Devon Alexander vs Jesus Soto Karass conference call transcript and quotes

Maddie Meyer

Devon Alexander and Jesus Soto Karass discuss their June 21 fight on Showtime.


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.

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