(“What are your thoughts on what figures to be a slugfest with Angulo?)
“There are hard fights and there are difficult fights; this is going to be a very hard fight, a grueling fight. I know Angulo is training like he never has before.”
Photo: Esther Lin/Showtime
(If victorious, who do you want to fight next?)
“I am not thinking of any other fighter or any future fight. My only focus is on Angulo and March 8. This is a really tough fight and it is the only fight I think about.”
(How is this camp different than your past camps, or is it different at all?)
“I learned a lot from the Mayweather fight, not only physically, but mentally. It was a great learning experience. This camp may not look that different, but I’ve been applying everything I learned into this camp and trying to refine some of the things I do.”
(How have you managed to handle the media scrutiny throughout your career?)
“I don’t think about it. This performance is going to regain everybody’s confidence in me.”
(Did you ever think you’d reach these heights as a professional fighter?)
“No, never. I always just tried to be the best fighter I could be, the best in the world. All of this notoriety and popularity is a plus but I’m just a normal person trying to succeed and reach my goal.”
(Is Angulo made to order?)
“His style is one that I enjoy because I know he loves to trade punches so I won’t have to go looking for him.”
(Do you consider yourself a superstar?)
“I do not and would never consider myself a superstar. I leave that up to the fans and media to decide.”
(Any advice for fighters coming up?)
“Work hard and stay in the gym. If you stay disciplined, good things will happen.”
(Is there a fighter you’ve faced that reminds you of Angulo?)
“I think that if I had to name one fighter it would be Carlos Baldomir, because I fought him when I was so young and he was so strong at that point in his career.”
(Is it important for you to win by knockout, or just to come out victorious on March 8?)
“I never go into a fight looking for a knockout. I just want to win convincingly, although there’s no doubt our styles will make for an exciting fight.”
CHEPO REYNOSO, Canelo’s Manager
“It’s going to be a very interesting fight because the styles complement each other. Angulo is an aggressive fighter who comes forward. That’s the tailor-made style for Canelo to make a very exciting fight.”
EDDIE REYNOSO, Canelo’s Trainer
“It’s going to be a hard fight. We’re up against a very strong fighter in Angulo and that’s why we’ve been training so hard.
“Training has been going very well. We’ve been training very hard and effectively and that’s why we expect to have Canelo get his hand raised on March 8.”
Thanks, everybody for joining us today. We’re very excited to feature the star of the Saturday, March 8fight, none other than Canelo Alvarez and his entire team: Ricardo Alvarez, his brother; Chepo Reynoso and Eddie Reynoso, both his trainers; and also Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Boy Promotions.
Before I introduce Richard, I would like to say that this is our last press event before we head into fight week, and everybody please look for your fight week media schedules. We have great events planned for fight week and we hope to see you there. If you can’t make it to the fight, keep an eye on your inbox because we will be sending you all sorts of press materials to help your TOE TO TOE coverage, including live streams embedding codes, quotes and photos. As always, we appreciate your continuing support.
At this point, I’ll turn it over to Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
We have about a week and a half until the excitement of “TOE TO TOE” hits Las Vegas and fight fans around the world. It is an unbelievable card. It’s one of those cards as Golden Boy has become accustomed to for really top-to-bottom entertainment and great fights.
We have some young, rising stars on the non-televised portion, and I was just actually adding up the records. If you look at the record of the guys they are fighting, it’s very similar with 185 wins and like 20 losses. So it’s very evenly matched, meaningful fights.
We have the Olympian Jo-Jo Diaz fighting. We have Francisco Vargas, Will Tomlinson, Keandre Gibson, so a lot of great fights. And then we’re going to be moving into the first fight that will be televised on the free view, which is Jorge Linares against Nihito Arakawa, which is going to be nonstop TOE-TO-TOE action. We know that Arakawa is always an exciting guy and of course Linares is as well.
Then, we go into the pay-per-view. Prior to the main event between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo we’re going to have three world-title fights – yes, three world-title fights. Opening up the telecast is going to be another junior-middleweight title bout, which is going to be Carlos Molina from Michoacan, Mexico against Jermall Charlo from Houston, Texas. He is going to be challenging Carlos Molina for the IBF junior middleweight world title.
Then next up is going to be Saul’s brother, Ricardo Alvarez, from Guadalajara, Mexico. He’s going to be challenging Omar Figueroa from Weslaco, Texas for the world title. Ricardo is excited, and in a minute you’re going to hear from him.
Then we have one of the most exciting fighters irrespective of weight class, Leo Santa Cruz, defending his WBC super bantamweight world title against a true Mexican warrior, former world champion, in a very tough fight, Cristian Mijares, and finally, of course, we are going to go to the one we’ve all been waiting for, Saul Alvarez and “El Perro” Angulo.
The fight, as you know, is at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. There are going to be some great fight-week activities planned. It’s promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions, and I’d like to think our sponsors as well, Corona, AT&T and Casamigos Tequila. There are still some tickets available. I do anticipate a sellout. I think we are like at 12,000 tickets sold, and I think the capacity is like 14,270, so a couple thousand tickets are left. The $25 seats are sold out. There are some left at $50, so make sure your readers and listeners know to snap up these tickets. There are also a few left at $600, $400, and $200.
We are really excited to have Canelo back in a big night, and the man, the team I would rather say, who have been working with Canelo from a very early, Eddie Reynoso, his trainer – Canelo’s trainer and Ricardo Alvarez’s trainer – and Jose his father, Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, who is the manager for both Canelo and Ricardo and, as we all know, for many other former Mexican greats and world champions.
It is a pleasure now for me to introduce first Eddie Reynoso who is going to give you guys some information as it relates to the training camp.
Good afternoon to everybody. Thank you for being here. Everything is going well. Training has gone very well, and we’re just waiting for the date of the fight.
Now I’d like to ask Chepo – Jose “Chepo” Reynoso – to say a few words about the camp. How is Canelo feeling? How is Ricardo feeling? How are they looking forward to this card?
Good afternoon to everybody. Thank you so much for being here. It’s been an intense camp. It’s been a lot of hard work because we know the significance – both Canelo and Ricardo know the significance of this bout and how important it is to them, and we’re just ready and looking forward to March 8 and putting on a great performance. Thank you.
So now, without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you the current WBC Continental Americas 140-pound champion. He’s the older brother of Mexico’s icon, Canelo. He made his U.S. boxing debut last December in San Antonio on the Dec. 14 card with a win over Rod Salka. He has been waiting for this opportunity. He is excited to be fighting in the boxing mecca of the world, Las Vegas, and of course having a shot at the WBC world champion Figueroa. Please welcome Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez.
Thank you very much to everybody. Good morning. Well, we’re ready. We’re looking forward to fight night to get up in the ring and show everybody the hard work and everything that’s been realized throughout the camp, and ready for victory – ready to come back with the win.
Now here he is the one superstar from Mexico. I told you guys before already the ratings for his last fight set an all-time TV record in Mexico.
He is exciting. He has that will and that fire to win. He has been a pro since 2005 when he was just 15 years old, he is without any question Mexico’s biggest boxing superstar, but really has clearly transcended here in the United States as well, has a huge following – and yes it has a little bit to do with his looks and the red hair and so on. He is a handsome guy, but at the end of the day it really is his fighting style and his charisma.
He picked an opponent he knows who’s a tough guy, a big puncher who comes toe-to-toe, but that’s what Canelo wants. Canelo realizes that boxing is entertainment, and he is the ultimate entertainer. Please welcome Canelo Alvarez.
Well, thank you very much to everybody. Thanks for all the support, for being here, and I just want to let you know that I’m very excited. I’m very happy. We’re less than two weeks away, and I’m just looking forward to getting back in the ring and getting back on that victory road. Thank you.
Just a quick little side note about the excitement of this fight week and this particular fight as well. I got some information from the MGM and from SHOWTIME as well, they’ve been running contests – the same contest they ran when Canelo fought Mayweather – and the participation rate is almost as big as when he fought Floyd Mayweather.
So we anticipate a big pay-per-view. We anticipate big excitement in Las Vegas in the venue as well, so really looking forward to that one. Having said that, I’d like to open it up now to the media, and you can ask questions from any of those participants.
As we’re waiting for our first question, I do have a program note that ALL ACCESS: CANELO vs. ANGULO episode one premieres this Friday night, 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on SHOWTIME.
Canelo, I am wondering what was the lesson learned in the fight against Mayweather, and what will you bring from that fight into the ring, if anything, against Angulo?
Well, I can’t pinpoint one thing because I learned a lot in that fight, so it wasn’t just one thing. But we did gain a lot of experience, and that will be noted in my fights in the future once I step into the ring to bring that out, and you will see that.
I’m trying to get a sense from both the siblings as to the difference in excitement knowing that you’re both going to be fighting on the same night.
I guess my first question is for Ricardo. Ricardo, for you this is completely new. You’re fighting on the undercard of your younger brother. Can you talk about generally about the excitement of that?
I’m very excited. I’m very motivated. I’m very happy to be fighting the most important fight of my life. This is the biggest and most important fight of my career at this point. Not only that, to be fighting in the arena that I’m going to be fighting, the MGM where everybody wants to fight, and of course to be on the undercard of such a great main event and be under my brother – it all contributes to my motivation and my excitement. I’m very happy to be here.
Ricardo, from a standpoint of taking pointers from your brother or vice versa, could you kind of put me in a conversation between the two of you when you talk about fighting a certain fighter or in particular these guys you’re fighting? You’re fighting Omar; he’s fighting Angulo. Do you talk about the styles and the excitement of what it’s going to be like that night?
Yes, definitely. We’ve been training together. We’ve been in camp together. So there are moments where we give each other advice and work on techniques to help each other versus our opponent, and yes we’re both very excited. We know what the meaning of this, for both of us, coming out with a victory and what the significance of it is. So yes, we’re very happy, the both of us.
Ricardo, do you see Omar as being – along the same lines, do you see him as being a similar fight to the one that your brother is going to have to fight with Alfredo, and have you also heard some of the comments that Figueroa has made about trying to stop you early in the fight and, in fact, getting a knockout?
Yes, the styles are very similar. When you have fighters with these characteristics of going forward and looking for fights and toe-to-toe you’re going to have two similar bouts. As far as the comments made by Figueroa, I congratulate him. He’s training well. He has confidence, and he believes in what he’s done, but I also believe in what I’ve done.
I’m also a fighter that doesn’t look for a step back. I go forward, and I’ve prepared myself very well. I’m used to it. It’s part of boxing, people talking and making those types of comments. That’s part of boxing. But you know what? My talking will be inside the ring where it should be done.
Canelo, what general advice or counsel are you giving your brother about being on a big card like the one he was on in December, and he was successful. This one stands to be bigger. He stands to be in a tougher fight. Is there any general advice that you’re giving him or counsel you’re doing him going into this fight?
Yes, of course. The advice I’ve always given him and will continue giving him is to concentrate on the fight, to concentrate on himself in the ring, to for the moment block off the people, the fans, the TV, the big arena – to block that out and concentrate just on what’s in front of him and for that moment just feel like you’re at home just like always. You’ve always been there. So that’s the advice I give him.
What are your thoughts on Angulo saying that he sparred with Andre Ward who he feels is bigger and more technically sound than you are. In fact, he thinks he is superior. What are your thoughts/comments on that?
That’s awesome. That’s great. I’m grateful that he’s preparing himself very well, and I’d let you know that I’m preparing myself very well too, and that just guarantees that when we come up in the fight we’re going to have fun and we’re going to give a great fight.
I’m wondering what your thoughts are about having to go up against one of your countrymen? Do you like that, or do you prefer to fight, like when you fought Mayweather, an American or some other – when you fought for the title or when you fought a British fighter. Do you like Mexican fighters as opponents, or would you prefer not to fight Mexican opponents?
I always like fighting fighters from all over the world, from different parts of the world, and that’s always what I like. But in this particular case we crossed our path. This was destiny. This was the fight that made sense, and we’re going to be there.
The only thing I can tell you is the good thing is whenever you have a Mexican versus a Mexican it’s a guaranteed great fight, and that’s what we’re going to bring you March 8.
Canelo, I don’t know if you actually watched the fight between Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara. If you have, I’m interested to hear what your opinion was about the way that fight went and the way the ending of the fight went.
Definitely he showed tremendous heart. He did great. I mean, whether at that moment or if it would’ve gone to decision I think he would’ve won the fight – that he was winning, and that he would’ve won the fight if he continued.
You never know what kind of pain goes through him or went through him and made him decide to stop the fight at that moment. It’s unknown. But at that moment if the fight would’ve continued or if it would’ve ended, he was winning, and would’ve won the fight in my eyes.
I’m wondering how much desperation is there in you to make sure you don’t lose a second fight in a row which could be considered disaster by some people, and then, by the way, the same thing for Angulo. How much desperation will there be for you also to win this fight?
You know what? I’m prepared. I’m just very excited to get back in the ring, and we prepared really hard, and we always prepare for victory and to win, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.
People have a lot of positive things to say about your next opponent, Alfredo Angulo. There are also some negatives, people talking negatively about it. Do you think that the fight is getting the credit it deserves for the opponent that you have in front of you?
Look, there are always going to be critics. There’s always going to be people that have something negative to say. But at the same time, there’s always going to be fans and supporters that are going to be coming out in full-fledge, and as you see tickets are showing it, the sales. But the most important thing here is we have to train with full conscious of what we have in front of us, of how dangerous Alfredo Angulo is and can be during the fight, and that’s the important thing.
Let me just add something to that as well. Canelo could have fought one of those 154-pounders, and he could have fought for a world title, and it would have been a dance festival. But Canelo doesn’t like dance festivals. Canelo wants to entertain, and I can assure you – I can assure you that this fight March 8 between Canelo and Alfredo will be the most exciting, the most exciting fight, from all those upcoming pay-per-view events. Canelo means excitement. He’s explosive. Alfredo means excitement and is explosive. And if you put those two together it’s can’t-miss TV.
Obviously we know that the characteristics of Angulo, what he brings. What are you going to bring? What are the changes that you’re going to do – and if Eddie and Chepo can answer as well – what are you bringing differently into this fight to adjust to Angulo’s pressure?
Yes, we’re doing everything necessary. We’re training for what we have in front of us. We have the sparring, the adequate sparring partners that are very similar to him, and we’re doing the adjustments, and obviously the experience is going to come out. We have the experience, and at the end of the day we’re going to go in there and win the fight.
Can you give us your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather versus “Chino” Maidana that’s coming up in May?
It’s a very interesting fight. We’ve got to see. We’ve got to wait and see.
Canelo, was there somebody who helped you to overcome the defeat against Mayweather?
I have a lot of family. I have a lot of support, friends, and my team, and I’m very strong-minded. I’m very strong-minded. So yes it was a loss, but I learned a lot from it, and I just move on. I just – I gained experience and move on. But again, I’m strong-minded. I don’t dwell on the past. Now I look forward to the future.
Chepo, what do you tell trainers like Virgil Hunter that criticized Canelo’s corner during the last press conference for not making the necessary changes during the fight against Mayweather?
From a distance it’s very easy to criticize. You’re not in the corner. You’re not knowing what is being said. You’re not knowing what is being told. In front of us we had one of the most talented fighters there is.
Yes, there was plan B, plan C, and a variety of different things that we were telling Saul, but it was the opponent in front of us who – again, I repeat one of the most talented – and he didn’t let us do it. So again, it’s very easy to criticize from a distance.
Canelo, you’re listed by some odds-makers as being a 9-1 favorite, and being the fact that this is your first time headlining a pay-per-view I’m just curious how you feel about the expectations that are being put upon you for this event, and do you feel any extra pressure?
No, I’m very happy. It’s a big responsibility, a great responsibility. But I thrive on it, and I’m very honored, honored to be headlining and to show the world that not only fighters from other countries can headline events like this but also the Latinos, the Mexicans. We can do it as well. So again, it’s a big responsibility but I thrive on it, and I enjoy it, and with hard work we’re here.
By the way, the odds they mean nothing. Look at the last fight a few months ago, Danny Garcia against Lucas Matthysse. Danny Garcia was a 9-1 underdog, and we all know what happened. That’s the beauty of boxing. When you have two guys who come to fight who have that will to win you just don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s why it’s so exciting.
Canelo, you mentioned being a Mexican fighter and you’re proud of that. I’m curious, for yourself how does it feel holding that torch right now as pretty much the premier Mexican boxing star, the future of Mexican boxing?
That motivates me more even to work harder, because you’ve got to remember Mexico is rich in history when it comes to Mexican fighters, and that motivates me and makes me work harder. I’m very honored.
Here you’re facing off against Angulo who’s a straight-ahead, straightforward guy. I’m just curious are you just looking forward to fighting somebody that has that type of style, and do you think it’s going to live up to the hype of being toe-to-toe?
Yes, definitely – definitely a different style. Obviously he’s a fighter that comes forward, that hits hard, that can take a punch, and that’s what’s going to make the fight live up, and that’s what the people want to see. They want to see action, and that’s what they will see March 8, a lot of action.
Canelo, you prefer exciting fights. Do you feel boxing judges unfairly favor defensive tactics like the kind Mayweather employs?
No. No. No. Definitely they recognize him. He’s a great fighter, and they know that. He’s a boxer. But the fight, the fans also love to see action. They love to see knockouts. They love to see wars, and that’s what we want to give them.
Canelo, are you now less inclined to face defensive-minded fighters like Mayweather and Lara in the future?
No, I’m open to fight whoever and wherever. It’s just time will tell and dictate who, and we’ll see in the future. But right now I’m concentrating on what I have in front of me, and that’s Alfredo Angulo for March 8.
In the Austin Trout fight, Canelo, you showed you can box. You have a lot of slick movement, and you can box and move out. Is that something you’re going to implement in this fight with Alfredo, more boxing, or do you plan on going toe-to-toe and go to war?
No, I fight both ways. I can box, and I can go toe-to-toe, but we’re going to do what is more convenient for me, and that’s what we’ll impose once we’re in there.
Of all the fighters that have beaten “El Perro,” the one more similar to you is James Kirkland because he’s also a pressure fighter. Did you watch that fight as a way to know how to beat Angulobecause Lara and Cintron boxed him, but Kirkland went to war with him and was able to wear him down. Do you expect to be able to do that same thing?
Yes, I did see the fight – two different styles, two styles totally different. I know what I have to do. We’ve been training. We’ve been working hard. We’ve been working on different things. Once we get into the ring we’ll see what he brings and what we have to do and make the adjustments necessary to do whatever needs to be done to get the win.
As I said, we have a week and a half to go up until the excitement of “TOE TO TOE” – mano a mano in Spanish. It’s going to be invading Las Vegas. We have an exciting fight week starting on Tuesday with the fighter arrivals.
On Wednesday we have open media workouts, and open to the public as well, from the MGM Grand Garden. And then on Thursday we have the press conference, the final press conference, followed on Friday by the weigh-in, and then of course fight night on Saturday, March 8 in Las Vegas from the MGM. Make sure you let your readers and listeners and the public know that there are some tickets left.
The $25 tickets are sold out. There are some $50 seats left, so please go and get them before they are gone. It’s going to be, as I said, an exciting night in Las Vegas because with all these fights on the card it’s fireworks, and fireworks it will be on March 8 in Las Vegas. Thank you all, and I will see you there.