KELL BROOK ERROL SPENCE JR. MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL HIGHLIGHTS TO DISCUSS SATURDAY, MAY 27 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
Thu, 18 May 2017
IBF WORLD WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION KELL BROOK AND MANDATORY CHALLENGER ERROL SPENCE JR. MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL HIGHLIGHTS TO DISCUSS SATURDAY, MAY 27 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGģ
Live On SHOWTIMEģ At 5:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 p.m. PT
NOTE: On the call, it was announced that the Kell Brook-Errol Spence Jr. IBF World Welterweight title fight will air LIVE on SHOWTIMEģ at 5:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 27.
NEW YORK Ė Kell Brook will defend his IBF World Welterweight title against U.S. star Errol Spence Jr. at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on Saturday May 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office and live on SHOWTIMEģ. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will begin at 5:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 p.m. PT.
Both Brook and Spence took part in a media conference call on Tuesday to discuss next weekís bout. Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) will make the fourth defense of his IBF belt against Spence (21-0, 18 KOs), the mandatory challenger and one of the most highly regarded contenders in the sport today.
Also joining the call were Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport, and Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports.
Here is what the principals had to say on the call on Tuesday:
ďI think [Errol Spence] is a great talent. Heís been doing what is being asked of him. Heís been knocking over everyone thatís been put in front of him, but heís up against the champion now. A big strong welterweight and I believe that I train very, very hard and Iím ready to fight and I am very honored to fight in my home city of Sheffield.
ďIím up for this fight and I know what Iím up against. Errol Spence is a talented fighter and I know that it is going to be a very, very tough match but I have been putting the work in at the gym and Iím in absolute focusÖ Iím ready for anything that comes next Saturday.
ď[The crowd size] is definitely up there and that added pressure is going to make me sharper and more aware on the night of the fight. Iím fighting in my hometown and itís going to give me a lot more energy, Iím very positive. Iím out here training in the Canary Islands and in the storm and in the heat. Iíve been sparring with big fat guys that are strong, tough middleweights with good punchesÖ Iíd like to say Iíve sparred with two to three fighters a dayÖ Iíve been putting myself through it in training and Iíve made sure that Iíve done everything to make sure I dominate and Iím in a great place.Ē
I assume that you feel you are the best welterweight in this division. Who do you think is second best? And where do you think Errol Spence fits in that mix?
ďI think the second best has to be Keith Thurman. I think Errol is maybe next below Thurman. Heís definitely high up there. Iíve got a lot of respect for Errol Spence. His hook is the real deal and I think heís the real deal. I just donít think itís his turn yet. Specially up against someone like me. Iím an animal. Iíve done the weight right and like I said, Iím ready for whatever Errol brings.
What was the decision-making process behind staying a welterweight?
ďEverybody wanted me to move up because they know that Iím a happier and a better fighter at a slightly heavier weight. But all of my career Iíve been champion and Iíve become a world champion at welterweight. Itís been hard with ups and downs and I just couldnít give up that title just to move up in weightÖ I just didnít want to move up in weight without defending my world title. It took me a long time to get. Thatís why I would rather put myself through it to make this welterweight limitÖ Nobody is just going to get the belt without fighting me for it.Ē
What does it say about Errol that he is willing to go to your hometown for a world title shot like you did coming to the U.S. to win your world title?
ďIt just shows me that he believes in his abilities. I was in the same position that he was in. End of the day itís just going to be me and him in the ring no matter where it is. Itís just going to be me and him. He believes in his talent and I know heís going to be up for it because when I was coming to fight Porter as the challenger it was a dream and itís now his dream fighting for the biggest fight of his life, for all the marbles and the world title. I know what heís going through. Heís flying over to England, I flew to America. There are many things that go through your mind. You question yourself; you ask yourself many, many questions. I know all that is being asked of him to get him to this stage.
ďThe thing is that heís up against me and I know what it takes to be champion. Iíve defended it so many times. I know itís going to be a hard, hard fight but Iíve also put myself through it. I know what it takes to be champion and I know what it takes to defend that title. So, itís going to be one hell of a fight. Itís the best fighting the best so all I can say is itís going to be an amazing fight.Ē
How much of an advantage do you feel in this fight?
ďI canít really tell you that. I just know that Iíve fought at a world title level. Iíve beat the champion before. Iíve been in big fights. I know it is hard being the challenger, I know it is hard being the champion. All I know is Iím up against a very, very good fighter in Errol Spence and all I can say is Iíve prepared 100 percent for this fight.Ē
When were you confident that your eye was okay?
ďI am very confident in my surgeonÖ You know itís always nice, well not nice, but getting punched for the first time and feeling it in the first spar itís always good to take that first boxer. Since then, it just feels brand new so thereís no doubt there in the eye.Ē
What was the process in getting back down to welterweight?
ď[My nutritionist] has brought new things to the table to improve with me. Getting the weight back to welter, you know, you never stop learning. Iím not as moody as I thought I was going to be cutting down the weight. If youíve seen me, Iím in great shape, Iím light. Iím down to weight. So, Iím not feeling as bad and Iíve got plenty of energy than thinking back to other times Iíve had to make welterweight.
ďJust with the fight I know that I had to go back down to welterweight. Iím not thinking Ďthis mealís going to taste nice.í Iím thinking this meal is just fuel for my next weight class. Itís all about the mindset and Iíve got my mind focused and my mind ready.Ē
Can you tell us why you think you won the fight against Shawn Porter?
ďI won the fight because I won the fight and I threw more shots and caught him with the cleaner shots. He was jumping in and I won the fight with the cleaner shots and I hit him more than he hit me. Thatís why.Ē
How long do you think youíd like to stay at 147 after this fight?
ďIíve not really thought about that too much. After I fight at this weight again, Iíd like to unify the division again through Keith Thurman and then move up. That would be the ideal situation for me.Ē
How does it feel to come off a huge fight and go in to another big fight back-to-back?
ďThatís where I want to beÖ I want to be putting the biggest fights on for the fans because when my time is up I want remembered as the guy who never ducked anybody when the biggest fights could be madeÖ I want to fight all the top guys.Ē
ERROL SPENCE JR.
ďIím excited to fight for my first world title. Itís something that Iíve been waiting for a long time now. Something that I knew that was going to happenÖ Iím excited that itís finally here and that Iím finally getting the opportunity to prove myself and prove that I am the best welterweight in the division. Kell Brook, whoís a good fighter, has great skills and heís a strong fighter too, he can fightÖ I know itís not going to be an easy fight for me; itís going to be a real test to go to his hometown and to take his title from him. Itís something that real fighters doÖthey go to other peopleís town and fight the champion. Iím going to go to his hometown and take the title.
Can you talk about your anxiousness about having to sit for nine months waiting to get this opportunity?
ďIt was difficult sometimes. It was positive because I got to hang out with my kids and family. It was difficult watching fighters on TV have success and go on to win titles. It was kind of frustrating sometimes but I knew I had to be patient Ė timing is everything Ė and that my opportunity was going to come.Ē
Were you surprised that Brook returned to the welterweight division to fight you? What were your thoughts about his decision?
ďI wasnít surprised. Kell Brookís a real fighter that wants to fight the best. A lot of people said he would be ducking meÖ I kind of knew he was coming down. I wanted him to come down because I wanted to take the belt from the champion. I didnít want to fight the next available guy. I wanted to fight the champion, the guy who has the belt and earn it the right way.
ďI think the triple G fight is in the past. He had nine months to recoverÖ There are guys that have been in tougher wars than that. Nine months is enough time for him to recover and recuperate and get back to normal. Iím expecting a 100% Kell Brook to come to fight. Iím not expecting an injured Kell Brook. It looks like heís making his weight pretty good. I have to worry about the best Kell Brook.Ē
Can you tell us why going to London two weeks early was important for you?
ďItís been a struggle with the jet lag and adjusting to the time. Weíve been having great training, great sparring and Iím basically just staying focused out here. It was a good decision to come out here earlier.Ē
Had you heard or read about anyone else in the past that had gone out there too late?
ďIíve heard about guys coming in on Tuesday or three days before the fight and being jet lagged. We just wanted to take all the precautions and come out here early so weíll be 100 % prepared.Ē
Can you tell us what it was like for you to get down to 147 pounds or maybe what you walk around at?
ďItís not easy at all. Iím a big welterweight too. Itís my job and I donít complain about making weight because itís my job. Itís part of what I have to do. I walk around pretty heavy, but I get the weight off and come 100% prepared. Iím not worried about my weight; Iím not worried about his weight. Thatís what all fighters go through. There are guys that come down 30 or 40 pounds all the time. Itís not something that I worry about.Ē
What do you expect the environment to be like next week at Bramall Lane?
ďI expect the environment to be lively. These are hardcore boxing fans in the UK. These people know their boxing. They really come out to support. I expect him to have a lot of support. I expect me to have a lot of boos and I welcome that. Itís a lot of pressure on him to perform in front of his family and his friends. Iím not worried about the crowd. Itís me and him in the ringÖ Watch me win the world title.Ē
In some ways is it better to fight him in his hometown in the sense that all the pressure is on him as you mentioned before?
ďI donít know. You still have to perform in the ring whether youíre fighting in his hometown or fighting in America or fighting anywhere else. You still have to show up and you still have to perform. At the end of the day itís just me and him in the ring, but it is a lot of pressure fighting at home. You have a lot of expectations and a lot of people who rely on you to put on a great performance. Itís a lot of pressure on him too regardless of where heís been.Ē
Do you feel in a sense that youíll get more credit if you win this fight because you went over to his hometown and did it?
ďDefinitely. I feel like this is a legacy defining fight for me. Most guys with my pedigree get the title handed to them in some type of way. They donít go across seas to fight the hometown guy against a good fighter like Kell Brook. Thatís really unheard of. So I definitely think I get a lot of credit for going overseas and fighting Kell Brook.Ē
If you pull of the win, how much sweeter will it be that you did it in the champís back yard in front of around 30,000 people who are mostly going to be rooting for that guy?
ďThatís a dream situation for most boxers. To win a world title in someone elseís back yard shows that you have a lot of grit about yourself and the utmost confidence in yourself to go and do that. I canít wait.Ē
Do you feel that the last time you left England in 2012 without an Olympic medal, that maybe you had something to prove to the English this time around?
ďNo, I donít feel like I have anything to prove. With the Olympics, itís a lot of politics. There are a lot of different things that go on during the Olympic Games. I feel like thatís in the past, that was the amateurs, this is the pros now. I feel like I have a lot to prove to myself. Of course, I have a lot to prove to fans overallÖThat Iím the best welterweight and I feel like Iím the best fighter in the welterweight division. Thatís the only thing I feel like I have to prove.Ē
Youíve called out Keith Thurman in the past. Is that something thatís on your mind at this point in your career?
ďItís not something thatís on my mind right now but itís definitely the fight that I want in the future and itís a fight thatís easy to make. But right now I have to get past Kell Brook for that fight to even be possible.Ē
What did you learn from the Golovkin fight that you can apply to fighting Kell?
ďI thought Kell Brook was going to win the first half of the fight and that Triple G was going to catch up to him. Overall, it shows a lot of heart and a lot of grit to stand in there sometimes and take some shots and trade some shots with Triple G. Overall, I donít really look into that fight. I saw some shots that Triple G landed and some things that he did but we donít take too much from that fight.Ē
What about the fight that he had a couple years ago with Shawn Porter? Is there anything youíve been able to get from that fight that you could apply?
ďDefinitely. Weíve been looking at a couple fights and thatís one of the fights that weíve been looking at and that we could apply a couple things to. It was a close fight; I thought it could have gone either way. Itís one of the fights weíve been looking at. Shawn Porterís a different fighter than me but we take little things from everybody.Ē
Would you like to make a prediction for this fight?
ďPrediction is Iím coming home on the airplane with the belt.Ē
EDDIE HEARN, Matchroom Sports Managing Director and Brookís promoter
ďItís 30,000 thatíll be packed into Sheffieldís Bramall Lane next week and obviously off of 90,000 at Wembley, as well. Itís a wonderful time for British boxing. Itís a wonderful time for world boxing. And I think itís fantastic looking at Showtimeís schedule, really the way theyíre embracing the national scene as well as the American scene.
ďOf course, this weekend theyíre in London for the Gervonta Davis-Liam Walsh fight. This, looks like a great fight on paper as well and back in the north of England the week after. So, weíre really excited. This is a fight that is getting huge traction over here now because it really is the best versus the best in my opinion.
ďIíve long believed Kell Brook is the No. 1 welterweight in the division and weíve all watched the rise of Errol Spence coming through. And I think that this is a fight that perhaps promoters and advisors of another time mightíve swerved.
ďErrol Spence has looked sensational, so why go to the UK and gamble against Kell Brook? Because, they believe they can win and because he believes heís the best. Kell Brook, coming off of a GGG fight, why fight a young, dangerous contender? The answer is, because he believes he can beat him. Because he doesnít want to swerve the challenge, he wants to be the best as well. I think here, in my opinion, you have the No. 1 and No. 2 welterweights in the world. And thatís no disrespect to Keith Thurman. Heís a wonderful fighter but for me, this is the fight of the year in the welterweight division. I think this could be the fight of the year.
ďI am so pleased to get the chance to fulfill a childhood ambition of fighting in these football grounds that heís supported throughout his whole life. And one of the reasons we wanted to do that is. We couldíve gone to the O2 Arena and we probably wouldíve made a little more money, but we need to be like an absolute razor-sharp diamond in this fight. A crowd of 30,000 at Bramall Lane would ensure that Kell Brook is that razor-sharp diamond and I believe will go on and prove that he is the No. 1 fighter in the division and one of the best pound for pound fighters in world boxing.Ē†
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager SHOWTIME Sports
ďWhen the best fight the best, special things happen. We saw that two weeks ago in a Matchroom promoted event at Wembley Stadium, 90,000 fans and a new British Pay-Per-View record.
ďWe saw that back in March with Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia on CBS in a fight that generated five-million viewers. We saw the best fighting in January on SHOWTIME with the Frampton and Santa Cruz rematch as well as James DeGale and Badou Jack in a potential fight of the year.
ďWe know that when the best fight the best, we get memorable nights. We get reminded of everything this sport can be. In closing,
ďI have to give credit to Errol and Kell and their respective teams for taking the tough fights. This is a real treat for boxing fans. Iím going to be going to the fight in person because as a boxing fan, this is an event that I do not want to miss.Ē
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