Lou DiBella – Thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call for what should be an amazing, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, September 8th. The main event Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter is for the WBC World Welterweight Championship. It’s a sensational fight, incredible match up of styles, one of the best fights you can make in the Welterweight division.
It will be the main event of the tripleheader. It will also feature Yordenis Ugas vs. Cesar Barrionuevo in a WBC Welterweight Eliminator. And also an extremely interesting and important heavyweight match up between Adam Kownacki of Brooklyn, New York by way of Lomza, Poland and Charles Martin from Carson, California, the former World Heavyweight Champion.
Obviously an effort by Charles to get back into the big picture in the heavyweight division with one big win. And for Adam an opportunity to defeat a former World Heavyweight Champion and put himself into the immediate title conversation. It’s a sensational card, tickets for the live event, which is co-promoted by my company and TGB Promotions in association with DSG Promotions. They started $50 and they are on sale now.
They could be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 1800-745-3000, they can also be purchased at the box office in Barclays Center. Fights involving Garcia and Porter rank among the highest attended and highest grossing gates for boxing at Barclays Center. So both of these fighters are basically fighting in their homes away from home.
Adam Kownacki is a huge favorite within the Polish community in the New York area. He’s a very big ticket seller and this will be his seventh fight at Barclays Center. So right now tickets are moving incredibly well. The ringsides and the better seats are good to be gone quickly. So people should get on the phone and order their tickets you know for this fight when they can and they were tickets down to $50 so this is an affordable event for everybody.
In addition to being a huge event for Brooklyn and for Barclays Center this is another string of top boxing events in major fights that would be presented by SHOWTIME under the leadership of Stephen Espinoza, doesn’t get better than this. In my mind, this is as good a premium cable fight as you could possibly make.
Again it just continues in a multi-year period of excellence for SHOWTIME. Stephen, why don’t you say a few words?
Stephen Espinoza – Thanks very much, Lou. September 8 will be our 26th live boxing presentation of the year. That’s 26 live boxing events this year and of those we’ve had eight matchups of top five versus top five fighters, and that’s clearly what Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter is – two of the top five in the welterweight division. That again will be the eighth time this year alone that that’s happened on SHOWTIME.
We’re also here to talk about the heavyweights, Adam and Charles. Adam is hugely popular with Brooklyn’s Polish community. He’s fighting at Barclays Center for the fifth time. Charles Martin is no stranger to Barclays Center either, having won his heavyweight title there on SHOWTIME back in 2016.
It’s a very intriguing crossroads fight in a division, which has certainly got a lot of attention, a lot of buzz lately. So I think you know that’s all part of a very solid card, interesting card top to bottom. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention Amanda Serrano who is trying to become boxing’s third six-division champion when she fights Yamila Reynoso for the WBO Junior Welterweight World Championship. A little bit of everything as far as high quality fights, we are really looking forward to September 8.
L. DiBella – Thank you Stephen, and as Stephen pointed out there is a terrific undercard featuring loads of New York talent and an incredibly significant women’s fight between Amanda Serrano and for a 140-pound belt, which would be Amanda’s sixth weight class with the title. As Stephen pointed out that would put her there with two other great male Hall of Fame level fighters and make her the first woman to hold a distinction as well as the first Puerto Rican, so that’s a very significant fight.
Let’s get started with the great heavyweight match up. I’m going to first to say a few words about a young man I’m very familiar with, born in Poland, moved to Brooklyn with his family when he was seven, two times New York Golden Gloves champion, rated in the top 10 by the WBC and number 13 by the IBF. Six round knockout recently against Iago Kiladze, he has wins over former title challenger Artur Szpilka as well as a number of other good wins with his record but really a rising young heavyweight close to his big opportunity with his biggest obstacle and a former world champion Charles Martin in front of him.
A. Kownacki – Hey thanks Lou for the introduction. I’m ready to make a statement. It’s a very big fight for me, I’m training very hard and hopefully after this fight I’ll be mentioned as a heavyweight contender. I’m thrilled to be on a great show in Barclays Center live on SHOWTIME and can’t wait. It’s definitely going to be a great night for me.
L. DiBella – Charles Martin only lost to Anthony Joshua in April of 2016. He has couple of knock out wins since then, 6’5″, 32-year-old, top 10 by the WBC at number nine and number 15 by the BF. Charles this is a pretty immediate way to get back into the picture, if you could beat this young contender and he’s looking at you as his biggest resume mark to date. So this is a big night for you, can you say a few words?
Charles Martin – Yes, I can’t wait. I’ve been training hard, doing what I got to do, staying focused, and I’m looking to put on a big show come September 8th and you know keep going up those rankings, trying to get back to my belts. I know it’s going to be a tough fight and that’s what I am training for, so we’ll see nothing new.
Q – When you turned pro did you have the expectation or the confidence that you would reach this level of the sport?
A. Kownacki – My goal was always to be world champion. Winning the New York Golden Gloves was a big thing for me. So after I won that, that’s where I was looking to win the title. With every fight I inch closer so I’m training very hard to reach the dream comfortably.
Q – Charles, what do you have left to accomplish in sport boxing.
C. Martin – I want to show what I can really do in the sport, so I’m just here to show people my skills and that’s what I am going to do on September 8th. I got some stuff to prove so that’s what it is.
Q – What does fighting in New York mean to you personally?
A. Kownacki – I love it. In fact, it’s one of the best feelings. If you can make here, you can make it anywhere. So I want to continue that and keep winning in New York.
Q – Charles do you think the winner of this fight will be right in line for a title shot?
C. Martin – Yes, possibly, but I’m never looking past my opponents. So I’m right on the money. I got to take care of Adam Kownacki first before anything.
Q – What is in Adam Kownacki’s style which makes him so hard to first of all predict and then to fight?
C. Martin – He is just a good fighter with a lot of heart. He is winning because he is a good fighter. I’m just saying he is a good fighter.
I’m prepared for everything you can possibly think of. I’m coming to minimize everything he brings, that’s what we are working on.
Q – Charles, could you tell us how you think you’ve improved as a fighter since facing Joshua and what lessons did you take from that fight?
C. Martin – Yes, I’m more mature, I’m grown. I’m a grown man. So we’re ready when I get in that ring. When I work out, when I go to training, I’m serious about what I do. I’m taking my craft seriously, so that’s what’s the difference. I’ve grown.
Q – What do you think your advantages are over Adam in this fight?
C. Martin – I’ve come in to win, come in to make a statement. I’m bringing devastation.
Q – Adam how do you view Charles as a fighter and what do you think your advantages are over him?
A. Kownacki – Well, first of all, I thank Charles Martin for pronouncing my name right, I think he is one of the few people that actually said it correctly but I will be in pressuring him all night. I’m a pressure fighter and if Charles Martin is able to give me all then I think it’s going to be a tremendous fight.
Q – Do you want to make prediction for the fight?
A. Kownacki – I do know that it is going to be exciting. There will be lot of fireworks.
C. Martin – No predictions. I like to prove it and I like to show it. Let me show it, no predictions.
Q – Charles does returning to Barclays Center bring back any special memories for you, was that part of the motivation for to take this fight?
C. Martin – Well as far as taking the fight it didn’t matter where we fought, but I love fighting in Brooklyn. I like the Barclays Center big stage, so I am looking forward to it.
Q – What led you to taking the fight with Kownacki?
C. Martin – It’s just who we are fighting with, you got to fight somebody. I haven’t been in the ring often recently but I’ve been in camps and working every day. We have been working really hard
Q – Adam do you feel like this is the final step towards getting that title shot or do you feel like there is more work to be done?
A. Kownacki – As you all see Charles Martin is very focused, so I’m prepared for the best Charles Martin that he brings, and I could beat the best Charles Martin and go for the title shot right after. I am looking at Charles Martin as if he still has the title, as if he is the champion, so I am ready. I am running and doing more workouts. I’m looking at Charles Martin as if he is still a champion, so by beating him it puts me right in o the title shot. He’s a contender and the former world champion so bringing a shot at title would be I think the next step in my career.
Lou DiBella – Adam and Charles I look forward to seeing you guys fight week, and now we’re going to move on to the main event of this great event on Saturday, September 8. Once again it’s 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the WBC World Welterweight Championship and frankly Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter don’t really need whole lot of introduction.
Q – A lot of guys who fight Shawn obviously come away from their fights feeling that he uses his head, how much are you preparing for that and how can you kind of combat that from happening to you?
Danny Garcia – I got to go in there and fight my fight. I can’t go in there and basically get caught up in his fight. We have the right sparring partners, short guys around 5’6″ using the head, who come forward. So me and my father got the perfect game plan to get away from the head butt. So yes we have some tricks for that.
Q – How much will you make the referee aware of that?
D. Garcia – At the end of the day I’m not really worried about the referee, it is a fight. The referee does his job and I’m just going to do my job and that’s go in there and fight. So I’m not really worried about his head. I just have to go in there and fight my fight.
Q – What it would mean for you if you’re able to stop him in the fight?
D. Garcia – It will mean a lot, if you avoid the scorecard that’s always a great thing, you don’t even have the judges judge, so it will be great. I stopped people for the first time in their careers so it won’t be the first and it won’t be the last time I did it.
Q – You’ve been involved in close decision before and I know you can’t go into a fight looking for a knockout but how imperative is it for you to try to end this fight before it goes to the cards so you don’t put yourself in those situations again?
D. Garcia – At the end of the day, those fights are growing fights, those type of fights are what makes you a better champion and makes you a better fighter. If you win easy fight all the time you don’t know what you have to work on, you want to improve. So those type of fights show what you got to work on. So I think every fight in my career has been the right fight and I’m going to go in there and use all those fights and all the experience I have had to get this victory.
Q – Shawn can you answer that as well?
Shawn Porter – I plan on going in there and taking care of it in the easiest way. I need to make sure I’m doing everything that I need to do to win the fight decisively and with no question at all that I am the winner.
Q – Do you think Danny can do anything to make you not fight his fight?
S. Porter – I think it’s a psychological thing. I say when you are in ring with me, you know what I am going to bring, and you really got to get yourself going for that. I think a lot of times they get caught up with my work rate and my aggression and they feel like they have to counter that with the same work rate and aggression. I don’t know what game plan they have for me, but I do know that I’ll be ready for anything.
Q – How excited were you or how did you feel when you found out you were going to get this opportunity?
D. Garcia – It was exciting because obviously I want the world championship again, the WBC title was my title to begin with. So it was exciting when I got the call and it was all right away and it’s a fight that I like and I was excited and I said let’s get it on.
Q – Can you talk about your point of view as this being a competition not only between yourself and Shawn but between your dad and also his dad?
D. Garcia – We’re looking at it like another fight. We are not looking at it like your dad versus my dad. This is just Team Garcia versus his team and that’s how we always look at it. So we are just preparing ourselves, working hard every day and again we are going to do what we always do.
Q – How difficult was it to swallow having the first defeat of your career?
D. Garcia – It was tough, it was tough, I have a mind of a winner and honestly waking up that day I thought I was going to be the unified champion of the world. I was real confident when it came to the scorecard that I was there to win the fight because I finished the fight strong, and you know what there were a lot of close middle rounds.
He won a lot of the early rounds, but I felt like I pushed the fight, I thought I won the fight, it didn’t go my wat. That got me going again but you know mentally it was tough but you know physically it didn’t affect me, so now it is behind me in the past. I feel good, I’m motivated and this is the same Danny Garcia you want to see. So in my mind I still feel like I kind of have to go out there and prove myself.
Q – You both lost close fights to Thurman, can you tell me how much either of you would like to get a rematch?
D. Garcia – You know I got to get this victory first and then quite frankly, I’ll fight anybody, it doesn’t matter who it is.
S. Porter – Yes, I think the fight against Thurman was very, very close, and I wanted a rematch right away, but that was in 2016. At the time, it was the best fight in the division. It is still that but I’d like to see and fight some other competition first, and trust me I just love to fight.
Q – How would you rate your performance in that fight against Brandon Rios and do you feel like you need to do better than that to beat Shawn Porter?
D. Garcia – I’ll give myself a B, I was off a year before that. I felt like I knocked off a lot of rust, I felt like I’d be really good for being a year off and went and got the knockout, which was the goal. I felt like that was the only way to win that fight if I am knocking him out and that made me so happy so yes I’m back where I need to be and I’m active.
I’m fighting again and you know I always tell people that an active Danny Garcia is a dangerous Danny Garcia.
Q – When you look at the welterweight division do you feel excited about new potential fights that a lot of people are already kind of fantasy matchmaking for both of you guys?
D. Garcia – Yes, definitely, it was exciting to be in a division full of talent. If I get this belt I will fight whoever, the biggest fight, the biggest payday. I will fight anyone.
Q – Lou, where do you rank this event at least on paper among all the other boxing cards that you’ve been a part of in Brooklyn?
L. DiBella – We put on some amazing cards, this is another one and frankly I’m as excited about this one as I’ve been about anyone in a long, long time and I’ve said this main event is a fight that I had loved for years and it’s a fight that sort of was inevitable and it’s now happening and it’s a great fight but you know everything else on this card is important, it has significant history being made.
There’s going to be a major contender either Martin back again or Kownacki in the heavyweight division. It’s a great, great card, headlined by two great champions and Garcia and Porter, and it’s another card in the run of great cards on SHOWTIME in association with Premier Boxing Champions and another great card in the line of Brooklyn Boxing at Barclays Center. So you know it’s continuing to build those brands at the same time.
So it’s going to be a big night for boxing on September 8th, I would hope everybody joins us.
Q – Danny how long did it take you for you to get over your loss to Keith Thurman?
D. Garcia – It took me a little while and at the end of the day I never pictured myself on the wrong side of a decision, but it is what it is. I came back strong against Rios and did what I was supposed to against him and stop him and knock him out. The next two guys up for the title was me and Shawn and that’s how the fight got made.
Q – Can you tell us about the success you had at Barclays Center?
D. Garcia – Yes, definitely it is, I love Barclays Center. I opened up the building and I was the first world title fighter at Barclays Center in 2012 when I knocked Morales out. I fought many epic battles here you know against Morales, Peterson, Judah, Thurman, the list goes on.
Of course a lot of great knockouts there, you have a big fan base in Brooklyn. When I walk through the streets of Brooklyn everyone knows who I am, so that’s my home away from home. I love the atmosphere. I love the people at Barclays Center and it’s my home away from home and I’m excited.
Q – Do you still have any potential future plans to bring a fight back to Philly?
D. Garcia – In a perfect world after this fight I would come back and defend my title in Philly, but we got some work to do come September 8, so we got to get this victory and get the job done and then whatever’s next is next but I would love to bring something to the area.
Q – Shawn, what makes this Danny Garcia very intriguing?
S. Porter – I’m aggressive. I come strong, I come fast, I come hard, and Danny is one that’s a little bit more patient. The fight is a brilliant fight. I’ve been around the block 100 times and coming back to Brooklyn we are both familiar with them and they are familiar with us.
If you want to you know the other intangibles of this fight, it’s two hard hitters, two strong guys, two young guys and that just makes for a very great intriguing fight and it will be just that.
Q – Can you talk a little bit about the style match up, everybody has got to be different, but for both guys is there any fight from your past that kind of lays the blueprint for how this one’s going to go?
D. Garcia – At the end of the day for a lot of people from the amateurs, the pro game, they come forward. I have to go in there and push him back and that’s what I am preparing for and that’s what I wake up every day and get my work done and to be the best that I can be, and perform the best that I can perform.
I’m going to go ahead and make adjustments like a true champion and get the victory and I think that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.
S. Porter – I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen yet but I’m sure I’ve had previous experience with whatever he brings to the ring. My experience and my knowledge in the ring is what is going to help me through that.
Q – How much does that help you when you had those long periods of inactivity before and still been able to perform at a high level when you go into a fight like this?
S. Porter – If anything I’m healthier, I’m happy and I’m relaxed. I’m fully recovered for anything that I’ve been through and you know the list goes on there. I think that if anything, I’ll have fresh legs late and a fresh mind to get in the ring with Danny. I think in the past just the time in between fights has made me stay hungry. This being for a world championship title and the WBC, plus Danny Garcia is one of the top guys in his division. Everything in this fight has kept me hungry from the moment that the talk began about this fight happening and now we’re like 23 days away from the fight I think and it is coming soon.
Q – Shawn earlier Danny said that he gave himself a B for his performance against Brandon Rios, how did you think he fought against Rios?
S. Porter – Honestly prior to the knockout it was a C performance for me, it was a C performance. I thought that he was not as fast and sharp as I expected him to be. If it is Shawn Porter versus Brandon Rios, I would not expect him to go that long. He found the right punch at the right time, he landed it, he knocked him down after that and that was what I needed from Danny in order for me to get in the ring and do what I did.
Danny doesn’t knock out Brandon I don’t get in the ring, and this fight may or may not be happening right now, but I’m ready.
Q – In regard to a Keith Thurman rematch, do you put that out of your mind at this point because he hasn’t fought so long?
S. Porter – Yes, I put it out of my mind, and again no disrespect to Keith, but we haven’t seen him, we don’t know what Keith is going to look like when he gets back in the ring and I would hate for Keith to get back in the ring to be any less than what he was the first time we fought. There’s too many questions and this is why Shawn Porter wins the rematch right now. So I have definitely put the rematch a lot further behind me than it was prior to this fight has been announced but this is the number one thing on my mind right now.
D. Garcia – He’s out because of me. I was the one who broke his elbow, but I just feel like I just feel like he’s not hungry no more since he unified the division. I think he reached the height in his career that he always wanted to reach.
I think he’s married now or he’s traveling the world, so his mind is not in the game. So I just don’t think he’s hungry anymore. I think he passed what he wanted to accomplish. I may be wrong but from what I see that’s how it seems to be.
L. DiBella – Thanks for joining us everyone and we’ll see you on September 8 at Barclays Center