SHAWN PORTER AND KELL BROOK MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT

Kelly Swanson
Thanks, everybody, for calling in on this Monday. Today, we’re having our conference call with Shawn Porter and Kell Brook, who will be fighting against each other for Porter’s IBF Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, Aug.16.

At this time, we’re going to start with Kell, who’s calling in from the UK, and then Shawn Porter will be joining us afterwards. To make the introduction I’m going to turn it over to Oscar De La Hoya, president and founder of Golden Boy Promotions.

Oscar De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Kelly. Yes, we are excited, once again, to team up with SHOWTIME on presenting to you a terrific boxing card, which will be taking place at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Aug. 16t promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Thank you to the sponsors, Corona and AT&T. This televised event will be on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, and we are always thrilled and excited to showcase some terrific fights starting with the co-feature, Omar Figueroa versus Daniel Estrada, which will be a 12-rounder for the WBC Lightweight World Championship. For the co-main event we have Sakio Bika versus Anthony Dirrell, which will be a 12-round WBC Super Middleweight Championship fight.

The reason why we’re here today is the main event, which will be a terrific fight, showcasing two of the top welterweights in the world today: Shawn Porter versus Kell Brook. On the call we have Kell Brook with a record of 32-0 and 22 KOs out of Sheffield, England. He is currently ranked number five by The Ring magazine at welterweight. He also possesses tremendous punching power, and is a great knockout artist and boxer. He’s coming off a great win against tough, rugged, Mexican welterweight champion, Alvaro Robles that took place last March. Brook plans on making a tremendous fight against the hard-punching Shawn Porter on Aug. 16 at StubHub Center.

As you all know, StubHub Center is known for its terrific matchups, its competitive fights, action-packed fights and this is no exception. Let me introduce to you, and everyone give a warm welcome; it’s his first time fighting in the U.S., and going up against a terrific champion in Shawn Porter. I commend Kell Brook for coming all the way across the pond to fight Shawn Porter. Like I said, with a record of 32-0 and 22 KOs, let me introduce to you, Kell Brook.

Kell Brook
Yeah, it’s great to be part of a bigger, stronger team with you, Oscar. It’s going to be brilliant fighting for the welterweight world champion at my young age, and we’re not too far away now, after finishing some hard training with still more to come. I’m more than ready for this opportunity.

Q
Can you talk about just the general frustration, if that’s the right word, that you’ve had given what happened with injuries?

K. Brook
Yes, it’s been very, very frustrating for me. I’ve been in line for this title before, and injuries caused the delay. I’ve been on the back burner and trying to keep fighting in between. I’m onto a new chapter now, and here we are. I think Devon Alexander gave Shawn Porter a tough fight and then Shawn looked good in his defense against (Paulie) Malignaggi. He took care of him, which no one has done before. He’s proven that he’s a worthy champion. Here we are again. I think I’m more than ready. I’ve been training very hard for this fight, and as the records show, I’m 32-0. That’s what I like to do, is win, and I’m coming over there and giving it my all.

Q
Do you think the fact that you’ve traveled for a fight will put you a little bit more at ease being outside of England for this biggest fight of your career?

K. Brook
Most definitely. I’ve boxed out there before so it won’t be the first time me doing that. I’ll keep that in my mind now, I’ve done that and it won’t be bothering me at all. I know that this is the biggest opportunity in my life, but I’m prepared for it, and it’s just me and Shawn Porter and I’m ready.

Q
How far in advance of the fight will you arrive in America?

K. Brook
Well, I’m coming over Wednesday (today), so I think it’s like two and a half weeks before the fight.

Q
Oscar, why are youe going to StubHub Center for this event?

O. De La Hoya
StubHub Center was a perfect fit for this type of card. As you know, StubHub Center now has the reputation of staging some of the best fights in recent years. We saw (Robert) Guerrero and (Yoshihiro) Kamegai, which was a tremendous fight. When putting this event together, StubHub Center was the first choice. The fact that you have no local fighters does not matter.

I feel the fans in Los Angeles that will be attending are just accustomed to watching some great fights no matter where they’re from, and the fact that the fighters will be performing at the StubHub Center, there’s a bit of added pressure for every single fighter because you must perform. It reminds me kind of like the Thunderdome movie with Mel Gibson; I mean, you have to fight there. The atmosphere is great, the fans are expecting great fights and I believe this is what Kell Brook and Shawn Porter and every fighter on the card will give us — a tremendous fight.

Q
Can you talk about that performance you had against Senchenko, and what it did for your confidence level?

K. Brook
I think it was a right fit, and I think it was a right fight. I think overall getting (Vyasceslav) Senchenko out of there in four rounds, I think it was appealing to the fans and for my career, and I think it was a good performance overall.

Q
When you were sitting on the outside looking at Alexander and he had that fight with Shawn Porter, how surprised were you that he lost the title to Porter?

K. Brook
I wasn’t shocked because anything can happen in boxing. I think there’s a blueprint over that with Devon against as many fighters who just smother him, because he likes to keep that distance and be on the back foot. So, you know, when watching it, I wasn’t really too shocked.

Q
Some people were quite surprised by Porter’s next fight when he fought Paulie Malignaggi and he took him out so easily. What were your thoughts on that particular fight?

K. Brook
Yes, I remember watching that fight. I didn’t expect that and I was definitely shocked after knowing that Malignaggi had been in with Cotto and some other big names, and other big fighters. I was slightly surprised knowing that Shawn Porter knocked Malignaggi out so quickly. It was a little bit of a shock to me.

Q
I’m sure you are aware how big it would be if you were able to get this title belt, and then an allUK fight between yourself and Amir Kahn. Do you have that just a little bit in the back of your mind?

K. Brook
Of course, it’s a business and it is in my mind. I know that this is the key to Fort Knox. It’s a business; it’s a match of money fights out there, not Mr. Amir Kahn, but international fights. I think people in America and around the world now will take note after beating Shawn Porter.

Q
When American fight fans get to see you in this fight against Shawn Porter, what do you think they’ll be surprised about most?

K. Brook
I don’t think they’ll be surprised, I think that it is what it is. They’re going to see what Kell Brook can really do, and, in fact, everyone around the world is going to see why they do call me “The Special One” and you’re going to see me at my best.

Q
What do you think Shawn meant when he talked about you being a very technical fighter, and how much is he on point?

K. Brook
I think he knows that he’s up against someone who’s 32-0, who’s passionate about actually becoming world champion and he’s probably seen the cat-like reaction. I’m a big welterweight and strong and determined. I think that he can maybe see it in my eyes that I’m not coming to lay down, I’m coming to lay it on the line. I’m a lion and I’m coming to take that title. I think he knows that it’s going to be like that.

Q
Do you have any doubts that you could win a decision in America? Do you have any reason for concern as far as the judges?

K. Brook
Yes, of course, it goes through your mind, but I think the entire world is going to be watching. It’s a hard division, and to win I have to be winning clearly, so all the world’s going to see it. Obviously, they’re going to remind me, I think, in my own country but I think, in this fight, it’s going to be so clear who the winner is there’s not going to be no doubt.

Q
You were implying that he feels more pressure because you’re not from this country, or for a number of reasons. Why did you say that? What is your rationale for saying that?

K. Brook
I just believe that maybe not in this fight, it’s high risk, world to world, it’s sad that if they could pick they definitely wouldn’t pick Kell Brook. I’m 32-0 and a star from England who has come to fight, so I think chucking and changing the dates, all the little things, it would just leave that time there. But it is what it is; I’m the man ready for that title, so there’s nowhere to go now.

Q
How would you handle Porter’s pressure and speed?

K. Brook
Amateurs and professional are completely different. Shawn had many fights and, myself, I’ve had far less amateur fights. I think the amateurs and professional are completely different, as you know. We’ve been having the sparring, watching Porter. We know it’s going to be a tough fight, we know that he’s seasoned and a professional. We know it’s going to be tough, but that’s what we prepare for, so that’s what it is.

Q
Have you ever fought anyone like Porter?

K. Brook
I think I’ve fought every kind of talent. I think that I’ve been boxing 20 years now, and I’ve been in there with every style there is. His style is not going to surprise me. I’ve dealt with that style, and boxing, to me, just comes natural, so there you go with that.

Q
Do you think the quality of your opponents is better than Porter’s opponents?

K. Brook
This one is arguable and the fact is, I’m at 32-0 out of 32 fights, and I’m ranked at that for a reason. I think that I can’t really compare opponents with his opponents, but the fact is I’m here and that’s where we are.

Q
After this fight, if you should win, who would be the next one that you would like in the 147- pound list?

K. Brook
I don’t know, and I think that if it came down to it, the team would decide what my next move will be. I just know that winning this fight puts me in line with all the elite fighters in the world of welterweights. I know I’ll be fighting a big name.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Kell Brook, and we’re looking forward to your arrival. Now on the call, from Akron, Ohio; he’s one of the United States’ best amateur boxers of this era; he’s now considered as an orthodox offensive machine coming off an impressive victory over Julio Diaz. He’s fought against the likes of Phil Lo Greco, Alfonso Gomez. Fighting at 147 pounds, he’s someone to be reckoned with; last December scoring 12-round unanimous decision over Devon Alexander to win the IBF title, and coming off a spectacular fight against Paulie Malignaggi, who he stopped in the fourth round.

Let me introduce to you, with a record of 24-0 and 15 knockouts out of Akron, Ohio facing Kell Brook, another undefeated fighter, Shawn Porter.

Shawn Porter
Thanks for that wonderful introduction. Things have been going great in camp. We just finished our first session here on the track, and just jumped in the car to do this interview. I’m excited about the fight Aug. 16. StubHub, I’m finally performing there so I’m excited about that. I’ve been to the venue a half a dozen times or so, and I love it, and so I can’t wait to get out there in person and give you guys a great show.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Shawn, and welcome to the Thunderdome. Now, for the media, we open it up for questions.

Q
You talked about his technical skills; obviously he’s a big guy and a strong guy, similar to you. Characterize what challenge Brook poses in as many ways possible.

S. Porter
Well, when I first turned pro they told me we were going to take it slow and build ourselves up and learn the fight game before we jumped into a big fight; the IBF championship fight that I had. I understood that the whole way; it was a growth process, was a building process, I was stepping up each fight. Anyone out there that’s saying this is the new Shawn Porter; no, this is not the new Shawn Porter, this is someone who has worked hard, someone who has developed and built himself up.

Now I’m here, I’m the IBF Welterweight Champion of the World and we now have another opponent in front of us, someone who’s very skilled, very basically and fundamentally sound. Just looking at film of the guy, he keeps his hands up, he throws a good, straight jab and good a one-two. That’s the basics of boxing, that’s the fundamentals of boxing. Things that I work on everyday and he’s very good at them. Not everybody else I’ve faced up to this point has been as good at them as he has.

With that being said, we’re going to go out there, we’re going to do everything the way we always do it. We’re going to box, use our speed, our power, our quickness, everything that we have, and keep in mind that he is a good fighter and we won’t be rushing in, we won’t be getting out of control.

Q
Is there any more pressure now given that you’ve been projected as the next star for the next few years over the next one, maybe two weight classes?

S. Porter
No, there’s no added pressure at all. This is what I love to do, and I’m having fun with it right now. We work extremely hard, and you know my dad, you know my trainer, my manager, Kenny Porter; nobody sets the bar higher than him. I’m working extremely hard every day, and the pressure is put on me all in the gym and on the track and in the swimming pool and in camp. Once I get to the fight all the pressures, I’ve already felt them all. There’s no pressure to deal with in the fight, just going out there and doing everything the Porter way and getting the job done, as we have.

Q
Oscar, can you assess Shawn’s growth, what you saw in him, say against Paulie Malignaggi maybe that surprised you, and then what maybe you see as a challenge in Kell Brook similar to what, I guess, Shawn sees.

O. De La Hoya
Well, I’ll tell you what didn’t surprise me is, the way he knows how to adapt. Shawn Porter is a fighter who, if he has to stay on the outside and throw calculated combinations, he can. One thing about Shawn, he’s always very exciting; that’s a given, so StubHub Center fits him perfectly. But, depending on who he has in front of him, he either walks right through you and demolishes you the way he did against Paulie Malignaggi, or he takes calculated risks; that’s who Shawn is. He’s a smart offensive fighter, and that head combination is very dangerous. This is not the new Shawn Porter; this is the Shawn Porter who’s just getting started.

Q
Do you feel like you’re just basically entering the prime of your career physically?

S. Porter
Honestly, I would say yes. I don’t really know what age you’re considered in your prime or anything like that, I don’t follow statistics. Nothing about me is statistical. I’ve defeated every one that’s ever been put against me, so I don’t know in terms of me if being 26 has anything to do with it.

Yes, I feel that all the experience that I had in the amateurs has been great for me, and has made me where I am as a pro and all the experience that I’ve had now as a pro has got me to the point that I’m at right now where I just feel very comfortable. I feel very excited about my matches, I’m excited to do camp and I’m excited about life. I think, right now, yes, I am in my prime.

Q
What is your motivation for fighting? Some guys it’s strictly glory, money is secondary; other guys they want to make a ton of money; other guys want to be in the Hall of Fame. What’s your specific motivation?

S. Porter
My specific motivation, I would say, is, there’s a level of excitement that I get from boxing, that I get from being in the ring and entertaining those crowds. I have those matches that just fill me up, man; it really does, it fills me up. I guess, along with that would be, yes, just a great career and the glory and all of that that comes with it. I think maybe my biggest motivation is probably my dad and my family. He pushes me, and we train year-round. We’re calling it camp right now because six weeks out from a fight it’s what you do; you call it a camp, but we live this, I train hard all day every day. I hardly take any time off, a few days after a fight and I’m right back at it because, again, this is what I love to do and you have to be prepared at all times.

Q
Do you think that at the level of fights that you’re in now that at some point, just for your own long-term career, that you do need to take a little bit of time off and give your body a decent rest?

S. Porter
We train hard year-round so we can afford to take those breaks during camp. Your body needs to rejuvenate, recover; we take those breaks. The other day I didn’t even hit the gym, I went and got a pedicure, I went and did some swimming and I relaxed my body. That’s what you have to do. When you train hard and you stay prepared you can afford to take those days off where it doesn’t get monotonous training and working hard doesn’t become boring or something you don’t want to do.

We’ve formed this thing, and I love calling it the Porter way because we do it in such a way that no one else can do it. We allow ourselves to take breaks during camp and just enjoy life and rest and recover and stay focused on the program without having to burn our body out or anything like that. Again, I’m enjoying life right now, I’m loving every bit of it, and I will be prepared Aug.16.

Q
Do you view, in any way, even in the back of your mind, that if you put on an explosive, impressive performance against Kell Brook; keep your title andstay unbeaten that, in fact, you become a serious candidate to get a fight with Mayweather?

S. Porter
Of course you do, you look forward to those opportunities. I don’t consider my fights as auditions, I consider them performances. I go out there and I give it my all, I don’t go out there and give it my all with expectations of getting something bigger and better, but with the expectations of making that fight the biggest and best fight that I’ve had, and then going from there. Again, you know this is boxing, we don’t look ahead of ourselves, but at the same time, yes, Mayweather, we all know he’s on the clock and we’re all right there standing there hoping that we’re next in line.

Q
You guys are both undefeated. Someone’s 0 must go. Does that put more pressure on the fight?

S. Porter
No pressure at all. You look at my record, I’m undefeated against undefeated fighters, so I’m going to keep that going. I do look forward to staying undefeated, and carrying my belt out of that ring Aug.16.

Q
You’re only blemish in your career is a draw to Julio Diaz. Just curious what you felt after that draw, and did you change anything at all to come back and have this explosion that you’ve had since then?

S. Porter
Yes. I think after the draw, obviously, I didn’t perform the way I liked to, the way I wanted to and that just motivated me to work even harder, and right all my wrongs that I did in that fight. Not that I put that fight behind me, but it’s not something that I look at all day every day or anything like that. Yes, I understood that I didn’t perform the way I should have, and I didn’t make the fight the Shawn Porter fight that it should’ve been. Since then I’ve focused on working harder in the gym, and just coming out being exciting in the fight.

Q
Do you feel when you get in there that you’re bigger and stronger than these guys and that you can physically bully them the way that you did Paulie Malignaggi?

S. Porter
Well, I’ve always believed that. Every fight we come in with our game plan, we work on it in the gym. We have a strategy that’s fight specific and we have to go to that. Every fight isn’t going to be Shawn Porter coming in and knocking you out. Some fights I’m going to have to box, I’m going to have to use my feet and my hand speed. Other fights I can walk in, be a little more dangerous, and throw some really hard shots and walk guys down; it all depends. With this fight, I’m not going to say too much over the air, but we do understand that we have to come in there locked and loaded and ready to fight.

Q
When you look at your opponent, Kell Brook, what do you see in him? What do you see as his strengths in the ring?

S. Porter
He’s good. He keeps his hands up, he’s very technically sound, he’s got a good one-two, he’s fast and he’s strong so this is going to be a good fight for me.

Q
How do you see that fight plan out? Do you see it going the distance?

S. Porter
I don’t make predictions, but I will say that Shawn Porter will be undefeated after Aug.16.

Q
How is Kell Brook any different than any other fighter that you’ve fought?

S. Porter
Well, I’ve pretty much fought the who’s who of young fighters out there. With that being said, it’s just another step up. He’s the guy that is mandatory for the IBF title, and the guy that we were told we had to fight. We go in there with a great game plan and we’ll execute it and fight him and move on from there.

Q
Also, you have pressure versus speed; what do you have to say about that, and pressure versus technical?

S. Porter
Yes. I can do it all so I’ll pressure a little bit, I’ll fight him on the outside, whatever I have to do.

Q
With all the opponents that you fought versus Kell’s, who do you think fought the better opponents; the most quality opponents?

S. Porter
Well, my dad, he keeps me going, he keeps me on my toes, keeps me moving and he’s always got me stepping up. With that being said, from boxing the who’s who in amateurs, the boxing tough competitors here in the pros to sparring Manny Pacquiao, I think everything that I’ve done speaks for itself. I’ve been in the ring with great champions and the better opposition so I do think that they give me the upper hand in the fight Aug.16.

Q
Talk to boxing fans, what they say is; they want Porter vs. Keith Thurman so I guess I’m going ask, will you fight “One Time” if you beat Kell Brook? Do you want to fight him?

S. Porter
I’ll fight “One Time” two times. I don’t look past what’s in front of me. Again, we’ve seen it all over the internet, all over the media wavelengths; everybody wants that fight. I think it’d be an exciting fight and it’s a fight that I wouldn’t turn down.

S. Porter
Final closing statement: I’m working hard. You guys know me, you know I’m going to go in the ring Aug.16 and give it my all. I look forward to seeing everyone out there, it’s going to be a great fight ata great venue. I’m excited to get out there to StubHub, and then perform Aug. 16. See you guys soon. I thank Golden Boy, Al Haymon, Team Porter, everyone out there, thank you very much.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Shawn Porter. We’re looking forward to an exciting fight, exciting card.. Thank you very much to all the media. I appreciate your time and being on the call, and we will see you very soon, and witnessing what is not only young guns, but young guns that are ready, willing to fight anybody. Thank you very much.

Shawn Porter vs. Kell Brook is a 12-round fight for the IBF Welterweight World title promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the 12-round co-main event, Omar Figueroa defends his WBC Lightweight title against Daniel Estrada, and in the televised opener, the WBC Super Middleweight title is on the line when Sakio Bika defends his belt against Anthony Dirrell. The event will take place at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and will air on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) and will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).

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