Canelo ready to break Khan down; Trump could mean no rematch
WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and British top fighter and former two-time world champion Amir “King” Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) met today for one final press conference at the Kà Theater in the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas ahead of their middleweight championship mega-fight showdown on May 7 at the new T-Mobile Arena, which will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Below is what the fighters and their teams had to say at today’s final press conference:
CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion:
“There’s not too much more left to say, the fight is here. I just want to thank each and every one of you for your support and promotion of this fight. I’m very happy with the work I have done. Khan is a very fast, very elusive, and very tricky fighter, but I am happy with the work I have done and I am ready to go in the ring and break him down. And again, I am much honored to be opening T-Mobile Arena. Come Saturday, I’m excited to yell, ¡Viva Mexico!”
AMIR KHAN, Former Two-Time World Champion:
“On Saturday, you will see the best of Amir Khan. Canelo is a great champion who is dedicated to the sport of boxing, but it is my time and I’m going to grab it with both hands. It’s been my dream to hold a great fight like this in Las Vegas. And, you never know this could be the last fight between Canelo and I here in Vegas if Donald Trump is elected president.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“It’s great to be beside a fighter who dares to be great. Amir is a hard worker, not only an Olympic silver medalist, but here is a fighter who is a multiple weight world champion, always asking for the big fights and never getting them. Guess what? He’s now here facing the top fighter in the world, and he’s ready for it and excited to face him. Whoever thought that Muhammad Ali could knock out George Foreman? I just talked to Foreman and people were praying he didn’t hurt Ali and look what happened there.
“There’s a reason Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao didn’t want to fight Amir Khan because he possesses skills like no other. He may come in as the underdog, but he also comes in as huge favorite to those who know the sport and to many of those who have seen him fight.
“Canelo is a great fighter and has accomplished so much at 25 since beginning to fight at the tender age of fifteen. This match up will be truly incredible to witness, and the fans will be in for a great night come Saturday. “
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“The hard work has been done, the preparation has been done, and we know what we have to do on Saturday night. Canelo is a great fighter and we can tell you that we have worked very hard. On Saturday night, you will see Canelo lift and raise his hand in victory.”
VIRGIL HUNTER, Trainer for Amir Khan:
“Glad to see everyone here again. It’s an honor to really be beside Amir in this situation. He has been through so much in his career with adversity but here he is willing to step up two weight classes and then some to prove he got in to this sport to show he has a legacy and fears no one. I learned this early on from him. I was amazed the first time I saw him spar, and his attitude is amazing. He will walk right in to the face of adversity and it is a pleasure to be right beside him when he walks right in to the ring on May 7. Saturday night will be a great fight.”
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager of Canelo Alvarez:
“This camp was very intense, very well done, very tough and had tremendous sparring that helped us prepare for this fight. These sparring partners brought the best out of Canelo and you will see that Saturday night. The birth of my granddaughter, Eddy’s daughter, was a true inspiration for us as we trained. The great ambiance we had, the job and the hard work that was done only gives us the confidence that we will be yelling ¡Viva Mexico y Viva Canelo!”
SHAH KHAN, Father and Manager of Amir Khan:
“All the hard work has been done. This has been a dream for Amir, to get to the top and fight the best fights and be amongst MannyPacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Amir always said he wanted this fight and we worked hard towards it.
“It has been a great training camp with great sparring, and Amir looks incredible. The world is looking right at this fight. Initially, many were saying this wasn’t a right fight. This happened to Amir back in his Olympic games when he was 17 years old. As the fight went on, the media didn’t have enough seats to watch him. Now we’re back, Amir is an underdog and we’re going to prove everyone wrong. This is the fight he wants, and I think we’re going to repeat history here on May 7.”
PETER NELSON, Executive Vice President of HBO Sports:
“I want to thank T-Mobile, great venues make great fights. Thank you to Canelo Promotions and Amir Khan’s camp. Lastly, I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions and everyone on the team. When I spoke to Oscar De La Hoya earlier this year, he said he wanted to make the best fights possible. Oscar has consistently lived up to his word, and you can see this is the best fight of 2016 so far. It’s very commendable what Golden Boy Promotions has achieved. This is going to be a great fight.
“Canelo has had a spectacular year in 2015 with a great win over Cotto. For Khan, it has been four years since we’ve seen him, and we’re happy to have him back. We’ll see on Saturday night whose time it is. Both fighters are incredibly hungry. If you haven’t already, check out 24/7 to see the incredible regimens these fighters go through. We are looking forward to Saturday night for these great fights.”
MAURICIO SULAIMAN, President of WBC:
“When Oscar De La Hoya mentions Cinco de Mayo, I think of coming to Las Vegas in the past to watch the biggest boxers with my father. Today, the eyes of the world are on Las Vegas. HBO, the best network in the history of the sport, is broadcasting one of the best fights to be made today. Two elite fighters fighting each other to make sure the world gets a real boxing match.
“I think Amir has a strategy he plans on performing on Saturday, same as Canelo, backed by tremendous teams. They have worked very hard to make this a success. We have a Catholic fighter against a Muslim fighter, and both have been named as ambassadors for peace by Pope Francis. I wish Canelo and Amir the best of luck and may the best man win.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions business partner:
“It took a lot of people to put this fight together: HBO, Oscar De La Hoya, and the two camps of Canelo and Amir Khan. It’s a great thing to see, especially being from a middleweight champ, which is true to my DNA history. History is a very important thing to me.
“Let’s enjoy this fight before we start talking about the next fight. We want to put the best in front of the best. Oscar put the best in his career, and Amir Khan has come to make it happen. Enjoy the fight, sit back and do what you do. Either way, we’re going to keep putting together great fights.”
RICHARD STURM, President of Entertainment and Sports MGM Resorts International:
“We are thrilled to be a part of this international sporting event between Canelo and Amir Khan. This will the first of many great boxing events to be held here. T-Mobile Arena has truly changed the Las Vegas landscape in sports and entertainment arenas. Canelo is returning after a tremendous win over Cotto, and Amir returns after nearly 18 months from Las Vegas to take on this huge fighter. We will look forward to seeing everyone Saturday night.”
FELIX PALAU, Vice President at Tecate:
“We at Tecate are very excited. We have launched our biggest effort to promote this fight. Our advertising for this fight has reached more than one million consumers on TV; we have reached more than 6,000 stores to promote the fight. We have also launched our biggest digital effort, having reached more than 11 million fans. We wish Canelo, Khan and all the boxers on the card a successful fight and the best of luck.”
BOB BENNETT, Executive Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission:
“On behalf of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, we thank Golden Boy Promotions for bringing this championship fight to the fight capital of the world and to T-Mobile Arena. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!”
Canelo vs. Khan, a 12-round fight for Canelo’s WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Championships, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions and sponsored by “Cerveza Tecate, Born Bold,” O’Reilly Auto Parts, Casa Mexico Tequila, DOOM® — Fight Like Hell on May 13, and HANDS OF STONE: The True Story of Roberto Duran, in theaters this August. David Lemieux vs. Glen Tapia is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Eye of the Tiger Management and Patrick Teixeira vs. Curtis Stevens is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Main Events. The mega-event will take place Saturday, May 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets priced at $1,500, $1,000, $800, $600, $400, $250 and $150, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person (a limit of 10 per person at the $1,500, $1,000, $800, $600 and $400 price levels and a limit of two  per person at the $250 and $150 price level) are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.