By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Former super welterweight champion Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) and Mexican slugger Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) are set to clash Saturday March 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on Showtime pay-per view. The fighters met and faced off Tuesday afternoon at the Café Pinot in the outdoor plaza at the Los Angeles Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. The bout shapes up as a classic all-Mexican showdown.
“I feel enthusiastic to be back in the ring and I’m just awaiting the night of the fight,” Canelo told Fightnews.com
Angulo told us, “This is a very important fight. It’s interesting because many are wondering about this one, in fact many years ago people in Mexico and in the U.S. wanted to see this fight!”
After a potential bout with Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto fell through, Alvarez and his team looked elsewhere to find another potential opponent. Team Canelo decided to go with their Mexican countryman based on Angulo’s toughness and aggressiveness which provides action as well as excitement. “This is the best fight for the fans they want to see a good fight that’s why we chose Angulo. He comes forward and comes to fight every time,” Canelo stated.
The pay-per view card has been billed as “Toe To Toe” by Golden Boy Promotions and everyone is hoping that is what it will be. The style of the two fighters complement one another as “Canelo” the boxer puncher who packs a punch in both hands goes up against the hard-punching aggressive in your face “El Perro.”
“Every time you see Angulo’s name on the card there is excitement,” Angulo commented. Angulo was asked by Fightnews.com if he would live up to the title of the pay per view card and he replied with a huge smile, “Do you doubt it? If you do, watch a video of my fights on You Tube,” as he laughed away.
Golden Boy Promotions, Matchmaker Eric Gomez spoke to us about the matchup and what he expects.
“The thing about Mexicans you can’t count them out,” Gomez told Fightnews.com. “Just like when Morales fought Barrera the first time, everyone thought that Morales was going to knock out Barrera and look at the result. It created a big rivalry between the two.”
Promoter Richard Schaefer also gave us his thoughts on the matchup. “Toe to toe, hand to hand this is going to be an action packed fight. It is a Cinco de Mayo (May 5th Battle of Puebla commencement) type of card so we will celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Ocho de Marzo,” (March 8th) Richard Schaefer told Fightnews.com.
Both fighters are coming off losses as they look to get back on the winning track and perhaps get a potential title shot this year.
The 23-year-old Canelo Alvarez suffered the first loss of his career last September as he lost a majority decision to undefeated pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Alvarez boxed with Mayweather throughout the fight as many felt he was simply outclassed instead of taking the fight to Floyd. “I don’t have to demonstrate nothing. They know what I have even after the loss to Mayweather, but I hope to fight him again one day,” Canelo said.
Canelo will be training in San Diego, California in preparation for Angulo as he gears up with father/son duo manager Jose “Chepo” Reynoso and trainer Eddie Reynoso. In previous camps the Guadalajara fighter has recently set up headquarters in the beach city of Santa Monica, California and in preparation for his last fight he trained up in the San Bernadino Mountains in Big Bear, California.
“I have already began to train in San Diego. That’s where I will prepare for this fight with Angulo,” Alvarez stated on training in San Diego. “It is very similar to LA, the weather is perfect to be training in. That’s why we made San Diego our headquarters.”
“Styles make fights. If one Mexican brings action, imagine what two Mexican fighters will bring? This will be a very exciting and tough fight,” Canelo’s manager “Chepo” Reynoso told Fightnews.com.
“I think he is one of the toughest rivals for Saul. Angulo is a good strong, tough fighter. We respect all Mexican fighters, but Canelo will be victorious in what will be very tough fight. Now it’s time to get ready for him,” trainer Eddie Reynoso added.
Angulo is coming off a tough tenth round loss loss to Erislandy Lara back in June, a fight in which Angulo scored two knockdowns and applied pressure on Lara all throughout the fight before being stopped due to a brutal eye injury in the tenth round. “My eye is fine, everything is good now. I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” Angulo told us.
In a donation to charity, Angulo had his long locks cut before the press conference. “El Perro” will be donating his hair to the cancer charity ‘Locks of Love.’ “Years ago a man asked if I can visit his wife in the hospital. She was ill and she inspired me to fight on,” Angulo said.
He will set out to train with his trainer Virgil Hill up in Northern California. This will be their fourth fight together since November of 2012.
“Each man has to come to grips that they are coming off a loss, whoever wins this fight is going to have to fight to win. It’s a must win fight for Canelo to stay relevant. Alfredo will come in with everything he has, so Canelo will have to be ready,” Virgil Hunter told Fightnews.com.
A fight in what certainly has the makings of a potential Mexican battle or rivalry. Throughout the years there have been memorable fights and rivalries between two fellow Mexican fighters which date back years. The list can go on and on in terms of Mexican vs. Mexican as for years they have the distinction and stereotype to be aggressive tough fighters leaving it all in the ring. Mexican rivalries in the past have included Ruben Olivares vs. Chucho Castillo, Carlos Zarate vs. Alfonso Zamora, most recent Erik Morales vs. Marco Antonio Barrera, and Israel Vasquez vs. Rafael Marquez. Alvarez vs. Angulo will be a scheduled 12 round super welterweight bout in what will be another chapter of two Mexican’s going “Toe To Toe.”
“Every time you see the name Alfredo Angulo on a card it is a spectacle. On March 8 that will be no exception and you will see action,” Angulo promised. “You will see a war between two Mexicans, Angulo vs. Canelo will deliver action.”
Alvarez vowed, “On March 8 expect for me like always to give it all I got in the ring.”
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Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla