Canelo Alvarez and James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland hosted the final press conference in Houston on Thursday, May 7 ahead of their showdown on May 9 at Minute Maid Park and live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Other fighters on the Canelo vs. Kirkland undercard in attendance at Thursday’s press conference included co-main event fighter Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (65-8-2, 35 KOs),2012 Olympian Joseph “Jojo” Diaz Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs), Chinese heavyweight sensation, Taishan (3-0, 2 KOs), KeAndre Gibson (12-0-1, 5 KOs), Joshua Clottey (38-4, 22 KOs), Ryan Martin (12-0, 7 KOs), and James Leija Jr.
CANELO ALVAREZ, Former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion:
“Thank you all for being here. I want to say thank you for all of the support you have been giving me. We have worked very hard to come out with this victory.
“It’s very easy to say words, but once we are in the ring, let’s let the fists do the talking.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We are excited to be once again partnering with the champion network, HBO, where everyone is guaranteed to watch the best that boxing has to offer.
“Some people weren’t too content with the May 2 performances but one thing is for sure: people are very excited to watch some action with Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland on May 9.
“As a promoter, you want to work with fighters that want to go against the very best. That is what is so exciting for me about promoting this event because that’s what we’ll have on May 9. The best fighting the best.
“James is one of the most decorated punchers and fighters. He brings power, and he brings excitement to ring.”
JAMES KIRKLAND, Super Welterweight Contender:
“I have been looking forward to this moment for a long time. We had this fight set up once before but it was canceled due to an injury.
“My training camp has been outstanding. Canelo brings a lot to the game; he has a great team backing him. I would like to thank the fans, HBO, and everyone who will be at the fight. Thank you. Team Kirkland!”
CURTIS “50 CENT” JACKSON, Founder and Chairman of SMS Promotions:
“This is excitement. Originally, I was just passionate about boxing, I was just a fan, but now, to be a part of what could possibly be the biggest fight of the year, that is really exciting.
“I want to thank everyone, Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, HBO, and everyone working behind the scenes to make this fight happen.
“One of my up and coming fighters for SMS Promotions, Ryan Martin, will also be fighting on May 9.
“We will definitely get a chance to see some action on May 9 at Minute Maid Park. It’s the perfect place for this fight.”
HUMBERTO SOTO, Former Three-Division World Champion:
“I want to thank the promoters for bringing back this level of fighting.
“It’s going to be another great fight. We have youth versus experience, and the fans are going to win. Don’t miss this fight, thank you so much.”