Photo: SHOWTIME/Esther Lin – Five days before he heads to Las Vegas, popular Mexican superstar and former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez participated in a media workout Tuesday before dozens of TV cameras, print and internet reporters, bloggers and boxing videographers at the House of Boxing Training Center.
“I’ve had a great training camp here in San Diego and I’m ready to go,” said Canelo (43-1-1, 31 KOs) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, who faces former Cuban national amateur standout and current WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs)in the 12-round main event of “HONOR & GLORY: Canelo vs. Lara,” a highly anticipated four-fight SHOWTIME PPV telecast Saturday, July 12, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Every camp is different because we’re always training for a different opponent. And, as always, I’ve worked very hard in this one. But Lara has said so many things behind my back and on social media for such a long time now that, yes, this fight is and has become personal.
“He’s a good fighter but he talks a lot. He’s offended me. I’m going to have an answer for everything he has said. I’m going to shut him up once and for all.”
Tuesday, Canelo spent more than two hours at the House of Boxing. He worked up a heavy sweat during a spirited, 75-minute-plus workout that consisted of jumping rope, shadow-boxing, smacking the heavy bag, hitting the double-ended bag and working the speed bag. Before and after, he did interviews, signed autographs, posed for photos and mingled with his many fans.
(On whether winning is enough)
“I always want to win in spectacular fashion. That is my goal every time I step into the ring. I want to win spectacularly on July 12. But the most important thing is for me to win. I can’t promise a knockout but if it comes, it comes.”
(On why he’s not fighting for southpaw Lara’s 154-pound title)
“Titles are always nice, but for me this fight is bigger than a title fight. This fight is for my honor and glory to bring to the Mexican people. It is a fight for honor and it is a fight that people wanted to see. My fans are the best and I want to thank them for all of their support.”
“There is no extra pressure on me for this fight. I’m as confident and relaxed as I always am. I’m prepared for whatever Lara has to offer. At this level you have to be able to adapt and make the necessary adjustments. I know I’m coming to fight and I know he’s coming to fight. After that, whatever happens, happens.”
(On Mexico’s performance in the World Cup)
“Even though they didn’t win, I thought they did a good job.”
(On future opponents, weight classes, etc.)
“My focus is solely on this fight. I can start thinking about future opponents after July 12. But I have no intentions of moving up to middleweight. I feel really comfortable fighting at 154 pounds and probably will stay in this weight class my whole career.”
Tickets are still available at the $750, $500, $250, $150, $75 and $50 price ranges, not including applicable service charges. Tickets are limited to eighteen (18) per person with a limit of eight (8) at the $75 and $50 price ranges. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Below is what Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, Canelo’s trainer and co-trainer, respectively, and Oscar De La Hoya, president and founder of Golden Boy Promotions, said Tuesday:
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Canelo’s Trainer
“Canelo has a much different mindset going into this fight, his attitude is much better. His pride was hurt because of all of the smack Lara has been talking. He is totally focused on July 12, and wants to punish Lara thoroughly. Canelo looks at Lara as an obnoxious little child that needs to be put into his place.
“We train every day of the week except Sunday. He spars Monday, Wednesday and Friday. San Diego has been much more peaceful and tranquil compared to past training camp locations (Santa Monica, Big Bear). His gym is in the same place where he lives so everything is very convenient. The only time he leaves his house is in the morning when he goes on his run. Besides that he is very focused and able to train in the comforts of his own home.”
EDDIE REYNOSO, Canelo’s Co-Trainer
“After the last fight we only took 15 days off and then we went right back into training. We have had a great training camp that I believe will work in our favor.
“The biggest difference from this training camp compared to others is that the fighter we are opposing has completely different styles. One is a righty and one is a lefty, so we must train for our opponent specifically. One is more courageous and goes to the front and the other retracts and pushes back.
“Going into the Lara fight we have seen that Lara defends a lot and gives up his offensive moves. He is always on the defensive and we must attach him. Canelo has his combinations and strength that will work in his favor. Canelo just needs to win a decision; he doesn’t necessarily need a knockout to show the world what he is capable of. This is Canelo’s most important fight and all he is focusing on.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA
“It’s going to be a great fight, I don’t want to predict anything. Lara has been doing a lot of trash talking that has been fueling Canelo. I see him at an entirely different level and it’s exactly where he should be. He’s at a level of determination where he really wants to get this guy. It’s personal.
“Canelo is a young fighter who is improving at a rapid pace as every fight goes on. The fact that Lara has made this fight personal, it gives you extra motivation that you need to train harder, run faster and do everything almost perfect so that you can go into the ring and destroy your opponent.
“The fact this fight is personal, it is the first time that I have seen Canelo with that extra determination. He has looked perfect in training camp. He wants to destroy Lara. This is exactly where he needs to be. I can see it in his eyes, his focus says it all.
“The presence of social media has taken this fight to an entirely new level. When you have a fighter like Canelo who a lot of people follow, then social media is a key component to make sure that this PPV fight will be a guaranteed success. There is much anticipation leading up to the fight, I expect the MGM Grand Garden Arena to be completely sold out.
“Every fighter in the ring has a chance. With fighting, one punch can change the entire dynamic of a fight. I’m expecting a great fight from top to bottom, but obviously I’m with Canelo 100 percent.”