In world title fights that precede the main event between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo, undefeated two-division world champion and current WBC Super Bantamweight titleholder Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) will defend against crowd-pleasing, former three-time world champion Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares (48-7-2, 22 KOs) and IBF light middleweight champ “King” Carlos Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) will defend against undefeated Jermall Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs), who missed the arrivals, but was due at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas later on Tuesday.
A 10-round lightweight fight between former two-time world champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares (35-3, 23 KOs) and exciting Japanese contender Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) will open the Showtime televised event.
All of the fighters were welcomed enthusiastically by the appreciative fans.
Below is what the undercard boxers said upon their arrivals on Tuesday.
LEO SANTA CRUZ:
“I’ve been in the gym training really hard so when fight day comes I can give them my best.
“It’s a huge motivation to be fighting in a big co-feature on a pay-per-view event like this. It would be a dream come true for me to fight in a main event. But I need to win to get that opportunity.”
“Leo is a great fighter, but in this sport you win some and you lose some. Come Saturday, I’m coming to win.
“It’s a great honor to be on this card with this Canelo and Angulo. We’re going to do our best to put on a show.”
“I’m more eager and hungry than I’ve ever been for a fight in my life. I can’t wait to walk in that ring. This is what I’ve worked for, this is what I live to do.
“This guy is undefeated, but he’s never faced anyone like me. I’m still the champion and I’ll still be the champion on Saturday.”
“This reminds me of 2007 when I won my first world title, the only difference is that was at Mandalay Bay instead of MGM Grand.
“I respect Arkawa’s game. I respect what he did with Omar [Figueroa Jr.], but I’m a different fighter. The ‘Asian Rocky’ won’t last very long on Saturday night.”
“I’m grateful to be back in the United States and this time I’m going to win.
“My last fight was a war, but I didn’t come out with the win. This time, we’ll put on another war, but the result will be different.”
March 4, 2014