Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Edwin Rodriguez & Thomas Williams Jr. Media Conference Call Transcript & Audio

Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Edwin Rodriguez & Thomas Williams Jr.
Media Conference Call Transcript & Audio

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Brittany Goossen

Hi everyone. Thank you for joining us today on this call. On behalf of TGB Promotions we are very excited to be back on FOX in primetime and promoting this highly anticipated and long-awaited rematch. On this call today we have the co-main and main event. Bef˜ore I turn it over to Ray Flores who will introduce the fighters I wanted to remind everyone that tickets are still available. They’re starting at $27. Also we will be hosting a special Fan Fest beginning at 2:30 PM for any ticketed fan. There will be live music, food and fun and a Corona beer garden. I am looking forward to seeing all of the LA boxing fans out there. We’ll now turn it over to the voice of TGB Promotions Ray Flores.

Ray Flores

Thank you very much Brittany. We have an outstanding card from top to bottom. It is an honor and a pleasure. It is fight week. It is at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. PBC live on FOX and FOX Deportes at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

We have a tremendous triple header for all of you this Saturday. When you’re talking about it on social media use the hashtag #PBConFOX. Tickets are going very quickly. This fight is selling unbelievably well. Our televised opener features three division world champion Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel against the unbeaten Mexican brawler Jorge Lara. This is going to be a battle in the featherweight division.

In the co-feature we will have another battle. It is going to be a slug-fest featuring Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez colliding against Thomas “Top Dog” Williams. In the main event five years in the making it happens this Saturday PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes, it’s “Vicious” Victor Ortiz squaring off with Andre “The Beast” Berto. This is a fight that is without question going to be a barnburner.

Now let’s talk about one of our co-featured bouts of the evening. Fighting out of Fort Washington, Maryland, most recently having picked up two victories including a second round TKO over world ranked contender Umberto Savigne last November, ladies and gentlemen please welcome Thomas “Top Dog” Williams.

Thomas Williams

I’m just ready to go. It’s been a good training camp. This fight was originally scheduled for March the 12th in Connecticut. We had to simmer down a little bit because we were right on schedule and we bring it down to bring it back up. We’re here on April 30 and we’re just ready to go.

R. Flores

Thank you very much Thomas. We are excited to watch you fight against this man. He is born in the Dominican Republic now fighting out of Worchester, Massachusetts. His only loss came at the hands of Andre Ward back in 2013. He’s coming off of a Fight of the Year candidate last November against Michael Seals. What a matchup that was. It did certainly provide a lot of ebbs and flows and highs and lows in the course of the match. So please welcome ladies and gentlemen Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez.

Edwin Rodriguez

I’m happy to be back fighting in California. I’m excited. I had a really good training camp and Thomas is a good fighter. He seems to have had a good camp so this is going to be a great fight, you know, two top contenders going at it to try to fight to get a world title fight. The fans can’t go wrong on this fight.

Q
I want to ask both of you how exciting does this fight stand to be given your styles and what is at stake?

T. Williams
Honestly this fight will be exciting no matter what. I think it’s great for the light-heavyweight division to have two top light-heavyweights fight each other, both of them at the top of their game, both coming off of exciting wins.

This fight is going to be a fight that will be talked about for a while. I think it’s a very important fight and an exciting fight whether the winner fights Adonis Stevenson or not. Either way it puts the winner into a top position inside the light-heavyweight division.

E. Rodriguez
I agree with Thomas. I think that at this point Adonis Stevenson is irrelevant. I think that this is enough for the fans to see that this is a great fight between two warriors who put everything on the line.

I’ve been fighting for about seven, eight years as a professional and to fight for a world title that has always been the main goal. Without getting past Thomas William there is no Adonis Stevenson or any other title. So my main focus is going in there and being the best that I can be that night.

Q
How important is it for you guys to add a different narrative to the division?

T. Williams
Well I think Stevenson is not that exciting for me. I think as an individual my style is more exciting and Edwin’s style is more exciting than Adonis Stevenson. So I think we already pretty much separated ourselves from Stevenson. They call him out because he’s the champion but I don’t think their styles are exciting. I just think me and Edwin’s styles are little bit better than theirs honestly.

E. Rodriguez
Screw Stevenson, screw Kovalev. I’m just looking forward to finally performing against Thomas Williams.

Q
Edwin why do you think you’re going to be able to win this fight and get that title shot?

E. Rodriguez
I believe I had a really good training camp and did a lot of working against a southpaw. But fighting for a world title it’s a dream and a goal come true, not just fighting for but winning it. Thomas Williams is in my way. I worked extremely hard in this training camp to get him out of the way. I just got to put the game plan together fight night.

Q
What do you think your advantages are over him coming into this fight?

E. Rodriguez
I’m a little bit more seasoned. I have more total fights. I have fought better opposition. I have wins against undefeated fighters. Guys like himself with the one loss, I just got to put everything together. I think I have been there, I have more rounds.

Q
Thomas also why do you think you’re going to be able to win this fight and earn a title shot?

T. Williams
Well mainly because I’ve just been doing this my whole life. I never did any other sport. I came into the boxing gym at the age of five years old. My dad was a top professional. I’ve been doing this. I was sparring with world champions from Washington, DC at the age of 12 or 13 years old. Man I might not have the fights but I’ve been doing this my whole life as long as I can remember.

I just think I’ve just been around it and I’ve got the experience, amateur experience, just being around the game and just being in boxing all of my life. I’ve never did anything else, no other sport but boxing. I think that will actually be a big key on fight night.

Q
For both of you what is the significance of fighting on FOX and at StubHub Center?

E. Rodriguez
For me, going back to the StubHub Center and I fought there before, great atmosphere. Being on PBC on FOX, it’s huge. Especially being part of this big card with Berto-Ortiz who the first fight was – it was a war. So I’m looking forward and I’m just happy to be part of it as well, with Thomas who’s a fighter who brings a lot of pressure. It’s going to be a great match for the fans and you can’t go wrong.

T. Williams
Well yes I’ve always seen fights at StubHub like when Paul Williams fought Antonio Margarito for the title. He beat Margarito for the title then and that was a war. StubHub is known for like having the wars. They kind of built this card for brawlers and people that are exciting.

Berto versus Ortiz, me and Edwin and then we have Phillip Jackson from DC against David Benavidez those are going to be exciting fights. Fighting on FOX is that platform is going to be huge. I think it has like so many viewers and everything and man it’s definitely going to be a great atmosphere and I’m just ready to go.

Q
Do either of you expect this to go the distance?

E. Rodriguez
Hell no.

T. Williams
I don’t think anybody expects it to go the distance.

Q
Edwin, what’s your most potent weapon against Thomas? And Thomas if you could direct that regarding Edwin?

E. Rodriguez
Just fighting a southpaw, it’s a whole thing. Everything is different. So because of that I was happy to have a long camp, because fighting a southpaw there were things that we needed to work on. It’s a whole different style. I don’t want to get into details but, it’s just a whole different style and different game plan.

It’s easier for them because they always fight right-handed. We don’t fight that many southpaws. But, I feel comfortable. I never had any issues with southpaws so I’m excited to get this fight in. Actually I’d like to thank Thomas Williams because he was the one that came out and called my name that he wanted this fight.

I’ve got to thank him because without fighting a guy like Thomas who has a name in boxing and being on TV a few times, I wouldn’t have been able to keep moving up. Because I kept getting these guys that were undefeated but nobody really knew anything about them. So I think that fighting a guy like Thomas that, people know who he is. I think it’ll put that nail the coffin for me to get a world title fight.

Q
Does the right hand become more important?

E. Rodriguez
I don’t think so. I think that the jab is just as important as the right-hand in this fight.

Q
And same questions for you Thomas?

T. Williams
First thing I want to say and when I see Edwin I was going to ask him about this. I never once called his name. Actually when the fight was brought to me they told me Edwin wanted to fight me. I was like gees, like damn, I was okay, cool we could fight. So they brought it to me like Edwin wanted to fight me when in actuality they probably told him I wanted to fight him when in actuality they didn’t even have to do all that. All they had to do was tell us hey, we think it’s a good idea you guys fight. We both probably would have been like all right cool.

They called me and told me Edwin wanted to fight me.

E. Rodriguez
I guess it was set up for a good fight. I like it. Let’s get it on.

Q
How are you going to knock him out then?

T. Williams
I can’t tell it over the phone. But I believe in it and if I say something I’ll stick by it. I’m going to stick by it. So I just want him to know that as being a man that I didn’t call him out. They told me he wanted to fight me. It’s over but that’s all I wanted to say. But me fighting a right handed fighter I’ve been fighting the right-handed fighters my whole life.

We don’t usually run up against southpaw against southpaw. And usually if it is it’s pretty much easy work. But fighting a right-handed fighter doesn’t earn me nothing. You know I’ve been fighting right-handed fighters my whole life.

Q
Did the fight getting pushed back to April 30 benefit either of you anyway?

E. Rodriguez
I think it did. I think it has, you know, especially that I was able to get even more good sparring in. That’s the type of work I needed for this fight. So I think it actually did help me in that case.

T. Williams
Yes of course whenever you have more time to train it’s always a benefit. I don’t really believe it was actually negative. I think it was positive and that probably makes for a better fight honestly.

Q
Were either of you on each other’s radar even before you appeared on the same show last November?

T. Williams
Being a fighter everybody who’s ranked or in front of me or in the top ten is pretty much on my radar. Ee’re fighters. If we were firemen we’ll put out fires. If we were doctors we would save lives. But we’re fighters so it is what it is.

E. Rodriguez
After the Andre Ward fight I’ve just been working my way to get back on title contention. So no I’ve been looking for a world title fight. Thomas didn’t have that so I was never really looking at him or anything like that. But I’m happy this fight got made, two tough contenders going at it. It’s a great fight and I’m excited. Let’s get it on.

R. Flores
If we can have some final comments from both Thomas Williams and Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez as we get ready for our main event.

T. Williams
My thinking is that this is going to be a great fight. Go to the bathroom, get your popcorn, get your food and everything, change the kids, put the kids to sleep, do what you’ve got to do because you may get up go to the bathroom and it might be over. It’s definitely going to be fireworks and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

E. Rodriguez
I’d like to thank my whole team, especially everybody that has helped me in this training camp. We’re ready to put on a great show and let’s get it on.

R. Flores
This fight has been marinating for five years. The rematch is finally taking place and what a battle it is going to be, an epic fight in 2011. We expect another epic matchup this Saturday at StubHub Center. Tickets are still available to make sure to get them quickly at AXS.com. They are going fast.

Let’s bring in a gentleman from Winter Haven, Florida coming off of fighting Floyd Mayweather. He was amazing and his PBC debut. What a thriller he had last March when he stopped Josesito Lopez in the sixth round of their welterweight showdown ladies and gentlemen please welcome a throwback fighter a guy who always takes on any and all comers here is Andre Berto.

Andre Berto
Yo, yo, yo, I don’t really have too much to say. Let’s get this thing on. I’m ready.

R. Flores
All right, Andre I know he’s looking forward to his match and let’s bring in your adversary originally from Kansas City now he resides in Ventura, California. He came back to the ring back in December and in San Antonio he was able to stop Gilberto Sanchez Leon. He’s willing to take on anybody and everybody, ladies and gentlemen please welcome the charismatic “Vicious” Victor Ortiz.

Victor Ortiz
How you guys doing? I know Berto has been putting in the work and back in 2011 we did a fight of the year and it was one hell of a fight, back and forth. I got a victory that night and he didn’t arrive fully I didn’t arrive fully so we’re both present 100% this coming Saturday. So quien es mas macho?

Q
What do you think is going to be different to this fight than your first fight that you had five years ago when you were favored in that fight?

A. Berto
I’m in incredible shape. I’m staying focused for this one. I don’t like to speak too much on the past situation but there’s a lot of different things that went on in that camp and of course if you’re young you’re dealing with a lot and you kind of take a lot of stuff for granted.

So we’re definitely in great shape. I had a tremendous camp. I’m extremely focused man. I don’t care about this and that that they’re saying about either Victor or whatever the case may be. He’s a fighter, he steps in that ring and at any given time, he come in there to put on the performance of his life.

He showed that before. I’m not taking anything for granted and I’m not leaving nothing unturned. I’m getting ready for the big one.

Q
What did you learn from the first fight that you can apply to this fight? And do you expect it to be as action packed, with all the knock downs and everything that took place in that fight?

A. Berto
I definitely learned a lot. I went through a lot of situations as well that bring me to this point. I’m a lot stronger mentally, physically all the way around. I’m with a great coach. We’ve been putting everything together.

Q
Victor why do you think you’re going to be able to try again all of these years later with both the experience and the other fights that both of you have had?

V. Ortiz
Hey we’ve both had some nice wars so I’m ready once again like I was the first time and hey we’re there to put it all on the line on Saturday night so don’t miss out man. Berto’s coming to kill me and I’m coming to kill Berto that’s that.

Q
Do you expect another blood fest like you had in 2011?

V. Ortiz
Oh absolutely, Berto’s one hell of a fighter and I know that. I don’t take that for granted and I’ve prepared for 12 hard rounds like the first time. So the result’s banging it up.

Q
Anybody want to make a prediction for this fight?

V. Ortiz
Oh yes I’ll be holding my hands in glory in the end once again.

A. Berto
Yes. I come for the win that’s it. He can try. He can definitely try.

Q
Andre, after the fight with Floyd Mayweather, did you have to kind of step away and take a little bit of break before you recalibrated?

A. Berto
Yes we had a lot of going on but I just had to relax a little bit, spend time with the family and the fight came about and it as definitely a fight that I didn’t have to take but I think it was the fight the fans wanted to see.

Q
Victor, how much is it about giving the fans this exciting fight more than just going in there and getting the W because a lot of fans look at this as you guys can recreate the Fight of the Year again?

V. Ortiz
Yes, like I said early on Berto’s coming in 100 miles an hour to take my head off and it’s the same thing on my end. We’re prepared fully for one another so at this point in time it’s definitely one of those memorable fights and now a days you don’t really get what you pay for what’s really is advertised as a false advertisement. I know Berto’s coming in fully prepared and so am I.

He’s arriving 100% and I will too so it’s one of those exciting fights, a war.

Q
How do you approach this fight from the perspective of what you know about the opponent and how you kind of, you know, go into it? How much different is it from 2011 to 2016?

A. Berto
You get to know somebody, you get to know your opponent, you get to calculate how you plan and react.

I think the situation of just being prepared all the way around makes me feel comfortable and it’s a different feeling from what I had heading into the first fight.

V. Ortiz
Hey he’s a warrior, he comes to fight. He’s not like these guys that don’t take fights. Man you have another guy who’s hungry to try and he’s hungry to give me a defeat and it’s not going to happen. I’ve been working too hard for this. I know he is too but the bottom line is two trains colliding and crashing and I will be the harder one. So at this point in time, I’d say we’re going to be ready 100% and two trains colliding Saturday night.

Q
How did you bring all of that angst and focus into your fight with Berto back then? And do you need to tap into that same angst to have a similar kind of a performance?

V. Ortiz
No, no it’s simple it’s you guys and I say you guys not just you I’m saying media. The media has this weird way of working. You guys think how you guys think and you guys write it out and then because one person in the media writes something weird about you or bad about you the world believes it. I know what I’m about I know why I’m here I know where I’m going and that’s that. It doesn’t matter what you or anyone says. I don’t really care. I know what I’m here and I know where I’m going and that’s that period.

Q
Andre, is this personal for you? Do you have to really get in there and have a sensational performance for you to be satisfied?

A. Berto
I mean to be realistic man I don’t really take no fight personally. It’s always been but at the same time, this is a fight that of course I’ve always thought to myself that no matter what happens we got to make it happen again. It doesn’t matter, when you’re coming back and beating this guy beating that guy.

But I feel that this is still the monkey on my back that I need to go in there and handle it., I won’t say it’s more personal but I’m taking it a lot more serious and so that’s a job that I need to try to complete and get done.

Q
Do feel like you even need boxing and does that kind of drive you with each fight?

V. Ortiz
No I actually don’t need to box. I turned down two movies and I was starring and headlining on the movies as one of the main actors. I turned the movies down because I want be back where I came from. I want to make sure I conquer what I came to conquer in boxing. I’m not done with boxing, I mean yes I had a couple of breaks in my wrists were both broken, jaw broken and then broken nose. I mean stuff happens but just because I was fixing myself the media wrote me off.

It wasn’t me who quote unquote “retired.” I never hung up anything. I mean besides the posters in my room or maybe the pictures on my wall. Other than that I didn’t hang anything up. But you guys wrote me off so I guess it’s a media thing.

But I’ve been in boxing and I’ve been 100 miles an hour 100% and I keep getting offers for movies and I keep turning them down because boxing is where I’m headed.

Q
Did having a year off get you into the right frame of mind for the rematch?

V. Ortiz
It doesn’t matter, there’s boxing gloves there’s a mouth piece there’s a cup there’s a boxing ring and an opponent so it is what it is, same thing.

Do your parts in movies affect the focus of your boxing career? Also, do you have aspirations still of fighting for a world title?

V. Ortiz
Yes, I don’t let boxing interfere with acting and I don’t let acting interfere with boxing. Those are two type of careers. When I was actually healing was when I was focusing on only movies I was focusing on TV shows and just doing that. But now that my hands are healed and my wrists my jaw and everything is proper and I’m back to putting my mind on boxing 100%.

That’s what every boxer is here for and we’re shooting for nothing less than being world champion again. It just took me a little bit longer from the physical person. I actually had to put two movies aside contracts and everything ready to sign as a lead actor and I said no let me go back to boxing. So I’m here once again and I’m ready.

R. Flores
Excellent and at this time we want some final comments from Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto.

A. Berto
Hey man we’re waiting for fight time, see you Saturday.

V. Ortiz
Hey just check it out. It’ll be a repeat of 2011.

PBC on FOX is sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina. For more information visitwww.premierboxingchampions.com www.TGBPromotions.com, http://www.foxsports.com/presspass/homepage and foxdeportes.com follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @ViciousOrtiz, @AndreBerto, @LaBombaBoxing, @TopDoggJr, @FOXSports, @FOXDeportes and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxing,www.facebook.com/foxsports and www.facebook.com/foxdeportes. Follow the conversation using #PBConFOX.

Prior to the start of televised fights, an Official Fan Fest will be held for ticket holders outside of StubHub Center. The events start at 2:30 p.m. PT and features a Corona Beer Garden, food trucks, music from the band Metalachi and autograph signings with popular fighters such as Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Shawn Porter and more.

Richard T. Slone “The official artist of the International Boxing Hall of Fame” will be signing official posters of his Ortiz vs Berto 2 artwork. The first 2,000 people to arrive to the Corona booth will get an autographed poster.


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