Feature Story

“Knockout Kings” undercard promises fireworks

Story by Anthony Springer Jr.
Photos by Gene Blevins / Golden Boy / Hoganphotos

All eight fighters are Saturday’s quadruple header highlighting a title tilt between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Josesito Lopez were relatively short on words. To be more precise, short on any type of pre-fight hype in the form of trash talk. Oddly enough, that’s just the way Oscar De La Hoya wanted it.

Crossing his fingers throughout the entire press conference, De La Hoya showed his hand after all fighters spoke their mind heading into the Mexican Independence Day card.

“I was hoping and wishing that nobody would talk any trash and they didn’t,” the ‘Golden Boy’ stated. “When [the fighters] get in the ring they’ll do the trash talking with their fists. These fighters have all the respect in the world. They’re professionals and they know they have to fight hard.”

The comment seemed like a not so subtle jab at the bout slated to take place down the street. In the interest of brevity, all the fighters statements – with few deviations – went as follows: Thank the promoter. Thank the network. Thank the fans. Thank my trainers/team. I had a great camp. It’ll be a great fight. End.

Sticking to the script may have been the order of the day, but the wild card of a $100,000 bonus for the best knockout of the night, to be voted on by fans, will surely ignite a fire under someone.

One person who needed no prompting to issue the only boastful statement of the evening was Lopez’ promoter, Ken Thompson. Clad in a lavender suit, Thompson praised “Canelo” before boosting up his own.

“They’re going to light up this arena, this town and they’re going to light up the world,” the enthusiastic Thompson said. “These young men bring excitement all the way. When the smoke settles, there will be one man standing as the greatest, and that fighter will be Josesito Lopez”

Lopez took little time at the podium and let it be known that he was tired of talking.

“There’s nothing I can say that I haven’t said already. I know I have a big fight, the hardest of my life on Saturday. I understand that I have to fight the best fight of my life to come out with the victory. I’ve prepared to the best of my ability.

“The better man will win Satuday. And long live Mexico!”

Both men hope to add their name to the list of legendary fighters who made a name for themselves during Mexican Independence weekend scraps. For the 22-year-old Alvarez, this is a moment he’s thought about for years.

“This is a special moment,” he began.” I remember seeing great fighters fight here and I always said to myself that I’m going to be there one day. This is the time. I want to take advantage of this fight so I can stay here for a long time.”

The Canelo vs. Lopez main card kicks off at 8 pm., est on Showtime.

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