Two-division world champion Saul "Canelo" Álvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) kicked off their four-city international press tour in Mexico City Monday afternoon. The event drew thousands of fans and hundreds of media to watch Canelo and Chavez, Jr. in their first face off ahead of their anticipated clash on Cinco De Mayo weekend, Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"It's a new weight, so I have started to spar with heavier partners, which everyone will notice come fight night. Fights between Mexicans are usually the biggest, and I want this fight to be a mark on the legacy that many fights like this have left behind in Mexico's fight history.
"I think that a rivalry does exist, and we are both polemic fighters. There have been a lot of comments directed towards me and my character, and I fight for pride to represent my country.
"We are of course are training at 100 percent. I think what makes this fight interesting is that we are both heavy punchers. I've been in my fair share of mega-fights, and the boxing ring is my home. I have had the same people in my corner since the very beginning, and I trust Chepo and Eddy to fully support me in my corner."
JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, JR.:
"I've been making my way to this fight. My last fight was at 168 pounds. This fight isn't going to be any different from any other fight that I have had in the past. I want to thank all the people who have come to support me over the years.
"This is going to be a tough fight. Every fight is important, and this one especially because it is between two Mexicans fighting each other for the glory. The fight could not have come at a more perfect timing - both my and Canelo's names are known throughout the world as some of the best fighters. My two losses against Martinez and Fonfara taught me more than all 50 of my wins. This fight has the potential to open many doors to my future that might have been closed before. I fight for pride - everyone says that Canelo is the best.
"With Nacho Beristain in my corner, I have a lot of knowledge on my side. It's symbolic because he has his name etched as one of the greats, and this is a tribute to him and is a contribution to Mexican boxing. Canelo isn't Oscar De La Hoya's son. I've got a great corner. I am going to win this fight."
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
"Saul was the one who wanted this fight, and my duty as a promoter is to put together the best fights. Mexican boxing is the best, and when you have these two hot boxers who want to give the best to the fans, and we couldn't pass it up.
JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, SR., Six-Time World Champion Boxer:
"I foresee a real tough fight. We have seen the best of Canelo, but we have not seen the best of my son. I firmly believe that with a disciplined training camp, Jr. is able to knock out not just Canelo but anyone in his way. I want to thank everyone who has come out to support my son. I can honestly say that this is a dream come true, and we are looking forward to the fight."