As far as press conferences go, Canelo Alvarez’s have been about as must-see as his fights.
If you caught his post-fight media session following his demolishing of Billy Joe Saunders this past spring, you saw one of the funniest scenes in boxing this year. That’s when Alvarez, in a jovial mood after picking up yet another super middleweight belt, flagrantly and hilariously dismissed Demetrius Andrade after the middleweight champ hijacked his press conference.
“Man, you fight with nobody,” Alvarez said in English. “Get the fuck outta here.”
And then in October, in a press conference to kick off the promotion of his latest fight—one with major historical implications—Alvarez touched up his opponent with a quick counter that left Caleb Plant with a cut below his right eye after their face-off got a little too heated. What sparked the fireworks? Plant, who faces Alvarez in a super middleweight showdown Saturday Nov. 6th in Las Vegas (Showtime PPV, 9 p.m. ET), called Canelo a “mother fucker” and Canelo wasn’t about to stand for that kind of disrespect.
“I’ve never been involved in that type of confrontation before in my career,” Canelo tells Complex Sports. “But there’s a first time for everything.”
That was the first time Plant—the IBF super middleweight title holder who stands in the way of Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) achieving his goal of becoming undisputed champion at 168 pounds—felt the power, precision, and speed of the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world. A huge underdog, Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) will try to prevent Canelo—the WBC, WBO, and WBA super middleweight title holder—from becoming just the sixth undisputed champion in any weight class in the four-belt era. And if you know anything about Canelo, you know he’s all about making history, unlike a lot of other fighters in today’s game.
A few weeks before Alvarez gets his chance to further cement his already legendary status, we caught up with the four-division champion via Zoom from trainer Eddy Reynoso’s gym in San Diego. Translated from Spanish, Canelo answered questions about chasing belts, his status as the No. 1 draw in the sport, and his serious concerns about lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
You do things very differently than other guys in the sport. When did chasing history and legacy become the priority for you?
What I would hope to do is make history in my career and that’s what we’re looking for in this fight.
But why is it so easy for you to chase history and belts while other guys in the game tend to shy away from that?
It is not easy. I’m always training and I’ve been fighting world champions. I’ve done something that most people haven’t been able to do in a short 11 months which is fight for all four titles. That’s something we look forward to is fighting for all four titles.
Going back to the press conference from a few weeks ago, have you ever been that angry at one of those before?
No. For every action, there is a reaction. I’ve never been involved in that type of confrontation before in my career. But there’s a first time for everything.
So the follow-up to that is if you fucked up Caleb in the press conference what can we expect to see come Nov. 6?
Just imagine. So much more.
I asked Anthony Joshua before his fight in September about who the biggest draw in boxing is: you or him? He didn’t want to say, he tends to be more diplomatic than other guys. I would say you’re the biggest draw in boxing. Do you feel like you’re the biggest draw in boxing?
I don’t want to be disrespectful to all the fighters. There are many good fighters. I do what I do in the ring and let the people put me where they want to decide to put me in that lineup.
I bring it up because there are guys—like Shakur Stevenson when I talked to him for a recent story—who want to be like you and run boxing one day. Even though you want to be humble about it, what does it feel like to be the No. 1 draw in boxing? The sport revolves around you, to a degree.
I feel proud to hear that many want to be like me. At the end of the day, that’s what I aspire to do—inspire and motivate others. But it’s an opinion that others may have. But I’m happy to be an example for others and that motivates me to continue on in this sport.