Canelo Set to Open T-Mobile Arena vs. Amir Khan
Mexican superstar, WBC and Ring Magazine middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico is set for his next bout when he takes on former two-time world champion Bolton, England’s Amir "King" Khan (31-3, 19 KOs). Canelo will square off against Khan, Saturday May 7 at new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO Pay per View. Southern California Boxing.com caught up with Canelo as he talked about the press tour, his upcoming fight with Khan, and more.
"I am going to prepare 100 percent for this fight. Amir khan is a difficult opponent. I am ready for this fight," Canelo told Fightnews.com "I will prepare for the best Amir Khan so that there is no upset," Canelo added.
Making his final stop in Los Angeles , Canelo seemed at home after a three city press tour that kicked off Sunday in London at the Park Plaza Riverbank London Hotel and resumed Tuesday at The Hard Rock Café in New York City.so
"The tour was fun it has been something else from one side of the world to the other. What day is it today?" Canelo said about the tour drawing laughs from the media. "It has been tiring but that comes with the territory. After today we will rest up and begin training camp," Canelo added.
Alvarez is coming off a unanimous decision over Puerto Rico ’s Miguel Cotto last November in winning the lineal WBC middleweight title. Last year also saw Canelo score a devastating knockout over hard-hitting James Kirkland at a sold-out Minute Maid Park in Houston.
"I feel very proud in beating Miguel Cotto in my last fight. There was also the knockout of Kirkland. I feel very motivated after those two wins coming into this fight," Canelo said. "With the Cotto win, it only gave me more confidence as a fighter I am ready," Canelo added.
His opponent Khan just had one fight last year, a unanimous decision over former world champion Chris Algieri at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn . Prior to that fight he won a unanimous decision over former champion Devon Alexander in December of 2014. Having lobbied around for a Mayweather fight, Khan’s next option was plan B, pursuing another mega fight with former stable mate Manny Pacquiao. It seems that Khan had run out of options when Mayweather chose Andre Berto and Pacquiao Bradley 3 was finalized until Canelo came knocking on the door.
"Khan has a very fast and elusive style that can be complicated but we will be ready. I have fought every style and I plan to be ready for him," Canelo said about Khan.
Many in the boxing world are wondering what would posses Khan to take such a risk by moving up in weight and fighting the bigger Canelo. On the other side there is the criticism of Canelo’s choice of fighting a welterweight taking a leap to middleweight. Canelo spoke on his decision and reason to select Khan as his opponent as the demand for a showdown with unified middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
"I was looking to have a title bout at 154 but this fight presented it self. I was surprised when the fight was finalized, it was only a matter of days to negotiate" Canelo said. "I don't really worry about the criticism for this fight and don't want to look past Khan. Canelo added.
There are talks circulating of a potential showdown between “Canelo” and “GGG” to take place in September at the home of the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in Dallas , Texas. Just a few weeks ago, Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya met with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones on bringing the fight to “Jerry’s World.” The venue has already hosted two boxing events and would be the ideal place to host such a mega fight.
"Not looking past Khan but there is a lot of great options out there if all goes well," Canelo said.
"It was pretty exciting meeting with Jerry Jones. We talked business for like 3 hours. He is building a new training facility in Frisco (Texas) and a 12,000 seat arena which I discuss with him of possibly taking some HBO After Dark or Championship Boxing to his new facility," Oscar De La Hoya told Southern California Boxing.com "We discussed Canelo for a split second. I told him after May 8, I will fly back to Dallas and we can continue our discussion but first things, first, we have Amir Khan on our hands now," De La Hoya added.
May 7 will also be Cinco de Mayo weekend as the new T-Mobile Arena will open its doors for boxing and what better than to have a Mexican star Canelo. When the MGM Grand hosted its first ever boxing event in January of 1994 as Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez headlined against unknown Frankie Randall who ended up pulling the upset and handing Chavez his first defeat. Five years later the Mandalay Bay hosted its first boxing match in September of 1999 a mega fight as Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad squared off. Canelo will look to make a statement in opening the new arena.
"I am very happy and proud to have the opportunity to open up this new arena which will definitely host many great fights in the years to come. Now I will make history by being part of the first boxing fight there." Canelo said on opening up the T-Mobile Arena.
Canelo Alvarez and his team, the father and son duo of trainer Eddie Reynoso and manager Jose "Chepo" Reynoso will begin camp next week as they will set their headquarters in San Diego, California.
"We will be focused and training 100 percent for Khan's style in this camp," Canelo said about camp. "We will be training in San Diego for this fight, I have been training there for the last few camps. I plan to be ready and I am training for the best Amir Khan," Canelo added.
"Saul is comfortable training in San Diego. We will all work hard together and make sure Canelo comes in ready for this fight," Trainer Eddie Reynoso said. "Amir Khan is a good, fast handed boxer but we will come in with the right plan to be victorious," Reynoso added.
"We know Canelo will be on his game come fight night," Jose "Chepo" Reynoso said. "Khan is a great fighter but Saul is the better fighter," Reynoso added.
Canelo vs. Khan will be a scheduled 12 round championship fight for Canelo’s WBC and Ring Magazine middleweight title.
"It will be a difficult fight but I have fought all styles and I have the experience to handle any style," Canelo said. "I plan on giving all of you a great fight for an important weekend that is Cinco De Mayo," Canelo concluded.
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla