Alexander, Soto-Karass, Lomachenko, Russell Jr talk June 21

We are just a few weeks away from the June 21st Showtime Tripleheader at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. Here are some questions and answers from the conference call for the undercard bout featuring Devon Alexander vs Jesus Soto-Karass and Vasyl Lomachenko vs Gary Russell Jr:

 

Kelly Swanson

Thanks, everybody, for joining the call today. We are discussing the "Robert Guerrero vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai" undercard and today's call includes fighters Gary Russell Jr., Vasyl Lomachenko, Devon Alexander and Jesús Soto Karass. It's quite an exciting undercard, and it takes place Saturday, June 21, at StubHub Center in Carson, California, also live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®.

 

We will begin the call with Devon Alexander and Jesús Soto Karass, and when the questions are done with them we have Gary Russell Jr. and Lomachenko available to answer questions as well. So, let's get started, and I'm going to introduce Eric Gomez, Vice President of Golden Boy Promotions to make the introductions.

 

Eric Gomez               

In Golden Boy and SHOWTIME fashion, we're bringing you an exciting tripleheader that we're very excited about on June 21, the long-awaited return of one of the most exciting fighters in boxing, Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, who will take on Yoshihiro Kamegai in a 12-round welterweight fight. Kamegai is a very exciting fighter and everybody's been waiting for Robert Guerrero to come back, so that's great.

 

Obviously, we have two undercard fights that are very exciting as well, two Olympians, Gary Russell Jr. fighting against Vasyl Lomachenko. This is going to be for the vacant WBO World Featherweight title. Opening up the card is going to be two-time world champion Devon Alexander taking on the very dangerous Jesús Soto Karass.

 

All of this is taking place on Saturday, June 21, at the StubHub Center in Carson Calif.; promoted by Golden Boy Promotions; sponsored by Corona and AT&T, and is produced and distributed by SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. It's going to be live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. It's going to be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). The tickets are priced at $150, $75, $50, and $25, and there are still tickets available. They're moving fast, obviously, because this is a great tripleheader. You can get them at StubHub Center, at the box office, or you can call, or go online as well.

 

Now I want to go ahead and introduce the fighters in the opening bout. Jesús Soto Karass, everybody knows, is a very exciting fighter. He's from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. He's 31-years-old. He had a classic fight against Andre Berto last year,and he also had a very good fight against Marcos Maidana. He's won four-of-his-last-six bouts. He had a very exciting fight as well with Selcuk Aydin. He's a 13-year veteran, he's fought the best throughout his career, and this is no exception. He's taking a very dangerous fight with Devon Alexander, but you know that's what he's all about. He wants to get back into the title hunt, and this is the first step. So I want to introduce to you Jesús Soto Karass.

 

Jesus Soto Karass   

Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for being on the call. I'm very thankful to SHOWTIME and Golden Boy for once again having me on a big show like this, another opportunity. It's an honor for me to be on the card with all these great fighters.

 

E. Gomez

Okay. So now, before we go to questions, I want to introduce the guy he's going to be facing, Devon Alexander "The Great." He's got a very good record, 25-2 (14 KOs). He's a former world champion and a gifted southpaw. He has wins over Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, Juan Urango and Junior Witter. He moved up to welterweight to capture the welterweight world title. What can I say about Devon Alexander, he's one of the best fighters in the welterweight division in the world. This is a very dangerous test for him, but if he gets past a guy like Soto Karass then you know he's going to be in the title hunt as well. So, Devon, if you could please say a few words.

 

Devon Alexander     

I want to thank Golden Boy, Al Haymon and SHOWTIME for allowing me to be on this card. Like Eric said, it's an awesome card, and I'm ready to make a statement. This is a statement fight for me coming off of a loss. You know I don't like to lose. My whole career I've been a winner, and when I lose I come back even better. So, I'm looking forward to fighting on June 21and making a statement.

 

Q                                

Devon, you lost your last fight and lost your title. You had one previous loss before that. How how hard is it to get over that?

 

D. Alexander            

Yes, it definitely wasn't my best performance. Like I've said in a recent interview, I took (Shawn) Porter lightly a little bit. I beat him when I was amateur and you know I had this hunch that this was going to be a cakewalk, and he surprised me a little bit and I didn't follow the game plan so you saw the result of that. You know every loss is a bad thing to me but that's over and done with. I'm moving on. This is the present, and it's about what I do in the present and what's going to count, and I'm looking forward to it June 21.

 

Q                                

Do you feel like you're just maybe slightly overlooked at this point when you have a resume that's really second to none in that weight class, you know between 140 and 147, with those victories that you had?

 

D. Alexander            

Yes, for sure, I definitely feel that way a little bit. But the only way they're going to respect you is you continue to win. I know whom I've beaten, I know my potential and I know I'm going to be at the top of the game one of these days. I just got to continue to win, continue to listen to my corner and listen to Kevin; because that's the only way they're going to respect you. I have to go out there and look good doing it, and you know that's the only thing people want to see is a win and looking explosive doing it, and that's what I'm going to have to do. Like you said, my resume speaks for itself. You know I am a threat to anybody out there, and all I have to do is continue to win.

 

Q                                

Is the blueprint from the Maidana fight the one that you want to fight Soto Karass with or is there some other thing that you look at when you see what he's done in his recent fights that make you think you have to do something different?

 

D. Alexander            

Well, every fighter is different and everybody has different styles. Styles make fights, and Soto Karass is a different fighter from Maidana; he's longer, he's rangier and he's going to come straight for it, kind of like Maidana. But he's a different angle, and I'm going to have to do something different this fight. You take bits and pieces from each fight and see what Soto Karass does and you capitalize on his mistakes, and that's what we plan on doing. I don't feel that I have to do anything special, just go out there and do what I normally do and be exciting and get the victory.

 

Q                                

Is it your plan or in your mind to play spoiler again? Did being an underdog motivate you in some fashion because of the previous loss and that you are facing another former world champion?

 

J. Soto Karass

It motivates me very much. Pretty much throughout my career I've been considered an underdog; nobody ever gives me an opportunity, or a chance. But it motivates me, and fighting a fighter like Devon Alexander, who's a complete fighter, a guy that can box, he can punch, he can move, it's my motivation because beating him I know that I have accomplished something. So, yes, it's very motivating for me.

 

Q                                

What I'm wondering is how much are you able to enjoy life away from boxing and appreciate what you've accomplished when you look at your record when you're constantly being questioned about the legitimacy of your wins? Are you able to know in your heart when you're away from the ring the fighter that you are?

 

D. Alexander            

Well, kind of and kind of not. That's a good question, because every time I beat these guys, there's always some type of excuse. I was holding too much or it was a close fight or something. There's always an excuse about when I get the victory how I beat them or something like that. To be honest, I haven't really sat down and said, okay, I beat these guys. I haven't really enjoyed it, because I got so much negativity coming back.

 

But I try not to worry about that. I just have to continue to win, continue to win, because that's the only thing that's going to count at the end of the day. You know they can't deny you if you continue to win and continue to beat these guys, continue to beat the top guys, and that's all you can do. You know you're going to have your critics, you're going to have people saying this and that, but at the end of the day as long as you get the victory that's all that matters.

 

Q                                

How do you keep from wearing down? How do you enjoy what you're doing in training and actually be up for a fight when you go into a fight knowing that pretty much every fight is a difficult fight, as it has been?

 

D. Alexander            

Well, you just have to love what you do. If you love what you do then it's going to be exciting, you're going to be happy, and you're going to be able to get up for it, you're going to motivated to get up for it and I'm just saying it's part of the game. They're not just going to give it to me; they're just not going to give me the top guys unless I continue to beat these guys. They're not going to give me anything; I have to go out and work for it, you know work for whatever I want. The only way I do that is go to the gym, work hard and continue to beat these top guys. That's the only way I see doing it.

 

I can enjoy it when I'm 35, 36, but right now my mission is to continue to win and get to the top of the game, and that's what I plan on doing. You get a few stumbles here and there, but ultimately I'll be at the top.

 

Q                                

How do you keep the enjoyment in your workouts on a daily basis when in the past even with the Maidana victory you know it didn't last long? Do you feel like ultimately you're going to get your credit?

 

D. Alexander            

I totally think at the end of the day I'll get my credit. They say the greats don't get recognized for their greatness until they die. I just have to continue to win. I handle that by surrounding myself with a lot of people that love me, there are a lot of people that motivate me, and continue to instill in me that I am one of the best out there, and that's what keeps me going. That's what Kevin always tells me in my ear, 'Man, you're one of the best guys out there. Don't let nobody steer you away from that, and continue to do what you do.' And I'm going to keep going, and that's what I'm going to do.

 

Q                                

Jesus, how did you get over losing badly to Gabriel Rosado and what keeps you going when you lose to Maidana? What is your secret that makes you so dangerous every time you comes into the ring and not be a walkover or a stepping-stone?

 

J. Soto Karass          

There's no secret. My family basically, my wife, my kids, my mother, my father, my brothers, you know that's what it's all about. There's no real secret. I think that I gain my strength from them, from my family, but at the same time I know and I'm confident that I can give great fights, and that motivates me. I know that, win or lose, I'm going to give the fans a great fight.

 

Q                                

If you never win a title will you be satisfied with his career?

 

J. Soto Karass          

You know, obviously, every fighter wants to win a world title; it's everybody's dream. But I'm very thankful for what I've gotten out of boxing, what I've received out of boxing. It's changed my lifestyle, so I'm very gracious and thankful to boxing. Yes, it's always a dream to win a world title, but basically it's in God's hands. He wants me to be a world champion then that's what's going to happen. I'm always ready and I'm always going to fight hard, but it's in his hands. But at the end of the day I'm very thankful for what I've gotten out of boxing.

 

Q

You have a common opponent in Marcos Maidana; he was very much in that fight, Devon basically dominated him. Is there anything you can take out of that common opponent and how does Devon compare being a boxer to anyone else in the space? How is he compared to him?

 

J. Soto Karass          

As far as the Maidana fight there's nothing really I can take away from it, because it's two totally different styles. Maidana's an aggressive fighter; he's going to come forward, he attacks you, he puts pressure on. While Devon boxes, he's a boxer; he knows how to box, he knows how to move, he can counter. So there's nothing really. It's just totally different styles. There's nothing really I can take away from the Maidana fight that he fought and I fought, there's nothing I can take away from that.

 

As far as Devon's style, yes, it's very different. I fought lefties before, but this is a totally different style. It's the first time I'm facing someone like a Devon Alexander. It's going to be a very tough fight for me, but I'm working on different things in the gym so I can be able to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish and beat a Devon Alexander.

 

Q                                

It seems like most critics win, lose, or draw just don't feel like they're getting a consistent performance from you. Is that something that you're aware of and that you feel like you've addressed?

 

D. Alexander            

Well, it is something I'm aware of and that is something me and my coach have talked about. But you know every fighter's different, you know you've got to fight every fight different. If you fight every fighter the same then you're not learning anything or you need to change camps, because every fighter is different and every fighter brings something different to the table.

 

So sometimes you're going to have to take it slow and pick your shots, and sometimes there's a time where you saw me go forward. So it just depends on the fight. But we have talked about that, and I do need to stay more consistent with my attack and be more aggressive. But you're right about that.

 

Q                                

Devon, you sold a lot of tickets in St. Louis and you haven't fought there that much. Is that by design that you kind of wanted to get away from it, because I know there was some talk of some distractions when you were fighting at home? Or is there something that just hasn't really been brought to the forefront for you yet?

 

D. Alexander            

They just haven't brought it to the forefront lately. But I did want to get away from St. Louis for a minute just because I want them to miss me. After I've been gone for a few years they'll come out and they'll come out in full force because they miss me and I've been gone for a few years. So you know that's what I've been wanting to do. Also, it hasn't been approached yet, either, it's been all out-of-town fights, which is okay with me, too, because I want the whole world to know me.

 

Q                                

Does Soto Karass remind you of a guy, either an amateur early in your careerthat you've fought already? Do you feel like you've kind of been in with a Soto Karass already, just a different name?

 

D. Alexander            

Well, yes, I could say we've been in a similar style to Soto Karass. But like I said, every fighter is different, but I have been in fights against guys with his technique and his style of boxing. So, we definitely have to be prepared for whatever he brings, and we're going to be ready June 21. Like I said, it will be a statement fight for me.

 

Q                                

Is putting pressure on Devon something that you are taking into consideration and being that at times you are a pressure fighter do you think that you can eventually break him down as well?

 

J. Soto Karass

You know realistically I haven't even looked at his past fights; I haven't even looked at those fights. I'm going to use everything at my disposal. I'm going to follow the game plan, whatever my corner tells me to do. I do know how to box as well; I can box if I need to. If I have to pressure him I'm going to pressure him. I'm going to do whatever my corner tells me, but the most important thing is to follow the game plan that I've been working on in the gym.

 

Q                                

Do you have any issues fighting southpaws? Where does he sit with facing a southpaw after having a string of orthodox fighters?

 

J. Soto Karass          

He said you know, whenever you fight a southpaw, any fighter, they'll tell you that, yes, it's a little difficult fighting a southpaw, but that's why you put in the hard work, that's why you go to training camp, that's why you do all the work in the gym, and that's what I've been working on. I feel that if I put in the hard work in the gym, that gives me confidence to be able to go up in the ring and accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish.

 

E. Gomez                  

Okay, so now we're going to switch over to the Gary Russell fight against Vasyl Lomachenko. Once again, this is a world title fight; this is for the vacant WBO World Title.

 

To say a few words on behalf of Lomachenko I want to introduce to you Carl Moretti, Vice President of Boxing Operations for Top Rank.

 

Carl Moretti             

As Eric said, this is for the vacant WBO Featherweight Championship, a title that Vasyl fought for against Orlando Salido a couple of months ago and lost a controversial split decision. But we're obviously thankful to have the opportunity to fight for the world title again against a totally different style than Orlando Salido and a very talented fighter in Gary Russell. So we look forward to June 21 to raising our hands as world champion. Let me introduce his manager, Egis Klimas, and Vasyl Lomachenko. So, Egis, please introduce Vasyl and translate anything he'd like to let the media know.

 

Egis Klimas              

Hello, everybody. It's a pleasure to be here with you today. I'm Egis Klimas, manager of Vasyl Lomachenko, and here's Vasyl Lomachenko himself.

 

Vasyl Lomachenko  

Good day to everybody, I'm happy to be here to talk to you and to fight on June 21 for a world championship.

 

Eric Gomez

So now I'll introduce Gary Russell Jr. Gary Russell's undefeated (24-0 14 KOs). He fights out of Capitol Heights, Md. Gary is one of the most talented boxers in boxing today and a very exciting fighter. He's also an Olympian. In his 24 fights he's won pretty much every round of every fight, and he's getting his biggest opportunity fighting for this world title. This is going to be the toughest test of his career, but, as Gary's always done, he's going to look to shine and to bring home the world title.

 

So, Gary, if you could say a few words, please?

 

Gary Russell Jr.       

I appreciate you guys having me. Like you said, we are just getting out of the gym and it's our second workout of the day. We'll be ready in full force, and let's make it happen.

 

Q                                

You have been very critical of the fact that this fight is taking place, even though it is for a title. Have any of your feelings changed or do you still feel that he hasn't earned his position in this fight?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

Honestly, none of my feelings have changed. I feel as though I'm a firm in believer in God, and I believe that everything happens for a reason. If this is the guy that we have to use as a stepping-stone to navigate out of the level we're on to a different level then so be it. You know we'll have to stand ready, we'll work and we're ready to go.

 

Q                                

You also said in the past that this is a fight where Top Rank is going against an Al Haymon fighter. Did you want to share any feelings about that?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

Well, like I said, honestly it's a big honor to break the cycle of the Al Haymon and Bob Arum Top Rank and Golden Boy dissent, because I think you have these great fighters you know on both sides of the fence that the fans would love to see, but now it's a possibility to fulfill them or give them a possibility to see it, because of the ongoing situation with them.

 

I think it's a big breakthrough for me and Lomachenko to be able to be one of the first to actually do it, and hopefully this will open the door for a lot of the other fights that the fans would want to see take place.

 

Q                                

Carl, do you have any opinion about what he just said? I mean he says he sees this fight as a breakthrough. Obviously, this is just one fight, and there's a lot that has gone on in the so-called cold war. Do you have any opinion about what Gary just said?

 

C. Moretti                 

Well, I think that's what the media and social media likes to jump on, but you know at the end of the day I just can't see in the middle of the sixth round guys rooting for Al or Bob. It's a fight, and the fight Lomachenko has to worry about is Gary Russell and Gary Russell has got to worry about Lomachenko, and anything other than that is just Twitter talk, which people seem to love lately.

 

Q                                

Can you talk about Gary's comments; he has said in the past that Vasyl hasn't really earned his position to be in this fight. Obviously, he took a big step in going for a title in his second professional fight. Can you talk a little bit about that?

 

V. Lomachenko        

Gary thinks from one point-of-view and I see from one point-of-view. After June 21 everybody will see from a different point-of-view, and we can talk more details after the fight is over.

 

Q                                

There's a chance he is facing kind of an uphill climb potentially being 1-2 as a professional in only his third professional fight? I mean is there any pressure that he's feeling?

 

V. Lomachenko        

No, I don't feel any pressure. I don't feel anything, because I already have the one loss. I think Gary Russell is the one who needs to be thinking about that loss.

 

Q                                

How do you keep your emotions in check heading into such a big moment in your career?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

I feel like this is something I've worked for so long for. I think that it is destiny, and I believe that some people who haven't, they're about ready to find out. All I have to do is work hard. My family is my motivation. You get all your motivation and energy from them.

 

My worst fear that I always talk to my little brother about is disappointment. You know not disappointment from anyone else, but just disappointment from my family, my brothers, my mom, my dad, my wife, my kids, and etc. There's no one on the planet that will make me feel that way, other than them. This is an occupation, this is what we do, and it's something that I excel at. You know I can't wait.

 

Q                                

What's your thought on the criticism you've received in terms of the lack of quality opponents that you've faced so far as a pro?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

Oh, man, there's going to be criticism anyway. My dad told me you could never please everybody. You know we wanted to get to maybe 23- 0, you know 22-, 23-0 before we competed for a world title. And one of the reasons why is based on the fact that you can be an elite amateur, but when you go into professional it's a completely different world, you're not going full rounds, you know you're going 10, 12 hard rounds with guys that are putting in that extra work, and this is the only way that you can gain experience by getting these rounds in. We don't want to take things like that for granted by not getting the rounds in.

 

Q                                

Do you believe that on the way to the opportunity to fight for the world title that there should be a fight against a top-level opponent, a contender to earn that position?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

I feel as though it all goes back into the comfort level of the fighter as far as the level of experience that you get in with. I feel as though the experience that we got in with the fighters that we competed against was picture perfect, and it will show up on June 21.

 

Q                                

Is it his opinion between fighting Ramirez and Orlando Salido, a veteran, a world champion, that in just two professional fights his opponent level has already exceeded the opponent level that Gary had fought in his first 24 fights?

 

V. Lomachenko        

I didn't see all the fights, and I didn't see all the opponents, but as far as I saw opponents I can probably compare a few guys who were close to Jose Ramirez or maybe even to Jose Ramirez, but I've never seen any of them being as far as Salido.

 

Q                                

Do you feel like that experience against Salido, even though you're now just the two fights into your professional career, that he learned a lot in that fight that will help him when it comes time to fight Gary?

 

V. Lomachenko        

Of course I learned how to adjust to professional boxing, because I've never been in the ring so much. But I think just fighting the 12 rounds with Orlando Salido I got to experience more if I would be fighting just regular level guys for two years.

 

Q                                

You guys were both, Gary and Vasyl, great, great amateur fighters; did you ever come across each other in the amateurs, did you ever spar with each other, did you ever fight each other as amateurs?

 

V. Lomachenko        

We did not, but I believe we had one opponent both of us faced in the amateurs and that was a Russian who Gary Russell lost to and a couple of years later I defeated.

 

Q

Gary, had you and Vasyl ever encountered each other as amateurs and/or fought each other, ever sparred. He said no. He said that he beat a guy that had beaten you a couple years earlier before he fought him. Do you have any recollection of that, or did you ever fight him or spar him?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

I've never fought him, never sparred him. I honestly don't even know if we had a common opponent. If he said we did then it's very possible. We both competed internationally. I honestly didn't hear about Lomachenko until I was already a professional,.

 

Q                                

Obviously, by taking on Gary, you're not slowing down your pace at all. Was there a discussion about doing that, though? What's the urgency?

 

V. Lomachenko        

Well, I'm not looking at it like a ladder, like I'm stepping up or stepping down. I just have another chance to fight for the title, and you know this is my dream and desire is to get one and I have a chance and, of course, I'm going to take it. Then after the Salido fight I didn't know who it was going to be, Gary Russell or somebody else. I didn't care, I just said make me the fight for the title.

 

Q                                

Gary, was Vasyl ever on your radar, even whether as an amateur or even once he turned pro a couple of years ago?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

Like I said, in the amateurs I'd never heard of him. In the amateurs the only time I heard of Lomachenko was once he had turned professional and there was a possibility I'd be competing against him for the world title. I never ran across him in amateurs at all.

 

Q                                

Was there ever frustration on your part about wondering, you have all this talent, but yet something was just holding you back from getting to the top level?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

No, no, I never had any frustrations. Like I said, my team and me had a game plan that we wanted to get the strength in as a professional. Like you said, you see these guys before that have been stellar amateurs and can't make the necessary adjustments as professionals. We wanted to get the rounds in, we wanted to learn the ins and outs as a professional before we competed for a world title. We had a little minor hiccup here and there, but other than that we stayed on course and we're right on track.

 

Q                                

So I want to give you the opportunity, what fights have been negotiated where guys have wanted to get into the ring and for whatever reason it just didn't happen?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

Oh, we wanted to fight Lopez; it never happened. We wanted to fight Johnny Gonzalez, he didn't take the fight. Well, it is what it is. I think everything in life happens for a reason. I think this worked out perfectly for me to get my first world title against Lomachenko.

 

Q

Have you watched his two fights, and if so what did you take away from it?

 

G. Russell Jr.           

We did watch his first professional fight and the Salido fight. I've seen from the work that he still competes like an amateur, he still fights like an amateur that turned professional, he fights like an amateur that hasn't gotten the rounds in.

 

I think that he's talented, but I think that he's overlooking just the rounds that you have to get in as a professional to get the certain experience in.

 

Q                                

Do you feel like now that the stage is set this is definitely the right time for this title fight?

 

G. Russell                 

This is definitely the right time for the title fight. Like I said and Lomachenko would probably understand where I'm coming from on this, you know when you have these guys that are competing for the Olympics what they normally do to familiarize that particular country you know with the other countries that are out there they compete in duals. They compete in duals, U.S. versus Canada, U.S. versus Cuba, etc. The reason why is to gain the experience and familiarize yourself with different opposition.

 

Q                                

What do you feel separates you guys come June 21?

 

G. Russell                 

Oh, of course I think my hand speed will definitely be a big factor. I understand you could probably bring guys in to kind of mimic my style, but if they have the hand speed they don't have the punching ability, and if they have my punching ability they don't have my hand speed. There's no way possible for them to duplicate what it is that I'm going to bring to the table on June 21.

 

Q

Does he feel the criticism that fighting for a couple titles with only three fights is kind of unfair and unwarranted being that it's kind of a double standard?

 

V. Lomachenko        

Not everybody has a chance to go so far, and when I thought I had the chance I worked hard for it, and I think I earned it. Again, somebody can fight five years and not have a single chance to get to a title fight. I'm going to do it. I'm confident I can do it, and I will try to do it.

 

K. Swanson

Okay, that is our last question from the media, but I actually have a question for both of the fighters that I'd like to ask so we can have it on the record. Sunday is Father's Day and I'm not sure if Lomachenko knows the tradition here in America. We have a Father's Day every year, and this Sunday is Father's Day where everybody honors their dads.

 

I was at the Boxing Hall of Fame last weekend, and Tito Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Joe Calzaghe all recognized their fathers for the role that they have played in their careers. I also understand that both Vasyl and Gary's dads are involved in their boxing careers, so I'd like to get a comment from both of you as to what Father's Day means. Gary, you're also a dad, but how has your dad played a role in your career, and do you plan on doing anything special this Father's Day as you get ready for this fight? And then we'll ask Vasyl about his.

 

G. Russell                 

My father matters a lot, man, when it comes to my career. He's the painter, I'm just the canvas. You know I think a lot of times they give all the fighters the credit and forget about the coaches that mold the fighters from the ground up, and I watched my dad put his life on hold to make sure that my life is 100% correct. It means a lot. He taught me how to become a father to my little ones. So he means a lot to me and my career, but more importantly he means more to me as a father.

 

It's difficult when you have a dad who is also your coach, because sometimes he'll make me feel like the worst fighter ever in the gym. Then we'll get home and he wants to sit down and watch a movie like he didn't just yell at me. So it's definitely difficult, but we work on it and it's all right.

 

K. Swanson

Great, and do you have any special plans for this Sunday?

 

G. Russell

My only plan is we come home with the world title, and I let my dad hold the belt.

 

K. Swanson              

Okay great, and now, Lomachenko.

 

V. Lomachenko

Unfortunately we do not celebrate the U.S. Father's Day here in the Ukraine, Russia or the former Soviet Union. We don't know that kind of a day or celebration. But I'm going to move Father's Day from this Sunday to June 21.

 

K. Swanson              

Okay. Great. And what role has his dad played in his training?

 

V. Lomachenko        

Everything I have today, everything that is in me today, I owe to him. He's here next to me, and he is always with me.

 

K. Swanson              

Okay. Thank you so much. That was really important for us. We're going to be able to use that to help promote the fight too.

 

We appreciate everybody being on the call today, and again, the fight is soon approaching. We look forward to everybody covering and writing stories about the fight, and thank you so much for joining us today.

 

E. Gomez                  

Great. Thank you, Kelly. Thank you all for being on the call. Thank you, Carl, for preparing the call, and we'll see everybody June 21. Tickets are available; you can get them at the box office, at StubHub, you can get them online, or you can call. Thank you to Showtime.

 

It's going to be a great event. Thank you all for being on the line.

Share this story

Team FightNights

  • Quitano
  • Gabriel J Gonzalez
  • Jake Donovan
  • Francisco Salazar

must see

  • Brook vs Spence
  • Ward vs Kovalev
  • Miura vs Berchelt