PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS CALL TRANSCRIPT! THURMAN, GUERRERO, BRONER AND MOLINA

Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC fighters Keith “One Time” ThurmanRobert “The Ghost” GuerreroAdrien “The Problem” Broner and John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr., hosted a media conference call to discuss star-powered main events on Saturday, March 7 bouts taking place live on NBC NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

 

Tickets for the live event are priced at $400, $300, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

Here is what the fighters had to say on the conference call:

 

ADRIEN BRONER & JOHN MOLINA JR.

 

John Molina Jr.

It’s an exciting, exciting event. It’s a huge platform. Being that it is back on primetime television, 130 million homes. It doesn’t get any bigger than that and being part of the inaugural telecast is an amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to March 7th.

 

Adrien Broner

I really don’t care what station it’s on long as people can see us fight and, obviously, there’s going to be a lot more people seeing us fight.  I’m just ready to put on a show.  I know John Molina’s going to come swinging for the fences.  This is his big turnaround for his career-if he beats Adrien Broner, who knows where his career can go. I’m going to do the same thing as I did, as I always do.  I’m going to come put on a show.  I’m going to come in dancing and doing what I do and do whatever I got to do to get my victory.  John Molina, he’s not the enemy, though.  I like him, he’s kind of cool.  He can hang with me one day.

 

Q

Adrien, you had characterized Molina as not being as rough, strong or skillful as Maidana.  So, I’m guessing that you took a lot away from that; you’re in a new weight class and how do you characterize Molina in comparison to the competition you faced in your most recent fights, including Maidana?

 

A. Broner      

I take nothing from John Molina.  I know he’s rough and tough and as cool as Cheetos puffs but I’m the man and it’s been said once but I’m going to say it again.  I’m the can man and anybody can get it and John Molina’s the one that’s going to have to take his beating on March 7th.  Like I said, it’s nothing personal.  He can definitely hang with me March 8th but up until then, he’s definitely the opponent.  I’m going in to get my victory.

 

Q        

Do you think that some of your accomplishments are lost on people?  Also is it a goal of yours to win a world title in a fourth weight class?

 

A. Broner      

I definitely will be world champion at 140-pounds one day; but this fight, it’s not going to happen.  My main task is getting my victory and looking good doing that.

 

Q        

Adrien, you have said that this fight is going to end with you raising your hands after knocking him out.  Are you sticking to that or are you going to be satisfied with a win?

 

A. Broner      

A victory is a victory but there is nothing like a knockout.  I love knockouts and the fans love knockouts and stoppages.  I feel like with my skills, if I come in and do everything I’ve got to do, there’s a great chance that I do stop John Molina.  This is boxing.  A knockout is only one punch away.

 

Q

John, you made the analogy of you being a truck and Adrien being a sports car and that you were going to bulldoze him and run him over.  Can you talk about what you meant by that?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

Well, stylistically it’s a great match-up.  It’s a classic match-up for boxing.  You’re going to have two different sides of the spectrum as far as styles go.  Adrien’s very quick-handed, very talented.  You cannot deny the accolades that he’s accomplished in the ring, but if I felt any different about going right through Adrien, I wouldn’t be in the right business.  We’re extremely, 110% confident we’re going to go in there and implement our will and do what we need to do to become victorious that night.  Adrien has one plan, I have my plan.  We’re going to see that night, March 7th, who’s going to come out on top.

 

Q

When you say you’re going to run right through him, do you really feel like you can take it to him and make him feel uncomfortable throughout most of the fight?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

If I felt any different, like I said before, I would be in the wrong business.  Absolutely.  I feel like I’ll be the stronger man in the ring.  Again, this is how I feel, this is how I feel going in to the fight, 100 percent confident that I will be able to implement my will and do what I need to do to become victorious that night.

 

Q

Adrien has said that he believes he can knock you out.  Obviously, Matthysse was a rugged fight but he took some to get some.  Would Adrien trying to knock you out play into your hands at all?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

To me, I can tell that’s what Adrien Broner brings to the table; I don’t worry about what he’s doing in his camp because if I did that-I have things that I have to work on in my camp in order to become victorious that night.  Of course, I believe Adrien’s a true fighter and I think that he’s going to try to sit there and engage with me.  I think he has a huge amount of pride and a lot of ego, so he’ll definitely want to sit there and exchange with me.

 

Like I said, that will be something we’ll definitely welcome with open arms.  That’s my style, that’s no secret.  I’ve always said it best.  You’re not going to play chess with Bobby Fischer.  I’m not going to sit there and say that I have faster hands than Adrien Broner because that’s not the case.  I have my strengths, he has his strengths.  We’re going to see which one comes out on top March 7th, but definitely looking forward to March 7th, we’ll prepare 110 percent for this fight.  We’re doing everything humanly possible to be prepared and I believe the fans are really going to win on this one because you have two guys that believe they’re going to be victorious March 7th and that’s when we’re going to find out who really is telling the truth.

 

Q

Adrien, how do you feel entering this camp?  How’s your weight going?  A lot of people make fun of you eating whatever you want between fights or just having fun and partying but you always make weight.  Do you feel the same coming in to this fight?  Has it been a struggle?

 

A. Broner      

Listen, I don’t ever have a problem making weight and I do what I do and a lot of people; they can think whatever.  As long as I come prepared and I make weight; I’m alright.

 

Q        

Now that you’re at a lower weight than you were before, do you think your power will transition better to this weight class?  Is that why you’re predicting a knockout victory?

 

A. Broner      

I’m still a lightweight.  I’m going to 140 pounds now, and it will show March 7th.  I just hope John Molina’s ready.  It’s going to be fun.

 

Q

Adrien, when you look at a fighter like Molina, who everyone considers to have the power advantage, do you really want to make this a brawl type of fight?  Is that something you looked at going in or are you just going to try to dance around him and win this fight at the end?  What’s your plan going into this?

 

A. Broner      

Listen.  This is what you do.  You watch the fight and then you tell me how you like it after the fight.

 

Q        

Molina, looking at a fighter like Adrien, who, obviously, is very charismatic, who plays for the fans.  He may talk a little bit.  Does that give you extra fuel when training for him?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

No, you don’t expect anything less. This is what you fully anticipate going into this fight.  We knew who we are facing; we know who we are getting in there with.  We knew exactly, so that’s the beauty of boxing.  Boxing is not a debate contest; boxing is not a song and dance; we don’t play this sport; we actually live it; we fight; we go in there and it’s two men that are world class athletes that are going to go in there and bring their best A-game to the table.

 

This is a very, very brutal sport, if you will, and I believe that’s why the fans love this sport.  We don’t take what he says and add fuel to the fire. I hate to lose at checkers.  My competitive nature has always been strong and I don’t anticipate it to be any less strong now come March 7th, so we’re definitely looking forward to this one.

 

Q

John, is there anything you can tell us about the Maidana fight that he had and something that you can take away from it that you can use to your advantage coming in to this fight?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

I always really discredit and don’t like when people say well, I’ve seen that fight so I know exactly how that guy’s going to fight.  To me, every man is different.  I’ve seen how Adrien Broner fights.  I’ve seen how he reacts under pressure but not under pressure from me; under pressure from Marcos Maidana; under pressure from guys like Alfonso Leon.  I’ve seen how he reacts to those guys but then again, March 7th, it’ll be the first time I’ll be facing Adrien Broner.  Then, I can make my full analysis on what and how he’s going to react on the pressure that I’m going to apply to him.

 

We can take little bits and pieces of it and get recognized with his attributes and things that he does in there but, again, like Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.  March 7th, we’ve got to train for the best Adrien Broner; we’ve got to train for the Adrien Broner that’s going to move; we’ve got to train for the Adrien Broner that’s going to come forward; we’re going to train for the Adrien Broner that’s going to try to put on a show.

 

That’s our best bet.  If we try to take a piece out of Maidana’s book or a piece out of Muhammad Ali’s book, we’re setting ourself up for failure.  We can see how he reacts in certain situations but the first time he ever reacts to my situation is March 7th.

 

Q        

John, I’d like your response to people who say, hey, come on, Molina’s coming off two losses.  He doesn’t deserve this fight.  You’ve got no shortage of people saying that on the internet, so your response please, to them.

 

J. Molina Jr. 

Yes, definitely.  People are going to say what they’re going say, but the reality is, is that people have fallen in love with my style given the fact that I took the scenic route to get to where I’m at.  I didn’t have these accolades and the amateur career others have. I didn’t turn pro until I was 24- years-old so I definitely took a while to get to this plateau; this level, if you will.  But at the same time, I’ve left it all in the ring; I plan on leaving it all in the ring every time I go in there.

 

Boxing’s provided for my family and has gotten me everything that I have to show for today, so I’ll never disrespect boxing or spit in its face because of what it’s provided for my family. I’m a family man and I take that very serious.  I believe that the true fans of mine know what they’re going to get March 7th; they know that I’m bringing everything to the table.  A lot of fighters say that; they’ll go out on their shield, but I truly mean it.  This is not just me fighting for my fight; this is me fighting for my family.  This is for me to better my family’s life and I take that very serious.

 

The unconditional love that you have for your kids, for your wife.  Boxing has only enhanced their life.  I think it’s very different and I believe that will show forth March 7th.

 

Q

Adrien, what about you?  Some people say you’re fighting a guy that’s coming off of two losses.  You should be fighting Maidana again.  What’s your response to that, to those people?

 

A. Broner      

Hey, I’ll fight you too if they pay me as much as they are going to pay me. It isn’t about who I fight anymore.  They just want to see me fight.  Listen, I tried to fight Maidana on Sunday, but Saturday night he beat me.  I can’t fight him on Sunday.  I can’t wait to fight Maidana again but the guy I have to fight is John Molina so I’m going to hand him my business and worry about making the Maidana rematch later.

 

Q        

John, this question’s for you.  You’re coming off two losses in a row but I think if you ask your average boxing fan, do they realize that or do they care? Do you think that because of that, that you’re in a position to fight on a huge stage like Primetime NBC, despite the losses that because of your fan friendly style like you’ve been talking about-that’s the reason why you’re being put in on this tremendous platform?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

I believe so.  Like they say, boxing’s going back to primetime television.  If you look back at the old-time fighters, the 0 in the losses were not there and losses were to be expected because you had the best fighting the best.  We don’t go out there anticipating to lose, we go out there to put it all on the table.  I want to fight.

 

If the fans are going to pay their hard earned money to watch me fight, I’m going to give them a fight.  A win over Adrien Broner erases any hiccups that we had in our career, thus far.  That’s how big of a name Adrien Broner brings to the table and I can respect that.  But at the same time, we’re out there to be victorious, give the fans a treat and leave it all on the table and I fully anticipate doing that on March 7th.  We’re preparing extremely well to be the best we can be that night.

 

I believe everyone got it right by putting the styles of myself and Adrien Broner together on that card, that night on March 7th on primetime television.

 

Q

John, who’s training you for this fight?  Are you back with Joe Goossen or are you somewhere else?

 

J. Molina Jr. 

Yes.  Joe Goossen is training me for this fight. He trained me for my Matthysse fight and not for the Soto fight, but he did train me for the Matthysse fight. That was Jose Santa Cruz, Leo Santa Cruz’s father, who trained me for the Soto fight.

 

Q

Adrien, I’m wondering, is winning a title at 140 extremely important to you or if other opportunities were there to fight other non-title fights at 140 or fight for a title again at 147, where is the 140-pound title belt on your to-do list?

 

A. Broner      

That’s first.  That’s first to do.  But if it was up to me, I’ll fight for the title right now if I could. I’ll just fight whoever they put in front of me and John Molina is the guy they put in front of me so that’s who I’m going to fight. I’ll fight anybody, man.

 

Q

How excited are you to be the first primetime bout in many years on national television?

 

A. Broner      

To me it’s just another day in the ring but this is bigger than big.  This is bigger than the “Nutty Professor family” and I’m definitely going to put on a show and I’m going to be ready March 7th.

 

KEITH THURMAN & ROBERT GUERRERO

 

Robert Guerrero      

Hi, everybody out there. I’m excited to be on this card, first one to open up the fights on NBC.

 

Keith Thurman       

What’s up, everybody?  We’re training hard.  We’re getting ready.  Everybody’s stoked.  A lot of people are looking forward to what’s about to happen in the world of boxing and we’re all looking forward to March 7th.  So let’s do this. 

 

Q        

One question real quick, Robert.  You’ve called him, I guess, ‘The Running Man.’  Is that based off of his last fight?  I know he can box, he can punch, but is it your belief that he’s going to try to box you and ‘run’ as you said?

 

R. Guerrero  

No, I didn’t call him that.  My father called him that.  I respect every party that comes in the ring with me.  Keith Thurman, he’s a great fighter.  He’s quick on his feet, quick hands, has power.  You have to respect that.  My whole idea is to come ready for whatever’s going to happen in that ring.  Whether it’s inside, outside, whatever happens.  He gets on the move, you have to be ready for it.  It’s being well prepared for the fight and we’re professionals and that’s what we do is we get well prepared to be in that ring. 

 

The fact that you fought Floyd Mayweather and you were part of a pay-per-view event, a major-a big promotion, how much of that have you’ve given that experience and the fact that you fought on such a high level against the number one pound for pound fighter in the world?

 

R. Guerrero  

It’s an experience.  Especially everything that comes around, the whole circus with Floyd and with All Access and all that stuff in your camp, following you around day to day.  It’s a big deal.  It’s a big deal and you got to be well prepared for it.  It could be a distraction if you let it and you got to be 100 percent focused and I think this is going to be even bigger, with the viewing audience that comes along with NBC.  It’s going to be even bigger so, I’m excited about it and very focused and ready to go. 

 

Q        

Keith, you kind of expressed, you are the knockout guy and a lot of people, you even said that you don’t feel right if you don’t get the knockout.  You like knockouts.  You didn’t get that in your last fight.  Is that something you want badly in this fight?

 

K. Thurman   

Definitely.  We respect Robert.  Robert’s never been stopped and when I hear a fighter’s never been stopped, I hear that as a challenge.  Especially being a puncher and knowing that he’s coming up from the lighter division.  Those fighters, Floyd Mayweather came up from the lighter division.  Manny Pacquiao came up from the lighter division.  So there are some of the best fighters in the world make their way up into the welterweight division and they hold their own and they go toe-to-toe with guys like me, who were originally 147 pounds, always was and always will be. 

 

Last fight we got a knockdown, so I satisfied a little bit of the puncher in me by producing a knockdown in the first round of the last fight.  I just wasn’t able to put the icing on the cake by cutting the bow short.  We’re going to be training extremely hard for this fight.  We’re truly looking forward to the challenge that ‘The Ghost’ is going to bring and we are looking forward to having a fight that goes less than 12 rounds, but we will be prepared no matter what the outcome.

 

Q

Okay, my last question to you is that you do respect his ability to be crafty. You’ve said there probably will be or could be something in his arsenal that you might not have prepared for that you will have to adjust to in the ring, and among those things you included his ability to hold, to be physical, and you referred to the Andre Berto fight.  Can you characterize what you meant by that and how you plan to deal with that?

 

K. Thurman 

We’ve watched more than just the Andre Berto fight now, and he’s an active fighter.  He’s an active fighter.  He will fight you on the inside.  He’ll try to hit you with his power punches from the outside.  He’s truly a fighter.  He wants to fight and if you’re holding him or he’s holding you, that doesn’t mean that he’s going to stop fighting.  He will keep fighting every second of the fight.  He’s well-conditioned from what I’ve seen.  He’s saying that he’s going to be prepared.  I believe the man.  We’re at the world class level.  Every fighter at this stage should be prepared. 

 

But, I’m going to do a little wrestling in my training camp here.  We’re going to get ready.  I don’t want it to be a shock to me.  He’s not going to be able to surprise me by roughhousing me on the inside.  We’re going to do the best that we can.  We’re obviously going to bring southpaws sparring into the camp, but I’m not going to be able to bring Guerrero into the camp.  You know what I mean?  So there should be a few minor changes that I’m going to have to make fighting night but we’re going to do the best that we can to be prepared for the fight. 

 

Q

Keith, I just want to follow up on your answer about getting ready for this fight with Robert, and when you have to prepare for a totally different style than what you did your last fight, how excited does that get you to come to the gym every day, and also the challenges that come in getting prepared to fight a guy like Robert Guerrero?

 

K. Thurman 

We’re just excited, man.  We love to switch it up. I want to fight the boxers.  I want to fight the punchers.  I want to fight the world, baby.  We want the whole world.  Come one, come all.  So, March 7 is Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to face a fighter like him, who has the experience that he has and has the mentality that he has and has the roughness that he has, and we’re looking forward to those challenges and we’re looking forward to overcoming them. 

 

Q        

And for Robert, I understand you’re going to be on your sparring for this fight.  What are you looking for out of your sparring partners to get ready for Keith?

 

R. Guerrero  

Just guys I can box, to punch.  Guys that are inside, outside.  Pretty much we’re bringing a variety of sparring.  You’ve got to prepare for everything.  One thing I got to say is, Keith hasn’t fought nobody like me.  He’s fought tough guys, guys with experience, but he hasn’t fought nobody like me.  So, we’re going to be 100 percent prepared and, you see me in the gym.  We’re determined and we get it.  We’re determined to get it and we work hard. 

 

Q        

I wanted to ask, you had mentioned Robert Guerrero as one of the many on your list that ducked you.  Do you still feel that way or did you realize it was boxing politics, and are you going to use that same mentality that you feel he may be a bit intimidated by you and that’s why this fight took so long to happen as a bit of an advantage in this fight?

 

K. Thurman 

Most ducking that occurs in the sport of boxing is political, whether it be on the promoter’s end, whether it be on the manager’s end, or whether it be on the trainer’s end.  Or, even the fighter’s end.  Everybody has a reason to go the route that they go in the world of boxing. 

 

I’ve said this before in my statements.  I’ve said a lot about people who have avoided me, but at the end of the day I’m truly not mad at anybody because we’re all in it for the same reasons.  We’re all in it to have the career that we want and to put food on our tables for our families.  This is a career.  This is a sport. 

 

So the pride in the fighter in me says, “Let’s all fight,” but I know the business man in me and the business man inside the rest of these fighters, them and their team are going to strategically plan out their careers.  And it’s taking a little long, but here I am.  Me and ‘The Ghost’.  He’s known that I’ve been knocking on his door.  We’ve been trying to get this fight for a while.  He’s ready for it. 

 

They took their time but now they feel like it is the time.  He said it himself, I’ve never fought a fighter like him, and he’s correct.  I’ve never fought Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero.  Every single fighter is an individual and I look forward to what he brings to the table come March 7th

 

Q        

Now, Keith, in the lead up to the Bundu fight, you said that Bundu was going to be the closest thing to Mayweather that you were going to fight because of his age, his experience, and his undefeated record at the time.  When you take that into consideration, the way that you out boxed him, many fans probably weren’t pleased with that because they’re known for you to be one time this knock out artist, but you put on a beautiful boxing performance, which in comparison is similar to the Robert Guerrero/Mayweather fight.  Is that the same style that you’re going to use in this fight for Robert Guerrero?

 

K. Thurman 

We have options in this fight.  I plan on Robert coming and trying to take it, trying to bring the dog out in me, show me the dog within himself, and show me how tough he really is and backup all that him and his team have stated before.  I pick individually.  I pick how I want to perform.  I have a game plan mentally going into the fight. 

 

This game plan is, we’re going to show him that we can do what we want to do to him.  He’s going to back up this fight.  He’s going to move forward this fight.  We’re going to do our best to control the fight.  If I feel like I can control the fight in the middle, or by pushing him to the ropes, or if I can control the fight on the outside, I’m going to figure that out within the first half of the fight.  As long as the fight continues after the first half of the fight, I will permanently pick what I need to do to strategically win the complete second half of the fight hands down. 

 

Something that a lot of people don’t understand about the sport is if you’re not going to get the knockout you’ve got to prepare for the decision.  The only way to fully prepare for the decision is to win seven out of twelve rounds.  That’s all you need.  You need seven hands down.  No controversy.  You need to win seven out of twelve.  That’s the fight plan and that’s why I say that Mayweather is the best set of round fighter in the world because he’s never lost a match.

 

Q        

Well, Keith, thank you for your time and we’ll be seeing you in Vegas.  Robert, I just wanted to know what do you feel has changed, or what’s different between the Robert Guerrero from the Joel Casamayor fight up until the Katsidis fight, because it seems like once you stepped up in weight, you’ve thrown away your boxing ability. Why did you change your style when it was so effective in the past?

 

R. Guerrero  

It’s that hunger.  It’s that hunger to get in there and fight.  As John John Molina Jr. said earlier in his interview, “Hey, we’re here to fight.  We’re here to make it happen.  Were here to give the fans a treat.”  Moving up to weight class into a hundred forty seven pounds people thought I was crazy.  People looked at me and laughed, this guy’s nuts.  What is he doing?  He’s going to end his career.  It’s suicide.  So I had to show everybody in the world like hey, you know what?  I’m here.  I’m going to come and take it.  I’m going to come and get this weight class.  I’m going to come and destroy whoever gets in my way. 

 

And what you asked Keith earlier about the last guy that he fought, that he is like the best step toward Mayweather, similar style, that guy was the slowest guy on his feet ever.  Mayweather is fast.  I’ve been in there with him.  He is fast on his feet and with his hands.  That guy was no comparison at all. 

 

K. Thurman 

It was his accomplishments, not his style.  It was just his accomplishments.  Being an Olympian and being undefeated.  That’s where I made the comparison. 

 

R. Guerrero  

Oh man.  If you’re comparing the stuff like that it’s laughable. 

 

Q        

Well, I love the animosity between you guys, so listen, Robert.  Obviously, Thurman feels that Bundu was some sort of comparison, barometer towards the style similar to Mayweather, being as though Keith has that style and more power than Mayweather, what are you going to do differently?

 

R. Guerrero  

Hey, you learn from experiences.  Mayweather was a big experience for me.  You go down.  You break down tape and you work off your game plan and that’s what we’re going to do.  We’re going to work off our game plan.  We’re breaking down film on Keith and we’ve got something in store for him. 

 

Q

Hey, guys, thanks for taking the time.  Appreciate it.  Robert, we spoke last week and you were unsparing in your comments.  You had your game face on.  You said “March 7th the talk is over.  I plan on leaving Keith Thurman’s face worse than Bertos”.  I’m wondering, is there an extra special hunger and anger and desire to put a hurting on Thurman this time around as compared to maybe some other fights?

 

R. Guerrero  

There isn’t any anger or anything.  It’s just coming out and fighting.  Coming out and doing your job and doing it to the best you can and this is a big deal.  NBC?  We have to come out and show the fans.  People that are not boxing fans that are going to be watching also.  You have to come and get them, and win their hearts and show them hey, we’re here to fight. 

 

Q        

And question for Keith.  Could you amplify a little bit?  Talking about all these eyeballs that are going to be on this fight.  People are going to be channel flipping, surfing, and if they stop and start watching a brawl, man, they’re going to saw you guys can make so many more boxing fans.  Can you talk about that a little bit?  What a grand opportunity this is.

 

K. Thurman 

This is a dream come true.  I remember when I was 10 years old and I was looking through a history book on boxing and I said to myself, wouldn’t it be amazing for you, your face to be in a book like this one day?  And I believe now that NBC is back into boxing on primetime, many fighters in all of the weight classes have an extreme opportunity to start building that household name.  The world will start hearing more about these fighters and eventually our names will get put on the list with Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Tyson, Evander.  So, this is it, man.  We’re about to bring boxing back 2015.  I’m truly looking forward to it. 

 

Q

Robert, so you had the fight with Kamegai that was this past June, but you only had the one fight in 2014.  You have obviously a huge fight in 2013 with Mayweather.  I’m wondering why the long layoff?  Did you look to fight a second play last year?  Did you have an injury?  What was going on that you only had the one fight last year?  And really, only one fight in 2011 also.  It’s really only been one year out of the past few that you had two bouts in a year, which was 2012.  Any particular thing going on with the long layoffs?

 

R. Guerrero  

No.  Just take a little time.  I had the fight with Berto.  I had with fight with Aydin and then Mayweather, so making the jump two weight classes takes a lot out of you, getting in with the bigger guys and you know all the hard training and then the types of fights that I was fighting too.  I was coming in and going to war.  So it takes a lot of your body and you need time to recover so I took a little time to recover, spent a little family and got back in with Kamegai and now we’re in it with Thurman so focusing on Thurman and we’re going to be ready for it. 

 

Q

Other question I have for you, Robert, is this.  You mentioned that you did move up a couple of weight classes, and you took the time off after Kamegai because you’re getting used to the weight division, but this fight with Keith has been talked about.  I guess I remember it being brought up by Golden Boy sometime in the early part of last year that there was some discussion about trying to make.  Is this a fight that you been interested in all along and it’s just sort of now was the time when it made the most sense from a business point of view?  Or was this something that you wanted all along and others were not looking to make the fight?  Can you, it seems like you guys have been on a collision course for a little while.

 

R. Guerrero  

You know me.  I fight anybody.  I do things that a lot of fighters don’t do.  Move weight classes.  Jump up in weight class.  And the challenge is always, I’m always up for the challenge and everybody’s on my radar looking for the best, looking to fight the best because if you want to be the best you got to fight the best so Keith Thurman is one of the best fighters in the world right now and that’s who we’ve got March 7 and we’re going to go out there and do what we got to do. 

 

Q

Was there something specific about Keith that made you want him more than some other particular opponent?  You fight a deep weight class where you guys have a lot of options. 

 

R. Guerrero  

Just fighting the best.  That’s it; fighting the best and Keith Thurman, I mean, look what they call him.  One time.  He’s been taking everybody out, and it’s a great challenge for me. 

 

Q

I remember before when you were promoting the fight with Leonard Bundu from a few months ago, your thing was that you just wanted to fight a big name.  You knew that you had a lot of potential, a lot of ability, you were undefeated, knocking guys out, but you kept saying, “I want a big name, I want a big name.”  Does Robert Guerrero, in your mind, qualify as finally getting a big name?

 

K. Thurman 

He does.  Ring Magazine has him ranked right under me.  He’s ranked number eight right now currently byRing Magazine.  I’m ranked number seven.  I think this is a terrific fight.  This is how we break the ice.  I really believe that my career is truly starting on March 7 fighting Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero in the same venue that he fought Mayweather in.  So this is a terrific opportunity to showcase my skills and my talent once more to the world of boxing, but after March 7th they can no longer say who has Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman fought.

 

Q

And I asked Robert about the fact that this fight has been discussed for kind of a while now.  It’s finally come to fruition for March 7, but was it a little bit frustrating that you couldn’t get Robert or any other particular big name a little bit sooner, or are you okay with the way the schedules worked out?  Because I know this was a fight, like I said, that’s been talked about for a little while. 

 

K. Thurman 

Of course it could have happened sooner.  A lot of things could have happened sooner.  Why are Mayweather and Pacquiao still in negotiations right now?  Things could always have been done sooner.  But, I’m a man of faith.  I believe that everything happens for a reason.  I’m happy.  If we would have fought sooner we would not be the main event, at least not me.  I most likely would not have been the main event.  It would have had to been some form of a co-feature.

 

So to be headlining on NBC primetime network I really can’t ask for anything else.  Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero.  This is a perfect opportunity.  He wants to make a big statement.  No one’s beat me to this day, there’s no better way in the welterweight division for someone who’s jumping up two weight classes to make a better statement besides taking out one of the youngest and toughest welterweights in the division today.  And for myself, this is a measuring stick to outperform Mayweather in Mayweather’s hometown. 

 

So for both of us this is just extremely exciting and this is a real fight.  We both have a lot to gain from a victory here, and March 7th, man, the fans have something truly to look forward to. Put it this way.  It’s the biggest stage in the last 30 years.  Bigger than Mayweather or anything out there. 

 

Q

I had one other question for you, Keith.  Having a lot of publicity but I guess basically in the paperwork moves, the WBA has made you its regular title holder as opposed to the interimholder.  How did you come to find out about it and what are your thoughts about that?

 

K. Thurman 

I have not come to find out about that.  You’re the first one to mention anything to me.  Me and my team, we joke about it all the time that I’m being treated like a champion, because Mayweather has two belts.  They have yet to issue a mandatory for it.  He doesn’t have to take the mandatory.  They can issue the mandatory.  He could vacate the belt and I could fight for it.  I’ve been saying that for the past year. 

 

Q        

You’re the interim title holder.  That’s what they’ve said.

 

K. Thurman 

Thank you very much for that.  At the end of the day, man, there’s a lot of different alphabet belts out there.  If that’s what they chose to do, I’m truly grateful for that.  It’s an honor for them to raise me up to that level, but at the end of the day, man, with a belt, without a belt it doesn’t matter.  In the ring I’m ready to fight Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero March 7 and I’m going to do my job.  I’m truly looking forward to it.