Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) and Texas knockout artist James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) participated in an international media conference call on Tuesday, April 21 to discuss their upcoming 12-round super welterweight bout set for May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The super welterweight fight will also be televised live on May 9 on HBO World Championship Boxing ® at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Canelo and Kirkland were joined by Oscar De La Hoya, President and Founder of Golden Boy Promotions; Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Chairman and CEO of SMS Promotions; Chepo Reynoso, manager and co-trainer for Canelo Alvarez; Eddy Reynoso, head trainer for Canelo Alvarez; Bay Bay McClinton, strength and conditioning trainer for James Kirkland; Mike Battah, President of Leija*Battah Promotions; and Jesse James Leija, Texas boxing legend and Founder of Leija*Battah Promotions on today’s media conference call. Below is what they had to say:
CANELO ALVAREZ, Former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion:
“Returning to Texas has motivated me tremendously. To have the support form the fans and the love, is what gets me to train harder.
“You are always learning in this game. Going back to the gym to correct mistakes. Sometimes opponents are willing to participate. We are going to do our part and hope the fans are very happy.
“I am ready for whatever comes to my career. I fight hard; I train hard. Whatever happens, I am ready for it.
“I will fight anywhere. As long as the fans go, enjoy the fight, and walk out happy, I will fight anywhere.
“At this time, my only focus right now is James Kirkland. There have been talks of my next fight but right now my focus is on James Kirkland, there is nothing else.
“I am working hard, training hard, taking the tough fights, the biggest fights. And only time will tell and the people will tell. In the meantime, I will just be doing my job.”
JAMES “MANDINGO WARRIOR” KIRKLAND, Super Welterweight Contender:
“I appreciate Golden Boy Promotions, SMS Promotions, HBO and everyone sponsoring the fight, everyone that is backing this fight up. Thank you to the fans and the support that has been there from day one. It has been the motivation I need for the fight. I am doing everything I need to do for May 9 to get ready and I am ready for the opportunity.
“I have been preparing myself for an opportunity like this and needed to take time to learn more about boxing. I am prepared. One thing I can say is that the course that takes place should be a positive one and I never stop being in the gym, stop working.
“I am definitely encouraged and anxious. It’s not something I am proving to myself and the city, but to my fans. Kirkland is a warrior.
“I definitely feel like I have a lot to lose and a lot is on the table for this fight. This is something that is destined for me-to take care of business on May 9. And, I feel like I have the right team behind me and supporting me.
“I’m a lot more strategized with defense, at the same time being able to move and adjust. The things you’ve seen me lacking, these are the things you’re going to see Kirkland advance and enhance in his ability.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“May 9 should be an explosive night, one to remember.
“We would like to thank HBO, Minute Maid Park, Leija*Battah Promotions, SMS Promotions and all the sponsors for making this event possible.
“Canelo is a fearless fighter who is ready to take on the best fighters in his division.”
CURTIS “50 CENT” JACKSON, Chairman and CEO of SMS Promotions:
“I am very excited about the event. Mayweather brought me and Kirkland together. Between the Canelo-Kirkland fight and the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, we will see what this sport is all about.
“You will see the best version of James Kirkland on May 9.
“May 9 is going to be exciting, everyone tune in if you can’t be there. Go down to the stadium and get your tickets now before they sell out.”
MIKE BATTAH, President of Leija Battah Promotions:
“We are looking forward to a mega fight, a historical event in Houston. You can’t miss it.
“James Leija Jr. will be doing his pro debut fight and it will be something to see.”
JESSE JAMES LEIJA, Texas Boxing Legend and Founder of Leija Battah Promotions:
“Boxing is a true sport. The best man is going to win on May 9. We have two fighters who can win in one punch. We have one fighter who is super strong, Kirkland, and the other, a technician, Canelo. It is going to be who can overcome the other.
“And, I am excited my son will be making his pro debut as well. It’s a great night for Texas. A great night of boxing.”
Photos and video assets including b-roll from Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland’s media workouts are available for use for TV broadcast and website embedding. Download instructions are below:
Tickets for Canelo vs. Kirkland are priced at $350, $150, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable fees and service charges, and are on sale now and available for purchase at Astros.com/boxing, the Minute Maid Park Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com. There is a 19-ticket limit per household.
Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland is a 12-round super welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions, SMS Promotions and Leija*Battah Promotions. The fight will take place Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico – Live it to Believe it!, Fred Loya Insurance and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. CT and first bout starts at 11:10 a.m. CT, the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
An all-new edition of 24/7 Alvarez/Kirkland debuts Tuesday, May 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.