Canelo to begin training in Big Bear

MEXICO CITY -- Saul "Canelo" Alvarez departed Mexico last week as a world titlist, and when he finally returns home, it could be as boxing's new pound-by-pound king.

On Monday, Alvarez boarded a private jet bound for Los Angeles, where he is stopping over before setting up camp in Big Bear, Calif. He'll train at the popular high-elevation destination for the next 55 days in advance of his Sept. 14 challenge of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas.

Alvarez was joined by Jose "Chepo" Reynoso, Eddy Reynoso, Canelo's brother Ricardo Alvarez and a trainer for the trip.

"We are really excited, thrilled, and for good reason -- because we are confident about Saul's capacity and quality, besides the hard work that we will do to get the victory," Reynoso told ESPNDeportes.com. "It is the fight of our lives. Not only for Canelo, but for all of us."

Team Alvarez spent the week in L.A. evaluating potential sparring partners who can join the group for sessions in Big Bear and replicate Mayweather's style. When asked about the strategy Alvarez's team is outlining for the fight, Reynoso said that it's Mayweather who should be worried most.

"You'd better ask Mayweather how is he planning to beat Canelo -- that's the more accurate question," Reynoso said. "Because Canelo is not [Juan Manuel] Marquez, [Victor] Ortiz, [Robert] Guerrero or [Miguel] Cotto. He is a different fighter. Ask him how he is going to defeat Canelo, because we already have figured out how to win."

Reynoso believes that Canelo will have extra motivation against Mayweather, in addition to an opportunity to face the world's best fighter: the chance to earn a spot in Mexico's boxing lore, alongside the names of Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. He says Canelo has a chance to become a new national icon.

"It comes at the right time," Reynoso said. "Saul is the top draw in Mexican boxing right now, and he's also earned his spot in the international boxing world, like he did in the United States, because that's where the top boxing material is. Mexico is eager for a new icon, and it's the right time since all the big names like Chavez, [Oscar] De La Hoya, Barrera, Morales are long gone.

"Many people say that Saul needed two or three more fights, but we've known him for a long time, and we are sure it's the right time to show the world that on Sept. 14 there will be a new king. We are looking forward to ending Mayweather's reign and letting Canelo start his own."