WBC 154-pound titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez spoke to RingTV.com regarding his decision to face WBA counterpart Austin Trout in a clash of unbeaten contenders on April 20 at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Showtime rather than as the co-feature to the Floyd Mayweather–Robert Guerrero fight on May 4.
Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya first informed RingTV.com on Feb. 27 that a proposed bout between Alvarez (41-0-1, 31 knockouts) and Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) would not happen on the May 4 Showtime Pay Per View card in Las Vegas.
Plans initially involved Mayweather and Alvarez facing each other on Sept. 14, on Mexican Independence Day weekend, if they won their respective bouts on May 4. But when Alvarez couldn’t get Mayweather to sign a contract ensuring they would fight in September, the 22-year-old Mexican star pulled off the Mayweather-Guerrero card to headline his own show on April 20.
In a Q&A with RingTV.com, Alvarez said that if he and Mayweather are victorious in their next bouts, and the pound-for-pound king doesn’t choose to face him on Sept. 14, he would be willing to fight someone else on that date and go up against Mayweather on separate cards.
That’s what happened on Sept. 15 of last year, when the Showtime-televised Alvarez-Josesito Lopez card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas went up against an HBO Pay Per View-televised showdown between RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at Thomas & Mack Center.
Alvarez-Lopez attracted 1.04 million viewers for the live telecast, surpassing Bernard Hopkins’ majority draw with light heavyweight Jean Pascal in December of 2010 for Showtime’s highest viewership. Contested on Mexican Independence Day weekend, Alvarez-Lopez also drew the largest Hispanic audience for an individual bout on Showtime, surpassing Brandon Rios’ 10th-round stoppage of Miguel Acosta in February of 2011.
Obviously, Alvarez is popular. And he believes that he can headline a successful pay-per-view event without Mayweather. Alvarez said if Mayweather does not choose to fight him in September, he would attempt to line up fights against either Martinez or Miguel Cotto, who is coming off consecutive unanimous decision losses to Mayweather and Trout.
Another potential opponent Alvarez would consider would be Mexican countryman and 154-pound contender Alfredo Angulo.
In the following Q&A, Alvarez addressed criticism that he has largely taken on undersized opponents such as Lopez and Alfonso Gomez, who troubled Alvarez before being stopping in the sixth round in September of 2011.
Alvarez stopped Cintron in the fifth-round in November of 2011 and defeated Mosley by unanimous decision last May.
Alvarez also recalled the fact that he was ringside for Trout’s unanimous decision victory over his then-34-year-old brother, Rigoburto Alvarez, in February of of 2011 that ended his sibling’s three-bout winning streak and earned Trout’s current belt before their partisan fans at the Arena Colseo in Guadalajara, Mexico.
This interview was translated by Golden Boy’s Ramiro Gonzalez:
RingTV.com: What do you want your fans to know about why you are fighting on April 20 against Trout and not on May 4 with Mayweather-Guerrero?
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: The negotiations started in December of 2012, and I didn’t fight in December because I was waiting for the response of Mayweather to fight on the undercard of May 4 of this year.
So nothing happened. So basically, he failed to keep his promise to us on what he told us in December, that I would fight on the undercard of his show on May 4.
It was like he was waiting until the last minute to get me in on his card because maybe he thought I didn’t have any other choices. So that’s what really happened.
But I have plenty of choices. I have so many options, so I just couldn’t wait anymore. Like I said, unfortunately, today, he would say, “Yes,” and then tomorrow, he would say “No.”
So I can’t be kept waiting and waiting and waiting. I have so many options that I can fight anybody. I have my own fans and I have my own followers.
Right now, I’m very, very focused on Austin Trout. It’s going to be kind of a difficult fight, and he’s a very good fighter, and he has a very difficult style and everything.
So I’m very focused on this fight, and if everything comes out very well, thanks to God, then I know for a fact that I have the Sept. 14 date that will probably be my first pay-per-view (main event) fight that I’ll lead by myself.
Like I’ve said, I have so many options. I can fight Miguel Cotto. I can fight Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez. I can fight so many other fighters.
There’s a lot of options for myself. But right now, I’m only focused on one man, and that’s the man I will be fighting on April 20, Austin Trout.
RTV: Was part of the reason that the deal didn’t come to fruition because Mayweather would not commit to facing you in September?
SA: Yes, you have it absolutely right. That’s what really happened. He wouldn’t fight us. He was trying to use us to fight on the undercard on May 4.
But nothing really happened. So, like I said, I have my options. Right now, though, the first option is going to be Austin Trout, and then my next option is going to come after that.
So my next fight is going to be in September and I have so many options, so many names. That will be my first pay per view headliner.
RTV: If Mayweather would have committed to fighting you in September, would you have fought on his undercard on May 4?
SA: Absolutely. If he had signed the contract to fight me in September, then, absolutely, I was happy to be on the undercard on May 4. That’s the fight that I wanted the most.
I really wanted Floyd Mayweather, but it didn’t happen because he never committed to follow through on what he was saying.
RTV: How badly did you want to fight Trout, and how do you see this fight going?
SA: Honestly, I am just counting the days until April 20. Besides defending the WBC belt and winning the WBA belt, this is more than personal. He beat my brother and I’m very proud that this is happening.
So I really, really want this fight. I’m not just coming to have a fight, I’m not coming just to play around. Like I said, this is personal for me.
RTV: From the Cotto fight, do you see Trout being susceptible to the left hook?
SA: I think so. I think that it’s going to be one of the main points as I train for this fight. It’s going to be one of my best shots, I think, against him. That’s one of them, yes.
RTV: Why is Trout dangerous?
SA: He is a very, very good fighter. He’s a very difficult fighter to face. He has plenty of abilities. He also knows how to grab you and he knows to hold you.
He knows a lot of tricks and I have to work to figure out Austin Trout. He’s a southpaw and he has a lot of tricks. But I’ve been working on those things.
I’ve been ringside and seen him fight a few times, in person, so I know how to fight him. But like I said, he has my respect, and he’s also a champion. So he’s a good fighter with a lot of tricks.
RTV: Are you bothered by any of the criticism that you fought fighters who are either older or smaller than you?
SA: You know, I realize that the critics are going to be there. I feel like in all of my fights, I’ve done very well and I’ve done a great job. Sometimes, the criticism is positive, sometimes, it’s negative.
Sometimes, it helps me to develop things. But I’m just focused on being in a very good fight against a very good champion, and that’s what I’m going to be in on April 20.
RTV: With you and Mayweather saying that you are fighting on Sept. 14 if you win on May 4, how do you expect Golden Boy to resolve that date?
SA: I just finished my meeting with [Golden Boy CEO] Richard Schaefer, and I told him that my next date to fight is on Sept. 14. If Mayweather wants to fight on that same date, that’s fine, and if he doesn’t fight, then that’s fine also.
I have my own date, and I have the options, as I have mentioned before, of a number of fights that I want to fight, and a number of names that I want to fight. If he fights on the same date, that’s fine. I don’t care.
It doesn’t matter to me, it’s happened already. It happened with “Maravilla” Martinez and Chavez when I fought Lopez, so Mayweather can do whatever he wants to do. That’s fine. I don’t care what he does.
RTV: Do you believe that negotiations for a Cotto or Martinez fight will go smoothly?
SA: I am very, very happy. Like I said, there are a lot of options, including Martinez and Cotto. Maybe even Angulo. So many options. But right now, my priority is just to fight Austin Trout. Don’t forget that.
Remember, this is a very, very important fight for myself and this is the fight, April 20. That’s the first thing. I’m not going to think about anything beyond that right now. I’m just thinking of this fight right now.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photos by Tom Casino
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]