Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 34 KOs), the face of boxing and the king of the middleweight division, hosted an international media conference call today to discuss his upcoming 12-round bout against champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 28 KOs) for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title. Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy, participated on the call, along with trainers Eddy Reynoso and Jose “Chepo” Reynoso. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.
Below is what today’s participants had to say on the call:
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Hello, and thank you for dialing into the Canelo Alvarez media call. On November 2, Canelo Alvarez will look to make history as he moves up two weight classes, challenging Sergey “Crusher” Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight world title. Keep in mind that Sergey Kovalev has a record of 34-3 with 29 knockouts, so obviously this is a very, very difficult and tough challenge, but that’s exactly who Canelo is, a guy who challenges the very best and will always do so.
Tickets are still on sale and selling fast, so we’re really excited about that, and this historical fight will take place exclusively live on DAZN, the sports streaming platform that has changed the way consumers enjoy combat sports. We want to thank DAZN for providing us at Golden Boy with the best platform in boxing.
We are also happy to announce that our sponsors for a long time for many years are Tecate, the official beer of boxing, and Hennessy, never stop, never settle, and the brand new Grapefruit Crush Knockout flavor.
We will now open it up for questions, and I am also happy to announce that Ryan Garcia, who is the up-and-coming superstar in boxing, will also be participating in the co-main event, and he is also trained by the great trainer for many years now, who also trains Canelo Alvarez, to say a few words, the Trainer of the Year who has a stable of fighters who is growing, that is Eddy Reynoso. Eddy?
EDDY REYNOSO: Obviously I’m very happy that we’re all on the call, and I’m ready. I’m preparing Canelo Alvarez to be the best he can on November 2nd.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Also it’s my pleasure to introduce another man who is on Alvarez’ team and in his corner. He’s been there forever for the longest time, and that is Jose “Chepo” Reynoso.
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO: (Answer not translated).
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Now it is my pleasure to introduce to you a young man who has continued to make history in the sport of boxing, has continued to prove that he is the very best, not only in the division but in boxing in general in the world. Every single fight that he takes, every challenge that he has, he’s always been up against the very best, and obviously you take a look at his career and he’s only getting better, and that’s a testament to his great trainers, to his managers and to himself. The hard work, the discipline, the dedication that he puts into his work has gotten him to the top to be the very best. So it is my pleasure to introduce to you the current WBC franchise world champion, WBA lineal and Ring Magazine’s middleweight world champion, and he is currently the WBA super middleweight champion. With a record of 52 wins, one loss, 35 knockouts, I’ll introduce you to Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Hi, how is everyone. Thanks for the support. As always, I want to thank the media. I want to thank everyone for their support. I’m training 100 percent. This is going to be a big challenge that we have in front of us, and we’re happy to take it with a lot of responsibility and a lot of discipline. Thank you.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Okay, we will open it up for questions now.
Q. Canelo, I wondered if you could just speak to your decision-making process to decide that it was Sergey Kovalev that you wanted to fight and that you wanted to go up two weight divisions. I know you fought at middleweight against Fielding, but you really have been a middleweight. What was the thought process for selecting Kovalev, and what was the drive to do that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Obviously I spoke with my team. We talked with my team, with Eddy more than anything. He wanted that fight. He wanted to get a fourth title against one of the best fighters in that division, and we wanted to make history in boxing and leave a big legacy, so it looked like a good idea. It’s a risk that we’re taking, but that’s boxing.
Q. Canelo, the weight limit is 175 pounds, but I wonder — I was thinking about when Manny Pacquiao, for example, fought for the junior middleweight title against Margarito. He didn’t come close to being 154 pounds. He weighed in around 144, 145 pounds. Do you anticipate when you fight Sergey that you’ll be all the way at 175, or do you think you’ll be a little bit smaller than that and just be natural at whatever weight you come in at? Where do you expect to weigh on fight night or at the weigh-in?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I will be on weight at 175 pounds. That’s what I’m going to weigh, 175 pounds. God willing, that’s what we’re working on.
Q. Can you speak about the particulars that you’re doing in your training to put on that kind of weight properly? You looked in tremendous condition in your most recent fight, but now you’re going to be going up even more weight. What kinds of things are you doing? Maybe Eddy could speak to that, also, as the trainer, what you’re doing to put that weight on the right way.
CANELO ALVAREZ: That’s what I’m doing, I’m lifting more weights. I hadn’t lifted that much previously. A lot of reps but not that much weight, so I’m lifting more weights, eating more carbs, eating protein, and that’s what we’re doing to make weight.
EDDY REYNOSO: That’s what we’ve been doing in the gym, as well, lifting more weights. We also have to keep in mind the nutrition, eating more carbs, obviously, and then doing sparring with fighters who are taller and stronger, and so far things have been going well. There have been no injuries, no setbacks, and hopefully we become four-division world champion.
Q. Oscar, I wondered if you could give me, as a guy when you were a professional fighter before you were a promoter, you went through six different weight classes and won world titles in those different weight divisions. Can you give me your perspective what Canelo is trying to do by moving up two weight divisions in this case to fight probably the most recognized light heavyweight out there?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, he’s doing it to make history, I believe. Fighters move up in weight class to make history and to separate themselves from ordinary fighters. Two weight classes is not an easy task, but when did Canelo ever take easy tasks? And obviously that’s very admirable because nobody in boxing does it today. Fighters sometimes take the easy road out, and Canelo is taking this tough road.
Q. What does it say to you, then, Oscar, that he did not try to fight or make a big deal about getting Kovalev to do this fight at a catch weight, that he’s doing it at the 175-pound limit, not making him drain even one or two pounds to come down lower than that weight division?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: It shows who he is. It shows his character. It shows what he wants to accomplish in the sport, and that’s to make history and to one day be considered the best in the business.
Q. Did you try to convince him to ask for a catch weight?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: No, not at all.
Q. What do you think in the sense of boxing terms is the biggest challenge that Kovalev will present, and what does it mean to have a young fighter like Ryan GarcÃa part of your team? We want to know your perspective; what kind of advice would you give him?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Moving up two divisions against a world champion is a big challenge for me, worrying about a champion at light heavyweight. But I also think that it’s the most important fight of my career. That’s why we are doing this, to keep making history. That’s what I like. I like those challenges.
And the fact that Ryan is in our team, well, the truth is we like to support young fighters, fighters who really want to be someone in their life, and he’s a young man who trains really well and learns, as well.
Q. If you had a chance to respond to your detractors about the risks in moving up two divisions, what would you tell these people regarding their criticisms?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The truth is with the critics who aren’t with me, who are always going to talk about anything I do, I have nothing to respond to them with. I’ll never make them happy. I don’t try to, and I don’t hope to.
Q. We’ve always talked about making history, capturing titles, but before this fight did you ever think that you would be moving up to 175 pounds? Or is this something that you just decided after your last fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: We decided that after the last fight. Obviously we had thought about it before the fight with Jacobs because media asked, they asked if it was possible to be moving up to 175 pounds, and it didn’t sound bad, and then we started to think about it. But first, of course, we had to pass the first challenge, which was against Jacobs, and then we decided to move up in weight.
Q. Did you get a chance to see the Kovalev fight in Russia against Yarde?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, he’s a great fighter, and he’s taking a big risk to be moving up two weight divisions, but we believe in ourselves. We believe in our capabilities to win the world title, and we do this with the conviction that we have the tools to accomplish this.
Q. The goal obviously right now is to win this title at 175 pounds, though obviously also you have titles at 160 pounds and 168 pounds. Have there been discussions about what weight you will fight in after this fight, irrespective of the result of this upcoming fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, the truth is, no, we are focused on 100 percent on this fight. Afterward we’ll see what follows. We are 100 percent focused on this fight, and we’ll have to see what comes after.
Q. Canelo, over the years you’ve mentioned that your goal is to represent Mexico in accomplishing as many titles as you can obtain. At this point you have a big task in front of you on November 2 against Kovalev by going up those two weight classes. Looking ahead, would you see yourself chasing another title in another weight class, or would you focus, as well, on perhaps another big name, for example, in Andre Ward, if he were to come out of retirement to fight you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: You know, right now to move yet to another division would be a lot. We can’t exaggerate. It would be too much moving to another division, but I’m looking for challengers. I keep looking to make history. That’s how I would characterize myself as the kind of fighter that tries to make history.
Q. I saw a video recently of you speaking with Ryan GarcÃa, and it was really fun to see you doing something outside of your norm and you guys joking around. I wanted to know, do you think at this point in your career you are that crossover star that you want to be, and if you don’t, what do you think that you need to do to become that crossover star? Do you think that you have to change your personality? What are your thoughts on that and your appeal to the world and sporting universe?
CANELO ALVAREZ: My only advice would be to tell him to focus well on what you do, to be 100 percent dedicated. Don’t get off track. Keep in mind where you are and where you want to go. More than that, that’s the advice that I would tell him.
Q. Canelo, can you describe when you first met Kovalev back in 2013? I believe you were in camp in Big Bear preparing for the Mayweather fight. Did you ever think that you’d be facing him six years later?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I was training for the Mosley fight, if I’m not mistaken, but I would go there to train, and at the same time when I would get there, he would be leaving. We would greet each other. There was nothing in particular special, but that’s where we met, and that’s where we got to know each other. He was a four- to six-round fighter then, and then we saw that he was moving up. He was going to become champion, and we as a team really liked that, to see someone who was fighting at the four- to six-round level become the world champion. I mean, and one of the best, as well. So we really liked that as a team.
Q. Right now there’s no limits in your career. You’ve been keeping up with the challenges, starting at super welterweight, then the middleweight and beyond. Is there any peak or limit to you? Are you seeing the limits now, and what are the other challenges that you want to face?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The truth is no. For us there are no limits. We want to make history. We want to keep advancing. So there are no limits for us. We’re in a good moment in my career, so we have to take advantage of that.
Q. I wondered if you saw Triple G’s very tough fight that he had with Derevyanchenko this past Saturday night, and if so, what was your take on that performance?
CANELO ALVAREZ: We saw it. Obviously for me — Derevyanchenko won the fight. It was a fight where he really looked well. It was his fight. Regarding Triple G, we all know, everyone knows, it’s unnecessary to say more, but he looked slow, and I think I gave everyone the pathway to see how to hurt him, which is the body, and that’s what we saw.
Q. When the third fight between yourself and Triple G did not get made, you had said on multiple occasions that you felt like if he has a title I would fight him, but until he has a title I’m not going to fight him. You stuck to that; you’re obviously fighting Sergey Kovalev. Now Triple G has another middleweight title belt, and whatever happens November 2, you’re still going to be middleweight champion. He has the title now. Do you think that fight will happen in the future, the third fight? A lot of people want to see it.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Like I said before, and I’m going to repeat it again. I said it before the fight, and I’m going to repeat it. For me that fight presents no challenge to me right now. We fought two times, 24 rounds. I beat him, so he represents no challenge. However, what he does represent is some good business, so if they offer me something really good, maybe the third fight can happen. But for me, no, because he represents no challenge for me.
Q. Also, Canelo, were you at all disappointed that you watched as they fought for the IBF title that ultimately was stripped from you because you and your team for whatever reasons were unable to complete the deal with Derevyanchenko who was the mandatory challenger so they basically were fighting for your belt? Was there any kind of sadness in that situation that they have your belt now?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, that was it. That was the fight, but I didn’t think that. What happened is what happened. Unfortunately they took the title, but that’s what happened.
Q. One other question as it relates to the question you’re going to have with Sergey. One of the things about Sergey Kovalev that seems to be quite obvious is that it was apparent in his loss to Andre Ward, it seemed apparent in the fight against Yarde, he doesn’t take body shots all that well. That’s just being real. Canelo Alvarez is a fantastic body puncher. Is it fair to say that when you look at the video, you and Eddy and everybody and Chepo and do the strategy that you’re going to be in there trying to bang that body as much as possible? I don’t think you’d be giving away any secrets if you said that was the case.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Without a doubt. It’s one of the most important punches for any fighter, and not just in this fight, in all fights. But of course even more so with this fighter because that’s a weak point that he has, so we’re going to try to penetrate with the impact to the body.
Q. Canelo, I know you already explained in depth the steps you’ve taken to properly make 175. Is there anything about this training camp that was different or that you learned from when you fought Rocky Fielding and moving up in weight for that fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, obviously this is a very different fight than the one against Fielding. He’s 175 pounds, which is heavier. It’s in a different division, and we know the challenge that we have in front of us, but we’re ready for it.
Q. You take a lot of pride in fighting on the Mexican holidays. You didn’t get to fight on Mexican Independence Day. I wanted to know if there’s going to be any type of a theme for fighting on Dia de los Muertos.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Obviously I’m going to fight, but on the Day of the Dead, DÃa de los Muertos, we’re going to be having a fight, and I plan to give a great fight to the ones who have left us, for family members who are no longer with us. It’s something that we really celebrate in Mexico.
Q. Because they’ve taken so long to get the Kovalev fight signed, there was a lot of reporting that said that DAZN really wanted the Gennady Golovkin fight and still wants it. I wondered if you felt pressure from DAZN during negotiations or if you think they should even have a say in your upcoming opponents. What are your thoughts on that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: More than any pressure, what was happening is the fight was getting complicated because there were other interests involved, but pressure on me, no. I always know what I want, and what I want is what I’m doing now. They may have wanted the Triple G fight, but as I said before, he represents no challenge for me, so I didn’t feel any pressure.
Q. The week after you fight Kovalev there’s a YouTube star fight, Logan Paul versus KSI. I wondered what you thought about that fight and a couple of amateurs fighting on a big — fighting in Staples Center that will sell out, probably, and hundreds of thousands will tune into. I wondered if that kind of fight was good for boxing or if it was just kind of silly, or just what you were thinking?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The truth is I have no opinion. I don’t even know the people which you speak of, so I have nothing bad to opine about this. The sun rises for everyone.
Q. I’ve heard from Eddy Reynoso that you’ve been training with bigger, stronger fighters. Have you noticed anything different in the strength of their punches compared to when you were training to fight 160 pounders, and is there any boxer that you admired when you were growing up who also moved up in divisions, who may have inspired you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: It’s normal. It’s normal for you to feel that when you’re sparring with bigger people. It’s logical. But we have felt really well, training and sparring with my sparring partners, and I really appreciate that because they’re helping me train, but it’s just a matter of getting used to it.
Sugar Ray Leonard, obviously, is one of the ones who I remembered who mostly moved up in divisions. I saw videos of him, watched the fights so that I could learn.
Q. You’re about less than a month away from making history. I wanted to know if this is something you visualized from when you were a young boy to be doing this.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I always imagined the magnitude of what I could accomplish so fast, and then I discovered more things. I learned more things, and I learned that there are even more things ahead of me that I can keep making history, and that’s what motivates me to keep going, keep making history.
Q. You clearly want to get the bigger challenges, the biggest names that you can. You explained that Triple G isn’t really a challenge at this point, but somebody that is a challenge is Demetrius Andrade. He’s obviously not the biggest name out there, but he probably presents the biggest challenge for you at middleweight. I don’t want to ask if you want to fight him, but is it more so attractive for you to fight guys who have bigger names as far as like a Triple G and a Kovalev as opposed to Andrade, even though Andrade might be the biggest challenge, that you would rather face the bigger names?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The truth is he hasn’t fought with anyone, hasn’t fought against anyone, and he’s also boring, very boring. Maybe he’s a good fighter, but he’s a boring fighter, and at the end of the day, when there’s a boring fight, people are going to blame me. I like fights where there’s action, where people can enjoy a good show. That’s very important for me. But also he doesn’t represent a challenge for me, as well, because he hasn’t fought against anybody.
Canelo vs. Kovalev is a 12-round fight for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title presented by Golden Boy, Main Events and Krusher Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and Brand-New Grapefruit Crush, Knockout Flavor. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN. The title clash is one of several highlights this fight season on DAZN – an entire fall featuring boxing’s biggest matchups in one of the best schedules in boxing history.
Tickets for Canelo vs. Kovalev are on sale and are priced at $1,754, $1,254, $854, $654, $404 and $204, not including applicable service charges and taxes. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.axs.com