweight for Miguel, next year?

TODD DUBOEF:  I mean I, you know, I think we’re, you know, we’re jumping so far ahead, I think anybody is.  I mean you know got me already – I’m trying to keep him at 140 a little bit.  We’ve got some great fights at 140, so yes, I mean,  you know, we have never and I’ll say this and I really emphatically believe,  there is not one fighter in Miguel Cotto’s weight class that fought the opposition that he has fought at that weight class, at 140.  There is not – nobody and you can look at everybody’s records.  You can look in,  you know, no one has fought who he has fought at the weight class and we have believed in him from the beginning and he’s delivered and obviously, when we start going out there and start campaigning at 147, he’s going to go after everybody there and if Palazzo (ph) or whatever the guy’s, you know, whoever he is or  you know, the 47 pound champions, whoever there are that make sense, we will line that up and obviously, go after them.

JASON GONZALEZ:  Thank you Todd.  My next question is for Miguel.  Miguel (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

RICARDO JIMENEZ:  The question was, we know that Vince Billings (ph) been sparring with you, can you give us some other guys name that have been with you?  Irving Garcia (ph) from Puerto Rico been’s doing – sparring with me, as well as, Kid Diamond (ph).

JASON GONZALEZ:  Todd?

TODD DUBOEF:  Yes.

JASON GONZALEZ:  OK, the last question, I’m sorry, is there any possibility down the road that we could see Miguel and his older brother Jose fight on the same card?

TODD DUBOEF:  You know that’s an interesting question you say.  We have mostly shied away from that.  We don’t, you know, because of the distractions of having brothers, we did it a number of times with the Ruellas (ph) brothers and you know and we learned from a couple of those experiences with them.  We never even put the Marquez (ph) brothers together.  I don’t know if it’s in the best interest of the fighters and the families and everybody there.  There’s a lot of emotion just when one fighter fights, let alone, to have, you know, the two brothers fighting, so you know, right now, I would have to discuss it over with the Cotto’s.  I’m tending not to want to do that unless they would, you know, they were emphatic about it and really believed that they would be OK.  I just think through history it shows that they’re better to be more independent than they are to be together.

JASON GONZALEZ:  Gentlemen, thank you so much.  Hey Miguel (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

JASON GONZALEZ:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

LEE SAMUELS:  Thank you very much for that – those questions.  Jason, what have we got?

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  We have no further questions at this time.

LEE SAMUELS:  OK Todd?

TODD DUBOEF:  Well, guys, this has been terrific, we appreciate it.  March 4th is going to be exciting as ever.  We know that if you can’t make it down there, we know Tim Smith (ph) is making it down there, so bravo to Tim.  Any of you guys that can’t make it down there, watch it on HBO, March 4th.  Branco is, obviously, a very crafty European fighter on a streak right now and was in a real close fight with Arturo Gotti (ph) and I promise you that the people of Puerto Rico will be going crazy and you’ll enjoy this telecast, so thank you Miguel, thanks everybody for, you know, calling in and asking questions and we look forward to a great week coming forward.

LEE SAMUELS:  Thanks everybody and thanks Miguel.

MIGUEL COTTO:  (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

LEE SAMUELS:  Thank you.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.  This does conclude today’s conference.  You may disconnect all lines at this time and have a great day.

END