Canelo Alvarez will be looking to bounce back in the best way possible when he faces Alfredo Angulo for the pride and glory of Mexico on Saturday, March 8.
BoxNation has added the star-studded Golden Boy Promotions bill to its packed roster, which also includes three world title showdowns featuring Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz taking on Cristian “El Diamante” Mijares for the WBC Super Bantamweight title, newly installed WBC lightweight champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa facing the tricky Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez and Carlos “King” Molina will defend his IBF Junior Middleweight title against undefeated fast-rising star Jermall Charlo.
The spotlight will be on light-middleweight star Canelo, however, who makes his first return to the ring since his loss to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather last September.
The former light-middleweight unified world champion has refused to choose an easy comeback assignment instead facing another darling of the Mexican public in the ferocious Angulo at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.
“Obviously, it’s very hard and it hurt my honour. It’s very tough. Nobody ever wants to lose,” said Canelo, when discussing his defeat against Mayweather. “Nobody ever wants to be on the losing side of a fight, but I don’t see it as a loss. I see it as a learning experience, and I’m just going to take the best out of it.
“I’m mentally strong. I’ve always been mentally strong and more than anything I think that that’s a fight that’s going to help me and it’s just going to make me better,” he added.
The 23-year-old knows he will be in a bout that will present some equally difficult challenges when he faces Angulo and is certain it will be a fan favourite affair.
“Without a doubt this is going to be a tough fight – without a doubt. Yes, you’re right, some of the things that Alfredo possesses, size, weight, power, yes, that’s correct, but I also have power and it’s going to be a tough fight,” he said.
“But it’s also going to be a very attractive fight, and that’s what the fans want. I think the fans deserve these kinds of fights. The fans don’t want to see a fight where one guy is just running the whole night. They want to see these kinds of battles,” Canelo stated.
Though Angulo is seen as the underdog in the fight, he is eager to seize a chance he has been waiting for his whole life.
“I think this is the right time. I think this is the perfect time. I think it’s good for me. He decided to give me the opportunity now in 2014 and it’s a great gift for my career at this time, for 2014,” Angulo said.
“I have a very good game plan with my trainer, Virgil Hunter. We’ve already started camp, we’ve been working hard and I feel that a lot of people are going to be very surprised, they’re going to be very, very surprised come fight time of what I’m capable of and what Virgil’s game plan has been,” he said.
Further good news for BoxNation subscribers is that the channel will also be brining WBC and WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia’s defense against Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera live and exclusive a week later on March 15.
Garcia, who has propelled himself to the top of the 140-pound division with victories over Amir Khan, Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse, will take on Herrera in Puerto Rico, the birthplace of his parents.
“I am a Puerto Rican. I could have been born on the moon, but I’m still Puerto Rican,” he said. “It means a lot to me [to be fighting in Puerto Rico]. Everybody in the stands is going to be Puerto Rican. I’ve never had that before,” Garcia said.
“Even though I’m from Philly, that’s not my heritage. It’s important for me to reach out to my fans because I think Puerto Rican boxing needs this right now.
“I think that Puerto Rico is going to accept me as its own after I win on March 15. Philadelphia might be my birthplace, but Puerto Rico is my blood,” he said.
Herrera is no easy foe for the 25-year-old Garcia, though, having been only one of two men to beat the formidable WBO light-welterweight world champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
“I know this is a huge opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it,” said Herrera.
“To have a shot at Danny’s belts has been a dream of mine for a long time. Danny Garcia is an intelligent and tough fighter, but so am I. I’m coming to Puerto Rico and I know there is a lot of pressure, but hopefully they will support me too,” he said.
The undercard is also stacked with top quality bouts with big-hitting Deontay Wilder facing the experienced Malik Scott and Juan Manuel Lopez back in action against featherweight star Daniel Ponce de Leon.