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Canelo vs. Angulo Media Conference Call Transcript



Kelly Swanson

Thank you, for joining us this morning and this afternoon here on the east coast, very snowy east coast, but we are so excited to be able to announce a fantastic SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View card coming up. On the line joining us today is Canelo Alvarez, former Super Welterweight World Champion and Alfredo Angulo, former WBO Interim Junior Middleweight World Champion.

To make the formal introductions and to get the call going I’d like to introduce Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Boy Promotions.

Richard Schaefer

Thank you, Kelly, and hello to everyone back east and here, I guess, on the west as well, and I saw that there were a number of people from Texas calling in as well to this great conference call for this fantastic card. A couple of months ago when I was at home I couldn’t sleep and I found myself zapping and I’d stop on this infomercial channel, and it was amazing. You’re ready to order it and then, “But wait, there is more,” and there seems more and more coming, so I thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a boxing card where people are just going to say I can’t believe that there’s more and more, and then there’s another one, then there’s another one, and that’s exactly what we did here.

With this card, “TOE TO TOE,” interesting toe-to-toe in Spanish, in Mexico they don’t call it toe-to-toe, they call it “MANO A MANO,” or hand to hand, whether it’s toe-to-toe or hand-to-hand one thing I can say, it’s going to be all action. On March the 8, we have put together one of the most action packed cards I can remember here at Golden Boy. Of course the main event, Canelo and Alfredo, we’re going to talk about in a few minutes and you’re going to have the chance to ask both fighters questions, but the whole card really is totally loaded with the free view opening up for everyone with a TV set at home Jorge Linares vs. Nihito Arakawa, a 10-round lightweight bout, and then we’re going to move into the Pay-Per-View which is going to be distributed by SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific, with the first of three world title fights.

It’s going to be Carlos Molina against a young Jermall Charlo fighting for Molina’s IBF Junior Middleweight World Championship. From there we are going to be moving into the 12-round WBC Interim Lightweight World Championship, which is going to be a contest between Champion Omar Figueroa, and challenger Ricardo Alvarez, who is the brother of Canelo and is getting his world title fight opportunity here. It would be historic in Mexico since it would be the first time that one family, the Alvarez family, has produced three world champions. As you know, Canelo’s other brother, Rigoberto, was the 154-pound champion, and then of course Canelo as the World Champion, and now Ricardo is going to try to accomplish his dream to become the WBC Lightweight World Champion.

From there we’re going to go into the co-main event with one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, irrespective of weight class, Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cristian Mijares, a 12-round WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship. Mijares, well known former World Champion, is going to be an exciting showdown, all action packed there.

But wait, there is more, there’s the one we’ve been waiting for and that of course is Canelo vs. Angulo. Both guys really don’t need much introduction. These are two all action fighters coming forward. They love to trade and slug it out in the middle of the ring, and I think March 8th for those fight fans and sports fans and the general public, which likes to be entertained, this is what they’re going to watch this is what they want to watch.

The fight will be broadcasted live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Tickets went on sale last Friday. They’re priced very attractively, starting at $25, $50, $100, $200, $400 and $600. As of yesterday close to 6,000 tickets have been sold already, so I do anticipate a sellout on March the 8 at the MGM. The fight is sponsored by Corona and AT&T. Molina and Jermall Charlo is presented as well in association with Warriors Boxing.

Now, let’s go to the fighters. First up is Alfredo. I’m going to introduce him, he’s going to make some opening comments and then I’m going to be introducing Canelo. He’s going to make some opening comments and then we’re going to open up the lines for you guys to ask questions.

Alfredo Angulo from Mexicali, Baja California, certainly one of the most entertaining fighters with devastating punching power, he always comes to fight. His 2011 battle with James Kirkland is legendary and was a candidate for Fight of the Year. In 2012, he came back and garnered wins over Raul Casarez and Jorge Silva and in 2013 he appeared on his way to get his first world championship when he knocked down Erislandy Lara twice for the Interim WBA Junior Middleweight fight, and then obviously the fight had to be stopped due to an eye injury which Alfredo suffered. Here he is, it’s a fight he wanted for a long time. He has asked me repeatedly “I’d like to fight Canelo” and I’m happy that we were able to make his dream come true, that he has an opportunity to fight on March the 8 against Canelo Alvarez.

Before I turn it over to Alfredo, now I want to inform all of you as well that Alfredo Angulo will, right before the press conference starts here in Los Angeles, at 12:40 he has made himself available for the Locks of Love, meaning he’s going to get his hair cut for a charitable cause, Locks of Love, and I very much want to support Alfredo and thank him for that and thank him for bringing attention to this very worthwhile cause.

It’s a pleasure for me now to introduce to you Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo.

Alfredo Angulo

I’m very happy for this opportunity, for this fight. I want to especially thank Richard Schaefer for helping me get this fight. I want to thank all the media that’s present and on this call, and thank you for supporting this fight.

Schaefer

All right, we’re going to have a chance to ask Alfredo questions in just a moment, but first, I want to introduce to you now one of the true superstars of the sport. He has a record of 42-1-1, with 30 KO’s, comes out of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He’s the former Super Welterweight World Champion, has been a pro since 2005, when he was just 15-years-old, and is without any question today Mexico’s biggest boxing superstar. He’s 23 years young. He has earned the respect of the Mexican people because of the way he fights, the excitement he brings to the ring, and he has of course a huge female following as well because of his looks and his charisma and the way he carries himself outside of the ring as well.

Last year was an important year for Canelo, first, of course when he fought Austin Trout in front of nearly 40,000 fans in San Antonio and if not for the capacity, we would have been able to add more seats we would have had 60,000, 70,000 people there at the Alamodome when he defeated Austin Trout. Then, came the big fight against Floyd Mayweather, which broke all revenue records, and certainly Canelo had a lot to do with that as well, given his growing popularity as a big Mexican star.

That September date against Mayweather I think served Canelo, as it will be a lesson for him and I’m sure he’s walking away from this fight having learned a lot and that’s what it is, you know, when you’re a young fighter you challenge yourself against the best and you learn from that, and I’m sure that is exactly what Canelo is taking away from the September showdown against Mayweather. He could have gone against an easy opponent, go back to Texas or do it from Mexico and so on, but, no, he wanted to challenge himself against one of the best at 154, and with Alfredo Angulo he’s getting exactly that.

It is a pleasure now for me to introduce to you Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez.

Canelo Alvarez

I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve had throughout my career, and I’m very happy to be returning into the ring for this fight. Thank you.

Schaefer

Excellent, thank you. Gracias, Canelo. And now we have questions from the media. Operator, if you could please open up the lines.

Q

What was your decision making process to select Angulo as your opponent as opposed to the other guys that we had heard were possible, such as Carlos Molina, who holds a world title, Lara, who holds an interim title and also has a TKO victory against Angulo? How did you go about deciding that Angulo was the guy for you?

Canelo

Basically, the reason why we chose him is because we made a decision that he was the best style for me. He’s a very strong fighter. He comes forward. He makes good fights, and I feel that this was the best fight for the fight fans style-wise.

Q

Now that this fight is on Pay-Per-View, so they’re asking the consumers to spend about $50, $60 to buy the card, it’s a good card, but my question is, do you feel like coming off of the loss to Floyd, which by most estimations was extremely one-sided in Floyd’s favor, do you feel as though your fans, particularly the Mexican-American fans, will support you on Pay-Per-View by buying this fight?

Canelo

I’m sure they will. I’m sure they will. I have loyal fans. I have loyal fans and I’m very grateful for that and they’re always going to be with me and I feel that they’re going to support me through thick and thin and they’re going to follow me in this Pay-Per-View.

Q

This was a fight that you have wanted for a long time, I guess Richard said you’ve been asking him to try to get this fight. Other than, I suppose the financial rewards that come along with an opportunity against Canelo, what were the particular reasons that you wanted this fight so much as opposed to maybe fighting for one of the world titles or some other opponent in your weight class?

Angulo

Well, obviously, I mean, Saul’s a good fighter, he’s a good fighter and it’s a fight that I wanted and I think that on March 8 everybody’s going to find out who’s going to remain as the top guy in Mexico, representing Mexico, the number one fighter at this weight class.

Q

Alfredo were you bothered by the fact that you weren’t Canelo’s first choice?

Angulo

No, it doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t really bother me. I mean, my job is to get up and fight, be ready to fight and fight. It’s my promoter who decides who I fight against, so that doesn’t bother me. I’m ready to fight.

Q

Everybody understands that your style is to come forward, what makes you believe that you can win a fight against a great defensive fighter like Canelo fighting this style, or are you going to have to somehow adjust the way you fight in order to beat Canelo?

Angulo

I have a very good game plan with my trainer, Virgil Hunter. We’ve already started camp, we’ve been working hard and I feel that a lot of people are going to be very surprised, they’re going to be very, very surprised come fight time of what I’m capable of and what Virgil’s game plan has been.

Q

Why is it so important for you to fight your first fight back in Las Vegas in the same ring where you lost in September? Is there any connection to that, or did it just happen to be the best place to hold this fight?

Canelo

No, it’s very simple, it’s the best place. It was the best venue to do a fight and there’s no connection. I’ve fought there many times and I’ve won as well, so there’s no connection to that. It was just basically the best place.

Q

Canelo, how tough was it, if at all, to get over your first defeat?

Canelo

Obviously, it’s very hard, it’s very hard, and it hurt my honor. It’s very tough. Nobody ever wants to lose. Nobody ever wants to be on the losing side of a fight, but I don’t see it as a loss. I see it as a learning experience, and I’m just going to take the best out of it.

Q

Do you think that if Alfredo Angulo goes in there with his same style and doesn’t try and improve upon his defense by at least moving his head a little bit, that Alfredo is going to be out of this fight early?

Canelo

No, no, no, no. I don’t think that at all. I think it’s going to be a hard fight. It’s going to be a very, very tough fight, a hard fight. He’s a strong fighter. He’s a very, very strong fighter and I’m going to have to prepare very well for this fight. He’s going to have to do what’s convenient for him to win and I’m going to have to do what’s convenient for me to win. So I’m not taking this lightly at all, and I’m going to have to prepare well.

Q

Alfredo you say that Canelo knows that in both size and in weight and in power that you’re a real 154 pounder and that you believe that he is the first one in this weight class with that combination of experiences. Can you assess that statement?

Angulo

Well, it’s going to be an interesting fight because, look, everybody knows my style, everybody knows how I fight, my pro record proves that, you can see my fights, and I’m always in very, very good fights. I always give great fights. I always give 100% of me. So it’s going to be a very interesting fight because he’s trying to come back from his first loss, and I just feel that it’s the right time for this fight.

Q

Canelo, what is your assessment of this fight and your opponent?

Canelo

Without a doubt this is going to be a tough fight, without a doubt. Yes, you’re right, some of the things that Alfredo possesses, size, weight, power, yes, that’s correct, but I also have power and it’s going to be a tough fight. It’s going to be a tough fight. But it’s also going to be a very attractive fight, and that’s what the fans want. I think the fans deserve these kinds of fights. The fans don’t want to see a fight where one guy is just running the whole night. They want to see these kinds of battles.

Q

Can you assess what you saw out of Angulo in his last fight, knocking Lara down twice, bringing the action to him, and is that what sold you on choosing Angulo as your next opponent, as an appealing opponent to the fans?

Canelo

I haven’t really studied the fight. I haven’t really watched it. I watched it that night because I was also getting ready for a fight, and that’s what I do, we watch boxing, so I saw the fight that night, but I haven’t really analyzed it or studied it at all, but throughout camp I will.

Q

Saul, how do you have to adapt for fighting an Angulo? Obviously it’s a very different style than what you prepared for fighting Floyd, so how do you have to adapt?

Canelo

Yes, you’re correct, it’s a totally different style. It’s a very, very different style. So the whole camp has to be different, the sparring partners have to be different. But it’s a style that’s going to be attractive and it’s going to make for a good fight.

Q

Saul, how have you coped with the first loss, how are you doing? Did you have to get psychological help? Did you have somebody, a coach, maybe a mental coach help you out? How have you been coping with the loss?

Canelo

No, not at all. I didn’t have to get any of that, thank God. I’m mentally strong. I’ve always been mentally strong and more than anything I think that that’s a fight that’s going to help me, it’s going to help me and it’s just going to make me better.

Q

Alfredo, do you think this is perfect timing for this fight, or do you think that maybe this is a fight that should have happened maybe five years ago?

Angulo

I think this is the right time. I think this is the perfect time. I think it’s good for me. He decided to give me the opportunity now in 2014 and it’s a great gift for my career at this time, for 2014.

Q

Carlos Molina, who’s the IBF Champion, made some comments that you chose to fight against Alfredo Angulo because it’s the easiest fight, it’s the easiest fight and you don’t want to risk getting another loss in your career. Can you respond to that, Saul?

Canelo

No, not at all. The people know, the fans know, and the way they’ve been reacting to this fight, this is the toughest fight, this is the most attractive fight out there, so that comment is uncalled for.

Q

Saul, what are your thoughts on Carlos Molina? What do you think of him as a fighter? Do you think maybe in the near future there can be a fight with him?

Canelo

Of course, that’s someone in my future, that’s someone that I would see. You need rivals, and that’s someone that I can possibly face in the future, of course.

Q

The question is for both fighters, what memories do you have of Jose Sulaiman now that he’s passed? Alfredo?

Angulo

Yes, the best memory I have of Mr. Sulaiman was a talk that we had, it was a very lengthy conversation in Guadalajara that we had together and it must have been back in 2008 or 2009.

Canelo

I was fortunate enough to have many talks with him, met with him many times, great times, and I just feel that it was tragic and may he rest in peace.

Q

Canelo, now that you’ve been alone, you’ve had some time to think about it, about the fight with Mayweather, what have you thought about, training camp, and what do you think about that fight?

Canelo

I learned a lot from that fight. I learned a lot from the Mayweather fight. He’s got a style that’s very complicated. He’s got a style that’s very intelligent and he fights intelligently. I think that his whole purpose is just to win, but I learned a lot. I learned a lot about the fight itself inside the ring and outside the ring as well.

Q

Obviously when you’re talking about styles Alfredo Angulo as an opponent has a great style, and it’s a very attractive style. Was that very important to you?

Canelo

Of course that was very important. What the fans want to see is attractive fights, very good fights, and that was a big reason for doing this fight.

Q

Alfredo, you’ve been through a lot in your life, inside the ring and outside the ring, obviously, is this probably the biggest fight of your career, the most important fight of your career?

Angulo

When you’re born you’re born fighting. Everybody’s born fighting and they’re fighting for a better life, for a better future. So, yes, this is the most important fight of my career. It’s very, very important to me. Not only that, it’s also going to be a very attractive fight for the fans. On March 8, I’m sure that Saul is going to do his part to make this a special fight, an attractive fight, because when you put two Mexicans in the ring we know how to give good fights, and that’s what we’re going to give the fans, a good fight.

Q

Alfredo, this is obviously going to be a tough fight, this and that, but do you think that if you land the right combination you can possibly knock Saul out?

Angulo

Realistically, I don’t see myself as a knockout puncher. I’m a fighter that likes to work and I break down my opponents. A knockout puncher is the type of fighter that he’ll throw a punch and he’ll knock the guy out, he’ll knock him out and they won’t get up and they’re knocked out. My style is more of a hard working fighter. I put my punches together and I break down the opponents.

Q

Canelo, how did the fight with Mayweather change you as a fighter, and what did you learn from that fight specifically that you could use against Alfredo Angulo, who obviously has a very different style from Mayweather?

Canelo

I learned a lot. I learned a lot from that fight. Whenever you suffer a defeat you never want to feel that again, you never want to go through that again, so that’s something that’s very, very important to me. Another thing is that it motivated me a lot; it motivated me to move forward. I’ve learned a lot.

Q

Will you change your style at all in this fight? Again, obviously Alfredo has a very different style than Mayweather, but will you make improvements and add things to what you do?

Canelo

Every camp is different, and I prepare differently for every fight, depending on who I’m fighting. So we’re going to put together a good game plan for Alfredo Angulo and I’m going to prepare for him.

Q

Alfredo, could you tell us why do you think you have the advantage, obviously you’re older, but what do you think is your advantage that could get you to win this fight?

Angulo

I think that the advantages come from the preparation, and I’m preparing excellently for this fight. I’ve already started my preparation and it’s going very, very well. I think you’re going to have to wait and see March 8th how I come out.

Schaefer

I want to thank both fighters for making themselves available and I also want to thank you all, members of the media. I can’t wait for “TOE to TOE”, “MANO A MANO”, which will be an infomercial for the sport of boxing, a great card. Our media team will have any of the other fighters available as well. If you want to talk to them over the coming days please reach out to Marylyn Aceves or to Ramiro Gonzalez. Again, March 8th I’ll see you all at the MGM Grand for “TOE to TOE”. Thank you very much.