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Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo: FIGHT WEEK TRANSCRIPT

*WBC & WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford with his Trainer
Brian McIntyre andTop Rank President Todd duBoef / IBF & WBA Jr.
Welterweight Champion Julius Indongo with his co-promoter and manager
Nestor Tobias and Matchroom Boxing’s Frank Smith.) *

TODD duBOEF: It is going to be an exciting night on Saturday. This will
be our third event going live on ESPN and what a way to start with
Pacquiao, Lomachenko and now the title unification of Terence Crawford and
Julius Indongo. We are going to be in Lincoln, Nebraska this time as Lady
Gaga is in Omaha. We are looking forward to Lincoln, as that’s where the
Cornhuskers are. This is an incredible thing to be able to do. A lot of
time people talk about seeing good fights – guys fight guys that are
accomplished – then there’s other guys that want the challenges. Julius
Indongo and his promoter, Matchroom Boxing, have come up in a meteoric rise
in the past 18 months and Julius has performed great. Terence Crawford has
exploded onto the boxing scene – going to Glasgow, Scotland and winning the
lightweight title and coming back to Omaha in his first defense against
Gamboa and winning in sensational fashion. This will be Terence’s ninth
consecutive world title fight over two weight divisions. It is unique in
that is a highly-anticipated unification. Only the second time in the
four-belt era that two world champions have fought each other to unify the
titles with the winner emerging as the division’s undisputed world champion.

FRANK SMITH: It is great to be here in Omaha with Top Rank and we are
really looking forward to this fight – it is great when fighters want to
take challenges. Julius has traveled all around the world – going to
Russia where he won by first round knockout and then taking on Ricky Burns
in Scotland in front of a huge crowd. Julius has been spending the last
few days in Omaha – I know he is very calm and very relaxed and really
looking forward to the challenge. It’s great to be involved in a fight
like this with all the belts on the line, which doesn’t happen very often.
I know Julius is very confident to go back home with all of the belts in
hand. Terence Crawford is a great fighter and has shown it on many
occasions and Julius is very calm and relaxed and looking forward to
showing what he does and he has no concerns with the traveling. He’ll go
anywhere to take on a challenge.

NESTOR TOBIAS: We are really excited. Julius has trained very hard for
this fight. He is very focused and very comfortable in Omaha. We spent
some time before we came to Omaha training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card
Boxing Club
.
JULIUS INDONGO: Thank you very much for this opportunity. I know Crawford
is a very good and tough fighter and this is a big event. On Saturday night,
I will give everything I have and my focus and my game plan and everything
is in position. Just waiting for the weigh-in. I try and not say too much
before the fight, which is something that I am used to. I prefer to do it
in the ring when my opponent is standing in front of me so I can do my
work. I have been in boxing for a long time and not many people know me.
I believe this is the time for me to show the world that a boxer from
Africa from Namibia can beat a guy fighting in his home in front of his
people. This is the best way to do it. I am confident in my styles and
techniques that I have learned from years ago. On Saturday night, it is
going to be boxing – I am not sure if there is going to be a knockout but I
know I can do that if I have to. I can say now that I have trained hard
and my trainer is always there.

TODD duBOEF: I also want to thank the organizations for accommodating this
match because there was everyone trying that had fighters that had
mandatories working behind the scenes to help put this unification
together. We are all appreciative of everybody working together to help
bring this match with the participants with all four titles of the
organizations. We are very appreciative of them assisting Matchroom and
Top Rank.

JULIUS INDONGO: Yes. I would like to also thank the organizations and Top
Rank and Matchroom for pushing this fight and helping the negotiations to
make this fight happen – for making it all possible.

You have two titles now, but what is your view of the possibility of having
all four titles?

JULIUS INDONGO: My view of this is that I have not focused much on that
since I have been busy in the gym. I have not focused on anything but
making sure of my performance on Saturday night. My focus has been in the
gym to make sure my game will be the best ever. No one will ever forget
about this fight. The organizations were involved in making this fight
happen and I appreciate that but I won’t think much about having four
titles until the fight is over.

How will it feel walking out of the ring with four belts?

JULIUS INDONGO: It’s going to mean a lot to me – it will mean all of the
hard work and determination got that achievement and it will create more
opportunity for me. I will travel the world with the four titles. I will
take them back to Africa – to my country. I am going to be very, very happy
.
How hard was it to get the organizations to go along with this?

TODD duBOEF: It was very difficult. We had to work hand in hand with
Matchroom because obviously Matchroom and Indongo had two belts and Top
Rank and Crawford had two belts and there were mandatories and everything
that was coming into play. There were people that we had to appeal to and
we said, “Hey, this is a rare opportunity that we are able to do this.
Let’s try and work together and have a positive solution for the sport of
boxing and I think we delicately managed it.

How long do you think the winner will be able to hold onto those titles?

TODD duBOEF: I think we should ask that question to the winner, not before
we have a winner. (A), we don’t know who is going to win – Indongo thinks
he is going to win and Crawford thinks he is going to win. Then at that
point we will have to see what the order is, who has the mandatory, what
order of fights and if all of the organizations can get together and if
they can great and if they can’t it will be up to the fighter to make the
decisions. And up to the promoters. I think it is premature to discuss
that right now.

How has your life changed since you won the two titles?

JULIUS INDONGO: The thing that has really changed is – I do still live in
my town in Namibia – and I try to stay focused and try do the right thing
in the public. When someone becomes known to the whole country, most
importantly I try not to roll with the wrong friends. I try and stay home
and go to church after work and I do my training program twice a day.
That’s the only way that I could say it can be done.

Do you live in the same place?

JULIUS INDONGO: Yes, that is where I am staying and where I train. All of
the people are very friendly. We don’t have too much of a division within
the people of everyone in the country, especially in the city. There is
nothing that can distract me wherever I stay or whatever I do – everyone
will know in Namibia.

How much better is Crawford than Ricky Burns or Troyanovsky?

JULIUS INDONGO: I cannot really say much on that because when I fought
Troyanovsky and Ricky Burns they were both easier fights than I fought in
the last fight, that I fought from home. The two world title fights that I
challenged in were the best training that I have trained. I had never been
as focused with the best game plan so it made it the easiest fights for
me. They were both easier than we ever thought they would be because of
the focus on them and the game plan.

Why were you able to focus more for those two fights?

JULIUS INDONGO: The other fights were happening at home and we used to be
too much like let a lot of people in the camp – we used to share
invitations – for the two last fights anyway. The fight was for the
championship so there was something that we needed to achieve and change
and to improve our image (if we want) to be known in the world. We had to
have focus only on me and the potential and that’s the only way the world
was going to get to see me. The promotion had known what was happening
with me and letting everyone else know. So now everyone was going to see
something new again, I know. I have no doubt. I know. All I can say is
just only if maybe knockout come it may be late. But waking up, the day of
fight, be skillful and focused – everything is in position. The crowd or
the fans, or Terence’s home crowd won’t intimidate me – that is nothing, I
cannot afford it, so I travel the same way – it is always the same.

Since you won in the hometowns of the last two titles fights how much
confidence does that give you?

JULIUS INDONGO: Actually, they are different conditions. I don’t
particularly mind because it is already past. My focus is that it is a
blessing from God to keep me and not to let me wander in a sense, and to
ask for a provision for myself, my president and my commander in the office
that wherever I travel I will be representing all of Namibia. It’s like I
have the whole country of Namibia on my shoulders issued by my president so
I have to rely on the game plan and that is the confidence that I rely.
So, if I am stepping there I know that my country and Africa is on my
shoulders and when the team travels from Namibia to the fight I can only
focus on the fight so it motivated me a lot. So, I have to focus only on
this fight.

Where did you train for this fight?

JULIUS INDONGO: When I saw Crawford requested to fight the winner of the
fight between me Troyanovsky, which is when I started training for this
fight because we don’t have any power and the only way to rely on the big
guns when they are requested for it. So, when they gave us the offer we
had to go for it so that’s when I started training. I trained at home in
Namibia – where I have always been training. (He came to the States early
and trained in Freddie Roach’s gym in Hollywood).

What have you noticed in the viewership of the fights on ESPN?

TODD duBOEF: One thing I am looking forward to on Saturday is Kurt Warner
just finished his [Hall of Fame induction] speech so we won’t have to deal
with that on Saturday. This is all part of a long-term game plan of making
these fighters come alive to the sports fan. Obviously there has been an
incredible amount of promotion before the Pacquiao fight and mirrored with
an incredible amount of promotion for the Lomachenko fight on August 5th
and ESPN will be flipping the switch this weekend, taking the weigh-in live
and doing all of the same consistent promotion and this is wonderful for
the people that are interested in boxing. Everything has been terrific and
to get two of the top guys in front of people that are watching the NFL,
NBA and Major League Baseball are able to see the highest level of fights
is just a positive step for the sport.

Has there been a change in demographic of who is watching the fights?

TODD duBOEF: I don’t think there has been a change in demographic I think
the perception of the boxing demographic in the United States has been
unfortunately tight-capped – an older demographic. We are looking at these
numbers and obviously 18-49 is the number that everybody wants and even
with Kurt Warner and the rest of the Hall of Fame going on we went straight
up against UFC that night and beat them in both 18-49 and 18-34 which are
the most important demos. And I think additionally, for ESPN that week, we
were the second highest rated 18-49 program with the Lomachenko broadcast
and in fact over 50% of our audience was 18-49 where baseball was about
32%. We think that the story that it is an old sport and old people don’t
care about it, which was largely spun out by UFC years ago and I think to a
certain point there was some truth to it – older demos were on premium
channels – the fact is this is very positive, young, multi-cultural through
the roof and we are excited to put this on this broad platform.

Is it easy to focus and do what you need to do in your homeland?

JULIUS INDONGO: I don’t think I have an issue with the fans or the
population because it is already something I am aware of. All I have is to
train and just be focused on Crawford and my game plan and do good on my
preparation.

Indongo has come so far – a year ago no one knew who he was and now he is
on this huge platform…

TODD duBOEF: This is not an outlier – this is boxing. This is what
happens with boxing. This is no different than Azumah Nelson coming over
on 10 days-notice and suddenly getting in the ring and making a name for
himself in the United States. People can change the tide very quickly in
the sport of boxing and that happens because of their performances and we
have to recognize that his is a global sport. This is not the Premier
League or the NFL or the NBA and we are relatively isolated to a small
pool. Indongo is a very talented fighter who has probably worked his whole
childhood figuring out how to master a trade. And that’s Julius Indongo
and what he did was, the door of opportunity opens and he steps through it,
and that is the story of boxing. There are countless stories like that and
I think this is not a miraculous one but really goes back to what makes
boxing so special. People that take advantage of those opportunities and
suddenly a diamond in the rough is discovered.

What do you have to say about this activity – this is your 4th fight in
just over a year?

JULIUS INDONGO: It really means a lot not only to me but also to my
promotion where I train. When I began they weren’t planning to produce
such an event or any opportunity like this or even that matches I had back
home. It is something big and something huge and something useful and it
is an appreciation for what Top Rank and Matchroom has put together and I
appreciate these opportunities.

TODD duBOEF: We have given Terence all of the accolades about how great of
a fighter he is, which we all know, but I didn’t know he was an internet
sensation now. You have to talk about the Internet sensation! I thought
this was the Brian McIntyre internet sensation in the last fight from “Camp
Life,” but at the press conference tomorrow you’ve got to show me your
McGregor Challenge.

TERENCE CRAWFORD: It means a lot to me being it will be the first time
that all four belts will be on the line at one time in the division’s
history and it has only been done twice in boxing. I’m just ready for the
moment and fight time this weekend.

Prior to Indongo’s 1st round KO in Russia, had your team ever heard of him?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: No, we never heard of Indongo and we never saw him fight
other than the fight he had in Russia.

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Well, we wanted the Troyanovsky fight but he decided to
go with Indongo so when we heard that he got knocked out, we looked at the
replay and looked at the fight – that’s when we first took notice of who
Indongo really was.

When he fought Ricky Burns who you are familiar with having beaten for the
lightweight title, did you think you could make it happen or was it
something Top Rank brought to you?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: We wanted the Ricky Burns fight at 140 as well but they
didn’t want to take the fight so they wanted to take the fight with Indongo
and perhaps later on in the year we could do the fight between me and Ricky
Burns again but Indongo beat Ricky Burns, that’s when we took notice and
said well he’s the guy with the other two titles so let’s see if we can
make a fight with him and unify.

What do you feel about him traveling anywhere to anyone’s hometown to fight
for titles?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: It shows a lot about his character and his confidence
and his ability in the ring. Him being a two-time world champion in that
short amount of time shows that he has a lot of confidence but at the same
time he is a little older so he’s at the end of his career coming along so
he doesn’t have a lot of choices for what he wants to do. He can’t wait
around.

What do you think of Indongo as a fighter?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Indongo is a good fighter. He is a good boxer – he’s
got good legs and he seems like he can punch. He doesn’t let his opponent
get on the inside and do a lot of damage to him.

TODD duBOEF: Do you find any similarities between him and Postol?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: The only comparison I see is the height. They have two
different styles. Postol was more straight up and down. Indongo is a
little more elusive. I think Postol was a little more technical. Indongo
can get a little wild at times.

Do you think Postol is better than Indongo?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I can’t say that because I haven’t been in the ring with
Indongo but I have been in the ring with Postol. You can see from the
outside but once you get in the ring with somebody it can be a totally
difference look so after the fight I can tell you.

What do you think about fighting on ESPN broadening you fan base?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: It can broaden the fan base it will give more people the
opportunity to see who Terence Crawford really is. To display my talent
and my skills to more people – I am just ready for Saturday to come so I
can show more people who Terence Crawford really is.

BRIAN McINTYRE: I am just ready for us to get out there so Terence can
show what he’s been working on in camp. I want him to unify and make
history and the 140-pound division. We can also silence all of the critics
that have been saying that his resume is not as good as some fighters. Not
only me but also the whole entire team is excited. I know he is excited
to, to get out there and show ESPN what everybody has been hearing – that
he is a great boxer and a damn good puncher and how he can switch from both
sides. So, I am excited. I’m excited for the kid and I’m excited for his
family. I am excited for everybody.

The winner will have all four belts, which is historic. Will that fighter
also be considered pound-for-pound champion?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Of course, I think I have been doing a lot in the sport
of boxing and I have had my name mentioned in the top three. I will be
looking forward to being the top one, or maybe two after this fight. It
just depends on how people look at it. In my eyes, I think I am top two
already, so.

Has it been frustrating to you that you haven’t gotten credit that you
deserve?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I try to not think about that. I can’t worry about what
the person thinks about me or says about me. At the end of the day I’m the
one that has to go in there and take the punches. A lot of people
criticize me for who I am fighting because maybe I am not their favorite
fighter or maybe I am doing better than their favorite fighter, or there is
a fighter that they want to see me fight and the fight doesn’t happen or it
does happen then I beat them. Then they say, ‘oh the only reason Terence
won was because he is short’ or ‘he won because he was basic’ – there is
always going to be an excuse with those types of people.

TODD duBOEF: We are in a sport that gets dissected constantly by people
that are haters, people that have agendas and at the end of the day when
you have a kid like Terence Crawford who is brilliant in the ring, we just
let the people decide what it is. We are going to be sold out in Lincoln,
Nebraska and we just did 10,000 people in New York – we are not going to
chase the game of people and bloggers and things like that that want to be
hating because you will never win that game.

How many will Pinnacle hold?

TODD duBOEF: It is going to hold just over 10,000.

What are your thoughts fighting in Lincoln?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I am excited about it being that it’s our state capital
and where the Nebraska football team plays. It is a nice arena and I
always wanted to fight in there. They brought me down there to watch a
couple of games and I was always imagining it would be a nice arena to
fight in. Everyone around there always welcomed me with open arms telling
me ‘you need to come fight here, you need to come fight here.’ So I am
excited that I was able to make that happen. It’s about a 45-minute drive
from Omaha.

TODD duBOEF: Just imagine, between a 45-minute drive you’ve got Lady GaGa
in Omaha and Terence Crawford in Lincoln – not a bad entertainment night in
a small area. Brian are you going to the fight or Lady GaGa?

BRYAN McINTYRE: Well I am going to go to GaGa as soon as we knock this
dude off. I know her personally.

CARL MORETTI: Terence is probably boxing’s most active champion at this
moment. His last defense was three months ago against Felix Diaz and he
fought in December before that and June before that. So, if you look just
before he won the lightweight title it may be eight title defenses in 27
months. I don’t think you can find a more active champion that has gotten
better in the ring defending his title more than Crawford.

How important is it to be active?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: It is very important. I am trying to get my name out
there and trying to get the recognition that I deserve. I’m still young
and in my prime.

What does it mean if Terence is able to knock out Indongo on Saturday night.

BRIAN McINTYRE: That would be lovely – to do it in good fashion like that,
you can’t ask for nothing better. You know if you look for a knockout it’s
not there.

If you win you have all of the belts – would you rather stay there or move
up?

I am at 140 now and come Saturday that is my main focus is Julius Indongo.
We’ll see how the fight goes and after that double back around and see what
the next move will be.

How is it when you have quick turnaround to training camp? Is it easier?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Training camp is never easy. It’s always hard but at
the same time, I just had a fight and getting back into the gym and back in
the groove of everything. It’s tougher when you have a long period of time
off because this time I was somewhat in shape.

It seems like you were having fun in camp. Is that normal?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: We like to have some fun in training camp. Training
camp is always hard work but have fun, hard work, have fun, hard work – if
you don’t love what you are doing then you need to get a difference job.
We are dancing every single training camp that we had and play around –
that is the different types of things that we do. In “Camp Life” it might
be the first time that people actually got to see that outer Terence
Crawford.

Is that important to you to get that out?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: It’s important for my brand but at the same time it is
just I. I am not into publicizing my every move – make a video and say,
‘oh this is what I do for a living,’ I just go with the flow.

If you consider yourself Number 2 pound for pound, who do you say is Number
1?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Andre Ward.

Where were you when you first saw McGregor do his warm-up?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I was coming from the gym and everyone was watching a
video and I asked what it was, then I said I am going to try that. A
couple of days passed then I got everyone together to do the McGregor
Challenge.

What’s the best response you’ve gotten since that video went up?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I’ve been getting all kinds of response – I have been
getting hate response, prejudice response, I’ve been getting a lot of
positive response. People are telling me McGregor will beat me up. I just
laugh – we are just having fun with it.