“Toe to Toe,” that is how the upcoming March 8th bout between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Alfredo ‘El Perro’ Angulo is being built, and with two fighters known for their styles that can generate excitement and action in the boxing ring. Saul Alvarez is coming off a twelve round decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in which he was outclassed from the opening the bell to the finish, but also never gave up trying to win the bout. Alfredo Angulo is also coming of a loss, but in a close and competitive fight that saw Angulo drop his opponent two times, before ultimately retiring in the match due to swelling around his eyes.
There is a lot on the line for both fighters, as Canelo is headlining his first PPV and coming off a loss, while El Perro is looking to avoid a second straight defeat and falling out of the title picture. I recently had a chance to speak to Saul Alvarez during a media conference call and I asked him about the pressure heading into this upcoming bout. I also got Alvarez’s views on being a Mexican boxer and what that means to him trying to carry that legacy. Additionally Canelo shared his thoughts on fighting a more aggressive styled opponent and if he thinks this fight will really be toe to toe. Here is what Saul Alvarez had to say.
Jenna J: Canelo, you’re listed by some odds makes as being a 9-1 favorite, and being the fact that this is you’re first time headlining a PPV, how do you feel about the expectations that are being put upon you for this event, and do you feel any extra pressure?
Canelo Alvarez: I’m very happy, it’s a big responsibility, a great responsibility but I thrive on it and I’m very honored to be headlining and to show the world that not only fighters from other countries can headline events like this, but also the Latinos, the Mexicans, we can do it as well. It’s a big responsibility but I thrive on it and I enjoy it, and with hard work, we’re here.
Richard Schaffer: By the way, the odds mean nothing. Look at the last fight a few months ago–Danny Garcia against Lucas Matthysse–Danny Garcia was a 9-1 underdog and we all know what happened. That’s the beauty of boxing, when you have two guys who come to fight and have that will to win, you just don’t know what’s gonna happen. That’s why it’s so exciting.
Jenna J: Canelo, how does it feel holding the torch right now as the premier Mexican boxer, the future of Mexican boxing?
Saul Alvarez: I’m very happy, that motivates me more to work harder. You gotta remember, Mexico is rich in history when it comes to Mexican fighters, and that motivates me and makes me work harder. I’m very honored.
Jenna J: Being the fact that the last 2 guys you fought were slick boxers, in this fight here you’re facing off against Angulo who is a straight ahead, straightforward guy. I’m curious, are you looking forward to fighting somebody who has that type of style, and do you think it’s going to live up to the hype of being toe to toe?
Saul Alvarez: Yes definitely a different style, he’s a fighter that comes forward, that hits hard and can take a punch. That’s what’s gonna make the fight live up, and that’s what the people wanna see, they wanna see action. That’s what they will see on March 8th, a lot of action.
Additional comments from Saul Alvarez during the call:
Angulo sparring with Andre Ward in preparation for the fight
That’s great, I’m grateful that he’s preparing himself very well, and I let you know that I’m preparing myself very well as well. That guarantees that when we come up in the fight, we’re gonna have fun and we’re gonna give a great fight.
What adjustments will be made for the fight with Angulo
We’re doing what’s necessary, we’re training for what we have in front of us, we have the adequate sparring partners that are very similar to him. We are doing the adjustments, and obviously the experience is gonna come out, we have the experience and at the end of the day we’re gonna go in there and win the fight.
Overcoming the loss to Mayweather
I have a lot of support, family, friends and my team. I’m very strong minded, yes it was a loss, but I learned a lot from it and I just moved on. I gained the experience and I moved on. I don’t dwell on the past, now I look forward to the future.
Is he less inclined to face defensive fighters in the future?
No, I’m open to fight whoever and wherever. Time will tell and dictate who we’ll see in the future. Right now I’m concentrated on what I have in front of me and that’s Alfredo Angulo on March 8th.
Chepo Reynoso on Virgil Hunter’s comments
From a distance it’s very easy to criticize. You’re not in the corner, you’re not knowing what is being said and told. In front of us we have one of the most talented fighters there is, and yes there was a plan B, plan C and a variety of things that we were telling Saul. But it was the opponent in front of us that didn’t let us do it. It’s very easy to criticize from a distance.