ADONIS STEVENSON, SAKIO BIKA & ARTUR BETERBIEV MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL

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ADONIS STEVENSON, SAKIO BIKA & ARTUR BETERBIEV

MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL

 

Lisa Milner

Thank you, operator.  Thanks everyone for calling in.  We have a great call today to talk about the debut of PBC on CBS taking place next Saturday, April 4th, from the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Canada.  We are going to start with the main event guys it’s Adonis Stevenson, light heavyweight world champion; his trainer, “Sugar” Hill; Sakio Bika, former super middleweight world champion; and his trainer, Kevin Cunningham.  We will also have Artur Beterbiev later.  His opponent is training in Spain.  So, he will not be joining us.  But, first let’s get some opening comments from the fighters and their trainers.  Adonis, would you give us a little bit of information on how training’s going leading into next week’s fight week?

 

Adonis Stevenson

Thanks to all the media. I want to thank Al Haymon, my manager, great job.  This is a good person for me and fight on CBS since like ’80 like Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali.  You know, this is amazing.  And the first championship they want to start in Canada, Quebec City.  This is amazing.  And I’m very glad to be part of that.

 

L. Milner

Great. “Sugar” Hill, could you add anything to that about training or comments about how Adonis is doing at camp?

 

“Sugar” Hill

The training camp is going fantastic.  We are here in his hometown of Montreal training at his gym.  His gym is just opening.  So, this would be the first training camp held at this gym and for such a fight of this magnitude where Adonis is defending his world championship for the fifth time.  I’ve only been here for one week any other time, but Montreal is a great place and a great place for training as well.  The city has been so good and warm welcoming me here, and I see why Adonis loves Montreal, and I see why Montreal loves Adonis as well.

 

L. Milner

Great.  Thank you.  Sakio, could you give us a quick opening comment about training camp?

 

Sakio Bika

All right, first of all, I want to thank everybody for giving me this big opportunity at the world title.  .  My training camp is going really well. I want to thank God, you know, to give me this opportunity.  Again, we have a good training camp here.  Everyone is happy.  I’m happy, and my coach is happy.  All my kingdom is happy.  I’m just looking for on April the 4th, to become three time world champion.

 

L. Milner

Awesome.  Thank you.  Mr. Cunningham, are you there?  Could you add anything to that?

 

Kevin Cunningham

Yes.  To piggyback on what Sakio has just said, we’ve had a tremendous training camp, great sparing.  Everything is going well.  Sakio understands the opportunity that’s before him, and we look to come to Canada and Montreal.  And we’re going to into Adonis’ hometown.  So, I’ve been there, done that.  You got to go into the lion’s den and take the title.  So that’s what we’re working on doing and that’s what we plan on doing.

 

L. Milner

Great.  Thank you.  Okay, we’re going to go ahead and open it up for questions from the media.  Operator, can you please do that?

 

Q

Adonis, so much talk about you fighting the other light heavyweight champions and who the real light heavyweight champion of the world is.  What are your thoughts about these other guys and it is interfering with your concentration for your fight with Sakio on April 4th on CBS? 

 

A. Stevenson

Yeah, I know they have so much talking about that, but I’m very focused on Bika now, because Bika is in my face now.  I don’t see anybody.  I don’t see anybody in my face now.  It’s Bika.  And I don’t underestimate him, and I’m very prepared for him. I will be ready for him April 4th. So, my focus is on Bika. I know that they have so many people talking to me about how to fight this, but I’m very focused on this guy.

 

Q

What is the procedure for drug testing before the April 4th?

 

A. Stevenson

Three time in the training and one time is six o’clock in the morning.  So, they come into the condo and to do a drug test and two times in the training after sparing.  I think it’s good for the boxers, to protect them.  I’m very glad about that.  And when I got to fight, I always do the test, you know?  So, it is not the first time I do the test, but I always to do it.  This is fantastic, I love that.

 

Q

Do you think it was necessary for boxing to have that kind of test?

 

A. Stevenson

Of course it is necessary because, is helps you. So, it is very important to make sure everything is going very well. And that’s part of boxing and that’s the evolution. I’m very glad and happy and support that.

 

Q

Sakio, what do you think about that?

 

S. Bika

I think it is very, very good because I have [unintelligible] since I’ve been here.  I think it’s good for the new generation.  It goes for this sport. For me, I think it is perfect. It’s perfect because, so many people [unintelligible] retire [unintelligible] drug and they never get tested.  And now with new generation, I think it’s very good, you know, for younger kids to try to see if they want to win.  Once you come in this sport you have to have been clean. It’s a perfect organization to get people involved in and test them. It’s the perfect thing to do.

 

Q

So both of you will be tested three times, two times during the training camp, one time before the fight?  Is that correct, guys?

 

 

A. Stevenson

I don’t know for him, but for me it’s three time.  And we do a piss test, and we do a blood test, too.

 

S. Bika

Yeah, for me it was three time.  Then two blood test–like blood test and piss test.  This is the third time them testing me since I was here.

 

Q

The first question that was asked to Adonis about his preparation for the upcoming fight and also the distraction around all future potential opponents, I would like to get to add the same question to Adonis again.

 

A. Stevenson

You know, the kind of stuff like Bika is wild and has shown he come–you know, he just keep coming.  The kind of stuff like that, I love this kind of stuff because he’s large and keep pressuring.  And so, it shows if you make a mistake like that then it will be a knockout very soon in the fight.

 

Q

My question is for “Sugar” Hill.  “Sugar”, I just want to know if you were pleased with the style that was chosen for this upcoming fight, if this is the type of test you were looking for as a trainer.

 

S. Hill

As far as looking for a style for Adonis to fight–and actually it doesn’t really matter to me.  I’m happy with the selection of Sakio Bika.  I have no problem with his style.  I actually like the style because he’s coming forward.  He wants to fight, and Adonis loves to fight.  Adonis likes to go to toe-to-toe, and he likes to box.  This is important for the maturity and, for Adonis learning more about boxing to be able to be in it with a fighter like Sakio Bika, who’s a strong, determined and tough veteran who can withstand. He can take a punch.  He’s never been knocked out or anything like that.  So, this is an opportunity for Adonis to maybe go 12 rounds or into the later rounds, which can build and add to his career as fighting in later rounds, which he has been able to do. This fight here with Bika is a test, and Adonis loves to be tested. I love for him to be tested as well.  This is the only thing that’s going to make him grow and become more of a talented fighter and become a bigger superstar.

 

Q

Adonis, are you looking at a tough 12 round fight or do you see it as motivation as to being the first to knock this guy out if that opportunity presents itself?

 

A. Stevenson

It is motivation for me.  That’s why I train very hard.  I know he’s large as well in his punch.  And he wants to keep me pressured.  I love this kind of style.  And if he goes for 12 rounds I’m ready for 12 rounds. I fight and spar.  My fight is, sparing and training for 12 rounds.When I get in the ring, I’m looking for the knockout.  I don’t look for the 12 round.  If he goes the distance or 12 rounds, this is not a problem.  I can box.  I’m beautiful.  I got a good skill.  I’m a Superman.  So, it’s not a problem for me.  But, first I’m looking for a knockout.  And I think any boxer going in the ring to fight always looks for a knockout. Sometimes, it’s not like that.  But, me, I’m looking for the knockout.  And Emanuel said knockouts sell.

 

Q

You said that you weren’t impressed with Kovalev’s performance over Jean Pascal.  Do you want to put on a better performance?  Do you feel pressure to put on a better performance since you said that?  What do you think about that?

 

A. Stevenson

I’m not going to put pressure on myself.  “Superman” doesn’t feel pressure. I’m going to use my boxing skill, and I’m going to use my head in the ring. I don’t have to put pressure on something like that.  I don’t feel like that. I’m the man.  I’m the guy to get beat.

 

Q

Was Sakio Bika the first opponent they offered to you?

 

A. Stevenson

Yeah, it was the first.  He was the first to open.  We’re happy, and we don’t have a problem.  And I know Sakio he was light–no, super middleweight champion.  It’s very good, because he’s a good boxer. He was champion last two fights.  That’s a good opportunity for him, too, to go from light a heavyweight to fight me.  And it’s a good opportunity for me, too.

 

Q

I want to ask you at what point did you say to yourself, “I have to fight,” or “I want to fight Sergey Kovalev to unify all the belts in the division.”  At what point did you say that in your career?

 

A. Stevenson

I don’t think about Kovalev now.  I think about Bika. It doesn’t matter what I said now because I have a fight coming up with Bika.  But, sure I want to fight for titles, but now–for now I’ve got Bika in my face.

 

Q

You were not impressed with the way that Kovalev looked in the fight the other week against Pascal. Why?

 

A. Stevenson

I’m not impressed by it because this is the first big fight Pascal had since Bernard and he fights one time a year before Bernard Hopkins.  So, in four years he fights one time.  So, that’s why I’m not impressed about that, because Pascal is not an active boxer like he used to be back in the day.

 

Q

You know that Kovalev, because of the WBC is going to be mandatory.  I want to know how hard will you press for that mandatory if you’re successful again.

 

A. Stevenson

Of course, I know. I’m ready to fight a title.  But, I let my team, Al Haymon, care about that. Then after that Kovalev we can unify the title.  It’s not a problem for me because the two titles he gets now he gets Bernard Hopkins’ title, and I should fight Bernard Hopkins.

 

Q

This is a fight that’s going to be on national television in the United States, free TV.  Have you given any thought about the fact that you’ll be performing in front of an audience probably bigger than has ever seen you fight ever?

 

A. Stevenson

Of course.  This is a good opportunity for that.  And first of all, I want to thank Al Haymon for that, too, because, that’s him putting on the show.  And since Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, back in the day it was free.  Now, we offer the public the fight for free and that’s a great opportunity for me.  So, I have a good performance for Sakio Bika.  But, I know Sakio Bika is a tough opponent and he’s very awkward and tough.  We’ll prepare for that, and we’re ready. It’s also very good for the young kids, watching the fight. It’s a good opportunity for everybody.

 

Q

With that big potential audience watching wouldn’t that put you in a position where you’re looking for a knockout?

 

A. Stevenson

Of course.  That gives me a lot of motivation.  That’s why I train really hard for this fight and watch–so people watch me.  Since Muhammad Ali, I’m the first to be poor and the projects.  So, I’m very, very happy, and I’m going to put a good performance.  Like Emanuel said, knockouts sell.

 

Q

Adonis, where are you training this week?  And then, when are you actually going to Quebec City?

 

A. Stevenson

You know I opened a new gym in Quebec City.  This is a good opportunity for me to train in my hometown.  This is the first time since 2011. I can see my kid, too.  So, I love that.  And we train very hard, me and my trainer. We put the hard work pay off.  This is different.  This is a good opportunity for me, and I love that.

 

Q

So, you’re in Quebec City now then?

 

A. Stevenson

I’m in Montreal now.  Quebec City, I’m going this week.

 

Q

So, when will you actually go to Quebec City?

 

A. Stevenson

Sunday.

 

Q

Again, my question goes to Adonis.  I just want to know if a knockout is the result that you absolutely need or would you be disappointed if you didn’t win by a knockout against Bika?

 

A. Stevenson

I know Bika is a tough opponent.  So, I’m prepared for 12 rounds. If the knockout is there, it’s there.  If it’s not, it’s not.  But, in the ring, I’m looking for the knockout.  So, it doesn’t matter for me, but I’m always looking for the knockout.  That’s a Kronk.  The Kronk Gym and my team we’re looking for that.  Since the Kronk it’s been a while.  They’re always looking for the knockout.  If you’re training in the Kronk Gym and any fighter is looking for the knockout.

 

Q

But, it can be dangerous to always be looking for a knockout because then if you don’t get it as quickly as you want then you can get away from your style of boxing.  Is that something that worries you?

 

A. Stevenson

We can go 12 round.  It’s not a problem for me.  We train for that.  We train for that.  I can go 12 round.  And I’m from Kronk Gym, Detroit.  And this place, we have a good, good trainer like Emanuel “Sugar” Hill.  They know boxing.  They teach me very well my skill and everything and my balance.  They know boxing.  And so, they know if the knockout is not there, but we’re going to work.  We’re going to use the good ability to go for 12 rounds.  It’s not a problem.

 

Q

Sakio, I just want to know, how does it feel for you in this training camp to train for a light heavyweight fight after having spent pretty much your entire career at a super middleweight?

 

S. Bika

I feel it was a new challenge to go up and try to fight the big bull. When you see my regimen, nobody ever wants to fight me. It was always a little bit difficult because people don’t want to fight me. For me it’s a big challenge because Stevenson, Adonis is a great champion and I want to become the world champion in life. I’m very sure I can handle him. And come April 4, because I have a good preparation, , a great sparing partner, I just looking for you to see how I can handle the big bull. Adonis is the first one for me at this weight,  but I just feel confident, I feel positive. I’m ready, you know, to go there and show the people in the world I can beat Adonis Stevenson on April 4. I want to tell the big bull.  I want to move up in light heavyweight division, and April 4 people are going to be see it.

 

Q

Does the weight feel better for you?  Do you see yourself staying at light heavyweight?

 

S. Bika

I see myself like a light heavyweight. I see myself at light heavyweight because you see so many world champions. For me just it’s just a challenge.  I want to challenge myself. I can do light heavy easy. It would be a struggle to do super middleweight.  You know, I can do light heavyweight really easily. I can handle the big bull, because I handle everyone. This is a big opportunity for me to try to see if can I handle the big bull.  I can handle Adonis. come April 4, I will try to test myself.  You all ready? I’m ready. I have a good preparation,. We train very hard for this fight. I’m just looking to come to Quebec and take care of business.

 

Q

At the same time you were at the Sergey Kovalev/Jean Pascal fight, and you went over to HBO commentator at the time, Bernard Hopkins, and you told him that you guarantee that you will fight Sergey Kovalev.  I wanted to see what your answer was to what you think of Sergey Kovalev and his performance on Saturday night a couple of weekends ago.

 

A. Stevenson

Pascal doesn’t matter now because we’re talking about Bika. I go to fight April 4 with Bika. It’s a very tough thing about Bika and Kovalev is not a person now when I think about the fight with Kovalev and Pascal and then after I said, “Well, yeah, I’m going to fight.”  He’s not a person for me now.  The person now is Bika.

 

Q

You guaranteed that your next fight would be against Kovalev back in May of last year after 12 rounds against Fonfara.  You beat Fonfara. 

 

A. Stevenson

You can’t guarantee.  It’s not working like that.  It’s not football.  It’s not hockey. And one punch can change anything.  So now I got Bika in my face, and I’m very focused with Bika, because I know this guy gives problems to all the champions.  He was champion.  And I know this fighter is tough.

 

L. Milner

Okay.  Gentlemen, thank you so much for your time.  I think this call really set in motion a great week and a half heading into the fight.  So, thank you so much.  We’re going to switch over to Mr. Beterbiev.

 

Artur Beterbiev

 

I like my training, and I am training hard.  And it was all planned.  So, it all went according to the plan. It’s a serious opponent. I can’t wait to have that fight.

 

Q

Artur, you defeated Sergey Kovalev in the amateurs.  What do you think of him as far as a professional opponent right now?

 

A. Beterbiev

Taking into consideration all his statements that he recently produced, I would like to meet with him and put him back in his place in professional.

 

Q

What do you remember about him as a guy who’s fighting you?  What do you remember?

 

A. Beterbiev

I have a very good memory.  So, I did beat him twice in the amateur ranks, but I’m more focused on the future right now. I would like to beat him again.

 

Q

Artur, could you describe how you feel your career is going up at this point? 

 

A. Beterbiev

I like the way I’ve been led in my professional career. I’m training everyday and working everyday and always thinking about that. I always try to improve and improve my not that strong parts, as part of my preparation.I’m not a future teller.  So, I’m ready to meet all the solid opponents.  And I’m ready for the championship of the world, and I’m ready for any case scenario.

 

Q

Is there any interest in you fighting the winner of Stevenson/Bika?

 

A. Beterbiev

I could fight anybody.

 

Q

What do you think of Campillo and what kind of challenges does Campillo presents to you because he has so much more professional experience than he has?

 

A. Beterbiev

Yes, I have a lot of respect for Campillo because he’s very experienced.  For sure he has more experience than I do.  He has experience winning and losing, and he’s a solid opponent, but the fight’s going to show if his professional language could help him in this fight.

 

Q

What do you learn from a knockdown?

 

A Beterbiev

I don’t think that was a knockdown.  I just lost my balance for an instant. I recovered right away instantly.  But I still think that this is a good lesson for me for this not to happen in the future.  And I’m going to try to avoid any dangerous situations in my future.

 

Q

How do you see Campillo, what kind of a fighter is he, and is there any part of his style–any elements of his style that can be worrisome?

 

A. Beterbiev

This is a solid opponent.He’s working very well, very experienced at attack.  He’s very experienced at defense. The fight is going to show what’s going to happen.

 

L. Milner

Okay, great.  Thank you.  Thank you, Artur.  Thanks everybody for being on.  A special thanks to the media.  This is a great show April 4th on regular CBS, PBC on CBS right from Quebec City.  So, thank you so much and have a great day.

 

#          #          #

 

PBC on CBS, headlined by the light heavyweight world championship fight between Stevenson and Bika, is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and presented by Videotron and in association with Mise-O-Jeu.
Tickets are on sale now at the Pepsi Coliseum box office in Quebec, by calling (418) 691-7211 or (800) 900-7469, online at www.billetech.com, at GYM (514) 383-0666 and Champion Boxing Club (514) 376-0980. Ticket prices range from $25 to $250 on the floor.

 

For more information visit www.sports.sho.com and www.groupeyvonmichel.ca, follow on Twitter at @SHOSports, @yvonmichelgym, @AdonisSuperman and @Sakio_Bika, follow the conversation using #StevensonBika, become a fan on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/SHOBoxing or visit the SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com.

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