LOS ANGELES – Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) hosted an international media conference call today ahead of his highly anticipated fight against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs). Joined by his team, world renowned Eddy and Chepo Reynoso as well as the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez opened up about his preparation for the fight, the rivalry between him and Chavez, Jr. and what fans can expect come Cinco De Mayo Weekend, live from T-Mobile Arena and presented by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Here is what Canelo Alvarez, Oscar De La Hoya, Eddy and Chepo Reynoso said during the international media conference call:
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions: We’re very happy, thank you very much to the media from all over the world. We are roughly less than 30 days away from the big event, Canelo vs. Chavez, which will take place on the Cinco de Mayo weekend on May 6 at the brand new, state-of-the-art, T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas.
Just to let you know, the response has been unbelievable. We haven’t had a Mexican showdown on Cinco de Mayo weekend in a very, very long time. And the demand has been incredible. I haven’t seen anything like it since Barrera vs. Morales; since De La Hoya vs. Chavez, Sr. This is going to be an incredible weekend for all boxing fans.
I would like to thank the best partner in the business, who is HBO, for being our broadcaster for this incredible event. At this moment, let me take the opportunity to thank our sponsors: Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessey, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Interjet, which will be doing a massive, massive, marketing pitch on a global scale, which has been unheard of in the sport. They have created several different spots and commercials, which will be kicking in during the next few days.
We have created a special commercial for the actual fight, which should be a huge surprise to many. It will be a commercial that transcends the sport of boxing. And obviously, it’s because of the two fighters who are involved.
This fight is not only a fight for the boxing fans, but also a fight that casual sports fans have really been behind and supporting because of their careers, because of their records. So we’re really, really excited as you can hear.
Also, we will be having the Canelo’s media workout on Wednesday, April 19 at the House of Boxing in San Diego. More details will follow, so you want to stay tuned. One thing about Canelo, he’s been very courteous to the media. He opens up his camp. He lets people in every single day, so the media can follow his every move so they can be part of the fight, so we want to thank Team Canelo.
On that note, it is my pleasure to introduce to you team Canelo. First off, I would like to introduce to you the manager and trainer of Canelo, his manager, Jose “Chepo” Reynoso.
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager and Trainer of Canelo Alvarez: Hello, everybody. Good afternoon to everybody.
I’m very happy how camp is going and training is going, and we’re anxious and ready to give everybody a spectacular performance on May 6.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Also at this time I would like to introduce to you the trainer of Canelo Alvarez, who has been doing an incredible, incredible job. We have seen the progression, his growth, his speed, his power, which has been unbelievable, at the tender age of 26 years old. I would like to introduce to you the trainer, Eddy Reynoso.
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer of Canelo Alvarez: Good morning to everybody that’s listening. We’re doing very well. We’re training very hard, and we’re just anxious and ready for May 6.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: At this moment, I would like to introduce to you the young man who at the tender age of 26 years old has already accomplished more than 99 percent of the fighters — which fighters achieve in their entire career. He’s a two-time division world champion at both the junior middleweight and middleweight doubles. He has had his hand raised in victory 48 times with 34 knockouts. You know, he has taken all comers and has defeated almost every single one, including Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Austin Trout, champions like Sugar Shane Mosley, the spectacular knockout against James Kirkland, the masterful boxer Erislandy Lara; the list goes on and on and on, and he’s only 26 years old.
It is my pleasure to introduce to you, taking on Chavez, Jr. on May 6, this is Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ,Former Two-Division World Champion: Good afternoon to everybody. Just want to say thank you, once again, for supporting another one of our fights, and for being here. I am looking forward to do what I always do: train hard, 100 percent focus and ready to give you guys all a great performance.
Q. Canelo, is Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. the first of the 50 opponents that you feel you want to rip his head off?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, he’s one more of the 50 of all my opponents that I’ve faced. I’ve wanted to rip their head off; I wanted to beat them; I wanted to them knock them out. This is a little extra. There’s a little bit more motivation, of course, because of the rivalry, but it’s another one of my fights.
Q. Eddy, what’s the most difficult part of facing Chavez, Jr.? Is it the weight, the strength, the technique, or his strength?
EDDY REYNOSO: Well, the most difficult part of facing Chavez is that he’s Mexican. And anytime you have a fight between two Mexicans, it’s a guaranteed spectacular fight and brings out that extra in a fighter, and makes it that much tougher and guarantees the war.
Q. Oscar, as far as the Pay-Per-View, with all the expectation and people expecting this great fight and waiting for this great fight, what do you expect the Pay-Per-View to be in the US?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: We’re very happy with how it’s going. Obviously the way the tickets sold out and now Pay-Per-View, closed circuit is opening it up. MGM is opening up more properties for closed circuit. Won’t give you a number now, but we’re very happy and we can see that it’s going to do very well and break some records.
Q. Canelo, I know you have had world titles before and you’ve been a champion multiple times but this is not a title fight. In your opinion, is this even a bigger fight than any defense or world title or fighting for a world title, just because of the pride that’s at stake? And how significant is this fight to you and your fans and pretty much all the Mexican boxing fans; is the pride almost a bigger deal than a world title?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Titles are very important to me but this is above that. This goes above a title, any title. It’s for honor, for pride, and it’s very important for me. And to keep making history in my career.
Q. Oscar, I was wondering if you could address that, also. You were in a lot of fights in your career against other Mexican opponents, Mexican-American opponents, whether it was Genaro Hernandez or Rafael Ruelas, or certainly your huge fights with Julio, Senior. Can you speak to what Canelo is talking about, that maybe the pride and the glory for Mexico, that sort of attitude is perhaps even a bigger deal to the Mexican boxers than having a title at stake, or maybe even the money, for all I know. What are your thoughts about that?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: These are the types of fights that take you to a whole new level in terms of your boxing abilities inside the ring. It makes you obviously train harder. It gives you that extra motivation. If you want to go run ten miles today, well, guess what, you’re going to run 11 or 12 because you’re just so amped, because this fight is so personal.
And look, both fighters are going to be in the best shape of their life. But for some strange reason, there’s something extra that comes out in you. You know, Canelo and Chavez, Jr. are going to find out that, wow, I didn’t know I can do this move; or I didn’t know I can throw this combination at such a fast pace; or, you know, that extra motivation, it’s going to be all instinctual. It’s going to be all because of that pride, because of what’s at stake.
We’re going to see two completely different fighters, fighters that we’ve never seen before inside the ring on May 6, and it’s all because of that pride that’s at stake.
Q. Could you rate this among other big-time all Mexico fights, whether it’s Barrera and Morales as you mentioned in your opening remarks, or certainly the fights between, Barrera and Marquez? There’s been a lot of great Mexicans that fought each other, but obviously fights that you were involved in against other Mexican fighters, can you put it in any kind of context for me?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, in terms of action, inside the ring, yes, I would say kind of like Barrera – Morales. But in terms of the event, of how big it is, I cannot remember a fight against two Mexicans that has created so much interest, anticipation. So this is probably the biggest boxing event with two Mexican fighters.
Q. Canelo, You’re going up quite a bit in weight compared to your typical fighting weight. I wonder if you can talk about, what’s been the biggest factor in that and how do you feel putting on that weight, and how do you think he’ll take your power at the new weight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve been feeling very good. I’ve been training with sparring partners who are much bigger, who are light heavyweights that are much bigger than me. I’m feeling very comfortable, and very strong. I’m not having to dehydrate as much. I’m still having to go down in weight because I’m above the weight that the fight is scheduled at, but I don’t have to dehydrate totally. We’ll see come fight night how I feel, how the body adapts. I’m a fighter that knows how to adapt to the situations, and my body adapts well. I’m just anxious and looking forward to giving the public a beautiful fight, a great fight, come May 6.
Q. He quit against Andrzej Fonfara; Oscar gave his father quite the trouble in their rematch. Do you think you can make this guy quit?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Everything’s possible in boxing and as the great Bernard Hopkins once said: “Once a quitter, always a quitter.” So anything’s possible.
Q. Canelo, what do you think about the pictures that Chavez, Jr. has been posting? What do you think of his conditioning, his physical being now, and do you think that he seems to be posting these pictures to try to clean the image of his past performance with his training regimens?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, it doesn’t bother me at all. It doesn’t intimidate me. Look, I’ve been fighting professionally since I was 15 years old, so I’ve been fighting bigger and stronger guys.
On the contrary, I’m very happy that he’s working hard, that he’s training hard and that he’s doing good, because you know what, that’s guarantees the people a great fight. I’m doing my thing like I always do. I have my conditioning. I’m feeling strong and I’m looking good. But I’m glad that he is, as well.
Q. Is the bet still on that you guys made?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, his dad didn’t let him.
Q. I was interested in knowing, what is your history in knowing and talking to Chavez, Jr. personally? How far back does the rivalry go and how have you always perceived him as a person?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Well, this rivalry goes back about ten years, you know, to our time in Guadalajara. They had the opportunity to make this fight years ago. They had the power to make this fight back then. They didn’t want to.
As a person, you know, I don’t know him well, but just from what I hear from his actions and all, it’s like a guy that just doesn’t sustain what he says. You know, he just says a lot of things. It’s almost like he’s a little kid.
Q. Canelo, you like Oscar, have overcome earlier in your career the idea that you’re a pretty boy and not a true Mexican Warrior. So as things stand right now, how do you gauge the temperature of the Mexican public as to whether they will be supporting you or Chavez, Jr. in this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, my fans are there. My fans know that I started from nothing, from the bottom up, from zero, and have worked my way up with a lot of sweat and sacrifices.
He has his fans, as well. But I think a lot of his fans are more his father’s fans than his, and his fans follow his father, what his father says, because he’s shown a lot of ups and downs in his career, and he himself has not had a real disciplined career. He is not a role model for the young children and the young fighters. And you know what, I’ve always said, whether I have 1,000, 5,000, 20,000 or millions, I’m very fortunate. I’m very happy and I’m very appreciative of my fans and I’ll give them 100 percent all the time.
Q. This motivation that Chavez, Jr. is showing in his camp, his training and his talking, does that bother you? Do you appreciate it? What do you think about that, because obviously he seems highly motivated for this fight against you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I hope so. I hope everything we’re hearing is true, and that he is training extra hard and extra motivated, because that just makes me happy. That makes me happy because that just means we’re going to give the public, the fans, a beautiful fight.
Q. We know you prepare yourself very good. We know you prepare yourself 100 percent and you’re always training hard to go the distance and prepare for the 12 rounds, but do you think this fight will go the 12 rounds?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, there’s a very high percentage this fight could end by a knockout, because of our styles, obviously the weight, the size of each other. And obviously a knockout is spectacular, for the fighter, for the fans, and we’ll see.
We’ll see what’s going to happen come the fight, and we’re going to give it 100 percent to do everything possible to give the fans what they want.
Q. Oscar, Triple G is most likely going to be out till the fall. It looks like he’s not going to be fighting this June 10 fight in Kazakhstan. Are you pleased by that in terms of possibly making the fight with Triple G and Canelo for the fall?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: All my focus is on Canelo and Chavez, Jr. I actually didn’t even know he was not going to fight in June. That’s obviously a great indication. But all focus is on this fight.
Q. Canelo, do you view this match up with Chavez, Jr. in any way as preparation for the eventual fight with Golovkin, just in terms of his size and style?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, not at all. This is just another fight and it’s a very important fight for me, and I’m not focusing on any other fighter but the fight that I have in front of me.
Q. You’ve mentioned in a couple interviews that it bothers you that Chavez, Jr. talks so much behind your back, but when he’s face-to-face with you, doesn’t say much. Is that an extra motivation for come fight night to shut him up?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, obviously it motivates me and I’m just waiting, waiting for May 6. I’m building up because come May 6, I’m going to let it all out.
Q: What is it that worries you most or concerns you more with Chavez jr., his punch, or what is it?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I mean, obviously we have a strategy and I can’t say it now. Sometimes you build on that: Bell rings, the first round and that goes out the window and you’ve got to adapt to something else. And that’s what we’re doing: We’re working hard, we’re preparing, we’re training hard to come in with a plan and see how he brings it and we can adapt to it.
Q. What does it feel like to train at this heavy weight? From the outside looking in, you sound happier and livelier on this conference call alone. Has it been an easier transition than going into training camp having to worry about cutting weight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: You know what, I’m always real happy. I’m always — I’m normally a tranquil person.
But obviously in this fight, I don’t have to go down as many pounds, the weight. But it’s part of me. It’s my character. I’m always a happy person. I love what I do.
Q: If you cause Chavez Jr. to quit or you administer a very severe beating to him, will any part of you feel sad for his father?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I don’t think of that. I don’t even give it a thought. It’s something that doesn’t even cross my mind. Look, I’ve got to go in there, do my job, and do what I have to do. And that’s part of boxing, to hurt your opponent and beat your opponent more than he can beat you. So that’s what I’m focused on, going in there and winning and beating him.
Q. Your trainers, Eddy and Chepo, they do a tremendous job, but they don’t always get the recognition. Why do you think that is?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I don’t know. I really don’t know and understand it. The trainer is a trainer, is a man, a person,that gets a fighter that doesn’t even know how to throw a jab, that doesn’t even know how to walk and teaches them.
Now, on the other side, when a trainer gets a fighter that’s already made and all they have to do is conditioning, those are conditioning coaches, not trainers.
And Eddy and Chepo, when I started with them, I didn’t even know how to throw a jab, and they taught me. Those are trainers.
Q: Is there any concern with Team Canelo with Chavez, Jr. training with “Nacho” Beristain and any strategy he might implement come May 6?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, not at all. There’s no worries whatsoever. I’m a fighter that’s already been made; a fighter that — how much more can you teach him. Sure, he can get him in great shape and give him a couple words of advice.
I have the best trainers, the best corner in the world. So we just have to worry and focus about ourselves, get in great condition and doing our work, and obviously when we get to the fight, we’ll see.
Q: Why do you think that the majority of the experts have you as a big favorite against Chavez, Jr.?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Because they know. They know based on my history, my discipline, my abilities, my talent, and obviously all the experts see that and they know.
Q: Chavez, Jr. made a declaration that he was sort of confused as to why the anti-dope tests have been one way; that maybe Canelo was hiding something. What do you have to say about that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: What he’s saying is very stupid. Simply put, very stupid. Because we’re talking about the top agency, a very professional — whether they do blood, whether they do urine, whatever they do, they know what they are doing.
And I haven’t tested positive, ever, in my career, and he’s tested two or three times. So he should shut up and worry about himself and stop saying those stupid things.
Q. I just wanted to ask, being that this fight is taking place at a higher weight, do you now consider yourself a true middleweight and do you consider yourself the Middleweight Champion of the World?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I’m not a current world champion at middleweight. I have been in the past, but I’m not now.
And as far as the weight, after this fight, I’m not looking past this fight. I’m focused 100 percent on this fight, but I’m now staying at middleweight. I’ll stay at 160 pounds.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much and this concludes our call. A reminder to all the media, we will host Canelo’s final media day at the House of Boxing in San Diego, and more details to follow.
Again tickets are going extremely fast for closed circuit, which is a good indication everybody is excited, so we will see you May 6. And some closing comments from Canelo and we will end the call.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I want to thank all of you for all the support you’ve given in the promotion. I’ll see you all on April 19 for the public workout and then during the fight week for May 6. I want to see all the people there in support. Thank you so much.