LINEAL middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and former two-time world champion and resurgent contender Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) made their final stop off their three-city international press tour in Los Angeles yesterday (March 2)at the Universal CityWalk to discuss their upcoming May 7 showdown at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
In the final stop for the international press tour, the fighters met in promoter Oscar De La Hoya’s hometown of Los Angeles, which was preceded by a visit at the Hard Rock Café at the Times Square in New York City, as well as to Amir Khan’s turf in London. The fighters will meet again to face-off in Las Vegas in the first major sporting event at the brand new T-Mobile Arena.
Below is what the fighters, their teams and promoter had to say at the press conference:
Canelo Alvarez: “I want to thank everyone, all the press, for coming here today. Whenever I am here I am treated very well. You guys motivate me to keep winning. Because of you, I wake up and want to be triumphant. Not only for me, but for you guys. I am going to prepare like always, 100 percent. Amir khan is a difficult opponent. I am ready for this and much more. We’ll see you May 7.”
Amir Khan: “First of all, I want to say hello to everyone in Los Angeles. This trip has been amazing for me. This is the biggest fight of my career. Canelo is physically very strong, and come fight night, I will be ready and coming in very happy and very strong.
“It will be like a game of chess. Canelo is very strong. I have a very good trainer who will tell me the right game plan. We will go in to win this fight, and I will prove people wrong. Even though it is Cinco de Mayo, the British fans will come out. In Vegas, there will be more British flags then Mexican flags.
“Thank you for this massive opportunity for this fight. This fight will be an exciting one, and I really believe I can win this fight and if I didn’t I wouldn’t be here.
“Come May 7, everyone will enjoy this fight.”
Oscar De La Hoya: “Let me just say, let’s thank Donald Trump for making this fight happen because we are getting a Mexican and Muslim together to have this fight on Cinco de Mayo!
“This takes me back to Maidana who had Amir down, and Amir fought until the end. Canelo will have to be careful and watch out. This fight will be great and will be wonderful to celebrate on Cinco de Mayo.
“It is not often that two superstars of a sport face off at the peak of their careers. This is such an event, with two of the biggest international fighters fighting at the biggest arena in the world.
“An old saying tells us, ‘styles make fights.’ These fighters have the chance to make this fight not just for them but also for the fans. This is speed vs. power. Khan has amazing footwork, but Canelo has power and strength.
“Size does not matter in this fight. What does is skill, speed, power, intelligence and experience. If you can be in Las Vegas to watch it live in person, watch it on the best boxing network out there-HBO.
“This will be a high intensity fight, with Khan returning to his former promotion home-Golden Boy Promotions.”
Eddy Reynoso (Canelo’s head trainer): “After the great performance against Miguel Cotto last November, we shut many mouths, especially Freddie Roach’s. We are inspired for 2016; it’s going to be even better than 2015. We want to fight against the best.
“On May 7, we fight Amir Khan. He is a very good fighter-a great fighter with technical skill. We are going to prepare well so we can win this fight. After this fight, we will fight anyone. We always fight the best, and we’ll fight anyone.”
Jose Reynoso (Canelo’s manager): “We are happy to finish this tour in Los Angeles, our home. We are used to working hard that is why Canelo has conquered so many things, because he words hard.
“Whoever can’t make it live in Las Vegas for this fight on May 7, I am going to recommend something. On May 7, go buy some carne for barbeque. After that, go get some cold Tecates. Go buy Tequila Casa Mexico. And after you buy that, Canelo is going to give you a great victory. Viva Mexico!”
Shah Khan (Khan’s manager and father): “I would like to thank everybody. This fight was so easy to arrange, unlike with Mayweather or Paciaquo. In the end, they just didn’t want to fight. I want to thank everyone.
“Amir will fight anyone. Canelo was the best to fight after Mayweather because he is now the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and Amir really wanted to fight him.”
Virgil Hunter (Khan’s trainer): “Thank you to everyone for coming out and bringing boxing to the next level.”
Mauricio Sulamain (President of WBC): “Two days ago, we were in London where boxing was born 300 years ago. Last night we were in New York, which has been called the Mecca of boxing. Now we are in LA, the boxing capital of the world.
“I am very proud of GB for bringing the best fights, and opening the T-Mobile Arena.
“I am very proud to see two grown models, Canelo and Amir Khan. They show what boxing is all about.
“This fight represents Box Val — boxing for peace, bringing a Mexican and Muslim fighter together.
“I just want to finish wishing the best of luck to the fighters. And long live boxing!”
All photos: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions