Andre Berto vs. Devon Alexander & Peter Quillin vs. J’Leon Love Conference Call Transcript
Thanks everybody for joining us. This is a terrific PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes card live at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT. Preceding it on FS2 and FOX Deportes at 5:30 pm ET/2:30 pm PT, there’ll be a show that features Marcus Browne versus Lenin Castillo and Brooklyn’s Luis Collazo versus Bryant Perrella, in what will be a good lead in to our two main event fights.
Tickets for the live event, which is co-promoted with TGB Promotions, are on sale now. They can be purchased online ticketmaster.com, nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000, and also the Ticketmaster box office at NYCB Live. And for those who don’t know, NYBC Live is what we used to call the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
This is really a very meaningful fight card because pretty much every fighter on this card understands that they’re in a must-win situation. In Andre Berto and Devon Alexander you have two, two-time former world champions, both of whom want to fight under the biggest lights in the biggest fights possible and they must win in this battle against each other in the welterweight division.
Andre Berto I’m very acquainted with. I promoted him coming out of 2004 Olympics. He’s had a terrific career and he’s looking to continue that career on the highest levels, and he is certainly going to have his hands full with Devon Alexander on August 4th. Andre and Devon, want to say a couple words?
It’s going to be a tremendous fight card. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve had a tremendous training camp and I know the other side is ready and like I said I’m excited and look forward to it.
For me I’m just trying to get back in the ring. I’m excited to show people why I’m still one of the top, elite welterweights in the world. I want to prove to people that I’m still in my prime and every fight is meaningful in my career at this point. So I just want to thank everybody who made this possible. I want to thank Lou and TGB and New York for hosting this fight, and I’m just excited, excited to be against Berto and I’m excited to see what he’s got. I’m preparing for a lot of Berto so training camp was tremendous and I’m just ready.
We also have on the line trainer extraordinaire, Kevin Cunningham, trainer of Devon Alexander, one of the best trainers, best guys in this business. So if anyone has questions for Kevin you can also throw those out, but I’m going to open it up for questions to Andre Berto and Devon Alexander. So moderator we can go to the queue.
Andre, what is your motivation these days to keep going?
Everything is motivation nowadays is to, finish off the way we want to finish off. The fight with Porter, Devon knows as well, he’s an MMA fighter and he does a lot of rough things and rough tactics. And for me that’s not the way I really wanted to try to finish things off towards the end of my career, and that’s the situation.
I’ve had a tremendous career and for me I believe that I’m in the right head space now just to finish this thing off the way we want to finish it off and that’s strong.
What would then be the ideal way to finish it off?
I’m just 34 years old and we’re still young, we’re still vibrant. We still have all our marbles, still have all our money, and we just want to really try to start and try to make it the new trend to try to step away from this game early and with all our marbles. But of course we want to try to make sure just to put everything into this game towards the end and that’s where I am right now.
I had a nice bit of time off to really heal and really just get in a new type of vibrant mode for this upcoming camp and it’s definitely showed in boot camp. And so I’m looking forward to showing all the skills fight night.
Where do you believe a win would lead to?
I believe in myself and Devon. We’re at a place that our names are heavy enough in the game that it could lead us directly to a title shot. This is an important fight. I’ve known Devon for a long time, since the amateurs, I’ve known Kevin since the amateurs, and Devon’s brother too.
I’ve got much respect for those guys. I haven’t really got too much of the trash talking and crazy stuff to say, but I know they’re going to come prepared because on this side we’re definitely prepared. So I believe it’s just going to be a tremendous fight.
Devon, do you think that most people look at your last fight and even though they may see a draw they say that you won the fight?
I think so. Soon after the fight I think everybody know that I won convincingly. I was going out there to dominate completely. He had a lot of fans down there and I’m not making no excuse but I thought I wo, but, that’s part of the game. I’m glad a lot of people saw it as a win and they got to make their own conclusion from the fight. So I was happy about that. But I’m just glad everybody got a chance to see it.
Are you of that same opinion that even though it’s not an official eliminator it could potentially lead you to another title shot?
Absolutely, absolutely. Me and my coach never shy away from any challenge, any opponent, anybody, my whole career. So this fight can catapult us to a world title shot and that’s my goal. That’s my goal. That’s what I mean by comeback. That was my goal to get a world title and that’s what I’m focusing on. I’m hungry. I just turned 31. I’m hungry and I feel refreshed, I feel vibrant, and I just want to show people that I’m still one of the elite welterweights in the division. I’m still right here. I’m still the same guy that people saw four or five years ago. So this fight, this win will, and it should, put me in a title fight soon.
Devon, how confident are you going into this fight and how do you assess the threat level of Andre Berto at this stage in his career?
Well the threat level from Berto is I’m go into this fight like he was 25 years old. This is the elite level. So I’ll be prepared for whatever he brings, whatever he’s going to be doing in there. So I’m preparing for a 25-year-old Berto. I’m preparing for a big bad Berto and that’s where my mind’s at. I’m not taking this fight lightly. I’m not taking nothing away from Berto. This is going to be an awesome, extremely good fight and that’s what I’m preparing for.
Errol Spence in particular has been very avoided at 147, or at least that’s the perception. Would you take a fight with him going forward?
Oh absolutely, absolutely. It just depends on what my coach and my team want for me. I’d love to get in there with Errol Spence. I’d love to get in there with Keith Thurman. It depends who’s available at that particular time. A lot of people they like to pick the easiest opponent nowadays so we’ll just have to see when we cross that road. What I’m focusing on is Andre Berto and getting the job done August 4.
For Kevin Cunningham, I’d like to ask you the same question I asked Devon upfront. How do you rate Andre Berto at this stage in his career?
It’s a serious threat. Any time that you are an Olympian, any time that you are multiple time world champion, the threat is real. He’s still got speed, he’s always got power, and he’s got a huge heart. So he’s a serious threat. Anybody that takes him as a joke obviously doesn’t know boxing and doesn’t know to evaluate fighters.
This fight is going to be a fan-friendly fight because there haven’t been too many fights where Devon or Andre Berto has been in where you would call it boring. Everybody has one or two here and there if they had illustrious careers like both of these guys, but for the most part, both of them have had fan-friendly fights and I think this one’s going to be great. They’re two of the biggest names in the welterweight division and I think it was great for this fight to be put on network television because people like watching names that they’re familiar with.
Andre can you assess Devon’s threat level at this point in his career?
Of course my confidence is high but at the same time, when you got a guy that’s a two-time world champion and he has high level amateur experience under his belt, you have to bring your best. He had the draw with Victor Ortiz but I believe he got the win there.
Victor Ortiz is the type of guy that either he’s going to be alive one night or another night he’ll fall apart. You just never know which one that’ll you’ll get. He’s a former world champion as well. I just know that in situations like this, it’s the fight game so anything can happen that night.
It just bugs me out at times how people will downplay another fighter just because of their last performance and not knowing what they’ve achieved and just really just kind of discard their skills. Devon Alexander, he’s highly skilled and he took some time off. I know about his situation. I know about that whole situation that happened. But he’s here and he’s a very good fighter and he’s at a point in his life that I believe he took a lot of flak, because of the Ortiz fight. So I think think he took that energy into this camp. And that’s all I’m looking for.
Same thing with when I fought Victor Ortiz the first time. I overlooked him and he beat me. But when I went into the second fight, I didn’t care how he looked, the fight before or two fights before, I came in there to handle business. I came there as a dog for whichever Victor Ortiz showed up, and that’s the same situation here.
I believe that Devon Alexander is going to be at his best. I know Kevin Cunningham. He’s a great coach as well and he’s a different type of coach. He’s going to drill that stuff in your head, and he’s going to let him know that this is a do-or-die opportunity for him and he’s going to voice it a lot and he’s going to let you understand. So it’s going to be up to Devon if he’s going to rise up to the occasion, and the same thing on my end. We had a great camp and I’m ready to do what I got to do. I need to come out with a win.
Devon, how do you expect the long layoff to affect Andre in this fight?
We’ve been doing this our whole lives so it affects everybody different. Everybody’s body is different and I can’t say how it’s going to affect him. But for me, it took me a couple rounds to get my legs under me. I was like okay I’m feeling decent and after the fourth or fifth round I was like this is a breeze, and I struck something good and I felt like I was there. So everybody’s different and I know for me it only took me a short time to snap back into my groove and get the job done.
Andre, how do you expect to feel in the ring that night after being off for 15, 16 months?
I think I’m going to feel great because I’ve had a tremendous training camp. When you get to this point in your career, we’re not 22, 23 anymore, so I believe that rest is key. I believe that at times recovery is key because the knowledge isn’t going anywhere. It’s almost like muscle memory getting back in there, and we’ve been doing it for so long.
But the rest and the recovery is key and I believe I just came back into camp just vibrant and just felt great. It showed all training camp and I’ve had an extensive training camp and I’ve had a lot of great small fighters to spar. I even brought in a few of these Olympic guys to come in and work as well. I feel sharp, fast and strong.
Andre, after you lost to Porter, how close did you come to retiring? How much of that enter you mind and how did you wrestle with that?
I mean with the Porter fight it was just a lot. There was just a lot going on. It was my first time realistically being in a fight and taking that type of damage when it comes to headbutts. He didn’t punch hard at all. He didn’t really hurt me on any punches.
I was just so confused at the time on how many headbutts I was taking and the referee just wasn’t saying nothing about it, and Virgil was just trying to keep me calm because he knows me. He knows I was going to go right back with some other type of foul, but he just tried to keep me, on task.
I just really just wanted to take some time off after that because I took some hard butts and that was the first time in all my fights, to be realistic, even though I had a few tough scraps, that was the first time I had a concussion. I just really just wanted to take some time off and really heal up nice like I needed to and spend time with the family.
So I just really didn’t really dwell on it too long. I think everybody got a chance to see and I believe everybody put Shawn Porter in the place as well where they don’t want to fight him neither. That’s why it took him so long to had to get a fight now as well. After coming off a win nobody wanted to fight that guy, man. Nobody want to deal with that type of mess.
We’re going to move on to the co-featured bout. And I before I introduce the combatants in the co-featured bout, I just want to point out there are some terrific world-class fighters fighting on the undercard on the show. Sergey Lipinets will be on the card opening up the FOX and FOX Deportes telecast, plus Richard Commey will be on the card, and Alicia Napoleon will be defending her WBA Middleweight title against Hannah Rankin in a very significant female fight.
The co-feature, much like the main event, features two well-known fighters that need to win, that are on the comeback trails, that are looking for a shot at a world title, and this is a critical crossroads fight for both of these gentlemen. I promoted a number of fights for both of these fighters. I go back with Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin since he was a kid. I promoted J’Leon Love before my friends at Mayweather Promotions, who now promote him.
They’re two guys I like a lot and also two fighters that know what’s at stake, and I know you’re going to see the best out of both Peter Quillin and J’Leon Love on August 4 at Nassau Coliseum, or what’s now known as NYCB Live. First Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin. Pete and J’Leon, can you say a few words?
Yes. I want to thank you, Lou, for having me on this card. When I went pro, I turned pro with Lou on his first card at Broadway Boxing, and it’s such a pleasure to be on this card again in front of my hometown fans. I’m hoping I’m going to be blessed that everybody come out and see Kid Chocolate get on the road back to the top.
Hey, what’s going on, Lou? Hello. Hello to everybody. Yes, listen, it’s a blessing to be back on the stage again with Berto, Devon Alexander, Peter Quillin, Commey and Lipinets, all of those guys on the card. It’s a blessing to be on this great card as the co-feature. Shout out to Lou. We’ve always had a good relationship. He’s done very well with me early in parts of my career. There’s nothing but respect for everybody on here.
Do you feel more comfortable fighting at 168 since you don’t have to cut as much weight as you did at Middleweight?
Of course, yes. I thought maybe I should have went up in weight a long time ago but timing tells everything and timing heals everything, so I guess we went 168 at this time it’s probably the best time for me to do it. I think J’Leon is the perfect guy for me to mix it up with. He’s been at 168 for a while and if I want to mix it up with those big guys I have to be able to get through him.
How does it feel to be fighting and not just back in New York but also fighting in a marquee matchup on FOX?
Man, it’s a special privilege to be on primetime on FOX as well as being in front of my hometown fans here in New York. It’s going to be my first time being here at the Nassau Coliseum and I can’t wait. This is where I built my name. I’m just excited to be back. The level of intensity for this fight is right there. So I just got to put my best foot forward.
J’Leon, what would a win over Peter Quillin mean for you?
Peter Quillin is a former world champion at 160. He’s done a great job when he was there. He took some time off but he’s back and so we’re looking at him as the same world champion Peter Quillin. So a win over him will definitely set me up and is exactly what I need to challenge for a title.
Do you feel that there’s more pressure to win this fight or are you approaching this as you would any other fight with the same mentality and same preparation?
I’m definitely not approaching it as just the same. This is it. This is my chance to make it happen for myself and I’m fighting with one of the elites out there. So at the end of the day this is definitely my time to shine and I’ll definitely do what I need to do to be at the top of the game and challenge for one of these titles. So I can’t look at it as this is just a regular fight or a regular person I’m trying to get in there with.
Peter, I was just wondering where you see yourself now at 168. Do you see yourself in the top three? Do you see yourself as having to do more to establish yourself and would you be ready for a title shot if given the opportunity after this fight?
Yes, I will be ready for a title shot after this fight. If that is what is meant for me, yes I’ll be ready. Being at 160 was very hard to make the weight. I feel very comfortable at 168. I feel like this is my place, and I’m always trying to establish myself. We can never say we’re ready for something, I just got to be well prepared. So that’s how my vision is.
Of course down the line maybe in the future maybe me and Danny Jacobs having a rematch but it cannot be at 160 pounds. I want to campaign at 168 and I’m going to see how I feel at this weight. I’m going to close with progress. I’ve been out of the ring for such a long time. I was in California training with Virgil Hunter.
I made the decision to come back home to be closer to my family, my wife and my kids, and now I’m here and I’m training under the watchful eye of Aureliano Sosa, who is working with like guys like Chris Colbert, he has a lot of passion and he’s very dedicated. So I feel very motivated, feel positive and I feel like I’m ready to go.
Are you wanting to be more active or is this partly factors outside of your control that have led these gaps?
Well a lot of these things happen, you would figure like the business, the boxing would have kept it out but it wasn’t the business or boxing, it was a lot of personal issues with my family but also who I would decide to train with, and then when I decide to train with Virgil it was his scheduling. He had a very busy schedule working with other fighters.
Me and J’Leon, we’ve been training since January for this fight. Some mishaps came about and, I didn’t want to keep letting this type of fight be on the stove and getting too hot and then eventually burn out. So I made like a decision to come back home, find somebody comfortable close to home for me to be able to train with and look to put my best foot forward.
We’ll see how Kid Chocolate look. I’ve been looking phenomenal in the gym but, I think the fight is always different from the gym. So I’m looking to go ahead and showcase my talent and you can guys can decide how well I do and we can take it from there.
J’Leon, from my perspective this is by far your biggest fight thus far. How do rate the stakes of this?
I only have one loss. It’s not like the end of the road. Even with Peter Quillin like it’s one loss to a really good elite fighter. I mean that’s it. So it’s definitely not the end of the road, just what you guys make it to be. But at the end of the day, there’s definitely pressure on anybody to win any fight, whether it’s a mediocre fight or a big fight, it doesn’t matter.
You want to put your best foot forward and come out with the win and keep moving from there. I’m going to come out and be the best J’Leon Love I’m going to be. I’m well prepared. I’ve been wanting to fight Peter for a long time. And nothing against Peter, he’s a former title holder. I was chasing the title so nothing against him, I just want to be champion.
I’ve been wanting this fight. So I’ve been busting my ass for a long time and I’m sure he has too. I don’t look at it as there’s too much pressure. I don’t take it as pressure. I’m just going to go out there, do what I need to do in this gym, do what I need to do on the road and continue to grind and whatever God has planned for me, that’s where it’s going to be. So at the end of the day, I don’t put no pressure on myself to go out there deliver like I’m supposed to.
Do you think you’ll have any relative size advantage between both of you if you think you’re both about the same size?
Yes. I’ve been at 168 for a while. At 160, it was a little bit of a struggle. As I got older and stronger and moved more, it became more hard to make 160. So yes it was the best thing for me to move up to 168. I make it there and there’s no struggle me for, but I’m strong, I feel good, and I’m doing it the healthy way.
I don’t think it’s an advantage. Everybody isn’t walking around like okay Peter Quillin is fighting other 168 but it’s not like he’s walking around at 154 fighting at 68, he’s coming down to 168. So he’s a grown man. I don’t think it’s an advantage at all. I think Peter Quillin’s going to be the best Peter Quillin he can be and I’m going to be the best J’Leon Love I can be.
So this is going to be a really good fight. I can’t wait. I know Peter can’t wait. This has been a long time coming. These camps on top of camps, it’s going to be a good fight. No advantage for anybody I think. I can’t wait to fight him. And New York is not my first time so I’m looking forward to this whole thing.
J’Leon do you consider this fight a must-win?
Sure. If anybody wants a title shot and to win a belt or even be a contender to go for a belt, you better win. That’s it. This is it. You’d better win. You got to go out there, put it all on the line and win. Period. That’s what it takes. We’re fighters, we’re gladiators. We’re elite. This is what it is right here.
Go out there show that you want a title, it’s the difference between a prospect and a contender. Go out there and bust your ass in front of everybody and do what you’re supposed to do. like to look at it that way.
There’s no pressure for me because I know what I want. I’ve been ready for this. So at the end of the day, here’s my chance to go out there and do it. You never get a free chance in this game. It ain’t like basketball, where you can lose and it’s a team loss and hey don’t worry you got a chance to still make it to the playoffs or the championship. No.
If you lose too many times, it’s over with. People don’t look at you like that anymore. People think you’re a has been or he’s old, he’s done, this, that and the other, and it’s over. That’s what boxing is. So go out there and dominate. Do what you’re supposed to: win. Period.
How difficult is it at this point in your career to transition from being in training to balancing the family life?
The motivation has definitely changed. I’m 35. I’ve gotten to witness what old age can feel like, but I’m very fortunate to say I haven’t partied a lot in my career. I’ve been in the gym a lot, many years of my life. Being around my family I think the hardest thing was letting another man tell me how to sacrifice for my family.
So I was like on the road all the time. I was traveling and I miss some very special moments with my kids growing up. I feel like a FaceTime dad at the time and for the most part a lot of special fighters reached out to me when I was making the decision to be closer to my family, I was asking for advice as far as how many fighters train at home with their family, and what I found out is a lot of fighters train at home with their family.
Early in my career I basically sacrificed going to camp and being away, being secluded, not around people but now I don’t need that because I don’t have problems with partying. It’s a schedule. And my family kind of work around my schedule. My kids they eat around their dad.
We all pretty much eat healthy outside of when I’m getting ready for a camp so it is much easier when I have a whole family who don’t eat like fast foods and they kind of understand what I do. My kids know that I’m a boxer. My son definitely knows. He comes to the gym once a week with me just kicking it with me and just to experience what Dad do for a living.
My wife has been probably one of the biggest supporters I have. She’s got a full time job and she basically makes herself available for whatever I need her for. I got all the real support system that at the end of the day if anything ever happened in a boxing match, I usually come back home to my family anyway and they accept me in my condition.
My biggest thing was learning what kind of leader I’m trying to be for my household. Everybody pretty much follows my lead in my household, my wife and my kids. I just want to do stuff out of the goodness of my family and most importantly out of sense of God, being righteous to what God is doing with my family and staying obedient to His plan.
I just again want to point out this great card. August 4, NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Coliseum on Uniondale Long Island. PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes fights begin at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT, FS2 and FOX Deportes at 5:30 pm ET/2:30 pm PT with Marcus Browne against Lenin Castillo, and Luis Collazo versus Bryant Perrella. Tickets can be purchases ticketmaster.com, nycblive.com, at the Ticketmaster box office at NYCB Live or by calling 1-800-745-3000.