There is such a thing as lying and not being taken to task for it. In the United States it is referred to as a white lie. It is merely not telling the truth to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings. And we got plenty of that at the final press conference at the Dream Hotel Downtown in New York City as the featured fighters on Saturday’s show at The Barclays Center had their final say.
For the most part it was one big feeling out session with only Tevin Farmer willing to hurl the first insult. The politeness was very refreshing to see, but was it real?
Let’s examine what was said, then just for fun put our own spin on what they were really thinking:
What Leo Santa Cruz said: “We’re both undefeated and we’re going to make it a war. It’s a 50-50 fight. The fighter who wants it the most will win the fight.”
What Santa Cruz was thinking: ‘I want Frampton to think he has a chance to win. If I intimidate him he might not exchange punches with me making it harder to get a knockout. I’m Mexican, of course I want it more.’
What Frampton said: “The new weight suits me and you will see the result in the ring. I’m a different animal now at 126 pounds. I respect all my opponents until I am disrespected myself. I’m honored to be here and will get the victory.”
What Frampton was thinking: ‘I know Santa Cruz would destroy Scott Quigg who I fought crummy against even if I did win at least eight rounds. Screw Santa Cruz, for taking me lightly. That is why he is being so nice. He’ll respect my talents for real after Saturday.’
What Barry McGuigan (Frampton’s manager) said: “This is a clash of styles that could make it a Fight of the Year. We have the utmost respect for Santa Cruz, but we’re here to win and will win.”
What McGuigan was thinking: ‘You idiots should give me some credit. I would not have targeted Santa Cruz unless I was certain Carl would beat him.’
What Mikey Garcia said: “Rojas has the boxing skills to make this complicated. This will be the beginning of the next stage of my career.”
What Garcia was thinking: ‘C’mon man, I’ve been out of the ring a long time. I’m entitled to an easy fight or two without anyone busting my chops about it.’
What Elio Rojas said: “I know I’m being brought in as an opponent, but I’m going to let the fans know that I’m just not an opponent.”
What Rojas was thinking: ‘When do I get paid?’
What Gabe Bracero said: “Paulie was my friend in the amateurs. When I was in prison I read in the magazines about his success in the ring. To fight Paulie is incredible. He’s giving me the opportunity to reach his level of success.”
What Bracero was thinking: ‘I spent six years in jail Paulie and you never gave me a shout, so bleep you. I’m a tough guy, but you are softer than an ice cream cone.’
What Paul Malignaggi said: “I think that Gabe is hungry and motivated. We came up together in the same generation of New York fighters. It’s all love and respect.”
What Malignaggi was thinking: ‘After I beat him I hope Gabe has enough sense to stay clean and keep out of jail. If he doesn’t it’s not my problem.’
What Sergey Rabchenko said: “I know my opponent is a young, strong fighter and will be ready.”
What Rabchenko was thinking: ‘This Tony Harrison probably talks a lot better than he fights.’
What Tony Harrison said: “No disrespect to Ricky Hatton (Rabchenko’s trainer). Seeing Ricky over there fuels me even more to get the win.”
What Harrison was thinking: ‘After I get through with Rabchenko maybe I can get Hatton to drag his ass out of retirement and fight me.’
What Tevin Farmer said: “Ivan Redkach you are gonna get what’s coming to you for talking a lot of junk on social media.”
What Tevin Farmer was thinking: ‘With all the great fights on this show no one is paying attention to mine. I better talk a little smack to liven things up.’
What Ivan Redkach said: “I want to show everyone in the ring what I can do, not up on the stage with my words.”
What Redkach was thinking: ‘What the bleep is Farmer talking about?’
The formal part of the press conference is over. I am now speaking with Frampton’s trainer Shane McGuigan and ask him to throw diplomacy out the window and not give me the standard line of how the fight with Santa Cruz can go either way. “What do you really think Shane?”
The younger McGuigan pauses then says “Carl will win. I have never seen him in better form. We have been chasing Santa Cruz for a long time and today he looked nervous to me.
“I have never seen Carl so happy before a fight like he is for this one. Against Quigg we did not like working with his people, but over here everyone has treated us well. Carl relishes being the underdog because he has never been one before.”
Saturday night niceness will be thrown out the window. In boxing punches talk louder than words.