Fighters on the undercard of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. hosted a press conference today at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino ahead of their bouts onSaturday, May 6.
Co-main event fighters former IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) and Middleweight contender Marco “Dorado” Reyes (35-4, 26 KOs) were joined by former WBC Silver Super Lightweight Champion Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs), Welterweight contender Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs), NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr. and IBA Featherweight Champion Manuel “Tino” Avila (22-0, 8 KOs) on the HBO Pay-Per-View portion beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Fighting on the preliminary undercard “free view” stream beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT, lightweight prospect Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (8-0, 7 KOs) will face Tyrone Luckey (8-6-3, 6 KOs) and flyweight prospect Marlen Esparza (1-0) will take onSamantha Salazar (2-3-1). Former Mexican Olympian Raul “El Cugar” Curiel will make his pro debut against Jesus Sanchez (1-1-2).
Super bantamweight contender Ronny Rios (27-1, 12 KOs) will fight Daniel Noriega (28-10-1, 15 KOs) and lightweight prospect Joseph “Diamante” Aguirre (16-0, 9 KOs) will take on Angel Aispuro (8-4-2) beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT.
Below is what the fighters and their teams had to say at the final press conference:
ERIC GOMEZ, President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We at Golden Boy Promotions have stacked this card from top to bottom, and I believe it is our best undercard yet with fighters from three continents here making this a global event on Cinco de Mayo. Throughout the night of May 6, fans will see a range of great action fights from some of our top prospects; to battles of undefeated contenders; to the return of former world champions.
“I also just received confirmation that our May 5th show tomorrow is completely sold out, thank you to all of our fight fans who have sold out this show and our May 6th show.
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Business Partner:
“I want the young fighters to know this a great opportunity to be on this Cinco de Mayo undercard with Canelo and Chavez, Jr. This is a great moment to become a champion and be a part of this historical event. Take care of business, and be sure to put on a great show.”
TONY WALKER, Vice President of HBO Pay-Per-View:
“Our distributors have always told us undercards matter, when you think about it-there is four hours of time to fill. People want to be entertained during that time, so it really helps when you have an exciting undercard to the main event.”
“We feel David Lemieux, Lucas Matthysse, Joseph Diaz Jr., all enhance this card and from their strong fan bases in Canada, Argentina and Los Angeles, we expect the fans to be very happy with these great fights.”
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN, President of Eye of the Tiger Management:
“This is very exciting, as a fan of boxing, this is an amazing card. Every fight is a must-see. I want to mention the industry of boxing-with the right fights, people come out. We are here to contribute to this great show. David is read, and you can expect fireworks from this co-main event.”
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight World Champion:
“I’m back, I’m expecting this to be a great night of boxing and to put on a show. I started training immediately after my last fight in March and look forward to Saturday night.”
MARCO “DORADO” REYES, Middleweight Contender:
“Without my team, I wouldn’t be here. This is going to be an explosive fight between two big puncher fighters in the ring.”
MARIO ARANO, President of Arano Boxing:
“We’re very excited and very happy for this fight-moving up to weight to welterweight has been a blessing for us. We have a team that has worked with Lucas for 14 years, and it has been a blessing to move up in weight divisions. There is no possibility for Lucas to return to 140. I want to remind you all, Lucas never retired, he is back and ready to give more wars.”
LUCAS “LA MAQUINA” MATTHYSSE, Former WBC Silver Super Lightweight Champion:
“Training camp has been great with Joel Diaz, it has worked so well with him. I’m going to put on a great fight-see everyone on Saturday.”
JOE DEGUARDIA, President of Star Boxing:
“There are many special things about the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. fight. I’m extremely impressed with the undercard, and it is amazing we can put together a quality card like this for the fight. It’s a true testimony to the sport.”
EMANUEL “TRANZFORMER” TAYLOR, Welterweight Contender:
“May 6-what can I say? Lucas Matthysse is strong and powerful but it’s my time now. I’m here and I’m hungry, I’ve been working my whole life for this. I’m excited to fight in front of all the Mexican fans on Cinco de Mayo-expect fireworks on May 6.”
JOSEPH “JOJO” DIAZ, JR., NABF Featherweight Champion:
“We had a ten week training camp, and trained very hard for this fight. We’re both young, undefeated fighters and there is a lot at stake here for of us because we could both potentially be mandatory challengers. We’re going to put on a great show for the millions watching and the thousands in attendance.”
MANUEL “TINO” AVILA, IBA Featherweight Champion:
“I’ve been with Golden Boy my whole career, and without them-I wouldn’t be at this stage right now. This is going to be an action-packed fight and someone’s ‘0’ has to go.”
MARLEN ESPARZA, Super Flyweight Prospect:
“I’m really excited about this opportunity and experience, and I want to thank everyone for backing me and seeing the vision I see. I’m very proud to be on this card with so many other amazing fighters. On fight night, it’s not about win or lose, its about how I win.”
RYAN “KINGRY” GARCIA, Lightweight Prospect:
“I put a lot of dedication to this fight, I’m treating this like a world championship fight. I’m coming in explosive with my speed and power-and everyone will see me put on a tremendous show on Saturday night.”
TYRONE LUCKEY, Lightweight Prospect:
“Come May 6th, I’m going to give Ryan Garcia the best fight of this life. A little physical education is always good and everyone will see us put on a great fight.”
RAUL “EL CUGAR” CURIEL, Former Mexican Olympian:
“You will see me put on the best show in the ring, and I want to thank everybody involved who helped us put on a great night of boxing.”
RONNY RIOS, Super Bantamweight Contender:
“This is my first fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend, so I want to thank my family, Golden Boy Promotions and my team-I wouldn’t be here without them.”
JOSEPH “DIAMANTE” AGUIRRE, Lightweight Prospect:
“I’m really excited, I come from Cancun, Mexico and I’m looking forward to this opportunity. This is my first time fighting in Vegas-I’ve always fought in Mexico, so this is a dream come true for me.”
Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. is a 12-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with TGB and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Interjet. Lemieux vs. Reyes is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Eye of the Tiger Management. Matthysse vs. Taylor is a 10-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arano Boxing and Star Boxing. Diaz, Jr. vs. Avila is presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event will take place Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and the first fight begins at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the closed circuit telecast of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. are priced at $75, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and tickets are available for purchase at any MGM Resorts International box office or concierge desk. Tickets also can be purchased by phone with a major credit card at 800-745-3000. Tickets for “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” in theaters nationwide are on sale now atwww.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).