Former WBC light middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, hard-hitting fellow Mexican Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo and the pay-per-view undercard fighters worked out in front of the world’s media and boxing fans on Wednesday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Canelo (42-1-1, 30 KOs) and Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) will square off in what is expected to be a slugfest in the 12-round main event this Saturday,(March 8), at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Undefeated two-division world champion and current WBC Super Bantamweight titleholder Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) will defend his title against former three-time world champion Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares (48-7-2, 22 KOs) in Saturday’s co-feature. In the second world title fight of the evening, IBF light middleweight World Champion “King” Carlos Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) will defend his title against undefeated Jermall Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs).
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 pay-per-view telecast. Lightweight contender Ricardo Alvarez (23-2-3, 13 KOs), brother of Canelo, will face late-replacement Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson (28-3, 26 KOs) on the non-televised undercard after WBC Lightweight Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. pulled out due to injury. .
Below is what the fighters said at Wednesday’s workouts:
“My main concern when we are this close to a fight, is always my weight and making the weight. Although I’m on weight and it will not be a problem, that is always my concern this close to a fight. All of the hard work in the gym is done.
“Between the fans, my family and myself, I’m always motivated for my fights. The support I get has always motivated me. I fight for them, on behalf of them. Everything I have is because of the fans. I know I’m young and they have so much faith in me. I can just be who I am and continue to work as hard as I can.
“Angulo presents a difficult challenge because he’s a fighter who can punch and take a great punch. I know I have to prepare and establish my game plan early. But you know how it can be with game plans. Sometimes, once a fight starts, you have to do what you have to do win and that’s what I am going to do on Saturday.
“Obviously a knockout would be beautiful; that’s what the fans like, an impressive knockout. But I never go into a fight looking for knockout. If it comes, it comes.
“Everyone says Angulo is the stronger guy, but I think I’m the strongest.”
“Style-wise, this is a great matchup for the fans and both of us. Fans are going to get a great fight.
“I’m ready to chase him or fight him like a true Mexican warrior.
“I plan to test him like he’s never been tested before. I don’t think anyone has ever hit Canelo as hard as I’m going to hit him.
“I’m totally relaxed and confident. Camp was amazing and I am in unbelievably great shape.
“There were a couple times when I was in the immigration detention center (January-August 2012) that I wanted to quit. But my team of lawyers always motivated me, wouldn’t let me stay down for too long and kept telling me that justice would prevail and that I shouldn’t give up.
“I always dreamed of being a headliner on a major card, and here it is. I am so ready for Saturday.’’
LEO SANTA CRUZ:
“This is going to be a great fight, a war. I have a lot of respect for Mijares, who was a great champion and is still very fast. His style can be complicated which is why I’ve been working in the gym with southpaws who are like him.
“I feel [Cesar] Seda was stronger, younger and faster than Mijares.
“I never enter the ring thinking I’m going to lose, so if he says he can see something in me that indicates that, well, he is very wrong. I am going to stop him.’’
“This is such a great opportunity for me. I totally feel like I’m catching Leo at the right time. He’s a great, young champion and I know this is going to be a difficult fight. But I have too much experience for him, too much overall speed.
“I think Leo found out in his last fight that he is vulnerable. I can see in his face, the look in his eyes, that he’s going to lose on Saturday. I am very confident.’’