Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has quickly emerged as something more than a hard-punching, red-haired Mexican attraction, having thumped Matthew Hatton in March in a unanimous decision to earn a vacant junior middleweight belt at the precocious age of 20. On Sept. 17, as part of a split-site co-feature with the Victor Ortiz-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout, Alvarez will make his second defense against Alfonso Gomez at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (HBO PPV). But first, Alvarez has agreed to discuss an array of topics as part of an ongoing feature leading up to the fight.
On what it means to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend:
It means a lot because it has become customary to fight on patriotic days, and I am proud to represent my country -- and I'll do it with great honor and pride. I believe without a doubt that the month of September is the most patriotic of our nation, and I really love to fight and be part of this great weekend.
In 2010, I fought on Mexican Independence Day weekend and defeated Argentina's Carlos "Tata" Baldomir. Now I hope I succeed in my fight against Alfonso Gomez on another Independence Day weekend.
On what he bought with his first big check:
I always wanted a car, and the first thing I bought was a car. That was one of my greatest dreams, and thank God I got it!
On what TV shows he watches to relax after a long day of training:
I like to watch action movies, and the comedies are my favorites. Those entertain me after going to train really hard. I get to relax at my house, and when I have spare time, I like to see those movies.
On whether he lives alone during training:
I don't live alone. ... My roommate is my coach, Eddy Reynoso. We have a lot of time together, and there is a great respect and camaraderie between us. We talk about many things in life and in general about my fights. Eddy is a student of boxing, and we really have a great time.
On how his fans in Mexico compare to those in the U.S., and when he realized he had crossed over as a star in America:
All fans are good to me and support me the most. There is nothing to compare since all are equal in support. When I fight in Mexico, many people come out to support me in everything I do, especially in the gym. The night of the fight is no different because I have always fought in filled arenas, and this is due to the support of my people. In the U.S., I've seen that the fans are starting to recognize my work in the ring, and that fills me with pride and satisfaction.
[I realized I'd crossed over] when people started asking me to sign autographs at the same amount or more than in Mexico, which motivates me more. Curiously, in every place I stop -- at any shop, arena or even on the plane when I am traveling -- I notice the fans recognize me and I'm very pleased that things have gotten to where they are. I know there's a long way to go, but we are ready to get stronger.
On what it was like to win his first championship:
My first championship was the WBC junior middleweight title. I won in a 12-round unanimous decision over Matthew Hatton earlier this year. The support of my fans was amazing. It's a difficult feeling to explain, but being world champion was my first dream [I hoped] to accomplish. I realized that dreams come true if you work hard. It is very difficult to reach that goal, but never impossible. For me, there is no dream that's impossible. I fought 12 hard rounds, and Matthew was very tough. At the end of the fight, when my name was announced with my hand held high, I knew this was not a dream anymore.