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60 second interview: Felix Alvarado

Felix Alvarado
Paul Wheeler talks to Felix Alvarado, a world champion who rose up from poverty

When and why you started boxing:

When we were 15, my mother encouraged my twin brother [super-featherweight contender Rene Alvarado] and I to take up a sport. She was a single parent and wanted to keep us off the streets.

Favourite all-time fighter:

Former three-weight world champion Alexis Arguello. He was the pride of Nicaragua.

Best fight you’ve seen:

The first Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto fight. Both fighters showed a lot of spirit to get up from two knockdowns each.

Personal career highlight:

Becoming a world champion [by stopping Randy Petalcorin in seven rounds to win the vacant IBF light-flyweight title in October last year].

Toughest opponent:

Yader Cardoza, who I’ve fought three times, is very strong.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

My conditioning and combinations are my main strengths. I’m always coming forward.

Training tip:

Discipline and dedication are the keys to reaching your goals.

Favourite meal/restaurant:

I like eating white fried rice with beans and cheese from the street vendors – known as fritangas – in my beautiful Nicaragua.

Best friends in boxing:

My brother Rene, my promoter Pablo Osuna, my trainer Luis Cortes and my manager William Ramirez.

Other sportsman you would like to be:

Floyd Mayweather – an excellent boxer with great discipline.

Last film/TV show you saw:

I watched the Freddie Mercury film [Bohemian Rhapsody] on the flight back from Japan after my world title defence against Reiya Konishi in May [w ud 12].

‘We lived in a cardboard structure which couldn’t protect us from the cold and rain. My mother sacrificed herself and fought desperately to make sure we had something to eat each day. This is where I got my motivation’

Who would play you in a film of your life:

Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone.

Have you ever been starstruck:

Not yet, but it may happen in the future.

Last time you cried:

When my niece passed away at just seven months old. It hit me very hard.

Best advice received:

‘Money that isn’t put to good use is money wasted.’ My trainer has always told me that.

Worst rumour about yourself:

Some people think that I’m arrogant just because I’m no longer poor. This is the complete opposite of the truth. I continue to be a very humble person.

Something not many people know about you:

My brother and I grew up in poverty. We lived in a cardboard structure which couldn’t protect us from the cold and rain. My mother sacrificed herself and fought desperately to make sure we had something to eat each day. This is where I got my motivation from to become a world champion.

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