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Fundora Vs. Cota & Lopez Vs. Santana Media Conference Call Transcript

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Ray Flores – On today’s call, we’re going to be hearing from some of the fighters that will be competing on the Errol Spence Jr. vs Danny Garcia on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View undercard. It all comes your way on Saturday December 5 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Fans will be allowed to attend. COVID restrictions will be in place. You can get tickets and they are available at SeatGeek.com. We come to you live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with three exciting matchups featuring all Mexican and Mexican-American fighters.

We will kick off the pay-per-view with a former champion Julio Ceja going head to head against contender and Eduardo Ramirez in a WBC featherweight title eliminator.

This fight coming up is one that I have my eye set on. It is going to be pure pandemonium and it features all action contenders Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and Francisco “Chia” Santana in a 10 round welterweight showdown.

The co-main event Sebastian Fundora, fresh off of a win topping Nate Gallimore back in August. He’s in action as he matches up against Jorge Cota in in a WBC super welterweight title eliminator matchup. The event all brought to you by TGB Promotions, Man Down Promotions and DSG Promotions.

And now, let me introduce the President of TGB Promotions. This man will no doubt go down as probably the best matchmaker in all of boxing history, my dear friend, Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
Good afternoon and welcome everyone. And thanks for joining us for this conference call for what I believe is going to be an extremely exciting night of boxing. We have a spectacular undercard.

There’s going to be non-stop action leading up to the highly anticipated Errol Spence Jr. versus Danny Garcia welterweight unification bout. Sampson Boxing’s unbeaten super welterweight contender, Sebastian Fundora. He put the boxing world on notice with his exciting performance against Nate Gallimore back in August and will be taking on Jorge Cota.

And then we have the all action veteran Josesito Lopez and Francisco Santana squaring off in a 10 round welterweight bout. And this is the type of fight that we could just go put in a phone booth.

I just can’t wait for the opening bell for them to say go for this fight. Really any one of these fights could steal the whole show. So, I’m really looking forward to this card and Ray said, tickets are on sale now which is so great to be able to say.

We’re looking forward to having a live audience and exciting event. And now, I’ll send it back to Ray to get things started. Thanks.

Flores
Thank you very much, Tom. And yes, we have a stellar undercard. Let’s meet one of the principals involved in one of these thrilling matchups. This man, his record 25 wins, 8 losses, 1 draw, 12 come by way of knockout.

He hasn’t shied away from anybody, fighting top competition at welterweight and super welterweight throughout the course of his career. He challenged Jermell Charlo, fought Julian Williams to a draw and most recently lost a decision to Jarett Hurd, he also pulled off a notable upset over Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in a welterweight fight back in 2018.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the always exciting and entertaining Francisco “Chia” Santana.

Francisco Santana
I’m excited and I’m very, very thankful and grateful for another great opportunity to be able to fight once again and in an all action fight. People that know boxing know that Josesito and myself, it’s like it’s another version of the Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward type of style fight. You know, we both come forward. It’s the same versions of each other. So, I think the fans are in for a good treat.

Q
I know you guys are both California guys who’ve been around the sport for a long time. Do you guys know each other at all?

Santana
No, obviously we know of each other but I’ve never necessarily met him or introduced myself. We both at one we both started out back in the days with Mr. Dan Goossen, may he rest in peace, that was my original promoter back in the days.

So we would see each other a lot on different cards. But other than that, no, I’ve never had the privilege to meet him.

Q
How many similarities are there between you two?

Santana
I let people compare us. Essentially, it is that we do have a similar record, similar type of style. We both come forward, all action.

When they mention my name or they mention his name, I think that boxing fans know that they’re in for a good fight, because I don’t think either him or I have ever been in a dull fight. So, I feel like that’s definitely a big similarity with each other.

Outside of boxing, I don’t know. I don’t know how he is outside of boxing. I’m just a low-key family man. I’m actually here at work right now. So, I’m in my office away kind of secluded myself for this interview.

So, I don’t know what he’s like outside of work but inside the ring, I think that we are very similar.

Q
Looking back, and maybe your last couple losses, what have you feel that you’ve needed to change or what have you learned from those experiences?

Santana
I still haven’t stopped learning. So, a lot of it has to do with that, and just being able to have confidence in myself to be able to just go out there and display it all out there, put it all out there.

This is like do or die type of fight. So, I got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’m just going to go out there and just basically just leave it all out there.

Like I said I’ve got everything to gain, nothing to lose. This is my go big or go home type of fight. So, as far as past experiences, it’s always a learning experience. I just fought the biggest super welterweight out there.

And that’s not necessarily, my weight class, even though I used to campaign at that weight class back in the days, but not necessarily my best weight. I was just doing it because I didn’t have the proper training or proper coaches back in the days but nonetheless, I don’t dwell on the past. I live in the future and live in the present and just want to be a better person every single day. So, I can be a better man tomorrow.

Q
How are you feeling coming into this particular bout seeing as it will be at 147 pounds coming off your fight against Jarrett Hurd?

Santana
I’m naturally a 147. I’m not at 154 like when I fought Jarrett Hurd. I didn’t really have to make weight practically. I think I hydrated a couple pounds or not even hydrated, I just went and ate.

This is my natural weight class. So, I just have to make the best of it, like I said this is go big or go home.

Q
Do you think that you’ll have to be I will say like a lot tougher then Lopez going into this fight?

Santana
At this point, I just have to prepare for whatever he brings. I have to be prepared for the best of Lopez out there. So, if he is tough, I have to be tougher. If he wants to be clever, I have to be more clever.

If he wants to display certain skills, I have to display even better skills. So, I just got to bring everything up, no matter what he brings to the table.

Q
How do you think being in a lot of tough fights that went the distance builds you going into this particular fight against Josesito Lopez, who is a tough fighter like yourself?

Santana
To me, it’s just another day. It’s another day of boxing. It’s something that I’ve trained for moments like this to be able to test myself once again.

And what better way to test myself than with someone like Josesito Lopez, who is another version of myself, basically. So, I’m testing myself with another version of myself.
Q
How will having fans in attendance play a factor into feeding off the energy of the crowd while you’re in the ring there?

Santana
Well once you get hit, you don’t even realize if there’s a crowd or not. Your blood kind of boils up a little bit and you just go.

So, I’m sure that once that bell rings and we start throwing punches it’ll be the same as always. Him and I, we can probably fight in a garage, with no people there and it will still be a hell of a fight.

As far as the crowd, I’m sure every fighter learns to just tune it out. It is what it is and we’re going to go out there and let our hands go.

Q
What did you take away from that fight with Hurd that you think you can bring into this fight coming up?

Santana
Well, it will first of all, I fought the biggest super welterweight out there. I do have a good chin right? I showed that being able to hang in there with such a big boy like himself and a great fighter.

So, coming into this fight, I was able to realize that I am a little sturdier and little stronger than what I thought.

Flores
Francisco do you have any final thoughts as you get ready for your December 5 showdown against Josesito Lopez?

Santana
Everybody just tune in. You’re in for a real treat. Everybody, obviously like myself included, we’re looking forward for the main event. But also, this is an all action packed undercard and especially Josesito Lopez versus myself.

So, you guys don’t want to miss it because when you guys think of Josesito and myself, you guys know that we never disappoint and we’re not going to start now.

Flores
Thank you very much Francisco. Now, let’s talk with the man who will be standing across the rings from you on December 5 as he has beaten the likes of Victor Ortiz, faced Canelo Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, Jessie Vargas narrowly came up short at the hands of Keith Thurman back in January of 2019 in a world title fight.

Most recently having knocked out John Molina Jr. last September at STAPLES Center. He’s trained under the guidance of renowned coach Robert Garcia. He comes to us from Riverside, California. 37 wins, 20 of those by knockout against 8 losses.

Ladies and gentlemen, anytime he’s inside the ring, he produces fireworks. Please welcome “The Riverside Rocky” Josesito Lopez. Josesito?

Josesito Lopez
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for having me. I’m thankful and glad to be fighting December 5 and I’m healthy. Training camp has been going great. And I’m excited for this fight with just a couple more weeks to go.

Ray Flores: Now, we’ll turn it over to the operator for questions from the media for Josesito Lopez.

Q
First question is as far as your time working with Robert Garcia, describe some of the changes that you’ve seen in your boxing style in your fighting over the last year or two that you guys have been together.

Lopez
He’s helped me become a smart technician. And then we have one of the best gyms in the entire world with the most amount of quality fighters.

So, as far as experience, I bring the experience but quality fighters in sparring helps and they have the best of the best here. No shortage of sparring, and good work and we all push each other. So it’s been all good since I made the move.

Q
As far as personal improvements that you’ve seen in your own boxing game, what are the one or two things that you feel that you’ve really tightened up as far as your performances?

Lopez
Well, when it comes to the top level of boxing, it’s just the smallest of mistakes that can cost a lot. And I’ve made those mistakes in the past and I’ve managed to correct them.

And then Robert helped me to tweak small things that have made a big change in my boxing. So those small changes can – it goes a long way for me.

Q
Do you feel a sense of that you have not as much time as you used to in order to try to get that championship?

Lopez
Yeah, I’m a little higher in age. I feel that and I know that. But I feel very, very good with Robert right now. And I’m at a good time in my life where I’m balancing experience with strength and quality work with Robert.

There has been nothing but good things, positive things throughout with him. So, I’m excited.

Q
How do you see this fight playing out, ideally, what would you like to see occur?

Lopez
Well, obviously, ideally, I would like to come out with a victory, but I’m prepared for a war. I’m prepared for anything that Francisco comes to bring to the ring. He’s a tough, gritty fighter that always comes to fight and I expect that. I expect fireworks, I expect quite possibly the fight of the night. So I’m ready for anything.

Q
In terms of your mentality, how do you get to that level mentally, of knowing you’re going to be in for what many considered to be a war on December 5?

Lopez
Well, mindset wise, every fight is the most important fight of my career. This one, no less. So, I come into the table as if it could possibly be my last fight and I bring everything. I trained hard. I focused. I’ve been away from home.

Q
Do you think that after not fighting for roughly about a year or so, has it been good for you or has it refreshed you?

Lopez
Well you got to make the most of it. I wish I could have fought a little sooner but I make the most of it. I stayed active in the gym. I’m constantly training, working with other guys. I’ve had a few camp right before the shutdown. I was helping Mikey Garcia prepare for Jessie Vargas.

So I’ve been training. I think for the most part, I’m just thankful and happy to be able to be fighting in this year, really a time where some fighters won’t even get to fight this year. So, I’m glad I can.

Q
Have you seen Francisco fight? What is it that you see in his game that you think that you may be able to exploit?

Lopez
Well, it’s not necessarily what I see in him. I just think I’m a better fighter than I was before. And we both bring grit and determination to the fight, I think that’s been clear.

I just feel like I’ve been quite a bit smarter in my boxing throughout my last few fights. And I’m able to have that ring IQ that’s necessary for a fight like this.

Q
Can you talk about how your time with Robert Garcia helped you particularly in your last fight?

Lopez
Well, my time with Robert Garcia has been great. He’s a good mentor and he has helped me with game plans. Intelligent ring generalship and that showed against John Molina where I did knock him down early.

We stayed patient. I didn’t make little mistakes and I still finished the job. So, all that is basically where the work that Robert Garcia has shown. It made me a little bit smarter in many ways.

He says you work smarter not harder. Even though I’m still working just as hard, I’m just getting a little smarter.

Q
What have you learned from the pandemic of overall?

Lopez
What I’ve learned is that with the shutting down and everything there, it gets tough for everyone and my heart goes out to definitely all the people that are struggling and hurting. You know, everyone is struggling in some type of way.

But you also got to make the most of your time. I’ve definitely sat down and made the most of my time. I was able to do things that that are important to me.

I started my own trucking company and the things that you put aside and procrastinate on doing, it was a good time to really realize the important things in life and then work hard for what you want.

So although it’s been a tough, tough time for myself and everyone else you make the most of this bad time.

Flores
Josesito, if you have any final comments before you get ready for December 5?

Lopez
Well, I want to say that I’m very thankful to be fighting on PBC and with FOX. They know a fight with myself is never a boring fight. So, I’ll definitely bring that action. I’m excited to be on the card with another exciting fighter that will bring fireworks.

So, this is a fight that you can’t miss. And you can’t blink because the fight could be over anytime. I feel great and I’m excited to get out in there and then show everybody what I got.

Flores
Thank you very much, Josesito. We look forward to seeing you during fight week in Dallas.

Now, let’s transition to our co-main event. This man is a longtime contender who has put himself back into world title contention by defeating Thomas LaManna back in January.

He bounced back with two straight wins after back to back losses to top super welterweights Jeison Rosario and Jermall Charlo. His record 30 wins, 27 of those coming by way of knockout against four losses. He comes to us from Sinaloa, Mexico.

He is the hard hitting, Jorge Cota. Jorge, if you have any opening comments.

Jorge Cota
I’m very excited to be a part of this amazing fight. And I’m excited to show the fans what we’re able to offer in this outstanding fight that we’re going to have.

Q
How are you planning to get inside of his reach? And do you think that those things are going to give you problems in this fight?

Cota
You hit the nail on the head because that’s going to be the challenge and what makes the fight so attractive. The fact that he’s so tall and that his reach is so stunningly large made me work a lot on my movement, my lateral movement and in making my hips be able to rotate efficiently to be able to get inside and make it a close contact fight.

Q
Do you feel that your power is going to be the difference maker in this fight?

Cota
Again, I can’t emphasize enough. The hips are going to be huge. And the fact that I need to be able to make it a close range fight. And that way I can take advantage of my power.

If I can get close and make it a blow-by-blow kind of fight where we are exchanging blows with our bodies close together, then I can take advantage of my power, but everything is on the hips.

Q
How big of a win was that for you over Thomas LaManna which essentially led you to this opportunity on December 5 against Sebastian Fundora?

Cota
That win gave me my confidence back. That was everything, because after winning the fight, I was able to believe in my power, in my endurance, in my ability to be a winning boxer once again.

LaManna was an outstanding opponent, someone that fought very well and I was really happy to see my hand raised in the end by the referee. But the most important takeaway for me was that I regained the belief in myself to win with my power once again.

Q
What did you learn in the fights against Charlo and Rosario that you feel that you are now more experienced?

Cota
Those two fights provided me with the experience I need to know where I stood. Especially, the Rosario one, that was my barometer. That was a fight that allowed me to know where I stood against an outstanding world champion who unfortunately after that bumped into Charlo, who is also a champion in his own right.

So, after that I know where I stood. And it provided me with the experience that I needed to move forward in my career.

Q
Also when it comes to this fight being on an undercard that is full of Mexican fighters and Mexican-American fighters. We all know history of great Mexican battles, the names of Barrera and Morales come to mind.

What does it signify for you to be able to fight a fellow Mexican on a card of this magnitude?
Cota
Thank you for that comparison with the Barrera – Morales clashes. And I’m also thinking about Juan Manuel Marquez as well where he left his mark. I’m just out here trying to leave my mark as well.

The fact that I’m going to go out there to the ring and try to give my best and make everybody proud. That’s all I can do is to try to live up to the legacy that those fighters, like, Barrera, like, Morales, like, Marquez left behind and for me to continue on.

Flores
Finally, do you have any closing comments as you prepare for your co-main event showdown against Sebastian Fundora?

Cota
My message to the fans is, don’t you dare miss this fight. It’s going to be awesome. It has the potential to be the best fight of the night. Sebastian is going to be an outstanding opponent. It’s going to be a war from start to finish. We are going to beat each other up. And it’s going to be really fun for the fans to witness.

So, I am going to go out there try and do my best and not only win but to provide the fans a show they will never forget and make both Mexican and American fans everywhere happy and proud to have seen me fight.

Flores
Thank you very much to Jorge Cota. We greatly appreciate the time. What stands out about what Jorge Cota said was, the word “Guerra” meaning war. All of these undercard fights can no doubt be wars.

Now let’s meet his adversary on December 5, most recently have been knocked out Nate Gallimore back in August on FOX. He became the first and only man to finish off Nate Gallimore, looking to put himself in position to battle current WBC and WBA Super Welterweight champion of the world, Jermall Charlo or another top WBC contender, such as Erickson Lubin.

He stands 6’6″ tall, uses his height and his reach to his advantage. But he also likes to fight with power and aggressiveness. And I’ll be honest with you when it comes to his fighting style, he loves to mix it up on the inside. He comes to us from Coachella, California.

He has an undefeated record, 15 wins, no losses, one draw, 10 wins come in by way of knockout. A high volume puncher who always brings forth punches in bunches. Here “The Towering Inferno” Sebastian Fundora. Sebastian.

Sebastian Fundora
I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling strong, we had a nice camp. After the last fight, we went straight back into camp for this fight. So, I’m just excited to put a great show for the fans.

Q
What is the added time in camp this time around done for you and how much more prepared do you feel?

Fundora
I feel very prepared for this fight. It’s done a lot especially in terms of sparring we had, especially because they change the date too. It just gives me more time to work and to prepare for this fight I plan to show it for this one too.

Q
In your last performance, you did something that no one’s ever done. You stopped Nathaniel Gallimore and you did in fantastic fashion. How much did that give you as far as confidence? What has that done for you in your mindset?

Fundora
That’s something me and my team always knew. It’s just showing the crowd that we can step it up, showing the fans that we’re not here to play, we’re actually here to do something in this division.

Q
Describe the changes that you’ve seen in yourself either physically, mentally as a boxer over just maybe the last year or two. What changes have you noticed?

Fundora
I feel myself getting more muscular and stuff like that. Just physical changes, getting faster and smarter in the ring. I’m learning to place punches in different places and to always have a smart mindset coming into the fight.

Q
Are you weary about fighting inside against someone with this type of power or is that the way you fight and you’re not changing it?

Fundora
I welcome it. I welcome it. I fought power punchers before. This last guy, Gallimore, was a power puncher. So, I welcome all the power. On December 5, we’ll see who hits harder.

Q
What type of message are you trying to send here in this matchup against Jorge Cota given that you’ve had a bout in February 22 against Daniel Lewis and then the KO over Nathaniel Gallimore?

Fundora
It’s just the work that we’re trying to display that, like I said, for the last fight, for the fight before that, we’re just trying to make a place in the division and hopefully become a champion.

Q
Are you trying to direct yourself or position yourself to have like a title shot with Charlo or maybe something against Erislandy Lara in the future?

Fundora
Of course. That’s every boxer’s dream. That’s the main goal of every fighter and that’s what we’re moving toward fight by fight.

Q
Would you be interested in a rematch against Jamontay Clark?

Fundora
I have to talk to my coach about that one. But winning on December 5 will definitely happen. I have no doubts like that in my mind. So, we’re just going up from there.

Q
I see for the past couple years you’ve been fighting three times a year. Going into 2021, is that something you would like to do as well?

Fundora
Yes. More fights, even more fights. I felt like this year was a slow down because of everything going on. But if I could do more than three fights, I’d love to.

Q
Was there anybody that you fought previously whose style resembles Jorge’s or that that you feel as though has prepared you to fight Jorge Cota?

Fundora
I don’t think so. Jorge is a whole different boxer. I never fought Jorge, so I can’t compare him to anybody else.

Q
On the 5th, will you be looking to knock him out coming off another good knockout win?

Fundora
Of course, of course that’s the main goal, that’s the main goal. But if it has to go to the decision, I’ll box him too.

Q
How are you looking forward to on December 5, being back into a fight with fans in the stands?

Fundora
All I’m worried about is the guy in front of me, which will be Jorge Cota. But it’s pretty exciting to have fans back in the building. I’m pretty excited about that. It’s a better feeling.

Q
We’ve heard from several fighters during all year long, how pretty much feels like a sparring session in the ring where you hear nothing but your coaches without fans. Is that kind of what you felt in the ring against Nat Gallimore?

Fundora
Not really. I mean it’s obviously different because you still have the pressure of the TV and everything on you. But, yes, I heard my coach, I heard the commentators, that’s how close everything was.

It wasn’t that bad. I can’t complain. It’s still a fight. I still kept everything prepared for that fight and the fans not being there didn’t really change that.

Q
Have you seen anything Cota’s past fights that you were able to pick up on?

Fundora
Of course. Yes, but it’s the competition, we’re not going to really say anything right now. You’ll have to see on fight night.

Q
Do you feel any added pressure heading into December 5 on a card of this magnitude against Jorge Cota?

Fundora
Definitely not. I felt like I really fought one of the biggest cards of this year with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. This card will be the same. I feel like I’m born for this. So, when December 5 comes, I’m ready to put on a great fight and maybe steal the show.

Flores
Do you have any closing comments as you continue your preparation for your matchup against Jorge Cota?

Fundora
Like I said, I plan to make this fight an exciting one. I’m sure Jorge Cota will come in prepared and ready to bring an exciting fight and a healthy fight. December 5, be ready.


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