BRONER – PORTER – SPENCE JR. MEDIA CALL – PBConCBS

Yesterday brought to us a media conference call for the fight between Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner and ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter, ahead of their Premier Boxing Champions clash on CBS on Saturday. Present on the call was rising star Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Leonard Ellerbe and Ken Porter, Shawn’s father. Adrien Broner was not present. Take a look.

Kelly Swanson

Thanks everyone for calling in. We have an exciting conference call today to talk about an unbelievable boxing weekend coming up in Las Vegas. We’re going to hear more about that from Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, who will run the call.

First on the call we’re going to talk to Errol Spence, Jr., and his opponent, Roberto Garcia, was also supposed to join the call but, unfortunately, he had a last minute medical appointment that he had to get in before he departed for Las Vegas, so he won’t be able to join us.

This other young gentleman is a fantastic fighter, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing him fight. I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Leonard Ellerbe, who will make the introductions and open it up.

Leonard Ellerbe

Thank you, Kelly. I’d like to thank everyone for joining us on this afternoon’s call. PBC on NBC returns to primetime network television this Saturday, June 20th. The telecast begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. We’ll be coming to you live from MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This event will be sponsored by Corona, and I’d like to thank them for their support.

Our main event will feature a 12-round showdown between former world champions Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter. The co-main event features hot prospect Errol Spence, Jr. and veteran Roberto Garcia in a 10-round welterweight fight. Following the fights on NBC, we will switch over to NBCSN for more great action.

The tickets for the live events, which will be promoted by Mayweather Promotions in association with TGB Promotions, are on sale now. The tickets are available through Ticketmaster and mgmgrand.com. With the purchase of a ticket to the June 20th fight this Saturday, fans will also have access to the PBC on CBS card taking place on Sunday at the MGM Grand. That bout will feature, in the main event, Rances Barthelemy versus Antontio DeMarco, and Sammy Vasquez will fight Wale Omotoso, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT on CBS.

I’d like to start out introducing the co-main event, and I’d like to start out with Errol Spence. Errol Spence is coming to us from Desoto, Texas. He is a 2012 US Olympian. He most recently dominated Samuel Vargas on the April 11 on PBC on NBC card. I’m very familiar with this young, exciting prospect. He’s a very talented fighter and he will be a force to be reckoned with for quite some time. He’s a future world champion. He’s coming to us at 16-0 with 13 KOs. Errol?

Errol Spence Jr.

Hi, I’m glad to be here. It’s a big opportunity for me on a huge stage. I’m going to go in and do like I always do, put on a great show and a great performance and raise my stock. Hopefully, after this fight, after this great performance, I can be the main event on NBC.

Q

Do you feel like you’re moving the way you want to be moving? Faster? Slower? Where you’re supposed to be? Then, how soon do you think, that if you can take care of your opponent, Roberto Garcia, this weekend, that you can get into an even more significant fight, perhaps for a title at some point?

E. Spence Jr.

I feel like I’m moving the way I want to move. I’m fighting when I want to and I’m fighting on the regular, so everything’s been consistent and how I want it to go. I’m stepping up the competition, and I’m fighting on the big stage that I wanted to fight on. After I get rid of Roberto Garcia, I think it will be another step up fight. Hopefully, I can get a more name-known opponent, hopefully a former world champion in there, and then by sometime early next year, I can fight for a title.

Q

According to most people, you were the most talented fighter on the United States Olympic Team in 2012 and the guy with the most potential as a professional. Is that a distraction for you? Does it motivate you? Do you believe your clippings? How do you stay focused? Because it seems like you are a pretty focused guy, the way you’ve been going about your business.

E. Spence Jr.

For one thing, staying focused is just something I naturally do, but I also want to live up to the hype and to the high standards that a lot of boxing writers and a lot of people have of me. I’ve just got to go out there and perform and look great, and I want to look great, so I have to stay focused and work hard. That’s the only way that I’m going to get where I want to be and get to the top and get to fighting these name-known opponents. I just have to stay focused and just stay dedicated, and I’ll be definitely fighting more known opponents, like Robert Guerrero or Keith Thurman or Amir Khan or somebody like that.

Q

What then does victory against Garcia do in terms of getting you there?

E. Spence Jr.

Roberto Garcia, he’s tough, he a veteran, and I think me being a prospect and on the verge of being a contender, I had to face a guy like that, a guy with a lot of experience and a really good record, so I can go into that contender level and contender status where I can start fighting more name-known guys. I think it’s just a process I have to go through so I can get to where I want to be. Roberto Garcia is a tough fighter. He’s not as known as the guys I would like to fight, but I have to fight him to get to those guys.

Q

With the emergence of a lot of the Eastern European fighters, who fight for a title in their second or third professional fight, do you feel pressure to sort of step up your own process and take tougher fights and develop a little bit quicker than we’ve normally seen American fighters in the past?

E. Spence Jr.

No. I don’t necessarily feel pressured. Everybody has their own path that they have to take. What those guys did was great, and that’s extraordinary and really unheard of, but everybody has their own path, and everybody grows differently.

Q

Errol, since PBC has started broadcasting fights, in 2015, you’ve had, the one fight on the Garcia-Peterson undercard, but your fighter commercial or your bio, that’s been getting a lot of exposure. Can you tell me what that’s been like to see yourself on TV and what the reaction has been to that exposure?

E. Spence, Jr.

It’s been great. I’m excited. It shows that my hard work’s been paying off, and it shows how my manager believes in me. I’ve only been a pro fighter for three years and some change and I’m already being broadcast in with guys that have been pro eight, ten years, eleven years, and I’m head-to-head with these guys. It just shows a lot of people believe in me and I’ve got a lot of people behind me who support me.

Q

You mentioned Robert Guerrero, Keith Thurman, and Amir Khan as potential opponents that you’re looking at. Do you see them as stepping stones to something bigger, or are those the fights you want? It sounded like you might have been alluding to a different fight. What I’m wondering is if you see those guys as in your way to fight Mayweather?

E. Spence Jr.

Not necessarily. These are the guys that are in the top ten, that are in the top five. These are the guys that are supposed to be there after Floyd retires in September, these are the guys that are going to be supposedly running the division, so these are the guys I’m looking at. I’m nowhere near close to fighting Mayweather, because I haven’t even gotten in the top ten yet. These are the guys thatI’m looking at that are in the top ten that are supposedly running the weight class after Floyd’s gone and retired.

Q

I want to ask you about what you know of your opponent, Roberto Garcia? Do you consider, as a pro, Garcia to be the toughest fighter that you’ve faced?

E. Spence, Jr.

I see him as the most experienced fighter. It could be the toughest. It all depends. One of my tough fights was against Emmanuel Lartey. He was 15-0, and I was 8-0 at the time. But I mean it could be. He’s tough, he’s experienced, and he’s gritty. I know he’s going to come to fight, so this will be one of my toughest fights to date.

Q

Now, you’ve gone back and forth in the last year or so between welterweight and super welterweight. Is there one of those weight classes you particularly want to focus upon?

E. Spence Jr.

I’m staying at 147, and welterweight is my weight class. A lot of times I might fight at 148 or something like that, but 147 is the weight class that I’m fighting at.

K. Swanson

Okay, that was your last question, Errol, but I have one for you that I’d like to add here. The weekend is Father’s Day weekend, and from what I’ve read about you, your dad was pretty instrumental in making sure you had a boxing career. I’m wondering if you could share with us a little bit about your relationship with your dad, how important he was to the development of your boxing abilities, and if he’ll be with you this weekend in Las Vegas.

E. Spence Jr.

My dad, he got me started in boxing. He was a truck driver, so he used to drive overnight, and then he’ll get home 12:00 p.m. or later then take me to the gym. Then after that he’d come from the gym, it was like 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., and he would rest for one or two hours and go straight to work. At the time, I didn’t really think about it, but as I got older and a little bit wiser, realizing all the sacrifices that he sacrificed for me to be able to box and go to all these national tournaments and all these tournaments out of state and stuff. He had to pay for the hotel, pay for food and stuff like that out of pocket. We didn’t have any sponsors and stuff like that.

He plays a big part of my boxing career. He’s my supporter. That’s my mentor. That’s like my best friend. For Father’s Day, I’m going to get him a win, and it’s going to be an impressive win that he’ll be proud of and he’ll love. He played a big part in my career. Without him, I know I wouldn’t be boxing.

K. Swanson

Great. Thanks for sharing that. I know he was an important part of your story. So, Leonard, that is it on the side for Errol. We appreciate you taking the time out of your training. Best of luck to you, and we look forward to watching you on PBC on NBC.

L. Ellerbe

The fans are going to be in for a great treat with this fight. Garcia comes with a lot of experience, and Errol is the new guy on the block. He’s making a name for himself. Big things are expected out of Errol, and he’ll be looking to come through on Saturday night with a great performance.

E. Spence Jr.

Thank you. I’d like to thank everybody for their questions and stuff and everybody tuning in and listening. Just make sure you tune in Saturday. I’m going to put on a great performance and a great show.

L. Ellerbe

In the main event, we have a very exciting fight. We have two gentlemen who are very familiar with each other. They both come out of the state of Ohio. They both have extensive amateur backgrounds. I think it’s going to be an excellent fight.

We have Shawn Porter. Like I said, he’s coming to us from out of Akron, Ohio. He’s now fighting out of Las Vegas. His most recent win was on Spike in March when he fought Eric Bone. He has fought a number of good fighters, including big wins over former world champions Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi. He comes to us with a record of 25-1-1, with 16 KOs, none other than the former welterweight world champion, “Showtime” Shawn Porter.

Shawn Porter

What’s up, everybody? Thanks for having me on.

Ken Porter

Thank you guys for the wonderful introduction, Leonard. We really appreciate you guys having us on today. As far as our training camp, Shawn has been preparing for this fight and the previous fight and the previous fight before that ever since he turned professional. We never really go into a camp, per se. We just continue with what we were already doing. I have been blessed with an athlete who understands that this is his lifestyle, it’s year-round, and he just works like that. So when it was time to turn up the heat a little bit, we were already ready to go. When it was time to bring down the weight a little bit, that wasn’t a problem either.

He’s strong. He’s happy. He’s feeling really good. Today we did a little bit of track work. We headed to the gym, and then we were reminded that we had this conference call with you guys, so it was absolutely no problem for us to go back home and sit down for a little bit and take this call because all of our hard work has already been done, not just in this fight or this camp, but in previous fights and previous camps that we’ve had before this. Everything is on point. Everything is exactly where we want it to be, and we’re looking forward to a great fight on Saturday night against a great fighter.

Q

What have you done differently in this training camp to prepare yourself for this fight and the speed of Adrien Broner?

S. Porter

You know what, I’ll let you know. Yes, he is skillful and fast. We haven’t really done much different to try to offset that or anything. The reason being is because we know that I’m just as fast and just as quick as he is. There haven’t been any special workouts that we’ve incorporated this camp or anything like that to do anything differently to offset his speed. We’ve just really focused more so on my skills and also the different techniques that are required to cut off and slow down a fast fighter like him. So, it’s what we’ve been doing, just at a higher level. We’re not overlooking his speed. We’ve just done more of what we need to do to prepare for it, which is what we’ve always done.

K. Porter

Just to give you guys a little info, I think Devon Alexander is one of the fastest boxers in boxing, period. I know that Manny Pacquiao is one of the fastest boxers in boxing. I know that Andre Dirrell is one of the fastest boxers in this sport. Shawn has been able to compete against those type of guys in professional fights, in sessions, in camps. We don’t have a problem with anyone’s speed. He’s just as fast as anybody that comes in the ring with him, so when you talk about a guy’s speed, that’s not something we’re concerned with.

The problem that that guy will have to deal with is we’re fast, and we’ve got power to come along with that. So, we’re prepared for that. Just like Shawn said, we just continue doing what we’ve already done. At this point in time, that is not a concern at all, so we’re ready for that.

Q

Have you in any way prepared yourself for maybe the antics that come along in the ring with an Adrien Broner?

S. Porter

You know what, I haven’t. I understand that could arise during the fight. My whole thing is this, and it’s something that my dad has always pressed upon me, is being professional at all times. Being professional means maintaining your composure and staying poised and sticking to the game plan no matter what. So, no matter what he may do or say during the fight, more than likely that means I’m doing something right, and I’ll just continue to do what I’m doing and what my corner’s asking me to do. I’m not worried about it at all. I am who I am, and I get the job done.

K. Porter

Shawn’s coming to knock Adrien’s head off. He’s in a real fight, and this is a big fight. I think it’s going to be a very entertaining fight. They both have contrasting styles. Both have certain strengths that they do certain things very well. It’s going to be a very competitive and exciting fight.

Q

You’re an Akron guy. Broner’s a Cincinnati guy. They’re saying it’s the battle of Ohio, and we’re going to Las Vegas, a great place for big fights all the time, a tremendous place to have fights, but did you think maybe that you guys would be duking it out in Ohio to settle the bragging rights for the state?

S. Porter

I’m a northeast Ohio guy, not just Akron, not just Cleveland. It’s a blessing to be able to represent northeast Ohio, and I’ve done that for a very long time with pride. I’ve made everyone proud back home along the way. Again, everything I’ve learned, I learned from my dad. He told me a long time ago, he says if you want to improve, if you want to get better and do things at the highest level, you’ve got to move on and sometimes leave home alone and take care of your business.

With that being said, Las Vegas is the Mecca of boxing. It’s where we all want to be. I’ve been blessed enough to move out here two years ago, and this is where I always wanted my career to go. A fight of this magnitude is happening where it’s supposed to happen at. The bragging rights will come after the fight.

Q

How hard is it going to be for you to get down to 144? What was the reason that you guys made the fight for significantly under the welterweight limit when both of you guys have been welterweight champions and not had any issues with 147?

S. Porter

I’ll answer the first question first. Right now, we’re Cadillacing, and what I mean by that is we’re taking it one day at a time. We’re moving slow so everybody can see us, and we’re feeling good doing it. It’s coming along exactly the way we wanted it to, and it’s been a blessing. We were called and told that we were asked to be 144 pounds by Adrien Broner. That was not our decision. As soon as it was announced to me from my dad, I told him, whatever we need to do to make the fight.

I guess there’s a little kid from Cincinnati who’s afraid of fighting at 147, even though that’s a weight that he’s even fought for a championship at. That’s neither here nor there. The weigh-in is Friday. We’ll be there. We’ll be on weight, and we’ll be excited to get on that scale and look him in the eyes at that weight and let him know that we’re feeling good. Whatever advantage he thought could come from that, he’s not getting any.

The good thing about it is I’m blessed that I have a great body, and somehow we can get my body to do what it needs to do. At the end of the day, all I can do is give it up to God. It’s been great along the way and, like you said, I fought as high as 165 in the amateurs and even 154 upon turning pro, and now 147 for the last about four or five years. It’s been great, and going down a few more pounds won’t be a problem.

K. Porter

I call it addition by subtraction. As he loses weight, he increases his opportunity for big fights. So, we came from 154 to 147, and there’s big fights there and big fight names there. Here we’ve been asked to come down a few more pounds, and it just so happens he’s living this way year round so he didn’t have to go into some crazy I’ve got to get this weight off type thing. This morning, he was very light. He’s eaten twice this morning already. He’s feeling really good. We’re able to do this, and we’re confident that it’ll continue throughout the week to come off like it is. We’re looking forward to this big fight at a lighter weight. So, that’s why I call it addition by subtraction. We get more out of coming down in a lower weight than we did being in the higher weight class.

Q

Shawn, both of you and Adrien have been in some exciting fights, but you’re also both very good boxers also. What is your take on how this is going to play out?

S. Porter

I think this fight’s going to go everywhere. You’ve seen me fight. You know that I want to dictate everything. I want to dictate the pace. I want to be the commander in the ring. With that being said, we’re versatile, which is great, and we can box from the outside. There will also be points where we look to move in and get really physical. We’re just going to play it one round at a time and we’ll look to box and also look to punch and put it all together. That’s what you want in a big fight, when you can do so many things and this fight requires you doing so many things. We look to put it all together on Saturday night-the boxing, the punching, the pressure, the countering, all of it.

Q

When you look at Adrien Broner’s record, you see he had that loss to Marcos Maidana. Is there anything you’ve learned from that fight with Maidana that you can apply for yourself in your fight with Adrien?

S. Porter

Yes. We’ve taken a look at a number of his fights, not just the bad, but also the good. I’m steadily reminding myself not to underestimate him, not to think that I’m going to come in there and do everything that Maidana did to him, and that’s it and I’ll get the win. We look to do so much more than what Maidana did, but the pressure that Maidana applied that entire fight was great and was what he needed.

We will look to do some of that. I’ve also taken a look at his earlier fights when he looked really sharp and superb, just to remind myself of what he can do. There were lot of things he didn’t do against Maidana, but there were a lot of things he did do well against some of his other competitors earlier in his career. We look to do a lot of different things this fight. It’s going to take a lot to win this one, and we’re ready for it.

Q

Have there been specific things that you’ve learned or changed in your approach since your fight last year with Kell Brook?

S. Porter

Yes and no. I think with that fight, the things that we’ve changed and worked on more have become more, number one, mental and then number two, the basics. I’ll say, number one, the mental because there were a lot of things that were asked of me in the corner that I didn’t incorporate during the match. At the end of the day, I can only look at myself, and that’s the reason those things didn’t show up. We worked on a lot of mental preparation since that fight, being able to not only listen to the corner and implement those instructions during the fight and then the basics.

There were a lot of things I didn’t do in that fight. I got a little wild at points. After the fight, once we got back training, we went back all the way to the basics like we always do, but we put a little more emphasis on the mental aspect along with the basics.

Q

This fight’s going to be Saturday night, main event, prime time, on NBC in virtually every home in the country, and it’s going to be televised internationally. Tell us about how that affects you, being in such a marquis fight.

S. Porter

You know what, I can promise you this, this is something that I’ve always envisioned and I’ve always looked forward to. My fight with Julio Diaz, when I first found out it was at MGM Grand, I was really excited. Then I was told it was going to be in one of the conference rooms. The whole entire bubble didn’t bust, but a little bit of the air came out. I’ve just always marveled at the crowd, how loud it gets, the lights, the whole nine. I love every part of the ambiance of a big MGM Grand fight. I’m taking it with a lot of excitement and obviously not over enthused, but I do understand the moment that I’m about to have. The great part about it is it’s a moment that I’ve always wanted, and I’m looking forward to it, so I’ll take it with no problem at all.

Q

Is there any legit animosity between you and Adrien?

S. Porter

You know what, there was no animosity about the weight up until the press conference that we had last week. We had the press conference. We’ve known for weeks now that the contracted weight is supposed to be 144. Here we are doing everything that we need to do as professionals to be on weight, be on point, be 100%, and the kid who chose to make the contract, the weight 144, wishes not to talk about the contracted weight, wishes not to talk about any rehydration clause, wants to avoid any conversation involving weight limits or anything like that.

The more and more we talk about it, the more and more the animosity starts to set in because I’m a professional doing what I do. I’ve done it at this high level for so long, and my weight class is 147 for so long. You want to move up into my weight, then move up. Don’t be scared. Don’t be worried. Don’t be afraid. Put your skill on the line along with your record. Put everything on the line. Put it all on the line at 147. Don’t put it at 144 and then not want to talk about it.

I’m not going to worry about it. We still maintain our professionalism and come into this fight and this weigh-in the way we’re supposed to. No personal animosity towards Adrien Broner. I know him, but I know him from a distance.

With that being said, it’s always been more of a, “Hey, how are you doing?” type of a relationship, not a “Let’s go to the club tonight” type of relationship and also, not a “Why are you talking to me you? I could be fighting you sometime,” relationship. So, we’re cool. The night of the fight, we will be foes for 12 rounds, or however many rounds it lasts. After that, I will be who I am and be professional and let the boxing take care of itself.

Q

Does this weight feel good, or do you see yourself moving right back up to welterweight after this?

S. Porter

Obviously we made this move for a reason, and that was to fight the kid. After that, I don’t think there’ll be any other reason for me to move any lower than 147. It’s not going to be a problem this fight, but it’s not something that I want to entertain in the future. I’m a 147-pound fighter, simple as that. Anyone I fight will be a strong 147-pound fighter, not a blown-up 140-pound fighter and not a took-down 154-pounder. We look to fight everyone at their best, and my best is going to be 144 on Saturday.

K. Swanson

Okay. That actually was your last media question, but I’m going to ask you a question myself, something that I actually shared with Errol Spence too. It’s Father’s Day weekend for the big boxing weekend in Las Vegas. I think everybody in boxing knows about the close, intimate relationship that the Porters have. I’d like, Shawn, for you to share with us what your dad means to you and what you are planning for Father’s Day after Saturday night.

S. Porter

Honestly, I’m happy that this fight has come at this time. My dad and I have worked extremely hard together for a very long time doing this sport. What better way to celebrate or wake up and just be proud of what we’ve done the night before, as a family, as a team? I’m excited about having this fight be the night before Father’s Day, and I’m looking forward to being able to wake up and go over into the next room and wake up my dad and just marvel at what we’ve done, obviously, not only in the ring but what we have now as a family and as a team.

He means the world to me, and he knows that. I definitely know I mean the world to him. I’ve said this before, the love that we have, that we share, we carry that to the ring with each other, and it’s unparalleled. You can’t match it. That means a lot. That makes a difference during the fight.

K. Swanson

Leonard, I’d like to turn it over to you for last comments.

L. Ellerbe

Okay. I just want to clear up this whole weight issue. It seems that there’s a lot of back and forth about the weight. Both fighters have agreed to fight this fight Saturday at 144 pounds max. I want to be clear with that, 144 pounds max. Both fighters agree upon that. The fans are expecting a great fight, and I think that both fighters will be at their best come Saturday night. Both fighters have had an excellent camp and have prepared to fight at the weight, and both fighters know what to expect from each other. They know each other very well. They both have great strengths, and I think it’s going to be a very exciting fight come Saturday night.

I’m very impressed with Shawn Porter, with what he’s been able to do as a professional. What I like the most about Shawn is his confidence. As a young veteran, he’s willing to get in there with anybody and those are the things that are a rare attribute when what you see with young fighters. A lot of fighters talk the talk, but they’re not willing to step up. Like I said, one of the most impressive things that I personally admire about Shawn is that he’s willing to get in there with anybody. He’s even called out Floyd Mayweather. He’s willing to get in there with Floyd, and that’s what I like. The guy’s willing to put it on the line, lay it on the line, do what it takes to feed their family and to give the fans what they want.

We look forward to Saturday night, a great fight for the fans. Thank you all for tuning in.

K. Porter

You guy’s had a great session there, good questions. We’re feeling good, so we’re looking forward to seeing you guys on Saturday. Thanks for having us.