Canelo Alvarez Media Call Interview Transcript
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Hi there, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us and for participating in the Canelo Alvarez international media conference call.
September 15 couldn’t be close enough. We are exactly about one month away from one of the most anticipated high-class action rematches of the middleweight division between Lineal Middleweight Champion Saul Canelo Alvarez and GGG, who is a WBC, WBA, IBO Middleweight World Champion. This epic event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time, which will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific time.
For those of you who want to be present in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, you can still get your tickets. There’s only a few tickets left, and you can access those tickets at www.T-Mobilearena.com or by calling 888-929-7849. The closed-circuit tickets went on sale today. Fight fans can watch live from the MGM Grand, the Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, and the Luxor, and tickets may be purchased at the MGM Resort International box office.
We would like to highlight a couple of upcoming events. Next week on Wednesday, August 22nd, the media will get an opportunity to talk to Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, who are the trainers of Canelo, and you’ll be able to talk to Abel Sanchez, the trainer for Gennady Golovkin. Again, the date is Wednesday, August 22nd, and that will be at 1:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. PT
Additionally, we have — we’re hosting an open to the public and to the media workout live from the brand new arena in Downtown L.A. It’s L.A.’s newest soccer club, the LAFC, which is called the Banc of California Stadium, and that’s Sunday, August 26. Both fighters will be hosting an open to the media and to the public workout. We expect thousands and thousands of people to attend.
Let me just take this opportunity to thank the sponsors. Obviously, the official beer of boxing, that’s Tecate, Hennessey, never stop, never settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. Thank you very much for your continued support to the sport of boxing.
Now I would like to introduce to you. He is the world champion going against Gennady Golovkin for the second time. He has made an incredible career in such a short period of time, Saul Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Greetings to everybody. We’re happy to be here with you again on this teleconference call. More than everything, we are ready. There’s only one month left. We’re very happy. We’re very focused in training. And we’re happy that we’re just days away from this fight.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Beautiful. Now we will open it up to the media for questions. Thank you.
Q. Hi there, my question for Canelo, this fight will represent what will be, if he wins, the 21st consecutive title defense for Gennady Golovkin, which would break the record that he currently shares with Bernard Hopkins, who, of course, is a partner in Golden Boy. I wonder, from Canelo’s perspective, how significant would it be for him — I know to win would be big, but how significant would it be to prevent his rival from breaking such a hallowed record?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Well, you know, Gennady Golovkin has his goals. He has his wishes, just like me. Mine is to win on September 15. I mean, whatever he wants, that’s his record, his desires. That’s why he’s training. That’s why he’s training to win.
All I know is that I’m prepared to win on the 15th of September, to give a great fight and make it absolutely clear that I’m the best middle weight in the world.
Q. Another question for Canelo. This will be Canelo’s first rematch of his career. Most top fighters at one point or another do have a rematch, but I’m just wondering if he has just any general thoughts on engaging in what will be his first rematch.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’m very happy to have this tiebreaker. I’m very happy for this opportunity to make clear who is better. This is the opportunity to show who is better. So I’m happy, and I’m content, and I’m relaxed. I’m training 100% because, obviously, I know what I have in front of me. I know Golovkin is not an easy opponent, and I know what I have to add to my strategy. So, again, I’m happy to have the tiebreaker to make it clear who is the better fighter in the first fight.
Q. The first question is why do you think this rematch will be different? What will you do differently? What will be different to tip the balances in this fight in your favor?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The first fight gave me the guidelines to know what to do in the second fight, to know what to do differently. In the first fight, I realized a lot of things. I learned that I can knock him out. I learned that I can hurt him. There are a lot of things I learned in that fight, but also in that first fight, it was my first fight officially at 160 pounds, at the 160 pound limit, so I had to adapt. But now I’m more sure and more confident about what I can do in this rematch.
Q. How do you feel about the accusations from the other side, from Abel Sanchez, from team Golovkin, and how have you been able to deal personally with dealing with people like that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, you know, I’m very bothered, and I’m angry at their accusations, but I will utilize it in my favor because I have experience in this. I know that, if I get angry and closed minded, that I might make some mistakes, and it will be wrong. So I’m going to use this in my favor to train harder to give that extra push, and I’m going to use that anger intelligently in my favor on September 15.
Q. Hello, everybody. Oscar, I have a question, and then I have one for Canelo, if I may. Oscar, you had two guys, notable guys, Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas, test positive after they fought you, and I know some of us reporters — and I don’t know about the fans, but I’m assuming some of them too, kind of never looked at those guys the same way after that because we were wondering, right? So in your mind, how concerned are you that, even if Canelo didn’t do this on purpose, that his legacy has become tainted by the dirty test?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I’m not concerned one bit because this is totally different. Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas tested positive for steroids performance-enhancing drugs, and this is totally different. This was Clenbuterol that was in meat, in tainted meat. So, look, everybody in Mexico knows about the big problem they have with Clenbuterol in their meat, and in Mexico he’s a bigger star than ever.
So I don’t think his career will be tainted whatsoever. I think once he beats Golovkin in a spectacular fashion, then people will forget about it here in the states.
Q. Oscar, let me ask you one more thing, and I just have one for Canelo. The pay-per-view numbers were very good the first time. Is it safe to say, because of this controversy, that they could be even way better this time because everybody loves controversy?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Absolutely. This pay-per-view the second time around will be much bigger than the first time around.
Q. And Canelo, the same kind of question I asked Oscar, the first one. Is he concerned that people are going to look at him differently now with the test with the Clenbuterol?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, the people who have always supported me have been there and will always be there. They know what it is. I’ve made all the tests. So they will always be there, my supporters.
Q. This is for Canelo. GGG is known for his knockout power. He has an 87 percent KO rating. Having felt this power, how does it stack up against previous opponents, and is he the hardest hitter you’ve ever fought?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Obviously, he’s a very strong fighter. He has a very strong hit in his punches. That’s his biggest virtue as a fighter, that he has that power, but obviously, I’ve fought other strong fighters as well. And despite him being a 160-pounder with respectable power, it’s nothing out of this world. I showed him the first fight that I can take his punches, and simply that, he’s a respectable puncher with respectable power, but nothing out of this world.
Q. You and GGG haven’t fought for a year. How hard is it to shake off the rust after a year of inactivity?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I don’t think the year off will affect me at all. I like to train. I like to stay active. So I feel good. The most I’ve lasted usually from September to May, which is about nine months. So I think three additional months is nothing. I stay training, and I stay active, and it’s not going to affect me for this fight on September 15.
Q. Obviously, with the Clenbuterol, it may have hurt your image, but you deserve credit for being clean throughout your entire career and a very decorated career. But despite all of that, do you feel there’s added pressure to show because you’ll be under the microscope more for this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, I don’t feel any pressure at all. I have nothing to show in that respect. All I have to show is I’m the best. In the first fight, it wasn’t demonstrated because, obviously, it ended in a draw. But that’s the only thing I need to show, that I’m the better fighter than him on September 15.
Q. What is the lesson that you have learned from these months and from being a year off? You’re 28 years old. Obviously, you’ve had good things, but this is obviously that moment. What have you learned from this experience?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I learned a lot. I learned who was really there for me. But I also learned — I got a lot of experience so that it doesn’t happen. The only error that I made is I didn’t educate myself properly on the situation with meat in Mexico, and I have to learn from that so it doesn’t happen again.
Q. I started out with my questioning of Canelo asking about the prospect of stopping GGG from breaking the record that he shares now with middle weight defenses with Bernard Hopkins. I wanted your perspective on that. I know he’s your partner. I know you guys have a long relationship with each other. But how satisfying would it be for you to see Canelo stop him from breaking his record?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Bernard Hopkins wouldn’t be any happier if Canelo — when Canelo stops him from breaking his record. Obviously, that’s a huge seat in his career. Even 21 defenses is huge. Bernard Hopkins, the fighters he’s faced, the opposition he’s faced, and then being able to defend his title 22 times is incredible.
So September 15, I’m pretty sure Bernard Hopkins is going to be rooting for Canelo even more so because his record’s on the line.
Q. I also wonder from you, Oscar, when you’ve talked to Canelo about the fight, is there anything that you saw in the first fight, as an experienced fighter yourself, that you saw that you gave him a tip about or something that maybe you saw in the way that Golovkin fought that you think that he can exploit or do better in the rematch with? And if so, what was that?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yeah, there’s always — you can always do better. That’s the beauty about boxing, and he knows what he has to do. I believe he fought a great fight. He fought his own fight, and I had him up two points. So, obviously, the second time around — and that’s the beauty with a rematch is that you can change up your style. You can adjust to your opponent’s style, and that’s the beauty with Canelo is that he knows how to adjust, unlike GGG that only fights one way, and that’s coming forward.
Q. Obviously, after this first fight, how many times have you seen this first fight on tape? And the real question is what did you see that you liked? What did you see that you’ve been able to work on that you’ll be able to utilize for this rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve seen that fight about ten times, and what I think I needed or if there was an error, it was that I defended punches and I didn’t take advantage to counter that. I have to add that to this game plan. Every chance I get to hit him, I have to hit it. Every time I slip or dodge a punch, I have to come back. That’s what I needed in this fight, and that’s what I’m going to do on September 15.
Q. After this rematch against Golovkin, do you think that this will close the story or end the story between you two, or do you think there will be a third fight between Canelo and GGG?
CANELO ALVAREZ: As with the first fight, we have to see how this fight is going to take place and how it’s going to pass. After the first one, we needed the second one because it was a draw and because the fans wanted it. Personally for me, I want it to end here. I want it to define very clearly who’s the best in this rematch.
Q. First question is for Canelo. GGG had said that he had lost a lot of respect for you after what happened in February. Do you still have respect for him? And if you don’t, will you have respect for him regardless of what happens after September 15?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, in the same way actually, it’s going to be worse. The respect that we had was lost. He crossed the line with his statements, with what he said, with the excuses, with all the crying from his team. So the respect, it was completely lost, and that’s how it will continue. In fact, this loss of respect and their statements and what they all said, this will help me to give 100 percent and give that extra push to leave it clear that I’m the better fighter.
Q. Based off of that, a lot of people have taken what he said, and they’ve taken it to heart. Do you feel you’re fighting for your reputation coming up on September 15, I’ll go in with a cold and calm mentality.
Q. Oscar, back when you fought Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum started a Mexicans for Pacquiao campaign and was quoted as saying, you have to understand that Manny is more of a Mexican style fighter than Oscar De La Hoya will ever be. Does it bother you that ten years later we’re still using this Mexican style gimmick? And what advice did you give Canelo, having gone through this yourself?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s obviously all a gimmick. It’s a gimmick to win fans over. I did it with fighting hard and beating the best out there and fighting the best out there. Canelo did it the same way. He’s a Mexican national, and the Mexican Nationals love him. So all this gimmick stuff about Mexicans for Golovkin and Mexicans for Pacquiao, that’s all it is. It’s a gimmick.
It’s sad to know there are a few fans that fall for it, but it’s really nice to know that Canelo has Mexican fans that love him and support him 1,000 percent.
Q. In the first fight with Golovkin, what was the thing that most surprised you and most disappointed you in that first fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I knew that he was strong, and I knew that he could take punches, and I knew that he could assimilate well. Nothing surprised me. I knew who he was. I knew he’s strong. And he’s going to be strong in this fight. I know he’s going to be strong in this fight, and that’s why I’m training.
But more than that, the first fight showed me what I can add to my game plan to beat him on September 15.
Q. A lot of people think this fight’s not going to end by knockout, that it’s going to go the distance. Do you agree with that assessment, or are you going to go out there and look for the knockout?
CANELO ALVAREZ: From the beginning, I will work him to look for that KO. That’s what I’ll be doing from the very first round, and that’s why I’m training and I’m mentally prepared to do that. Obviously, you know, that’s the way I want this fight to end by knockout, and for them to raise my hand after that knockout victory.
Q. Obviously, you talked some about some political concerns before. As the biggest star, what do you think about the new president in Mexico?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always reserved myself to speak about political issues. The thing with Trump, well, I had to speak out against what he said about Mexicans. My opinion is what I have, that we’re not all the same. So I never really get into political issues. Hopefully, this president is good and that he makes well on his promises and that he can represent us very well.
Q. You haven’t fought in about a year. What has been the hardest thing about that year off? Especially since you’ve said that you love training and that you love fighting. What’s been the hardest thing?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, it’s been a year off. That’s the hardest thing. I’m more anxious than ever to get in the ring and throw punches, especially with all that has taken place surrounding this fight. But I always stay training, and I always stay active. I like training even if I don’t fight, and I stay active.
Q. Has he taken more tests, anti-doping tests after what has happened?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always had tests. I’ve always participated in these tests since 2012. I’ve been in tests and voluntary tests for each training camp, and they keep doing it whether or not what took place — whether or not I tested positive. They can come every week, and they can come at any time, and they don’t let you know, and it’s all voluntary — not obligatory. I voluntarily do these tests. And they have done it 15 or 20 times since that day in February, and they keep doing it. And any time they come here, I’m ready to take those tests.
Q. Hello, Canelo, from San Diego. We’re happy to have you here, as always. You are by far not only the most familiar, famous fighter in Mexico, but you’re also a role model for all the young fighters that Oscar has there at Golden Boy. How do you feel about the responsibility knowing they’re all looking up to you as a role model? How do you proceed with that, and how do you manage that knowing that they are all looking to you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I manage it well. I do it by being calm, by being disciplined, and those two attributes maintain me as an example. I keep training hard, and I keep giving good fights, and I’ll keep doing that so that I continue being a role model for these young fighters.
Q. Oscar, I’d like you to weigh in on that question because you watch him interacting with your younger fighters. What do you see in their interaction together?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what it’s all about is looking up to fighters that you want to be like when you grow up yourself. That’s what every sport has. Every sport has a hero. Every sport has an athlete that they look up to. Saul is the one on top right now. He’s the one who is look upon. He’s the hero. And so everybody — every young fighter looks up to him and wants to be like him. So that’s the beauty about boxing is that, when you have fighters like Saul who can come up and be those role models, it only makes boxing better, and it gives these kids an opportunity for them to realize their own dreams.
Q. Out of all the statements and the craziness that occurred with the positive testing, obviously, the other team is using it to get you out of focus. Do you think that you will use it in your favor so that Golovkin’s side is the one who will be out of focus for this rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I don’t know what they intend. I don’t know what they’re intending to do or what their intentions are. All I know is that I want to get in the ring and defeat him, and any error that he makes, I’m going to take advantage of on this fight and in this rematch.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Okay. Thank you very much, Saul. Thank you very much, everyone. All the media, just want to let you know that August 26nd we want to make this the biggest workout event live from the Banc of California Stadium. LAFC plays there. We want to make sure that everyone goes, all the media, and spread the word to the public.
Obviously, September 15 can’t come any faster. Thank you very much. Gracias.