Canelo ready to make history at Madison Square Garden
WBC, WBA, Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) hosted a media workout today at Chase Square at Madison Square Garden ahead of their 12-round fight.
The battle will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be streamed live on DAZN – which, at just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial, means new subscribers to DAZN will enjoy the entire Canelo vs. Rocky fight night for free.
They were joined by David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs), Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs), Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-2, 14 KOs), Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (24-7, 7 KOs) and many other fighters from the undercard.
Below is what the fighters had to say at the workout:
CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion:
“I’m very happy to be able to make history here at Madison Square Garden. Hopefully, it will be the first event of many here. It’s a challenge for me because I’ll be entering the comfort zone of the champion, but I’m happy because I like to be able make challenges in boxing. I’m ready. I’m ready to make history, and I hope people enjoy a good fight. Athletes on the level that I’m on can’t get comfortable. Everyone is coming to win and to rip your head off, so that makes the opponent more dangerous. I don’t underestimate anybody. I prepare 100 percent for everything and I’m ready for Saturday without a doubt.”
ROCKY FIELDING, WBA Super Middleweight World Champion:
“I feel great, excited and soaking it all up. This is my first time doing such a big fight week and I’m really enjoying it. People are talking a lot about the size difference, and I have to make that a factor on Saturday night because I need to use every advantage that I’ve got. It’s my weight division. I’ve been at Super Middleweight for a long time. I make the weight well and he’s stepping up. The bookmakers are going to lose money – I was the underdog in Germany against a young and unbeaten fighter in his 4th defense and blasted him away in five rounds to take home the title. I perform better when I the underdog and everyone is against me. I thrive on that.
I have prepared myself to be at my best on the night and if I need to bite down on the gumshield and fight it out. I know I can do that. When people come to KO me, that’s when I catch them off-guard and get the KO myself. But Canelo is an experienced and clever fight that doesn’t make many mistakes, so the things that we’re working on in camp will pay off on Saturday night.”
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight World Champion:
“You know what? I’m here to do business. It’s going to be the same scenario in the ring, I have to look spectacular this weekend no matter who’s in front of me, and Johnson is front of me. I’m going to take good care of him. We still train twice a day. We’re cutting weight. We’re keeping the reflexes sharp. I got to do touch ups and not fall asleep before the fight. We are going to be explosive. Everything but sparring. Sparring is finished a week before. You don’t want any injuries before the fight.”
TUREANO JOHNSON, Middleweight Contender:
“Boxing is a strategic sport. In fact, boxing isn’t really a sport-it’s a lifestyle. You have to live this and that’s what I do. I live boxing. I study my opponents. David Lemieux is a great puncher, but he does have some flaws, and that’s what I’m going to expose Saturday night. Many have beaten Lemieux, but this is going to be a new one. Trust me: this is a treat. We all know that he’s a great finisher. Once he sees a wounded animal he goes for the kill, but indeed Tureano doesn’t know how to get wounded. I don’t even know how to get hurt. I’m expecting him to bring the best David Lemieux he can possibly be, but David Lemieux it’s going to be a hell of a fight for you if you think you’re going to knock Tureano out.”
SADAM ALI, Former WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion:
“I feel like every fight moving forward is going to be a must-win. If you want to be great in your career, you’re supposed to think like that. In life you know there’s ups and downs, you just have to keep fighting.”
MAURICIO HERRERA, Former Interim WBA Super Lightweight World Champion:
“Fighters in their careers have their ups and downs. My career has had ups and downs. I just got off two wins, My last fight was with Jesus Soto Karrass. I went the distance. With him, I felt pretty good. Then I took some time off, I had to recover a little bit. I needed to feel the hunger with boxing, and I got it back. I got a chance with Sadam, so I’m here to prove something. I know I’m not old. I still feel good I feel young. We’ll see Saturday night how I look. Sadam Ali is a good fighter. He’s slick. He’s a boxer. He has all the basic skills. I’m going in there with a tough guy.”
VERGIL ORTIZ, Super Lightweight Prospect:
“First of all, I’m very excited. This is my first time in New York and everyone wants to go to New York. It’s on everyone’s bucket list, so I’m happy to be here. Second, fighting at Madison Square Garden, I’m very grateful for this because there’s been so many historic fights. The last fight I was saw was Lomachenko vs. Linares, that was great. My opponent [Omar Tienda] has a pretty good record. He’s 19-5 with 12 knockouts. He has more knockouts than I have fights. He’s only been stopped in one of the five losses. So, there’s a pretty good chance he can go the distance, but I’m going to do what I do best. Towards the end of 2019, I for sure want to get a world title shot. I want to be world champion by the end of 2019.”
TEVIN FARMER, IBF Super Featherweight Champion:
“It’s a good feeling being world champion, but I worked hard for it, so it’s not a surprise to me, I knew it was coming and there’s a lot more to accomplish. I always train hard, but I think you improve mentally from winning the title. You just feel the difference, and you see it in the spars and the fights. People have seen that. It’s a confidence thing. You know you are the champ and you have to perform and live up to that title. It forces you to. My goal is to stop him inside four rounds – it has nothing to do with Gervonta Davis (who beat him in eight rounds). This is about me. James Tennyson said he could KO me and I knocked him out in five, so now I want to do it in four. I am only competing against myself. The goal is to win the fight, but if I stop him in four rounds, then I’ve improved on the last fight. If I stop him quicker than Davis, oh well, I’ve knocked him out before him, it doesn’t matter.”
KATIE TAYLOR, WBA and IBF Lightweight World Champion:
“I’m so excited about this fight. I love fighting in the U.S., and this is a really big fight with a big name on a huge platform in New York and on DAZN. These are the kinds of fights that I am in the sport for. I know Eva from the amateurs. She’s an excellent fighter, and I believe that this is my toughest fight to date. It’s been incredible. I am probably the highest paid female fighter in the world, thanks to Eddie and Matchroom. I spoke to a lot of promoters before I spoke to Eddie and he really did have the same vision that I had. He was as excited as me about the future and now I have the chance to be a part of the new venture with DAZN too which is great for me. I am developing a fan base in the US as well as back home in Ireland and the UK. It’s such an exciting time for me and I am loving the pro game.”
RYAN GARCIA, Lightweight Prospect:
“It happened when I was around eighteen years old. I posted some videos of me hitting the cobra bag. I guess everyone loved it and then from there I had fights on ESPN, knockouts from my tenth and sixteenth fight and that’s I started blowing up. It’s meant a lot because I went from fighting guys on a certain level you have to fight, where I was knocking everybody out. Then when you make another step in your career you need experience, you need somebody that’s been there before and will teach you the ropes on how to handle things and what better trainer then Eddy Reynoso. He (Canelo) taught me a lot stuff about the business of the game and also stuff in the ring during sparring. I’m a very visual learner so it’s what I see when he was sparring and training hard. That’s my thing, that’s my world. It’s perfect all my fans get to watch me fight and they get to see what I do. This is iconic, this is crazy. It’s a dream come true anybody to fight or play ball or do anything at Madison Square Garden. I’m just honored to fight here.”
LAMONT ROACH JR., WBO International Super Featherweight World Champion:
“This is my second time fighting at Madison Square Garden on a big card. I fought on the undercard of GGG vs. Lemieux. I’m very grateful to be in this position and this opportunity and I’m ready to put on a show. Of course Tevin Farmer is a great fighter. He has the championship. Obviously I’m eyeing any champion in my weight class, I’m not shying away from any champion so hopefully that is a fight down the road. I’m a pretty tough character outside the ring too but you know if you don’t start anything there won’t be anything. My motivation is the work I put in to get here. It has been a long journey, it’s been a long and I still got more to go. What’s next, a world title. I’m ranked number 5 in the WBO. Right now I have the WBO international championship, after I defend it hopefully they bump me up into one of those mandatory spots that put me in line for a title eliminator title or a title. My ideal fight, any champion.”
BILAL AKKWAY, Super Middleweight Prospect
“I’m actually very excited. It’s a great pleasure and privilege to be fighting in such an arena, and sharing the ring with such names as Canelo. I’m going to treat it like another fight just go out there and do my thing. I can say he’s (Canelo) in good condition even though he’s moved up to 168 for this fight. He’s still strong at that weight. He’s looking good.”
Canelo vs. Rocky is a 12-round fight for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. Lemieux vs. Johnson is a 12-round middleweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Management.
The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle,” Fred Loya Insurance and “Miss Bala.” The event will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be streamed live on DAZN – which, at just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial, means new subscribers to DAZN will enjoy the entire Canelo vs. Rocky fight night for free. Watch the series premiere of DAZN’s first original episodic program, THE JOURNEY: CANELO/ROCKY, to go behind the scenes as Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding prepare for their historic showdown.
Tickets for Canelo vs. Rocky are on sale and are priced at $1,000, $500,
$300, $200, $150, $100, $75 and $50 plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.goldenboytickets.com or www.MSG.com.