By Lance Pugmire
8:25 PM PST, January 21, 2014
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez wrongly believed he had an answer for the speed and brilliance of
unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Now, the former super-welterweight world champion from Mexico is banking on his sense
again, counting on his grit, youth and strength in an expected March 8 slugfest
against countryman Alfredo Angulo at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“We all know Angulo wants to fight, and I know people want to see fights,” Alvarez said
Tuesday at a news conference in Los Angeles. “This is not a
complicated fight. This is a tough fight.
“Last time, I was looking for a fight, too, but I didn’t have the right dance partner. But
I am a very strong fighter, and on March 8, I will prove it to you.”
In addition to the 23-year-old Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 knockouts) coming off his first loss
against the brawler Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) returning from his June technical-knockout loss to Cuba’s Erislandy Lara at StubHub Center, the Showtime pay-per-view card also includes Los
Angeles’ Leo Santa Cruz defending his World Boxing Council super-bantamweight
title against former champion Cristian Mijares of Mexico.
Alvarez’s older brother, Ricardo, will also fight on the card against unbeaten Omar
Figueroa for the WBC lightweight interim title.
Saul Alvarez said he views the Mayweather loss not as a defeat, but as “a learning
experience. … [Muhammad] Ali is considered the greatest fighter of all time and he lost
fights. I am still the future of boxing.”
Alvarez said he would like to work toward another shot at Mayweather, who repeated last week
that he’ll retire after the sixth and final fight on his Showtime contract
in September 2015.
Alvarez’s trainer, “Chepo” Reynoso, said they expect a forward-fighting Angulo, 32, nicknamed
“El Perro” (the dog).
“Dogs like to fight and that one doesn’t learn new tricks,” Reynoso said. “Canelo’s used
to fighters like this … and our sparring [in Rancho Santa Fe] emulates Angulo.”
Alvarez wanted to fight Miguel Cotto in this spot, but Cotto sought a bout with Sergio
Martinez. Instead of World Boxing Assn. light-middleweight interim champion Lara,
a technical boxer, Alvarez sought the entertainment of an Angulo challenge.
“I’m a proud warrior,” Alvarez said.
Similarly, Angulo is boastful he’ll make the fight a test of manhood.
“Look at my fights on YouTube,” he said.
Angulo said he has recovered from the broken orbital bone and hematoma he suffered after
knocking Lara down twice. He said he’s paying more attention to defense under
trainer Virgil Hunter, who also trains Andre Ward and Amir Khan.
“I’ll look a lot better, and whoever prepares best will win,” Angulo said. “I always come to
fight. If he wants to box, we’ll box. If he wants a war, that’s what I do.”
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