"Robert, you had that huge win over Berto at the end of last year. How much did that play a role in you getting this Mayweather fight?"
"It was a fight that I had to come and show up, show the welterweight division that I belong. Berto was the perfect example that I put out there to show everybody that I'm here and I'm here to stay."
"You've gone through so much in just the last year, moving up two weight classes, the shoulder surgery, the 15-month layoff. You call out Mayweather and a little over a year later, you get a fight with him. How do you take advantage of this golden opportunity?"
"Being ready. Being ready to win that fight. Moving up two weight classes, people thought I was crazy doing it. But I went out there and did it, had two fights under my belt at welterweight. Two great fights, I think it was perfect. I had Berto, who was a quick, fast, slick guy, and Selcuk Aydin, who's a tremendous pressure fighter who punches hard, so it broke me into the division very well."
"I wanted to ask you specifically about that Berto fight. You seemed to transform almost overnight from maybe a slick boxer in the lower weight classes, to really just an aggressive, power punching brawler? Was that your plan coming into that?"
"I was coming in to look spectacular in that fight. Things change in the heat of the moment. I knew I could walk through him and hurt him, so that's what I did. I just went through him. And I wanted to put a statement out there that I'm very strong and I'm very fast at the welterweight division, and I'm here to stay."
"After the Mayweather fight was announced, now he's notoriously the villain in all of these fight promotions, but you came right at him on social media and really called him out. Is this part of your mindset, to sort of tell him, 'I'm not intimidated by you in any means'?"
"Definitely. Definitely, there's no intimidation. I think he's starting to figure that out, that it's pretty hard to intimidate me. That's why I went straight out and told him, hey, let's do it, let's make it happen."
"This is no question the biggest fight of your career. Comes with the promotion, as you were probably well aware of. You recently did a commercial shoot with Mayweather and I want to let our viewers take a look at that."
"Lots of trash talk from Mayweather, and you're accustomed to that. What was your reaction?"
"I just stepped back and laughed. That's part of his game plan, is to break you down mentally, and he's very good at it. As you see, he was out there repeating himself over and over. I see right through it. I'm very prepared for this fight. Throughout my career, I had the right fights. My management team put me in the right fights I needed to be in to be in this position. And also, too, just mentally, you gotta be prepared. I've been prepped well with my life, what's gone on inside the ring, outside the ring. It preps you for stuff like this."
"It is Mayweather we're talking about, so he knows how to get under peoples skin, but have you been surprised at all that we haven't seen much of him since he got out of jail, especially in the lead-up to this fight?"
"Yeah, it's weird, because he's doing things that he's never done before. He gets out there, he looks at me, and then he just goes off. He goes off talking. We were expecting that. But since then he's just been totally calm. I think he felt the intimidation a bit, knowing that he couldn't break me, while he was just trying to tear me down. I think it kinda stopped him in his tracks a little bit."
"Robert, looking at styles, what is it about Mayweather's style that you have to focus on most to be the first fighter to hand him a loss?"
"You can't let him get on his game. And you gotta be very, very smart in the ring, you gotta come in with intelligence and be patient. A lot of guys, they get so mad because of the trash talking and what he brings to the table, and because of his defensive skills, where they get frustrated and they just wanna rip his head off. When you get to that point, your game plan goes out the window. You gotta be patient. You gotta go in there and break him down like you break down every fighter. Not every fighter is the same, but all fights pretty much when you go in there, you gotta stick to your game plan and get it done."
"He always talks about 43 fights, 43 wins, no one's ever done it to him. When you get in that ring, what is it that you have to do immediately to let him know, I'm gonna be the first to get it done."
"You gotta get in there and take control of the fight. And like I said, not let him get on his game. And not be scared. A lot of guys go in there intimidated by him, they go in there gun-shy because of his defensive skills, his counter-punching. So, you gotta go out there, execute your game plan, and stay on your game and keep working."