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SOBOBA DOUBLE HEADER MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 16, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Hello, I'd like to welcome everyone to the Soboba Double Header conference call. From 12 to 12:30pm, we will have Paul Williams and Andy Kolle, along with their trainers. From 12:30 to 1:00, we'll have Cris Arreola and his opponent, Israel Garcia.
I'm now going to turn the phone lines over to Dan Goossen who will have some opening comments for you.
DAN GOOSSEN: Thank you for taking your time to get on this conference call. Especially our east coast brethren, after the press conference that was out in New York today. I don't think there's any bigger fight coming up in New York that's any bigger than what we've got coming up next Thursday on Versus.
My gratitude goes out not only to Versus but Soboba Casino. We haven't had a fight on Versus prior to this one, so we're really looking forward to it. Ecstatic that we could have such high-profile fighters on the event.
I know it's the biggest event that Versus has ever had on their network, and that includes the one with Toscano and Hatton.
Soboba Casino has been a big supporter of boxing on and off for the last seven years with us, and this is one that they really we're very excited to get moving on. Bobby Salgado, the Tribal Chairman over at Soboba Casinos. A big, big, big Cris Arreola fan, and boxing fan from the old Jerry Corey Olympic Auditorium days that I knew Bobby.
So we're really looking forward to the event. The two fighters we have on now most everyone knows who Paul Williams is. He's the man that tracked down Antonio Margarito when Margarito was the WBO Welterweight Champion. Beat him at a sold out Home Depot Center back on July 14th, a year ago.
Subsequently, lost and regained his welterweight championship by impressive fashion. Someone that is undoubtedly been compared to a Tommy Hearns, mainly because of the size and being in the 147-pound division is now looking to add to his resume from the standpoint of being able to simultaneously work within the 147-pound division to 168-pound division, which Paul corrected me on.
Originally we were looking from 147 to 160, and Paul believes any good challenges he's got up to 168 pounds.
I want to make it perfectly clear to everyone, because I know that people are believing that Paul cannot make 147 pounds. He and his trainer, George Peterson, is also on the phone call will assure everyone that Paul can still make 147 pounds and does not want to give up that 147-pound title.
On the line with us is Andy "Chaos" Kolle. A natural middleweight. Someone that, believe me, is a very hungry fighter. I think he believes that he's in this fight and can give Paul Williams a type of challenge where we'll send him back to the 147-pound division.
He's 6' 1", very close to Paul's size. And certainly has a good record with 17 wins and 12 KO's. Before we get to Paul and George, also on the line with Andy is his trainer, and that's Chuck Horton, as a matter of fact, manager/trainer.
I'll let Andy open it up by saying a few words to the media, and we'll send it over to Paul, and let the media ask all of their questions.
ANDY KOLLE: Thanks a lot. I just want to thank everybody for giving me this shot. It's a shot I've been looking for my whole career. Just come out there and fight a legitimate world champion.
I have a lot of respect for Paul Williams. I think he's a great fighter. I believe though it's my time. My opportunity and my time to shine. I can't let this opportunity pass, and I believe I will be victorious.
I would have never taken this fight as an opponent. I took it because I legitimately believe I can win this fight.
DAN GOOSSEN: Chuck, do you have anything to add to that?
CHUCK HORTON: No, but we've been looking at appall Williams for a long time. Just a couple of things. Thanks for having us on this show and everything. We've been looking at Paul for a long time. We've both got a lot of respect for him as a fighter. We were in town with Margarito when Paul was able to beat Antonio. We have much respect for both fighters. Antonio and Paul.
And Andy stayed out in camp, and that camp's a tough camp, and we were out there the whole time. So that should tell you about Andy Kolle right there.
We've been really training hard for this fight. We're just excited to get in the ring and to show everybody how good a fighter Andy Kolle is.
DAN GOOSSEN: Now I've got to compliment both of you, because I believe that the most feared man in boxing today is Paul Williams. And there's been very few takers at 147 through 168 pounds. So hats off to you guys for believing that you've got a good shot here.
I want to introduce now the most feared man not only in the welterweight division, but I believe in boxing. A hard working punisher, Paul Williams, the WBO welterweight champion. Paul?
PAUL WILLIAMS: Hi, everybody. You know, I'm just excited to be in the ring, you know. Bringing that performance, I always perform. I'm not taking anything lightly, you know what I'm saying?
I'm glad for the opportunity again to get back in the ring on the 25th. I'm facing a bigger guy, you know. But it's no thing. I've been in with bigger guys all my life. I'm smaller, so I'm taking Andy very seriously, because I know if you take somebody lightly they can get you up out of there and stuff. So.
I'm looking forward to getting out there on the 25th, and having a good night. I'm pretty sure he's looking to upset me, but I'm not looking to be upset again. I'm training hard and stuff, you know. I'm just ready to get in the ring and do it with everybody in different weight classes.
DAN GOOSSEN: I'm going to bring up Mr. George Peterson for a few words, and then we'll send it to the media. George?
GEORGE PETERSON: How's everybody doing? We're excited about this, of course. Paul wanted to make a statement in the various weight classes. His whole objective is a clean 147-pound division, and move up through the various weight classes. So that's going to be his approach to it.
This was an opening and Andy is a nice opponent for us. So we're looking for it. I'm sure it's going to be a good fight. Paul's not fought anybody his size and his reach. So we're looking for an outstanding fight that night. But we'll be present and the crowd will be pleased with it.
DAN GOOSSEN: Appreciate it. Questions?
Q. Paul, I know you're glad to be getting back into the ring. I know how tough it's been for you guys to get anybody to step up to the plate. So when I ask you this first question please don't anybody take any offense to this. Paul, I saw you about a month ago, you looked at a bunch of us at the table and you said that you only wanted to fight big names from now on. That you have deserved and you have earned that. You felt if you didn't that you might be kind of taking a step backwards in your career. Based on that, how does that fit in with this fight? Are you disappointed that, again, not to disrespect Mr. Kolle, but are you disappointed that you're not fighting a big name right now after everything that you've accomplished?
PAUL WILLIAMS: No, not, no, I'm not upset I'm not fighting a big name. Because I'm moving up in weight, you know. The big guys, and the big names and the big weights, they didn't want it, you know what I'm saying? So we're still looking for bigger guys.
Hey, we'll take Andy. He's a worthy opponent. He'll get in there and get it in. I'm still fighting 47, too. But you know, the guys -- bottom line, the guys with the big names didn't want it. So we're not going to wait for them to just sit around and wait for them and say, okay, we'll fight them. No, we're going to keep moving.
Q. Dan, I know that Mr. Kolle is a more than adequate fighter. So if you listen, Mr. Kolle, don't take any disrespect. But Dan, I know how hard you tried to make the Margarito fight. We all know why that didn't happen, it wasn't on you guys. What other fighters did you try to get for Paul who turned you guys down?
DAN GOOSSEN: You could really go down the list of welterweights, super welterweights, and up. But I think the statement that's being made here is two-fold. One is that Paul understands that the pool of guys willing to fight him is very lean. So rather than sitting back and peeling off two or three HBO dates a year, we're looking to keep out there and creating things, okay?
This is a fight that was against Kolle, that presents a few question marks. And the question marks is how does Paul handle a fighter that's naturally bigger such as Andy Kolle, very similar to the same questions that would have been asked with Pavlik. And believe me when you see Kolle, you'll find out that, you know, we've got all the confidence in the world in Paul Williams. But Andy is going to come to fight, okay? He's a fighter.
So these will be questions that will open up and be answered next Thursday, but more importantly, it will open up the talent pool of fighters that we can go after so we're not just relegated to the welterweight division.
Paul doesn't want to give up that title. He wants to keep the 147-pound title. But if he can win a title in the 54-pound division, 160-pound division, 168-pound division, hasn't been done in this modern era. Okay?
You've had fighters that have gone up in weight like Shane Moseley went from 47 to 54, but he lost at 47 going up to 54. Floyd Mayweather has done it. Very few have done it to the extreme that Paul and George are willing to do it on.
So, you know to get a little more specific with your question, Baldimere, you name it, we asked, okay. It wasn't a matter of money. It was a matter of they just didn't want to get into the ring with him.
Q. Andy, you've been on a nice little run since the fight against Ward. I believe you're 8-0, 7-0 since then. What have you learned from that fight against Ward that, you know, has allowed you to go on this round, number one, and to deal with Andre's speed, will that help you against Paul next week?
ANDY KOLLE: Yeah, well I learned a lot. First of all, stepping the foot on the big stage for the first time in my career at 9-0 whatever I was at the time. That was a big step for me to come out there. I had never seen a fighter of the caliber of Andre. The speed and everything that he has. So to just get that look was real nice.
Now that I've been there now, I know it's nothing. It's the same old fight. You've still got to go out there and once that bell rings, it's just me and Paul. I don't have to worry about the cameras and the lights.
But as far as dealing with the speed, it was a different thing. I had to go looking for Andre. He was always running around. I had to go find him. But with Paul, he'll be there, ready to fight. We'll stand in the middle of the ring and go at it.
Q. You win this fight next week, obviously, everything's going to change for you. Have you thought about the day after, September 26th, and how life will change for you?
ANDY KOLLE: No, not at all, actually. I just think about the fight at hand. I've got a big fight on my hands and I'm not going to look past it. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. You want to go out there and make sure you have the focus on the fight and not worry about the glory that's coming afterwards?
Q. George, Paul's been in this kind of situation before where he was fighting a guy in Quintana, he was expected to beat, but he wound up and lost the fight. How do you keep him focused to where history doesn't repeat itself next week?
GEORGE PETERSON: Well, that happens, first of all. Paul was focused. That particular night he just couldn't get in his rhythm, couldn't get going, and occasionally it happens. Doesn't happen that often, but you'll find from time to time fighters will fall in that mode. That particular night he fell in that mode.
We were convinced that Quintana had no business being in the same ring as Paul Williams. We were definitely convinced of that. And the outcome of the second fight, we knew where he was going to be in every inch of that ring. Every inch of that ring, we knew where he was going to be. That's why it was so easy for Paul. Paul executed that night, which he didn't do the first night.
So it's about execution. No one is able to handle this guy with his talent, with his speed, and with his ring knowledge and generalship in the ring, even from 47 to 60.
As a result of that, you know, he's confident that he's going to be victorious. And we are. It's going to be a really good fight. It's not going to be like baking pies, because Andy is a good fighter. Now no disrespect to him, but we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to win.
Q. Dan, what are the difficulties in promoting a guy no one wants to fight?
DAN GOOSSEN: Well, quite frankly, I like it. Because if I get a fighter everyone wants to fight, he's not going to be around long. So it's something especially when you have a fighter that can move around from weight division to weight division. It makes it that much more pleasurable.
So I'm not concerned about it. Paul, you know, no one's going to turn down the opportunity to fight Paul based upon money, because he generates money. Obviously, we were able to offer Margarito $4 million. So our time will come where no one will be able to turn him down.
You know, it's a matter of doing what we're doing now. Fighting September 25th, coming out of that okay, and looking for our next big fight.
Q. Paul, does all of this talk about Margarito and Pavlik and all these other guys -- on September 25th, you have a young fighter with a chance to make a name for himself, Andy Kolle in front of you. How are you making sure that you're not going to overlook him? You're going to really focus on this one fighter?
PAUL WILLIAMS: I never overlook anybody. I'm the one that's the underdog. I keep motivated. Like, okay, this guy's the man. I've got to come get him so I can be the man again. That's how I look at it.
All those other guys are not even on my mind. I careless about Margarito, Cotto or whoever else is in the 47-pound right now. My main thing is to get focused on the 25th for Andy. That is my main focus right there.
If something doesn't go my way in the ring, what do I got to do to overcome that in the ring, you know?
Q. What do you expect to happen now that you're fighting this fight at middleweight against a fighter who is naturally at middleweight when you've been fighting at welterweight. How do you think that's going to effect you? You don't have as much weight to lose, but you're fighting a bigger man?
PAUL WILLIAMS: You know, he's bringing his awesome to the ring, I'm going to bring mine to the ring, it's going to be a big explosion in the ring. That's for him to come and try to gain some respect.
That's his weight class. I'm coming to his weight class, so he feels like he's the man in that weight. So I've got to earn his respect, you know what I'm saying? I've got to make him earn my respect. If I get in the ring with him, we're going to have to duke it out.
Q. Andy, this is a chance for you to really put yourself on the map. Tell us why you think you can win this fight against Paul Williams?
ANDY KOLLE: I've just seen a lot of his fights, watched a lot of his fights. I've seen he's always been the taller man in the ring. It's not so much the weight or anything. But he's always been the taller man. I feel we're closer to the height. I feel I've got the tools. I see the opening in his offense that leave him wide open for some shots, and I think I can capitalize on it.
Q. Did you see his two fights with Quintana, and any comments on what you saw from those most recent fights that you could benefit from?
ANDY KOLLE: I've watched the fights. I've seen most of the fights. The Quintana fight I didn't pay too much attention to it, because Carlos Quintana is a different fighter than me for one thing.
And that first fight, that didn't look like Paul to me. Not the Paul I've seen in other fights. So I went back to some of the earlier fights that he won, knowing what he's going to do when he's winning. Like, is he though? It didn't look like Paul. The second fight was so quick, it was hard to learn anything off of it.
But Quintana's a different fighter than I am, so it's going to be a different fight?
Q. Did you watch his fight with Margarito?
ANDY KOLLE: I did watch it.
Q. Any comments you saw that you can benefit from? Obviously, Margarito's a different fighter as well, but anything can you benefit from that?
ANDY KOLLE: You said it best right there. Margarito's a completely different style of fighter than me. He's got the straight coming forward, throwing hooks all day.
That fight wasn't much to watch. Just the way Paul move around the ring and control the ring, I watch that a little bit and show how he had the ring generalship. That's about as far as I went with the Margarito fight.
Q. Do either of you want to make a prediction for the fight, Paul?
PAUL WILLIAMS: You know, I'm going in there to win. That is the only prediction I can make. It's like any other fighter I'm going to get in with the ring, they think they're going to win the fight. But I'm going to win.
Q. Do you want to make a prediction?
ANDY KOLLE: I'm in the same boat. I'm not going to make a prediction. I just know I'm coming to this fight to win it, and I plan on coming out victorious.
Q. Paul, can you tell me a little bit about how you made this decision to offer to go up in weight, and possibly down as well? Where that why came from and what you think about that?
PAUL WILLIAMS: Mostly it wasn't just my why, it was me and Mr. Peterson's idea. We were looking to fight a big name. We were looking to fight Pavlik, but that fell out. So you know, it wasn't about Pavlik, he's in a different weight, you know what I'm saying?
But we're not vacating the 47. You know, we'll fight anybody in there. If we can't get no big fights in 47, so we're like let's go the other way. What other weight classes, you know. That's how that fight came up.
Q. Dan, your thoughts on that as well?
DAN GOOSSEN: It's kind of what I said earlier. We're out here. Paul's one of the best in the 147-pound division, going up to 168 pounds. I'm looking forward to September 25th.
As George said, it's not anything that we can look past. So September 25th is our big fight in the 160-pound division. Then we'll look forward to going back down in weight with a good victory on Thursday. I know Andy's going to do everything in his power to change those plans, though.
Q. Paul, is your training in Puerto Rico again? Is that where you're training?
PAUL WILLIAMS: No, we're in D.C. I don't want to get cold. Go to Puerto Rico and I'll get cold.
Q. Are you currently sparring with middleweights right now?
PAUL WILLIAMS: I'm sparring with everybody in the gym. Lightweights, middleweights, it doesn't matter. Anyone will work. George, Kolle, Andy, you want to have any last comments?
ANDY KOLLE: No, just looking forward to Thursday night. I'll see you out there.
DAN GOOSSEN: Paul?
PAUL WILLIAMS: I just feel like I always do, you know. It's going to be a big fight. So the fans can really enjoy it.
DAN GOOSSEN: I appreciate you both taking time out of your training today. George, make sure you get rid of my picture off that heavy bag.
GEORGE PETERSON: Okay. (Laughing).
Q. Dan, I know one of the big superstars you had back in the day. How does Paul Williams rank up some of the great fighters that you've had?
DAN GOOSSEN: I think it's a combination of I think we've got the three best young fighters in the world today in all of boxing. At the head of the class is Paul Williams. Cristobal Arreola, who we're going to hear from, and then Andre Ward.
Paul is very similar to a Michael Nunn because of his size and his ability not only to box, but to knock you out with that one single punch as he displayed with Quintana.
Come next Thursday, I believe Paul's just getting better and better: Not only physically, but more importantly, mentally, because he's gone through so much the last few years. It's all clicking now. So I feel the best we're going to see of Paul Williams is down to the next level next Thursday night.
I believe greatness is all over him. That's why many promoters and their fighters don't want to step into the ring with them, Ken.
Q. Paul, very few champions are doing what you're doing, actually fighting outside of the HBO or showtime tent for this fight. In the older days, not going back that far, but they have exposed themselves in outlets like network TV. How important is this for you to fight on a network that might have more of a viewing audience? Because it's not a pay service like an HBO or a Showtime?
PAUL WILLIAMS: I don't look at it like that. I look at it that it's just me. That's my main thing. I don't worry about the stuff, the crowd, the TVs. None of that. My main focus is to go out there and perform. I want to look good against myself. (Indiscernible) I'm just going to do what I'm supposed to do.
Q. Dan, is it important that nowadays, fighters and champions fight on networks? I mean, everybody now has to fight on pay-per-view telecasts or HBO or Showtime. A lot of fans don't have those outlets.
DAN GOOSSEN: Santos, you really did hit the nail on the head. It's very much what George Peterson, Al Hayman, and myself have been talking about with Paul and with Cristobal. And that is to get them out on that other medium where more fans have the opportunity to see these young men.
I mean, they're exciting fighters. There are 75 million plus homes on Versus, and it's a great audience to go out there and build up the audience for Versus, and build up the audience for the two fighters.
As you mentioned the HBO's, and Showtimes, pay-per-view you're limited somewhat, obviously. But this is good and something that we want to continue on.
I applaud Paul and George and Al on their forward thinking on understanding that the more people that see Paul and that the more that see Cristobal, the more fans they're going to get.
DAN GOOSSEN: Before I get to Cristobal, first off, thank you all for getting on the line. Lou, before I get to Cristobal to introduce him, is Henry on the phone?
HENRY RAMIREZ: Yes, sir, I'm here.
DAN GOOSSEN: Henry, Cristobal's trainer. Why don't you open it up from your end and introduce your fighter. Let Israel say a quick word, and I'll get the other two gentlemen on.
LOU DIBELLA: First of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity, and I want to thank Cris for giving Israel this opportunity, Israel Garcia, better known as "King Kong" in New York.
DAN GOOSSEN: How are you thanking me? You were cussing me out yesterday to someone else.
LOU DIBELLA: That was about something different. When I ran into Cris Arreola after he beat Chaz Witherspoon on the street in Memphis - he told me lineup another one of my fighters so he can beat him up. I'm lining up another one of my fighters, but I think this time you're in with a real tough guy, Cris.
I'm very proud to promote Israel. He's one of the nicest guys I promote, the hardest working fighters and a rugged guy himself. A Puerto Rican-American fighter from the hood in New York. A guy that has worked very, very hard I've promoted him in the last couple of years and last five or six fights of his career.
I think he's ready for this opportunity, and looking at it as an opportunity of a lifetime. We respect Cris Arreola right now as probably the best American heavyweight. And the guy who, right now, stands to have the best chance for an American fighter to win a title.
I have tremendous respect for Cris Arreola, and I know that Israel has his hands full. But I think Israel's going to go there knowing this is an opportunity of a lifetime. I expect this to be a much more exciting fight maybe than some people believe.
I know that Cris is a big favorite in this fight. I think that I understand that. But I think this is one of the most rugged guys, Cris, that you've fought. A guy that's going to go in there with no fear and nothing but, you know, come forward and rumble. And I know you like that kind of fight, and that's the kind of fight you're going to get.
I'll just pass it over to my fighter, as I said also, really, one of the finest gentlemen I've ever worked with, Israel "King Kong" Garcia.
ISRAEL GARCIA: I just want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. It's been a long time in the making. I've been fighting for it for ten years.
I went from promoter to promoter, and I finally found a promoter that I'm happy with. He's given me the confidence. And I just felt like I did with any of them.
I've fought with world champions and I've held my own. This is a great opportunity for me and I'm going to take advantage of it.
DAN GOOSSEN: Thank you very much. I want to introduce now, he's been with Cris for many, many years, one of the up-and-coming trainers in the business. Certainly we've seen his work and along with Cris's performance of understanding it, Henry Ramirez. Henry?
HENRY RAMIREZ: How's everybody doing today? I'd just like to start off by thanking Dan, you know Cris, Merrill Lynn, Al Hayman, and Cris is a preparation for an exciting fighter. A Sergio-Garcia fighter, looked at his tapes. He was basically what his promoter described: An aggressive guy, comes straightforward, looks at the fight, and that's going to fall right into our hands.
DAN GOOSSEN: Thank you very much. There's been a lot of talk on Cristobal Arreola. Lou just called him the best American prospect in the heavyweight division. I think he was holding back a little. Because I believe he's the best heavyweight in the world today. That means all comers. And I know Cristobal's at that point of his career where he believes he's ready for anyone, and wants all the big names. As we've discussed before, it's all a process of getting there.
His ratings have been great. And fan attention has been greater. We expect to sell out at Soboba. He's one of the most exciting fighters since the days of a primed Mike Tyson.
He comes in there with the attitude of knocking you out. That's his goal. He's got 21 KO's out of his 24 victories.
I really like to think that his 22 K O's, but since I got Chaz Witherspoon's promoter on the other line. I believe for the reporters that haven't had a good look at Cristobal Arreola, they're in for a great, great time watching him fight.
I want to let him say a few words. We'll get to the media. World title, top challenger, the nightmare, Cristobal Arreola. Cris?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: I hope everybody's doing okay. I want to thank Dan Goossen, and for giving me another opportunity to fight on TV and fight in my home base, my backyard. And coming up the 25th, we should have a great fight.
You know, just look forward to watching it on TV. Dan, and Al Hayman putting in a good fighter. Looking forward to it, I'll be ready for it.
DAN GOOSSEN: We've got a few Spanish speaking reporters on, if you could just say something in Spanish. Pretty much what you just said here.
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: (Speaking in Spanish).
DAN GOOSSEN: Next Thursday on Versus, we have two solid, solid fights. As Garcia mentioned, he sounds very confident. He felt this fight should have been made ten years ago. I think Cris was still ten years old then -- no. I know Garcia's been wanting it.
But we've got two good fighters with Garcia's record, with only one loss. Kolle with only one loss. Both of these fighters, Arreola and Williams are taking up the challenge and realize that both of their challengers are the type of fighters that know that their careers could be made with an upset victory.
Q. Cris, how do you feel about the east-west competitions? Does it hype you up knowing that you're fighting someone like that?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: At this point in my career, there's no east-west, north-south competition. I'm trying to get a world title. It's mainly pick a fight. It's going to be a fight, it's going to be a fight.
I'm sure King Kong feels the same way. There's no competition east-west. If anything, there is more competition him being from Puerto Rican decent and me of Mexican decent. That's more of a rivalry than anything.
Q. What about the fact that you're getting more people that want to fight you now? It seems everybody's call you up from east, west, everywhere?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: Of course, once you're on top of the mound, they want to knock you down. The easy part is getting there, the hard part is staying there. Once everybody starts challenging you, it's a good thing. It's an honor. Now I've got to live up to what everybody thinks of me. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.
You've got to come back to earth and realize that everybody's expecting a lot from you.
Q. Cris, I know how badly you want to become the first heavyweight world champion of Mexican decent. We've talked about that. But as Dan said, it is a process. But with that said knowing that you could fight some of the other world ranked guys right now and probably win, how do you guard against not overlooking a gentleman like Israel who, you know, at least over here is pretty much an unknown commodity. How do you guard against overlooking him?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: Knowing that he's hungry. Knowing that he wants to be where I'm at, and I'm still wanting to be a world heavyweight champion. He's still in the way. I still have to go out there and take care of business, just like he has to go out there and take care of business.
He's going to want to take me out, he's going to have to spill the same way. He's going to have to come in there sharp and ready to go.
Q. Israel, if I'm not mistaken, you're 38; is that correct?
ISRAEL GARCIA: Yes.
Q. I notice you didn't start your professional career until you were 28. How is it that you got what most would consider somewhat of a late start in the program?
ISRAEL GARCIA: Well, in the heavyweight division most of the fighters are late starters. I'm not a beat-up fighter. I lost five years of my career dealing with promoters, like I said. I lost five years of my career with that. But I've never been in wars. So I'm not a beat-up fighter.
I still feel I have enough time to accomplish what I need to accomplish.
Q. Israel, how exciting is it for you to get this kind of an opportunity against a world ranked fighter at this point?
ISRAEL GARCIA: It's a great opportunity. It's a great opportunity. I'm happy he gave me the opportunity. I have a lot of respect for him. But like he said, we'll get in the ring, and it's a totally different story.
Q. Cris, I'm looking at, and I love the last question, but I'm looking at your activity. You fought five times in '06, three times in '07, and this is your third fight in '08; who gets the credit for that? Dan Goossen for keeping you busy or you for just wanting to be in the ring all the time?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: It's a team. We're a team. It's a team effort. You know, that's why Dan and Henry, we're all a team. I stay ready, and fight as much as possible. But it's only as good as the team is, you know.
Our team, we're one of the best teams out there. I want to continue that. We go out there to get the heavyweight title, and I still want to fight at least three times a year. I want to stay active. I love fighting, I love being in the fight. You know, Dan Goossen loves watching me fight, so I'll keep fighting.
Q. Dan, this is not in any disrespect King Kong, but everybody wants to know when is this guy going to fight for a belt, a real belt?
DAN GOOSSEN: What are you trying to do to me, Ken?
LOU DIBELLA: I'll pipe in there, Dan. When someone lets him.
DAN GOOSSEN: No, quite frankly, it's going to be our year that we go out there and start bearing down on the heavyweight championship of the world. Cris is ready. We're ready. Of the boxing world is in dire need of Cristobal Arreola's success.
And Cris is right. I love watching him fight because that's what it's about. It's about fighting. I've seen tapes of Garcia. I haven't had the pleasure of watching him. I know that he's no shrinking violet. He's going to come there to fight.
You know, there's no secrets about Cristobal Arreola, okay? It's kind of what he just said. He loves to fight, and that doesn't mean hugging and holding.
So I'm sure Garcia's trained and realized that Arreola's not the type of fighter you can hug and hold because he won't let you. You've got to stand there and fight with him. That's what the fans like to see. What the networks like to see. And quite frankly, that's what I like to see as a promoter.
Q. Lou, you may not remember this, but you lost a bet with me. You had on a jersey. You said it was wet, and I'm waiting for that football jersey?
LOU DIBELLA: You know what, call me. I do owe you a football jersey. You're 100% right. So call my office. You're 100% right. I forgot all about that.
DAN GOOSSEN: Another bet he didn't pay up on.
Q. We won't talk about that bet. Because the guy doesn't have the belt anymore. But Lou knows exactly what I'm talking about.
LOU DIBELLA: You're 100% right, call my office, and I'll make good on it.
Q. First question for Cris, as everybody knows the heavyweight division years ago used to be the most prestigious in all of boxing. Probably the heavyweight title was the most prestigious title in all of sports and it's no longer that. Tell us what you feel now that you're starting to talk about getting a title shot in the next year or so? Tell us what you feel you can bring to the heavyweight division that we haven't seen in so many years?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: Exactly what I said earlier. You know, I'm willing to fight three times a year, four times a year. I want to make sure that I defend my title. I honor the old school fighters, and just keep fighting.
A lot of people out there, I feel they don't want to fight each other, you know. So that's one thing I'm going to keep doing. I'm going to keep fighting. I'm going to make it exciting.
Just like come Thursday with me and Israel, you know, we're going to put in a fight. We're going to put in a show. I know he's going to come in here ready, and I'm excited. I know I'm going to have this opportunity again, but it's one thing to keep the heavyweight division exciting.
Q. You made a statement in the last fight with Witherspoon. Do you feel you have to not only win but look impressive and make a statement in this fight as well?
CRISTOBAL ARREOLA: Every time. I always have to make a statement no matter who the guy is. You know, because you're only as good as your last fight.
My last fight, I put in a statement, but that was the last fight. This is this fight.
Just like Mr. Israel said, he's going to come ready, so am I. And we're going to make a statement both of us together.
Q. Israel, you're sort of the fly in his ointment. You're hoping to upset him and derail all of these different plans. Tell us why you think you're going to be able to win this fight?
ISRAEL GARCIA: Well, I can fight either way. I can fight inside, I can box, I can do it all. It's a variety of things that you need to do as a boxer, and I feel I can do that.
Q. Have you watched tapes or TV of his recent fights like against Witherspoon or any of the others? Anything that you draw from that?
ISRAEL GARCIA: The only fight I really watched with him was with Witherspoon.
Q. Anything from that that you think oh, I saw something and I should be able to win that fight?
ISRAEL GARCIA: He's a tough fighter. There's a lot of, you know, you see mistakes that you have to take care of when you're in the ring, key mistakes. You've just got to, you know, take advantage of them.
DAN GOOSSEN: Thank you very much. Cristobal, Israel, Lou, I look forward to seeing you guys next week. Good job.
End of FastScripts