THE RING junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez spoke to RingTV.com on Wednesday after signing the contract for his upcoming Sept. 14 mega clash with THE RING’s No. 1-rated pound-for-pound boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr., a deal which Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed to be “done” for the Mexican Independence Day weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A 22-year-old Mexican star, Alvarez (42-0-1, 31 knockouts) is coming off the biggest win of his career, a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Austin Trout on April 20.
Meanwhile Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs), who is 36, is coming off a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in defense of his WBC welterweight belt on May 4, which earned him THE RING’s 147-pound title.
Alvarez will meet Mayweather at a catchweight of 152 pounds in a clash that Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya told RingTV.com during a January interview could surpass the record numbers drawn by his split-decision loss to Mayweather, who dethroned him for the WBC junior middleweight belt in May of 2007.
Mayweather-De La Hoya holds the all-time pay-per-view record with more than 2.5 million buys.
In the following Q&A, Alvarez addressed how the Mayweather fight — like the win over Trout — will continue to quell criticism that he has largely taken on undersized opponents such as Josesito Lopez and Alfonso Gomez.
Alvarez, who turns 23 in July, also discussed the notion that he has faced past-their-prime or over-the-hill fighters such as former welterweight beltholder Kermit Cintron and three-division champ Sugar Shane Mosley.
Alvarez stopped Cintron in the fifth-round in November of 2011 and defeated Mosley by unanimous decision last May.
This interview was translated by Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez.
RingTV.com: How does this feel to be in the biggest fight of your career?
Saul Alvarez: I was anxious. This is the fight that I wanted. I was very anxious to get this fight. Now I’m very happy that it’s done and I’m ready to go in there and win it.
RTV: Was there any doubt that this fight was going to get done, and that it would be done this soon?
SA: No, not at all. I knew that it was a big fight and that it was an attractive fight and that it was the biggest fight out there for the entire world to see.
But I was confident that it was going to get done sooner or later. I knew that it was a big fight and that it was going to get done.
RTV: Did you think that it would happen this soon, as in September?
SA: Actually, I didn’t think that it was going to happen in September. I was thinking maybe next year sometime, and that for whatever reason, that it wasn’t going to get made this year.
But things happen for a reason, and I’m very excited and happy that it’s done for September.
RTV: What can you say about the catchweight?
SA: No, that’s good. I’m not worried at all. It was a team decision. I got together with my team and we decided that it was fine, and I just feel that I’m going to have to work a little harder.
I will have to take care of myself a little better, but I feel good about it. I’m going to be able to make the weight comfortably, and everybody knows that Floyd has fought at 154 before.
So, if he wanted it at that weight, then 152 is fine. The most important thing is that we made the fight and now it’s done, and he feels comfortable and I feel comfortable.
RTV: What do you think you proved by pursuing and then defeating Trout when there were some who doubted you could defeat him?
SA: You’re correct about that. I wanted that fight with Trout very badly, and I won that fight. Now I’m in the same situation that I was with Trout.
So now I think that the most important thing for me in this fight is going to be the preparation. I’m going to work very hard like never before so that I can win this fight, and I’m going to be victorious.
I’m going to win this fight. I’m going to be victorious after preparing myself very well. This is the fight that I was looking for, and it’s the fight that I wanted.
RTV: What do you believe are your advantages?
SA: I consider myself a fast fighter, and I consider myself to be an intelligent fighter. I’m very similar to Floyd, and you know that he’s fast and he’s intelligent.
But the difference is that I’m bigger and I’m stronger, and I’m going to construct a game plan with my team so that I can be able to beat him.
Throughout the years, there hasn’t been a change in Floyd. He’s always been the same kind of fighter, and I know him very well. I know what he does.
Now I know that there are going to be doubters, but I feel that I’m going to come up with the right game plan and that I will be able to beat him.
RTV: What does it mean to you to fight the biggest fight of your career on Mexican Independence Day weekend?
SA: It’s very big. Very big. I feel very, very happy and I’m extremely motivated for this fight. It’s the biggest fight of my career against the man who people consider to be the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world.
So it doesn’t get any bigger than this, and, for me, it’s going to be very, very important and I feel that I’m going to have a victory. It’s my day, and I’m going to have a victory.
RTV: After defeating Mosley, ending his run against Mexican fighters, what would it mean to you to also add the milestone of being the first man to defeat Mayweather and add him to your young legacy?
SA: You know, obviously a victory will signify everything. It will be the most important victory of my career because this is the most important fight of my career.
I think that it’s going to signify the fact that I’m here, and that I’m the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world.
RTV: Do you have a prediction?
SA: I’m going to win. That’s it. I will win. I just want to thank all of my fans and all of the people who have followed me and for all of the support I’ve had.
I invite them to keep on giving me even more support, because after Sept. 14, they’re going to have a new champion who is going to be pound-for-pound the best.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]