At Madison Square Garden on Thursday afternoon, the world saw a preview of what will prove to be a historical Dec. 15 fight night in the mecca of boxing with four main card bouts, headlined by WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez moving up a weight class to challenge Rocky Fielding for the WBA World Super Middleweight Title.
Middleweight knockout sensation David Lemieux will also take on Tureano Johnson in the co-main event. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters, trainers, and executives gathered to discuss their preparation and predictions ahead of the big night.
Saturday’s event will stream exclusively on DAZN, with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT and the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
“I’m very happy to be here at Madison Square Garden. It’s just yet another story, another dream realized in my career and this new phase of my career with DAZN. I’m very happy and I’m motivated. Perhaps many don’t give the credit to Rocky Fielding that he deserves but for a reason, he’s a world champion. I know who he is, I’ve trained very hard, I know the challenge I have in front of me. I know that I have a tough fight but I like challenges and I know we’re going to make history. I’m ready for that.”
CHEPO REYNOSO (MANAGER & HEAD TRAINER)
“Madison Square Garden, be prepared because Canelo is coming to conquer you and to write in the story of MSG.”
EDDY REYNOSO (MANAGER & TRAINER)
“We know it’s going to be a tough fight. Every time a fighter moves up in weight, the fighter has to experiment on how he’s going to feel. Fielding is a strong fighter, he’s a tough fighter, but more than anything’s, he’s a world champion. We know we have a big compromise ahead and I’m taking the responsibility to make sure all the details are covered off on. I just hope that this Saturday, Mexico is excited for Canelo to become a three-division world champion. We’ve excited for him to join the exclusive history of Mexican boxing this Saturday.”
“It’s great to be here. I was here years ago, sitting right at the top over there, watching a Knicks game, wishing one day to fight here. Now I’ve put a lot of work in, I’ve had a lot of setbacks, and here we are. It’s unbelievable. I’m looking forward to it.”
“I believe in myself. I come here as a champion, and that’s what champions do – they win, and they defend. This is a great opportunity and I’m very happy to be here.”
JAMIE MOORE (ROCKY’S TRAINER)
“I think boxing’s all about timing. And Rocky Fielding made sure he was ready when he got the phone call for a world title with five weeks’ notice. It came at the right time for him. And when we got the phone call for the Canelo fight, he took it without hesitation. There’s weight divisions for a reason. I applaud Canelo, I admire his tenacity and his will to achieve greatness. But it’s all about timing. I just think that this is the right time for Rocky Fielding. He’s in a great place mentally and physically. And I’m looking forward to shocking the world and delivering a big upset.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA
“Ladies and gentlemen – pay-per-view is dead. I’m happy to announce that. On Saturday night Dec. 15, Canelo Álvarez will experience a lot of firsts: his first fight in the mecca of boxing at MSG, the first fight of this historical contract with DAZN, his first time traveling to the 168-pound weight class as he looks to make history as part of a small list of Mexican fighters to become a three division world champion.”
“Rocky, who has the most recognizable first name in all of boxing, will look to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“If you can’t make it to the Garden, you can always download the app DAZN. And we are extremely proud to have been able to strike a deal with such visionaries – not only in the sport of boxing but in sports in general. For me, it’s a bittersweet moment to talk about pay-per-view being dead because my career was built on pay-per-view, but this digital platform is thinking about the fans. So this fight, Canelo vs. Rocky, you will be able to download DAZN for free for one month and watch this historical night where Canelo Álvarez will be able to showcase his talents and fight against a bigger guy, a heavier guy, a stronger guy, a champion, who fights at 168 pounds. So if you ask me, I think that’s a great deal.”
“Thank you HBO for all of the memories. Over the years, you have been a true pioneer…but there’s a new kid on the block and his name is DAZN.”
JOSEPH MARKOWSKI (EVP OF DAZN NORTH AMERICA)
“In parts of the twentieth century, the heavyweight champion was the most famous man in the world. But then something changed. Pay-per-view. Boxing became one of the only sports to take its biggest moments and deliver them to the smallest audience possible. And that’s why Saturday night is such a milestone. The last king of pay-per-view Canelo Alvarez will become the first king of sports streaming. This fight is not 75 or 100 dollars. Canelo-Rocky is free on DAZN for all new subscribers.”
“This is just the beginning and we encourage everyone to join us for this ride. It’s simple. Just like you would with Netflix or Hulu, you download our app, sign up and watch amazing content on all devices – including the big screen on the wall of your living room.”
“I remember Eric Gomez calling me up and asking if Rocky Fielding would like to fight Canelo Álvarez. Not once did he ask about the money. It was a yes. This is everything to Rocky Fielding. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, to come to MSG and defend his world title against Canelo Álvarez. I believe he’s going to give Canelo Álvarez everything he has and everything he can handle.”
“DAZN is a game-changer for the world of boxing. Normally U.S. fight fans would have to put their hands in their pockets for $80, $100. Not only is this a great deal for fans in terms of price, but production is top shelf.”
“I’m extremely happy to be back at Madison Square Garden. I was here three years ago in a unification fight with Golovkin. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to but over the years, I’ve learned a lot. I believe I’m at my peak. The greatest years are yet to come for me. Saturday night will be a step towards that. I promise everyone a great fight. Tureano Johnson is a great fighter, but we’ve trained extremely hard for him so we don’t have any surprises in the ring. Whatever he brings forward, I’ll take care of it.”
“It’s going to be an exciting night. I’m excited, I’m ready, I’m energized. I respect Lemieux. I have a lot of respect for him. You guys can expect an awesome fight. I’m definitely coming to bring it. Come Saturday night, they’re going to see a different Tureano – a more intelligent fighter.”
“I’m excited. I’m ready. This is a big fight, Every fight is a big fight. There’s nothing like fighting at home. It doesn’t get to happen every time but when it does, I’m excited and I’m ready.”
“This is a great opportunity and I feel blessed to fight here at the Madison Square Garden. Sadam is a great fighter but I put on a great show as well. The both of us together will be a fight to remember.”
VERGIL ORTIZ JR
“I’m very happy to be fighting here at Madison Square Garden. For some reason I thought it’d be a square…it’s not a square. It’s my first fight in New York. Other than that, I’m just happy to be here.”
“I’m ready for Saturday. It’s another opportunity to show that I’m one of the best in the world.”
“I’m here to bring my very very best. I know [Eva’s] a great competitor and a fantastic fighter. I just can’t wait to put on an exciting fight.”
“We had two months of nonstop work, really focused, and now I’m just ready to put on my best performance at Madison Square Garden. What better place than Madison Square Garden? I’m just ready to prove and show everybody what I’ve been improving on and what I’m going to bring for times to come.”
LAMONT ROACH JR
“I feel blessed to be on this stage. I’m going to kick it off with a bang.”
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