"That's a complete lie. They wanted me to drop weight."
And with those words, stated forcefully, not in a seething manner, but with more fire in his body language than we're accustomed to seeing from the 23-year-old Mexican who exhibits the composure of a supreme veteran, I hoped we had some gasoline tossed on the fire, one week away from the clash in Las Vegas between the "they" Canelo referred to, Floyd Mayweather, and the young gun seeking to trample Juan Manuel Marquez and zoom past legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. as the man in Mexican boxing.
The promotion has coalesced into quite the moster, and is I think a good bet to do better than the No. 5 boxing PPV of all time, Mayweather vs. Cotto (1.5), and the No. 4 (Holyfield-Tyson I) and maybe sniff at the No. 2 (Lewis-Tyson and Holyfield-Tyson II).
And now, with the latest accelerant added to the mix, courtesy of the third episode of Showtime's All-Access, it seemed like a little spice had been added to the stew.
Canelo is basically smearing Mayweather, when he dismisses Floyd advisor Leonard Ellerbe's claim that the only reason a Canelo catchweight was activated was because Canelo brought it up.
I don't want to over-extend here, do some hit baiting by paying an exorbitant amount of attention to what is essentially a subplot appealing to a million or so boxingheads who eat, sleep, live and breath the sweet science. When Canelo says, in this All-Access preview, released Friday night, ahead of the Saturday 10 AM showing on Showtime of episode three, "It's just talk. Pure talk," the man's blood pressure isn't zooming at all.
He's as chill, frankly, as all hell, and it is clear that Ellerbe's assertion, and labeling Canelo's management buffoons, doesn't get deep under his skin, if at all. "They know very well that they're the ones that wanted the fight at this weight," he continues, in a measured tone, his pulse raised maybe a point or two.
I admit, I'm a sucker for emotions on display, good old fashioned nose flaring and trash talking, and this buildup to this fight hasn't really had it. Mayweather hasn't been inclined to wear the bad guy hat, and Canelo, I think, simply doesn't have an ill tempered side, or a desire or ability to manufacture one for the cameras, as I think Robert Guerrero did (to his credit, I might add, I thought he helped sales with his yapping).
Let's not get too animated because of this flareup, act like too many of these media entities who manufacture drama and storylines in order to conjure false hype and hits and ratings and eyeballs...but let's pay attention to this subplot, because it could, conceivably linger, and fester, and ignite. I admit, I wouldn't mind seeing the red-headed Mexican's Irish rise up, and see him snap a bit.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?