SAN DIEGO-A good thing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez takes everything seriously, including media days. The boss showed up much to the surprise of almost everyone on Tuesday.
Oscar De La Hoya, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, walked into the boxing gym holding the media day for Canelo and sent an electric shock to the reporters and shutterbugs in the House of Boxing gym.
“It’s a dangerous fight,” said De La Hoya about the scheduled junior middleweight bout. He had not been seen since Alvarez last fought in September by this writer.
The boss looked good.
Alvarez switched training camps from the mountain air of Big Bear Lake to the sunny beach shores of San Diego. It’s also a mere 10 minutes from the Mexican border and Tijuana.
More than 100 media members crushed into the boxing haven to see Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 Kos), who fights fellow Mexican Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (22-3, 18 Kos) in a 12-round junior middleweight clash. Their meeting takes place on Saturday March 8, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Showtime will televise, on PPV.
It’s been almost six months since the red-head from Guadalajara, Mexico was virtually stabbed with his first loss by Floyd “Money” Mayweather. I say stabbed because it must have been painful to discover someone has that much superior talent. But Alvarez is very young at 23.
Unwilling to accept an easy fight, the former junior middleweight titleholder now faces perhaps the biggest hitter in the 154-pound weight division in Angulo. Nobody hits harder in the junior middleweight class.
Angulo, 31, lost his last fight but proved that even the cleverest boxer cannot escape unscathed when he dropped Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara twice this past September. A poke to the eye ended the night for Angulo, but the Mexicali slugger showed he can deal with skillful boxers.
Of course, don’t expect Alvarez to dance around the ring and counterpunch much against a fellow compatriot. Expect a full dose of machismo.
It’s one thing to box and move against Austin Trout, it’s another to enter the ring against a slugger from Mexico who fights Mexican style. It’s all a matter of who’s more Mexican than the other.
Canelo cannot afford to allow Angulo to out-Mexican him when they fight. He would lose fans faster than “El Tri” in soccer.
“I changed my camp down here because of the climate,” said Alvarez. “It’s much warmer here and I didn’t want to be caught in the snow or rain.”
His trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso said that fighters from across the border were shipped in by the dozen to help Alvarez with sparring.
“I expect a tough fight. Everyone knows that Angulo is one of the toughest fighters out there,” said Alvarez. “I’m just focused on this fight.”
De La Hoya’s presence divided the media army in half as a large section of reporters surrounded the former world champion from East L.A. He expects a Fight of the Year candidate.
“It’s going to be a really great fight,” said De La Hoya. “It’s going to be an explosive fight, it’s one of the best fights of the year. People love brawls.”
Less than two weeks remain until the Mexican showdown.
“I’m very prepared and excited about this fight,” said Alvarez.
So are the fans.