DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS (March 15, 2013) – The Texas Three-Step is over for popular, unbeaten Mexican superstar and World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez and undefeated WBA Super Welterweight Champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout, who completed their highly successful three-city, two-day press tour in Texas on Thursday.
To infer that the three press conferences, all open to the public, were smashing successes would be an understatement.
Fans lined up around the building to get into the McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, Texas, to watch the press conference late Thursday afternoon, the final stop of the press tour. Nearly 1,000 of them had assembled in the room by the time Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya stepped to the dais to begin the proceedings.
Earlier Thursday, more than 500 fans flooded the food court at PlazAmericas Mall in Houston for the press conference. On Wednesday, the tour began in the fight’s host city of San Antonio, at the fight’s venue, the Alamodome, where approximately 1,500 fans attended.
At each location, the boxers obliged the adoring fans with autographs and posed with them for pictures.
In an eagerly anticipated matchup of talented, exciting, unbeaten boxers, Canelo (41-0-1, 30 KO’s), of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will take on Trout (26-0, 14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., in a 154-pound world title unification fight on Saturday, April 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio live on SHOWTIME® (10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT).
Tickets priced at $300, $150, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, are on sale and available for purchase at the Alamodome box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000.
Canelo vs. Trout is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo Promotions and Leija & Battah Promotions and the fight is presented in association with Greg Cohen Promotions. The event is sponsored by Corona and AT&T.
Below are quotes from the boxers, members of their teams and executives, including De La Hoya, Texas boxing legend and former Two-Time World Champion Jessie James Leija and Executive Vice President & General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports, Stephen Espinoza, among others, from the three press conferences:
CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC Super Welterweight World Champion
“I’m very humbled by the attendance (at the press conferences). I get goose bumps when I get up here with everyone cheering. I want to thank you for your support. I’ll be prepared as always. We’ll be ready. Texas has a great vibe. The people here have a great vibe and that definitely helps me. It’s a pleasure to fight at the Alamodome. This place has so much history. I fight for my people. They’re my inspiration. I carry a great deal of responsibility on my shoulders, because I carry the hopes and dreams of my people. I’m undefeated and my record is thanks to my people, who support me every step of the way.
“I’m very happy to be in Texas. This is the very first time I’m fighting here and I can already tell I like it. I like San Antonio because it has so much history and so many boxing fans. I want to thank all my fans for supporting me. On April 20, if God provides, the crowd will be on my side.
“We are working hard. My team and I are focused 100 percent on my opponent. I have great respect for Austin Trout and what he has been able to achieve. This fight is a complicated one. He’s not only tough but a lefty and he also knows how to keeps his guard with his left. He’s a very intelligent fighter, young, skilled and tough. It’s not going to be an easy task to beat him, but we’re working hard and getting ready. I respect Trout outside of the ring, but once he’s in the ring, that’s a whole different thing.
“This fight for me is personal. I know Trout beat my brother. I was there that day and that made me feel helpless. Now I’ll get the chance to avenge his loss and bring him up to the ring with me when I win.
“Like in life, in sports, there are critics and skeptics. There’s always going to be someone criticizing you. To fight Trout is not going to quiet down criticism against me, but I honestly don’t mind it. I think all criticism is constructive.
“My daughter motivates me to be better and not to fail.
“I’m ready to fight Floyd Mayweather when he’s ready to fight me.”
AUSTIN TROUT, WBA Super Welterweight World Champion
“I was born in El Paso, Texas. This is where I’m from. I’ve been around Latinos all my life and I can say I feel like one of you. Boxing is never going to be dead when there are fans like this (in Texas). It’s a sport that is 200 years old, but when you have a fight like this you know it is alive and well. Mark my words, on April 20, Texas will win.
“I want to thank the fans. The fans demanded this fight and made it happen. I believe that Canelo is a great champion. I have to thank him for making this happen. I want to thank the Lord, because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Him.
“I’m a fast, hungry champion. I don’t believe that Canelo is the second coming of Oscar De La Hoya. I do believe that I’m the better fighter. If I didn’t think I could be victorious, I wouldn’t be risking my life and limb to face this man. I wouldn’t be risking my undefeated record and my belt if I didn’t believe in myself. I’ll be victorious and I’ll go home as the unified champion.
“Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go. It sure as hell isn’t going to be mine and I’m sure he is saying the same thing. That’s the formula for a great fight. (Hip-hop artist) Drake said it best, ‘Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Started from the bottom, now my whole team’s here.’
“I know that Canelo is a hungry champion. I’m not just hungry. I’m starving. I’m ready for April 20.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“I was in San Antonio a few months ago and told Jesse James Leija and Mike Battah that we would be back. So standing here, bringing you a big mega-fight featuring Canelo Alvarez against Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout really is a dream come true for Golden Boy Promotions and I.
“These types of fights normally take place in Las Vegas and are normally shown on pay-per-view. However, we had to bring this fight in particular to San Antonio because of the fans. It’s not on pay-per-view. It’s on SHOWTIME.
“We have over 10,000 tickets that are going to be on sale at 10 dollars each. We want to make this a historical event, but that won’t happen without the fans. Without you, it wouldn’t be possible.
“This is an opportunity for Canelo to show everyone in boxing that he is the real deal. He’s not only a champion, but can stage his own show, pull in his own fans and draw his own great ratings.
“Boxing gives hope and strength to a lot of people. Boxing is a sport that can reach and impact people. This fight is showing the world that boxing is alive and well. Boxing is strong and we have the future right here with Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout.
“When they show Canelo’s fights in Mexico, his ratings are through the roof. He is a superstar in Mexico. Fans believe in him and are 100 percent behind him because they want to see the next Mexican fighter that is going to give them the strength to move forward.
“Canelo is a hard worker and he wants to be put to the test of fighting the very best.
“This fight is no joke and that is the beauty of it. We don’t know who is going to win. This is the type of fight that we should be putting on.
“How many times have you seen two fighters that are undefeated, two fighters that are champions risk it all? You seldom see that, but on April 20, you get to see two fighters that will risk it all to unify their belts.
“Golden Boy wants to show the world that boxing doesn’t have to be in Vegas alone. Boxing will be where the fans are. That’s why we are bringing this world championship to Texas.”
JESSE JAMES LEIJA, Former World Champion and Texas Boxing Legend
“(To San Antonio fans) We brought the big fight here, now we need your help. Bring grandpa, grandma, the wife, the girlfriend, everyone. We need everyone here. We want people to say, ‘Vegas who?’ We don’t need Vegas, we need San Antonio, but we can’t do that without your support.
“I told Oscar De La Hoya to bring a fight to Texas or we’re going to get back in the ring for a rematch.
“Raul Martinez will be on the card. He will be our next world champion.
“Houston is only two-and-half-hours from San Antonio. We have a great undercard, but nothing is going to surpass Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout fighting in this championship mega-fight.
“We want to keep bringing fights to Texas. It’s great for the economy. It’s great for the sport of boxing.
“Oscar De La Hoya knows that the best boxing fans are in Texas. Boxing is on the upswing. It’s the best sport in the world and that’s because of fans like you.”
MIKE BATTAH, President of Leija and Battah Promotions
“Oscar is giving us a great opportunity to put on a fight where the real fight fans are located. We’re bringing this fight to San Antonio because we pushed to have it in Texas.
“I want to thank the new fans that have come out to our fights and I want to thank the existing fans that will show Canelo and Trout what Texas is all about because we’re fight fans.
“I’d like to thank the amateur program that has supported us throughout our fights, so we can show those amateurs what it is like to be a pro one day.
“This is where fight fans are and this is the grassroots of Texas. This wouldn’t have been possible without the fans and we know you are going to come and support these great champions on April 20.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports
“At SHOWTIME, our goal is to bring boxing fans the best fighters and the biggest fights. That’s what April 20 is going to be. We’re bringing the biggest young stars and the biggest young champions to the fans on our network.
“On September 15 (2012), Canelo fought on SHOWTIME and set all-time ratings records. In December, Austin Trout faced Miguel Cotto in a fight no one thought he could win. He not only won, but that fight also set a new SHOWTIME ratings record. I know April 20 will be another record-breaking event.
“Champions are often too afraid to take tough fights. These two are stepping up to the plate and for that, they should be rewarded.”
“We had Jesse James Leija on our network for some of his biggest fights and we are proud to be working with him again.
“The last time we had a fight on our network in Texas it featured Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and we couldn’t be happier to be back for a fight of this size.
“We are approaching the biggest and best run of fights on SHOWTIME in the history of the network. On April 20 we have Canelo Alvarez vs. Austin Trout. On April 27, we have Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah and on May 4 on SHOWTIME PPV we have Floyd Mayweather facing Robert Guerrero in a mega-fight.”
JULIAN CASTRO, Mayor of San Antonio
“San Antonio has a rich and proud boxing history. Who could forget in 1993 when (Julio Cesar) Chavez fought (Pernell) Whitaker and other great names such as (James) Leija and (Robert) Quiroga?
“Watching our great Jesse James Leija fight bout after bout was great for this city and we are thrilled he has continued to bring boxing to this city.
“San Antonio is proud to play host to another great match featuring to two great boxers in their prime – Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout.”
MIKE SAWAYA, Alamodome Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Director
“Oscar De La Hoya told me he was going to bring an event to this building that would fill up the venue. This is a boxing town, but it is also a town that loves different types of entertainment, all different sports and we are looking forward to hosting this great event. Buy those tickets and we’ll see you in April.”
ED GONZALEZ, Mayor Pro Tem of Houston
“Houston is the fourth largest city in the country and the largest city in Texas. I’m so proud to be hosting this event today here in our city.
“There are 50 boxing gyms in Houston with young kids learning the sport. Houston is a boxing city.
“We are so thrilled to have Oscar De La Hoya, Jesse James Leija and the fighters here today. Thank you for coming and inviting all of these fans to be here and experience boxing at its finest.”
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Canelo’s Co-Manager
“I’ve been in the boxing business for many years and I’ve never seen so many boxing fans together. Texas has amazed me. The boxing fans were amazing.
“Be ready, Texas. On April 20, two undefeated world champions are going to step into the ring, but only one of them will step out as true unified champion and that is going to be our Canelo. We have two missions to accomplish on April 20…the first is to take Trout’s belt home with us and the second is to fill up the entire Alamodome.
“We ask that everyone come out to support this great Mexican champion (Canelo) on April 20.”
BOB SPAGNOLA, Austin Trout’s Manager
“We’re thrilled to be here. I knew there would be a big crowd here in San Antonio because this is a boxing town. There are boxing people here.
“The respect that these fighters are getting and the respect they are giving each other is commendable. In a sport where fighters are forced to talk (badly) about each other, these two champions are showing each other amazing amounts of respect.
“There are a lot of great boxing people in Houston. There are a lot of people that give tirelessly to youth for them to learn this sport.
“We can’t say enough about these two fighters. A lot of great fights don’t get made for one reason or another and we’re thrilled that Canelo has given Austin this opportunity.”
GREG ALVAREZ, Assistant Boxing Administrator for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
“Texas is so proud to be able to host an event of this caliber. I want to thank the people for being such great boxing fans. I also want to thank SHOWTIME for being part of this great boxing event. This is the top fight that we have in Texas and we cannot wait for April 20.’’