Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) hosted a media workout on Monday, April 20 at the House of Boxing in San Diego in advance of his fight against Texas titan James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) on May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas and telecast live on HBO World Championship Boxing ®.
Canelo Alvarez, Former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion:
“I feel very happy. I am ready to fight tomorrow if needed. I feel excited that the fight is around the corner.
“Kirkland’s style will complement mine, he is a fighter that likes to come forward and May 9 will bring a great fight for all the fans.
“We have the right strategy to beat James Kirkland. I have been sparring with southpaws to be prepared. Kirkland is a strong puncher, but I am also a strong fighter. On fight night I plan to hit hard but I also plan to fight an intelligent fight.
“I am very honored to have the first boxing event at Minute Maid Park, and I promise fans will not be disappointed. I train very hard to please all my fans.
“I like to challenge myself, and I am not afraid to fight southpaws. I want to feel satisfied with myself, and I also want to put on fights that the people want to watch.
“House of Boxing has always supported me, and I am grateful to Carlos Barragan (owner of House of Boxing) for supporting my career.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President and Founder of Golden Boy Promotions:
“This is Canelo mania. This is what people are waiting for. Canelo vs. Kirkland is going to be exciting. People are excited to watch him train and take pictures of him.
“This is a sure knockout type of fight. Whether Kirkland knocks out Canelo or Canelo knocks out Kirkland, it’s going to be one of those fights. Styles make fights. We are going to see a good clash. It’s going to be a good fight.
“We are taking boxing to venues that are not the norm. We are going to have a stadium where we can open or close the roof, depending on the weather. It’s going to be awesome. For the millions that will be watching live on HBO, it’s going to be a special treat. HBO is going to give the fans watching live aerial views of the stadium during the fight. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Chepo Reynoso, Manager and Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“Kirkland is a complicated fighter; he is a southpaw, a hard hitter and throws a lot of punches. He is not afraid to brawl and looks to fight. That will help us with Canelo plan and move forward in his training.
“Canelo is a dangerous fighter because he is smart fighter. He is strong and shows great discipline. He learns every day and uses it in the ring.
“On May 9 fans will see a fast, strong, exciting and intelligent fighter in the ring. He will knockout James Kirkland and he will come out with his hand held up high and say: ‘Viva Mexico!’
“We are in the final stages of sparring. To date, he has done 125 rounds of sparring with five different partners, all southpaws with similar fighting styles to James. By Friday we hope to complete a total of 155 rounds of sparring.
“We are all very happy that Canelo’s fight week is on Cinco de May week; the holiday belongs to the Mexicans! Viva Mexico.”
Eddy Reynoso, Head Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“He is strong and we are working on his speed these last two weeks to make sure he is ready for James Kirkland.
“We are working like normal, making sure he focuses on his defense. Defense will be very important on May 9, Kirkland is a fighter that is not afraid to come out looking for a knockout and that is something we feel Canelo is prepared for.
“I think Canelo is prepared to James’ style. We have done a great job to prepare him for a left-handed fighter. Come fight night, Canelo will show the world that he is not afraid to fight anyone.”
Meanwhile, San Diego-based fighters, Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (28-1-1, 16 KOs) and Carlos Molina (17-2-1, 7 KOs) held a special workout session today at House of Boxing, ahead of their upcoming anticipated headlining bout on April 30 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. Also, undefeated super lightweight Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (21-0, 15 KOs) attended in advance of his upcoming fight on May 15 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mercito Gesta, Super Lightweight Contender (fighting April 30):
“What I am looking forward to most on April 30? Food! I’m hungry! Kidding!
“I am focused. I plan to listen to my trainers in the ring. That is the best way to get the win on April 30.
“I have been training for two months, and I feel comfortable with what we have accomplished. I did some sparring in Los Angeles. I feel very confident.
“After Carlos, I hope to get a title fight. It depends on what happens on April 30 and what my promoter thinks is the best step for me.”
Carlos Molina, Super Lightweight Contender (fighting April 30):
“I have been in San Diego for two and a half months. It’s hard being out here away from my family.
“I have known Carlos Barragan since I was an amateur and his style of boxing fits me. House of Boxing is like my family away from home. You can’t beat family when you go up on that ring together.
“We always work on strength, but I need to be myself in the ring. I am someone who is elusive in the ring, a boxer-puncher. I need to go in and have fun, all my training sessions have been like that.
“Gesta is a fast fighter, a southpaw, but once I let my hands fly he will feel that non-stop pressure, I will overwhelm him.
“After every camp we have our pasta, but I love sweets. I need some chocolate, some chocolate, almond, ice cream.
“I want to fight the best out there, and the best 135 pounder would be Jorge Linares. I want to see him in the ring.”
ANTONIO OROZCO, Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender (fighting May 15):
“Training was extended about a month, which has given us more time to be ready.
“I know my opponent is quick; he is an effective counter puncher. I know that I need to keep up with him and be a smart fighter. I have to make sure to move my feet and have a good defense.
“My after weigh-in tradition is a big plate of chicken alfredo. You can’t say no to Italian food.
“After May 15, I plan to spend time with my family. In regards to boxing, I hope I can put myself in a position to be ranked higher and get a shot a title soon.