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Canelo Alvarez Interview Transcript



Kelly Swanson

Thanks for joining us today. Now that Labor Day has passed, I think there’s only one thing on everybody’s mind and that is “THE ONE: Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez,” taking place Saturday, September 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME PPV. Today, we’re hosting a conference call with Canelo Alvarez himself and to make that introduction, I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.

Oscar De La Hoya

Thank you, Kelly. Yes, we’re getting very close, our nerves are getting a bit rattled and we feel “THE ONE” is going to break all records. All of the indications that we are receiving are showing us that “THE ONE” will be the one. We have a great card from top to bottom. It’s going to be very exciting all week. Fight fans can look forward to Thursday night fights on Fox Sports 2 with Shawn Porter against Julio Diaz kicking off the fight weekend, so these are exciting times for boxing all because our two participants [Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez] agreed to step inside the ring September 14.

It is my pleasure to be introducing “THE ONE” Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez who hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He is the WBC and WBA and the Ring light middleweight champion and he’s been pro since the age of 15-years-old. He’s coming off a tremendous victory against Austin Trout in front of over 39,000 people. I’m sure no other fighter in the sport today can attract that many people inside one venue. So he is the most popular athlete in boxing today, loved by many and is only getting better. Let me introduce to you a fighter who hasn’t even shown his true potential and on September 14th we will be seeing the best in Saul Canelo Alvarez with a record of 42-0, 30 knockouts Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Canelo Alvarez

Hi, everybody. I feel very happy and ready for the fight. We’re only a couple weeks away. We’re very close to the fight day and I’m already in Las Vegas and ready for the fight.

Q

Why do you think that this specific fight seems to have taken off more than so many of the other perceived big fights that we’ve seen in recent years? Be it Oscar’s fights or other Floyd fights or Pacquiao fights, this fight for whatever reason, seems to have really caught on even more so than a lot of those other big ones we have seen.

Canelo

I believe it’s because of the fans, because of the people; they’re the ones that are very, very interested about this fight. It’s the fight that they wanted to see. It’s the fight that they asked for. It’s a fight that they wanted. There’s euphoria with the fans, with the people. I think that’s the reason.

Q

Why do you think that’s the case? We’ve seen lots of great match-ups. Why do you think that the fans are so-you used the word-euphoric? Why do you think that they are as euphoric about this fight than others that have been big ones?

Canelo

Because of that; they’re just excited about the fight. They wanted the fight. They know it’s going to be a great fight. They know that it’s going to be a fight where it’s not going to be easy for either of us, but it’s the fight that they asked for and it’s the fight they wanted. It’s going to be a very good fight, very interesting.

Q

Do you think that there’s a lot of people out there that a) did not believe that Floyd would actually come back and fight the second fight this year after the fight against Guerrero and so they took it as such a great surprise and were happy about it, and also because that even though he’s coming back for that second fight that they’re surprised that Floyd agreed to fight you because many people believe you do pose the greatest risk compared to the other opponents he could have selected?

Canelo

No, I believe it’s because of the fight. It’s the fight. You know it’s the fight itself. It doesn’t really matter that he’s fighting twice this year. You know he could have fought again in another fight like he did in May so that wouldn’t have mattered much, but I just think it’s because of the fight. It’s the fight; the fight that people wanted and they’re excited for.

Q

Oscar, you have more experience in big pay-per-view fights than just about anybody other than maybe Floyd Mayweather and maybe Mike Tyson. Could you talk about why you think this fight has caught on the way it has? I don’t know if it’s because there’s such a pent up demand because we haven’t had a kind of big fight like this for a while. We didn’t get Pacquiao/Mayweather. What do you think is the reason why this one has caught on so big?

De La Hoya

Well, I know why it’s caught on so big is because people have hope and people strongly feel that Mayweather is going to get beat. You know that’s why I feel this fight is catching fire. You have a young guy in Saul who is like a seasoned veteran. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a fighter that has a game plan that is in the best shape of his life. People have hope and people strongly feel that Mayweather is going to get beat.

Q

Do you feel that Floyd can hurt you at all if he connects?

Canelo

I think that any fighter at any given point can land and hurt anybody. You know that’s why you have to be ready and you have to look out for that. If you get caught by something solid by any fighter, I’m sure that you can get hurt.

Q

Is there anyone that you’ve fought in your career that you can compare to Floyd?

Canelo

You know I’ve fought with all types of fighters, all styles, but he’s different. Obviously, he’s Floyd Mayweather; he’s different. He’s a very, very smart fighter. He’s very smart that’s basically the difference. I’ve fought guys who are similar, but with Floyd he’s very, very smart so it’s different.

Q

You’re fighting at a catch weight of 152 pounds. Will that have any effect on the way you fight and do you have any concerns at all about making that weight?

Canelo

No, not at all; it’s not going to bother me at all. I feel good. I feel very, very good. I’ve been able to make the weight in the past without a problem. In fact, in my most recent fights I’ve been under on the day of the weigh-in. I really don’t do that much work so I think that it’s going to be fine. I feel very, very good right now, and, in fact, I think it’s going to help me. I’m going to be a lot faster.

Q

I’d just like to ask you, obviously Oscar spoke a lot about you being a younger, stronger, bigger guy. In your mind do you think your counter punching ability or your overall physical pressure will be your best asset?

Canelo

My counter punching is going to help, it’s going to be an important factor, but it’s going to be an all-around thing, not just counter punching. Obviously, pressure as well; pressure is going to help me in the fight but, you know, smart pressure; going in there not careless, but being very smart about it.

Q

Oscar has flat out said that he thinks that you, Canelo, are going to take advantage of the blueprint that he laid out against Floyd and that you are going to knock him out inside of eight rounds. My question is does his saying that add any pressure or expectation to your-you know to the fight for you and do you think he is correct in his assessment?

Canelo

No. It’s actually an honor. It’s an honor to hear those comments from Oscar that I’m going to win. Obviously, I’m preparing myself, you know, to win, and I have a certain game plan. I’m not going to look for the knockout. Obviously if it comes it comes. I’ve got my game plan; I’m going to stick to it and I don’t like to predict anything. The only thing I can predict is that I’m going to win the fight and that’s what I’m focused on and that’s what I’ve been working towards.

Q

And given that it’s a Mexican holiday and that you have an entire country behind you how does a young man like yourself avoid taking the weight and expectations of your nation and allowing that to wear on you, instead using that as motivation? How do you ride the waves of expectation and use that as motivation rather than feel it as pressure?

Canelo

Obviously, I’m very appreciative. I’m very thankful to God for this opportunity. I feel this is important-to my fans and my people. I’m a responsible person and this is all I’ve ever wanted and I’m very focused on what I want and what I want to happen, so, obviously, for me it’s a big responsibility. I understand that and I can appreciate that.

Q

Given that it’s been portrayed that there’s been sort of a revolving door of sparring partners has either Keandre Gibson or, as I understand it, Karl Dargan been helpful in emulating Mayweather’s style and durability?

Canelo

Yeah they’ve helped me very much, so I just have one more sparring partner left, and, obviously, they both did very good and they’ve helped me. They have very similar styles to Floyd and they helped me very much.

Q

Oscar, why do you feel that he can handle the kind of expectation that you, who have faced Floyd and not been able to knock him out, why do you feel he’s capable? What do you see that makes you feel he’s capable of handling the expectation that you have placed upon him and the country has placed upon this young man’s shoulders?

De La Hoya

Well, I can see it and I can envision that because I know what he’s capable of. I understand his potential and he hasn’t shown not one bit of what he’s capable of, and I strongly feel that September 14th we are going to see the younger Canelo Alvarez who is going to be fast, who is going to be strong, as we know, but who is going to be smart. He’s the whole package and he hasn’t put it all together because he hasn’t fought Floyd Mayweather, who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Floyd Mayweather will bring out the best in Canelo Alvarez.

Q

Saul, do your messages of support from ginger haired kids around the world, and do you see yourself as a sort of hero icon for ginger haired kids?

Canelo

I can’t say that I’m a hero for them. I mean that’s a question you would have to ask them. I can’t really answer that, but yes I’m very appreciative that I have followers and fans from all sorts of colors.

Q

Also, the last undefeated fighter to face Floyd was British fighter Ricky Hatton. I wondered if you had watched that fight in your preparation and was wondering what you thought about that fight.

Canelo

Yeah, you know, I’ve studied the fight and I’ve seen what he did and he kept coming in. He kept coming in and pressuring Floyd and throwing a lot of punches, but I felt that he kept coming in a little too open and he was getting caught with many punches coming in, especially the right hand, and obviously, finally with the left hook that caught him and got him out of there. But I think that he made mistakes; he made mistakes by coming in wide open.

Q

Saul, do you consider yourself the number one fighter in Mexico right now?

Canelo

I think that’s a question that I can’t answer. It’s a question you’ve got to ask the fans; you’ve got to ask the media. I can’t really answer that but what I can say is that I’m just doing the best job that I can do.

Q

Saul, you’re a fighter with many qualities; what’s one of the qualities that’s most important that Floyd has to be careful with?

Canelo

I think that when you get up in the ring there’s not one specific thing you’ve got to look out for. You’ve got to be ready for everything because one punch is all it takes to lose the fight, so you’ve got to be ready for everything.

Q

Have you given much thought how you’re going to win the fight? What’s going to be the outcome? How are you going to win the fight? Can you tell us?

Canelo

You know it doesn’t really matter. I think any way to win the fight, any punch that might stop the fight is going to be good. I can’t really say too much. I can’t really predict it. I mean the most important thing is to go with my game plan and try to win the fight and see what happens.

Q

In the ‘All Access’ show you were watching the Abner Mares fight. Obviously, that fight ended with one punch. Like you said, anything can happen at any given time in any fight. Can this happen in the Floyd fight? Can it happen with you? Obviously, Floyd’s a favorite just like Abner Mares was but can this happen the same way?

Canelo

I’m working hard. I’m working hard for this fight. Obviously, one punch, yes one punch can change everything, but I’m working hard, and I’m doing my game plan for this fight, and anything can happen. You really don’t know.

Q

Do you think that you can change the history of boxing or, you know, the history of what’s going on right now if you win this fight? Right now you’re not considered one of the pound-for-pound fighters. Do you think it can very easily put you on the list for pound-for-pound best in the world? Do you think that you can, obviously, make a statement with this win?

Canelo

Of course that’s why I’m very motivated; of course I could. It would be a great win. If I win this-on September 14th when I win it it’s going to be a great win so of course it can change history.

Q

Do you think Mayweather is underestimating you by saying that he’s fought better opponents than you?

Canelo

Yes. I think that the way he’s talking he’s underestimating me, but at the same time I think that he’s worried. I think that he’s very, very worried, but he’s always been like that. He’s always been a talker and that’s the kind of person he is, but I don’t care. I don’t care what he’s saying. I don’t care what he’s thinking. What I care about is what I’m saying and what I’m thinking and I’m controlling it and that’s what matters to me.

Q

On the All Access you were talking about sparring partners. Some of them were trying to emulate Floyd in using their elbows and using their forearms on you. Do you think that’s a style that Floyd does and he uses that on purpose and maybe he gets away with a lot of that?

Canelo

I’m not saying that he’s a dirty fighter. I would never say that because he’s not. He’s not a dirty fighter but he’s a fighter that has a lot of experience and obviously yes sometimes he does use his elbows and forearms but it’s a tactic so that he can get you off your game plan; then he can counter you when you’re trying to pull out of that. Obviously, he’s a fighter that has a lot of experience and he uses that to his advantage.

Q

Saul, you’re ten days from the fight. How are you feeling? How are you mentally?

Canelo

I feel very good. I feel very, very well physically and mentally. It’s the best preparation I’ve ever had for any fight and with these days coming I feel very good.

Q

Are you worried with the fact that obviously the big magnitude of this fight and there’s talk that there’s going to be over 100 countries watching this fight, so many people watching it? Does it worry you or does that motivate you and that’s just another move in the right direction for your career?

Canelo

No I’m not worried. In my career I’ve always focused very, very well. I’ve been in some tough fights and that’s all I can worry about is the fight. Obviously, you always want to fight the best and at this moment right now Floyd is considered the best and that’s what I’m focused on. I’m focused on becoming the best and how you become the best is you beat the best.

Q

Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. said that it was a big disadvantage to go to Vegas so early and that maybe you might lose some of the conditioning that you gained up in Big Bear by doing the move so early. What do you think about that?

Canelo

Everybody thinks differently. They have their own opinion but, obviously, this is something I’ve done in the past and you also have to get acclimated to the weather in Las Vegas. It’s very hot out here and you’ve got to get used to and acclimated to the weather so, obviously, that’s the reason why I did it.

Q

Floyd Mayweather made some comments that this is not going to be the toughest fight of his career; that the toughest fight of his career was against Miguel Cotto. What do you think about that?

Canelo

That’s good that he’s thinking that way. The day that he gets up in the ring with me he’ll see for himself whether it’s a tough fight or not.

Q

Obviously there’s been a lot of talk about the style that Mayweather has, but what I want to know is how are you preparing mentally for this fight?

Canelo

I’ve prepared myself very, very well. I’m a fighter that’s always been very strong mentally, very cold in my thoughts so I’m very, very good. I’ve been preparing myself physically and mentally so I’m feeling good.

Q

You know if Mayweather is going to start the initiative and start the fight and try to pressure you, are you going to allow that to happen or you going to turn it around and turn the tables on him?

Canelo

No, not at all. I’m going to go up there and I’m going to follow my game plan and I’m going to make my fight. I’m not going to allow him to fight his fight. I’m going to fight my fight and I have a game plan.

Q

Is there someone you want to dedicate this fight to against Floyd?

Canelo

Obviously, yes to all my supporters, my family and all my teammates that are around me.

Q

Hi, Canelo. I am struck by how humble and even-keeled you are. Floyd is known for stirring up the pot. He’s not shy about telling people how great he is and what he’s going to do to you. I am wondering, can you point to one instance on that long multi-city press tour when Floyd ever got under your skin and maybe pissed you off and got you angry? You’re so even-keeled it’s amazing to hear.

Canelo

No not at all; he never gotten under my skin. There’s nothing he did that really got under my skin. I’ve always been very, very strong mentally. So I like to be very, very strong and, obviously, prove everything up in the ring, so, no, he never got under my skin.

Q

Do you think Mayweather has enough power to knock you out?

Canelo

I think that any fighter has the ability to hurt anybody. If they catch you with the perfect punch they can hurt anybody even if it’s a fighter that they say doesn’t have any power or any strength. If it’s the right punch it can hurt anybody so that’s why you always have to be ready. You have to be up there and you have to be ready.

Q

Many people are saying you’re only 23-years-old and you’re going to be in many other big fights that you have nothing to lose. Do you think that’s the case?

Canelo

No, not at all. I think that I have a lot to lose. This is a fight that’s super important to me so I have a lot to lose. I don’t see it that way.

Q

Hello. Oscar, as a promoter-well, everybody is looking forward to a great fight of course, first of all, September 14th-as a promoter do you see the possibility of boxing’s next great trilogy taking shape? If Canelo wins and there’s a rematch, then there could be another rematch, do you see that happening?

De La Hoya

Well, Canelo winning there is a rematch unless Floyd retires, but that’s not likely to happen. I believe both guys are competitors, both guys want to be against the best, and Canelo winning-for sure we know we will see a great fight-I strongly feel that both guys will want to fight again.

Q

Oscar, you said that you feel that Canelo will get the knockout. Floyd, as you know, is one of the-people are saying he’s possibly the best defensive fighter of the last 50 years, things like that. How do you see Canelo getting a knockout? Do you think he’ll wear him down and stop him late or do you think he’ll just shock him early with his sheer physical strength and power?

De La Hoya

Well, yes; I mean that’s my personal position, my personal feeling. That’s how I feel that the fight will pan out. You know in boxing anything can happen. In boxing any punch can land and knock you out so my feeling is that a fighter like Canelo Alvarez has what it takes to land that perfect punch.

Q

Oscar, I have a question for you regarding this fight. Obviously, Canelo has already said he was going to have no problem making the 152 pound weight, but is there a stipulation if he does come in overweight similar to when Floyd fought Juan Manuel Marquez? He was penalized a monetary amount.

De La Hoya

Well, yeah there is a penalty but, obviously, Canelo is going to have no problem making the weight whatsoever. He made 153 against Austin Trout with no problem, so Canelo is going to have no problem whatsoever.

Q

Okay. And then my other question is from media day, Mayweather told me that he felt that Juan Manuel Marquez has a bigger following than Canelo does, so my question is for Canelo, does he believe that he’s a bigger draw in Mexico now than Marquez was or ever will be?

Canelo

I don’t like to give my opinion on those types of thing. I don’t. I don’t like to talk about that stuff. I know that he knows. I know that he knows the truth so that’s all I can say.

Q

Oscar, would a Canelo win in your opinion where would that rank in terms of Mexican boxing as far as the biggest wins to happen for a Mexican fighter?

De La Hoya

Well, it would definitely rank up top two or three. Mexico has produced a lot of great champions, a lot of great fights, but this fight here in particular, especially in the last 15 years, will be one of the most important victories for all of Mexico.

Q

Canelo, I want to know where do you think that this fight would fall in the pantheon of the great Mexican victories if you win this fight, and what, going in to this fight, do you view as those great victories for Mexican fighters?

Canelo

It would be one of the biggest for the history of Mexico. Salvador Sanchez was a great victory.

Q

You think that Salvador Sanchez and Gomez is the biggest one presently?

Canelo

It’s one of the biggest ones as well.

Q

And is that a fight that you have watched? You’re too young to have seen it live obviously, but did you watch the video of that? What are your memories of the great Mexican victories that you look at as those big ones besides that one?

Canelo

Yes I’ve watched that fight on tape, but you know a good Chavez vs. Taylor or Chavez vs. Camacho was one that got a lot of publicity in Mexico as well.

Q

Do you think a victory here would perhaps surpass any of those?

Canelo

Well, we have to wait and see and let the people decide for that.

Q

Canelo, could you tell us what advantages you believe you have over Mayweather and why you are so confident that you’re going to be the first person to defeat him in the ring?

Canelo

I just feel very confident that I’m going to win. I’m going to have my game plan and I’m going to go in to the fight very, very smart. I can’t really say that I have that many advantages, but I have a very, very good game plan and I’m going to go in there very smart and I know I’m going to win the fight.

Q

Do you think that Mayweather has declined as a fighter in the last few years as he’s gotten older in either speed or power?

Canelo

No, not at all. He’s a fighter that maintains himself very well. He takes care of himself and I still think that he’s at his peak. So, no, not at all. I don’t think that he’s lost anything. I think that he’s still there. He’s still Mayweather.

De La Hoya

All right, this concludes the call. Thank you very much, everybody and we will see you during fight week.