CECILIA ZUNIGA: I want to welcome all the media that joined us today for Canelo’s final media conference call. As you all already know, we have an exciting event planned for all of you on November 21st. Now to introduce the call and Team Canelo, I would like to introduce our host for this call, the Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much. Welcome everyone, and thank you for joining today’s international media conference call with Team Canelo Alvarez. I’m pleased to be on the call this afternoon to talk about the highly anticipated clash of two Titans, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, in a classic Puerto Rico versus Mexico battle that will be for the WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championship on November 21st live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center, which will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View.
I’m extremely proud to announce that this fight will be for the WBC Middleweight World Championship Diamond Belt and will also have the Ring Magazine Championship Belt on the line.
Like I said, this fight will be taking place on HBO pay-per-view, and to all the media from around the world that’s listening, this match-up is one of the most anticipated match-ups of the year; a match-up where people are expecting a war; people are expecting a great battle.
History shows when you put a Puerto Rican fighter and a Mexican fighter inside the ring, you are guaranteed to get excitement and fireworks, so everyone across the globe is really, really excited.
I want to thank our supporters of this fight: Corona Extra, Mexico, Live it to Believe It, Also, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Tequila Cazadores and our newest sponsor, Corporate Travel Made Simple.
At this moment let me take the opportunity to introduce to you the head trainer, who will say a few words, and his name is Eddy Reynoso, who has been with Canelo Alvarez for practically all his life as a professional fighter and as an amateur fighter, so Eddy Reynoso will say a few words, Eddy?
EDDY REYNOSO: Hello and thank you to everyone for being here at the press conference. We’re ready.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you, Eddy. Also at this moment let me introduce the manager and also trainer, you all know him as “Chepo” and this is Jose Reynoso. Jose?
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO: Good afternoon. We’re here ready for the fight, and we’re ready for anyone that is looking forward to interviewing us.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Great. Thank you. Gracious. Lastly, I would like to introduce to you the man of the hour, the Mexican Superstar, Canelo Alvarez, who continues to impress with every victory, every fight. His record is 45-1 with 32 knockouts, which is outstanding, at just 25 years old. He hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, and he continues to captivate the fans all around the world with his action-packed fighting style, his charisma and his willingness to take on the toughest challenge.
Let me introduce to you, Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Hello. How is everyone? I’m looking forward to the fight. We’re very happy. We thank God that we’re close to the fight. We’re just finishing up our final details but we’re ready.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Operator, we can now open it up for questions.
Q. Hello, everybody. Canelo, this would be what I would view as your second humongous fight, the other one being the Floyd Mayweather fight. That fight was your first experience in a big, mega-fight, and I wonder if you could talk about the lessons that you may have learned from the — really just the “bigness” and the moment of that fight as you get ready to go into what is now your next huge fight as a result of that fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: All of my fights I learned something. There are some important fights, there are some difficult fights, but with all these combined fights you gain experience, and with that experience I’m going to display that on November 21st.
Q. But nothing particular about the — dealing with the moment and the magnitude of the event?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Nothing in particular, like more specifically, what?
Q. I want to know if there is anything, just because that was your first experience in that kind of atmosphere?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Nothing in particular.
Q. Staying on the Mayweather fight, compared to the Cotto fight, when you fought Floyd, it was to unify titles, you were fighting the pound-for-found number one fighter in boxing, so obviously a lot at stake and a really big deal. This fight, fighting for the middleweight title, a lot at stake, combined with the fact it’s Mexico vs. Puerto Rico. We all know about the great rivalry between the two countries. I’m wondering which to you was a bigger deal, fighting for the unified titles and the number one pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, or getting a shot at the middleweight title and fighting in what will go down as one of the top rivalry fights that there’s been in a long time?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Both of the fights were important. They were in a different division. One was Mayweather, was for the unification of pound-for-pound, and now this is at a different weight division, so it’s important, also. And this is Mexico versus Puerto Rico, and more importantly I’m motivated and inspired and looking forward to November 21st.
Q. Oscar, I have a quick question for you. Has there been a decision made to the other fight on the pay-per-view telecast because of the Andre ward injury?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Not yet. We’re still discussing that with Roc Nation, so we will have an answer for you shortly.
Q. Canelo, your promoter was not exaggerating when he said you have captivated fans all over the world. My mother is 78 years old and thinks you’re gorgeous. There is a real sense that — people have asked all the questions about the fight, and also people are really interested in you as a human being and want to get a better sense of what you’re like, what sort of cuisines, food you like, Italian, Chinese, what other sports you like, do you have a girlfriend? Do you look forward to the new Star Wars movie? Can you tell us — answer those sorts of questions and give us a better sense of what you are like as a person?
CANELO ALVAREZ: In terms of food, I like lots of things, sushi, taquitos a variety of little things, but what is most important is my fans and that I satisfy my fans.
Q. Oscar, you’re promoting a fight with your guy going up against someone trained by Freddie Roach. You’ve fought with Freddie Roach in your corner. You’ve fought somebody else who had Freddie Roach in their corner, so you’ve got a hell of a perspective on what he may or may not bring to a fighter. Can you talk about that?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yes, Freddie Roach is going to have Miguel Cotto in tip-top shape. Freddie Roach is going to have Cotto probably stay on his toes. The question is, how long can Cotto stay on the toes? That’s the million dollar question. One thing for sure is that Freddie Roach is a great trainer, and he’s going to have Cotto in tip-top shape to go the distance, and we obviously expect a Miguel Cotto that’s going to come in strong and be ready.
Q. Do you understand winning this moment, basically you will become the solidified champion and idol of Mexico.
CANELO ALVAREZ: We understand obviously the magnitude of this fight. We must consume that responsibility with hard training, and we must win the fight.
Q. Cotto was quoted saying after your press conference that he wasn’t very impressed with you or with your team. He actually said that you were cowards, does this statement affect you personally or do you just see him as a stepping stone to bigger things in your career?
CANELO ALVAREZ: We are not impressed by Cotto’s team and we do not take this personally. We don’t listen to our rivals. We are a very serious team and do our job. I cannot fail. He is a great world champion, and we are prepared for him.
Q. Does the pressure affect you or did the Mayweather fight help you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’m not worried about the pressure. I am more concerned with the motivation. I am training. I’ve had a lot of fights, and I’ve learned a lot.
Q. Oscar, knowing about the different ways to watch this fight, tickets, closed circuit and at movie theaters, what is your projection in terms of Pay-Per-View sales for this fight?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Sales for this event are excellent so far, better than expected and I feel 99% confident about this fight. In my opinion, this is the most anticipated fight of the year and we are expecting great numbers, 1.5 million or more. We will wait and see.
Q. Oscar, in this fight you are gambling the future of the most important card on the stable of Golden Boy. What does it mean for the company to win or lose this fight?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: We are not gambling. This is a great event for all the fans and for all of boxing, I don’t see it as a game. We feel that Canelo and the people deserve the best fights, period. The most important thing is that the fans are very happy with the fight. We know Canelo is very well prepared. Cotto will be well prepared and I can imagine that the fight will be very entertaining for all the fans.
Q. Oscar, are you in agreement that win or lose this fight will make a big difference for Golden Boy as a company?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Not at all. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about making the best fight for the people and I am sure both fighters will give the fans a great night of boxing.
Q. Canelo, I have two questions: Your fight against Mayweather had a lot of hype, and a lot of people believed that you could possibly be the one to hand him his first loss. In your opinion, what went wrong in that fight and what changes have you made in your training since then?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I learn every day. I come to win. I train every day to learn more, and every day I learn, and I’m here to win.
Q. The fighting styles of you and Cotto should make for a great and entertaining night. Do you see this going the distance or do you predict a KO?
CANELO ALVAREZ: That’s it. It’s going to be a great fight. The styles will accommodate the fighters to engage in a great fight, and, you know, I’m prepared to train, and I prepared for different things in the ring. If the knock outcomes, it comes, if it doesn’t, I’m prepared for whatever happens in the ring.
Q. Canelo, you know, you punished James Kirkland in your last fight, and we knew what kind of fight it would be going into the fight, but Cotto is a lot better boxer than Kirkland, and I wonder if you have any thoughts about what kind of fight you’re going to be expecting from Miguel Cotto?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The styles are different. I prepare for the different styles. I’m here to give a great fight, and whatever happens in the ring, and I need to adjust to in the ring.
Q. I guess you said it earlier in the call, but do you consider this a “must win” fight? Why or why not?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Absolutely. All my fights are necessary to win. I’m here, I’m ready to win, and I’m willing to win. All my fights are necessary to win.
Q. Canelo, your defense is very good. I want to follow up on a question that’s on behalf of a female friend who wants to know indeed if you do have a special gal pal, if you have one special girlfriend, because my female friend wants to ask you out on a date.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Thank you very much (Chuckles.) Yes, I have a girlfriend.
Q. I will note that for the record. The people who tell me that say Cotto is going to win, they cite the Mayweather fight in common and say that Cotto did better against Mayweather, so I ask Canelo, does that mean anything or does it not mean anything that supposedly people saying Cotto did better against Mayweather than you did?
CANELO ALVAREZ: You know what, that doesn’t affect me. Styles make fights. He may have done better — Cotto might have done better against Mayweather; however, I did better against Austin Trout, and Cotto didn’t do that good against Austin Trout. All fights are different, all styles are different, so that’s not going to affect me at all.
Q. A lot of great fights at the Mandalay. There are many Mexicans that have fought at the Mandalay. Do you think this fight has what it takes to become a historical fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, this is going to be a great fight. I personally say that November 21st is going to be a great fight, and we will all wait to see the fight on November 21st and the result of the fight.
Q. Julio Caesar Chavez had some conversations about the strategy, about this being a great fight. What particular strategy do you plan to use?
CANELO ALVAREZ: We have a strategy; we have a plan. We have plan for success in the ring, and this is going to be a great fight.
Q. There is a difference in age, and what’s going to be the effect of that difference in age during the combat?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Age is not my focus. My focus is my great preparation for “Cotto and Canelo.” Age is not an issue.
Q. What is the highlight of your victory and what are you going to do to protect yourself or use as a defense?
CANELO ALVAREZ: All. My training is very, very important. This is a very difficult fight. It’s a 50/50 fight, so training is going to have a lot to do with it.
Q. Oscar, as you mentioned in the opening, Puerto Rico versus Mexico is always a huge event. You are the only one on this call who can speak to preparing and being a part of that. Have you spoken to Canelo about how not to let the enormity of the event overtake the task at hand, which is beating Cotto?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, yes, I mean, look, he’s a professional. They know what they are doing. They have a great team. They know the magnitude of this event. When you get Puerto Rico versus Mexico, what’s involved is passion, passion and the fighting spirit, and fighting with a lot of heart, you know, that’s what we’re going to get on November 21st.
They know that firsthand. We feel that this event, people are going to watch because they know they’re going to get guaranteed fireworks because of that Puerto Rican/Mexican rivalry.
Q. Canelo, we all know there is a big fight waiting after this for the winner of this fight, but I believe you have your focus on this fight. We see an inordinate amount of ‘Canelo saying this’ about demands for the Golovkin fight, or ‘Canelo saying’ — is he really the one who has been making these weight demands already prior to actually beating Cotto?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I am 100% focused on this fight. My focus is winning this fight. This fight is very important. Whatever happens after this fight, will happen after this fight, but this is my primary focus.
Q. Canelo, Freddie Roach recently said he had you in his gym a while back and noticed that you had a lot of (away from mic.) He questioned your desire, your stamina, and that frankly you were a little lazy, and that’s something that’s going to play in his hands on November 21st for his man, Miguel Cotto. What do you have to say about that? Does that motivate you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: My words are most important in the ring on Nov. 21.
Q. Why were you at the Wild Card gym, and what was your experience there?
CANELO ALVAREZ: My recollection is that I’ve never been to Freddie Roach’s gym.
Q. Do you feel a lot of pressure with fighting Cotto?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, it’s the same responsibility. You know, the hour of the fight is the hour of the fight. You have to go to win. It’s the same, it’s a fight, and that’s what I’m working to do, win!
Q. After winning this fight, what is your objective? To stay at 160 or come back down to 154?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The only thing that I am focused on is winning this fight. Once this fight is over, we will determine which direction we will go.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you to all the press. We will be sending out a release to everyone on all the activities for fight week. We have a lot of great things in store for you, including a showing of HBO’s 24/7 for the media, dinners, obviously the press conference of the rival and we will see you fight week, next week. Thank you.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I would like to thank everyone for all the attention. I’m very grateful. Thank you very much.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you for joining the call. Like Oscar mentioned, we will be getting out information very soon in terms of fight week activities, and we look forward to seeing you all next week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Cotto vs. Canelo, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championships, takes place Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The fight is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Golden Boy Promotions, Miguel Cotto Promotions and Canelo Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra; Mexico, Live it to Believe it!; O’Reilly Auto Parts; Tequila Cazadores and Corporate Travel Made Simple (ctms). Also featured on the pay-per-view telecast will be Takashi Muira vs. Francisco Vargas in a 12-round fight for the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship presented in association with Teiken Promotions, and Jayson Velez vs. Ronny Rios is a 10-round featherweight bout. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Randy Caballero vs. Lee Haskins, a 12-round fight for the IBF Bantamweight World Championship, is presented in association with Bristol Boxing Ltd. and will be featured as part of the preliminary undercards available on digital platforms starting at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
A limited number of tickets priced at $2,000, $1,750, $1,250 and $650, not including applicable service charges, can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay box office, ticketmaster.com, mandalaybay.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000. Ticket orders are limited to four per person.
Tickets for closed circuit viewings of Cotto vs. Canelo are priced at $75, not including applicable service charges and can be purchased at all MGM Resorts International Ticket Offices, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000.