‘The desire comes from my love for this sport. Improving and making history and being in the ring is what matters to me, ‘says Canelo Álvarez. The story, for whoever is doing it, is personal. John Dennen reports from Las Vegas
HE doesn’t need to spell it, but the hand of the story is on Canelo Álvarez’s shoulder. On Saturday (November 6) he fights Caleb Plant to become the world super middleweight champion. He’s number one and number two in the fighting division, exactly what we want to see in the sport.
If Álvarez wins the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, it will be a milestone in his remarkable career and a chapter in Mexican boxing history. Of all the great fighters to emerge from Mexico, Canelo will become the first Mexican boxer to unify the sanctioning body’s four main titles if he is victorious.
“It’s not up to me to tell you what that means. Tell me what it means to Mexicans. People are going to let me know what it means to be the undisputed champion, which of course will be great for my legacy and a great achievement no matter how you look at it, ”he said Tuesday.
He has fought from the lower weight classes, excelled at middleweight, jumped to lightweight to knock out Sergey Kovalev and is now looking to dominate in the super middleweight. In Caleb Plant he has another worthy opponent for another contest of true significance. Álvarez is confident, of course, and he’s also confident that even more challenges await him in the future. “I’m not sure, but Eddy [Reynoso, his trainer] he always has a crazy plan up his sleeve, “he said.
Plant’s fight also culminates a remarkable fight sequence for Canelo. For the past year, he outpointed Callum Smith in December, before dispatching Avni Yildirim in February and detaining Billy Joe Saunders in May. Being an active fighter makes you a good fighter. “If I have the opportunity to fight four times, three times, five times [a year], I’m happy because this is what I do, this is what I love. I’m always in the gym, I’m always ready to fight. So for me it’s really good. Other fighters that I don’t really know, ”he said. “Everything happened for a reason. I feel great.”
He added: “It’s not just about these 11 months, it’s about the 16 years I’ve had as a professional and the adventures I’ve had along the way. Being indisputable is not easy. If it were, anyone could do it. So I am not going to put aside what is about to happen and I am very proud to be in this position. “
Marvin Hagler commented that it is difficult to get out of bed to do your work on the road when you sleep in silk pajamas. Canelo has no trouble getting into some of the biggest events of his career in designer pajamas. This week, for example, he arrived in Las Vegas on Monday night, alighting in a private jet in a handsome Dolce & Gabbana pajama set. Yet Alvarez, a man who has made a staggering fortune through his trade, does not appear to have lost any of his momentum. “The desire arises from my love for boxing, I love this sport, and my desire to always improve and make history and be in the ring is what matters to me,” he said. “By the way, there is nothing wrong with pajamas.”
Despite the fight between the two fighters at his September press conference in Los Angeles, a familiar calm returned to Alvarez when he spoke to the press on Tuesday. He insisted that he didn’t need any personal animosity to motivate him for Caleb Plant. “I have nothing with him. Then what happened in Los Angeles happened. So for every action there is a reaction. That’s my reaction but I have nothing with him, ”Canelo said. “In the end it is personal, yes, but I am going to go out to the ring and I have nothing to prove to him. He will feel what I have, but I have nothing to prove to him.
“For me this is nothing different. Nothing has changed. So I train 100% and I come ready to fight the best fighter in the world, so nothing changed for me. “
Maybe Plant was trying to rile Alvarez at that press conference. “He [Plant] I already tried and it went very wrong. But in the end, Canelo is going to stay calm, be patient, and fight his fight. It will not allow external factors to affect it, “added Eddy Reynoso. “At the beginning of Canelo’s career, maybe he would get mad, maybe he would get hit in a way he didn’t expect or maybe something happened and he would get mad. Now, with experience, the experience factor is huge and now Canelo can be in balance and it doesn’t really affect him ”.
To avoid further outbreaks of chaos, the fighters might well be kept apart until fight night. If so, Álvarez shrugs. “I don’t know, but I don’t care. If there is a confrontation, it is fine. If there isn’t, that’s fine too, ”Canelo said.
He didn’t mind comparing Plant to any of his previous opponents. “I need to see in the ring because sometimes you think or expect something and when you get in the ring it is different. But he is a good fighter. A good fighter, a skilled fighter, a smart fighter. But like I say, it’s nothing new to me, “he said.
Been here before. He has already taken and won fights that are part of the legacy. He wants more still. The story, for whoever is doing it, is personal. For Canelo Álvarez it’s simply about being a boxer. “I feel good, I love this, I love being in the ring,” he says, “and I feel great.”