By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Esther Lim/SHOWTIME
Mexican superstar WBA/WBC super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs), is set to take on eight time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0, 26KOs). Canelo will square off against Mayweather Mexican Independence day weekend in a mega showdown on Saturday September 14, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena live on Showtime pay per view.
“I want to thank everyone in all the cities we have toured. The support has been incredible,” Saul Alvarez welcomed everyone at Tuesday’s press conference
The press tour for “The One, Mayweather vs. Canelo” kicked off last Monday in New York, continuing all week making stops in Washington D.C., Grand Rapids, Michigan (Mayweather’s original hometown), Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Mexico City, San Antonio, Houston, and made its final stop Tuesday evening in Los Angeles. For the Mexican superstar it’s all business as he has been touring across nation to promote the fight.
“Well, after this promotion I will go back to training and begin to prepare for this fight,” Canelo said.
Fightnews.com caught up with Canelo shortly before the Los Angeles press conference at the Nokia Plaza at L.A Live in Downtown Los Angeles as he talked about his upcoming fight with Mayweather. “I feel good. It’s a different experience and this is the fight I was looking for. I am happy and ready for this,” Canelo told Fightnews.com
Alvarez won a unanimous decision over Austin Trout in his last fight in San Antonio, Texas this past April in a world title unification bout winning the WBA super welterweight title and avenging his brother Rigoberto Alvarez, who lost to Trout for the vacant belt. “I felt good in that fight,” commented Canelp. “Everyone thought Trout was going to make me look bad but I proved everyone wrong. Every good fighter brings out the best in me.”
Mayweather is coming off a dominant performance in winning a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in May. Canelo stated, “In Mayweather’s last fight Guerrero didn’t give him problems, didn’t execute a strategy and could not adapt against Mayweather.”
Canelo says that won’t be the case when he fights Floyd. “All fighters are different and this will be a different preparation. Floyd is right-handed with a difficult defense to penetrate but we will work on the best strategy to come out with the victory. It’s hard to see any weaknesses. Floyd is a complete fighter, but when you are up in the ring there are things you notice inside the ring that’s what I will look for.”
Fightnews.com also talked with Canelo’s trainer Eddie Reynoso who gave us his thoughts on Mayweather. “He has tremendous hand speed with great footwork, he throws one to two counter punches and circles the ring, but we will work on neutralizing Mayweather’s speed.”
Mayweather is unbeaten in forty plus fights and brings an impressive resume defeating the late Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez for his first world title and stopped the late Diego Corrales at 130. Mayweather then moved up to lightweight defeating Jose Luis Castillo for his second WBC title by split decision, a fight in which many experts thought Castillo won. Floyd later won a rematch by unanimous decision.
“Jose Luis Castillo gave Mayweather the most difficult fight in the first fight. He was exploited the entire fight,” Canelo said.
In June of 2005, Mayweather stopped the late Arturo Gatti to add another title to his list winning the WBC junior welterweight title. Two years later Mayweather defeated Zab Judah for the IBF welterweight title and Carlos Baldomir in his next fight for the WBC welterweight title. Then it was Mayweather’s first big mega fight as he defeated Oscar de la Hoya for the WBC junior middleweight title winning his fifth world title in five weight classes.
“He has fought twice at 154 and done well but it’s obvious that in that weight class he will be a bit slower and that will benefit me,” Canelo told Fightnews.com. “I have felt good in my last three fights making the weight I have actually been one pound under the limit without trouble. I will be fine,” Canelo added.
Since defeating De la Hoya in 2007, Money Mayweather has campaigned back and forth from junior middleweight to welterweight defeating Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, and Robert Guerrero.
Floyd Mayweather had some interesting things to say about Canelo at the LA press conference, “You know Canelo is a young strong champion but can you tell me ten world champions that he has beat? Just ten that’s all.”
Alvarez, however, was not fazed by those comments and replied calmly.
“We know Floyd well. I am a distinct fighter than the opponents he has faced. I’m fast, strong, I adapt to all styles,” Canelo told the media.
One thing is certain. Mayweather will be in the ring with a young, talented fighter with the same kind of star recognition. The Mexican star will come into the fight as a slight betting underdog but all that could change come fight weekend.
“It motivates me being the underdog and September 14 you will see what happens,” Alvarez said.
Now the Mexican star will return to Guadalajara, Mexico to begin his preparation for his showdown with Mayweather then relocate and set up camp in the high altitude mountain community of Big Bear, California leading up to September. Canelo will be training at Shane Mosley’s headquarters to prepare on a strategy for Mayweather’s style.
“I have fought a lot of styles. Floyd’s style is unique and the most important thing is to find sparring similar to Floyd. I will go in with a plan but when you concentrate on a knockout nothing goes well.”
Floyd “Money” Mayweather has mentioned that “44 have tried, and 44 have failed” in reference to his undefeated record. Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez who has become the latest Mexican boxing icon and superstar looks to hand Mayweather his first defeat on a big Mexican holiday weekend.
“I am proud to be fighting on a Mexican holiday. It’s important and an honor for me to represent my country. You will see the best of Canelo on September 14th,” Canelo told Fightnews.com. “In boxing everyone has their time. This is my time and in September we will win together,” Canelo concluded.
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla