Saul Alvarez will be "trying to punish" southpaw Erislandy Lara when they meet on July 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Alvarez's trainer, Jose "Chepo" Reynoso said through an interpreter from their facility in San Diego on Thursday.
Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 knockouts) has said that Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) has "disrespected … not only me, he disrespected all Mexicans" leading into their bout to be televised on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Reynoso said Alvarez "took it personal."
"We're not just going to go in looking for the knockout. We're working on all sorts of different situations but if the knockout comes, that's perfect," said Reynoso through Golden Boy Promotions translator Ramiro Gonzalez.
"But we're working so hard so that we can punish Erislandy Lara. We're working on trying to punish Lara. We want to really punish Erislandy Lara. He was talking too much and those comments were not welcome. It was blah, blah, blah and 'Canelo' took it very personal."
Alvarez is working with three lefthanders comprised of junior welterweight Cleotis Pendarvis of Los Angeles, welterweight Chris Van Heerden of South Africa, and junior middleweight Christopher Pearson of Dayton, Ohio.
"We've been training for going about three weeks now and I'm doing everything to emulate Erislandy Lara," said Van Heerden, who boasts unanimous decisions over Kaizer Mabuza, Matthew Hatton, Sebastian Lujan and Ray Narh, as well as a fourth-round stoppage over Cosme Rivera.
"I'm pretty quick on my feet and just moving around a lot. I jab a lot and I use angles and I'm helping him with everything. Day by day, he's getting better and better, looking sharper and stronger and showing a lot of power. Just getting stronger and stronger."
Van Heerden supports Reynoso's theory that Alvarez will be too much for Lara.
"If 'Canelo' cuts the ring off the way that he's been doing and if he sticks his counter-punch in there, walks in the with the jab and lands his counter-punch, he should do the job," said Van Heerden, who has won his last seven consecutive fights.
"'Canelo' has a solid punch and I think that he's going to break down Lara. I think that he's going to work his body and I see a late-round stoppage. I'm going with my man, 'Canelo' and his power."
ROBERT GUERRERO, GARY RUSSELL JR., VASYL LOMACHENKO REFLECT ON FATHER'S DAY
Three of the fighters on the June 21 card at StubHub Center, whose main event features former titleholder Robert Guerrero against Yoshihiro Kamegai, offered their thoughts in advance of Father's Day.
Guerrero and Russell, the latter of of whom will face Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO's vacant featherweight belt, are each trained by their fathers.
"Being a father is my biggest accomplishment and the most important aspect of my life," said Guerrero, whose father is Ruben Guerrero. "I teach my kids the right ways of doing things and to treat everyone with respect. I feel a duty to raise my kids with love and discipline. I'm a big believer in Jesus Christ, so I want to make sure my kids get to know God at an early age."
Russell credits his father for making him the fighter he is.
"My father plays a very big role in my career. My father's the painter; I'm just the canvas. I think a lot of the time, we give the fighters all the credit and we forget about the coaches that molded these fighters from the ground up. My dad put his life on hold to make sure that my life is 100 percent correct. It means a lot to me. Plus, he taught me how to be a good father to my little ones," said Russell.
"He not only means a lot to me professionally but he also means the world to me as a father. It's difficult when you have a dad who's also your coach because sometimes, he'll make you feel like the worst fighter ever in the gym and then we'll get home and he wants to sit down and watch a movie together after he just finished yelling at you. It's definitely difficult but we work on it."
"Now that I know of that custom, I'm going to start celebrating Father's Day from this Sunday to June 21. Everything that I have today, everything that is in me today, is from my father. He's here next to me and he's always with me. He stands by me; he's my hero."
Also on the card, two-division titleholder Devon Alexander will be in a welterweight clash against Jesus Soto Karass and former RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson will return to the ring against George Blades.
In other bouts, 2012 Olympian heavyweight Dominic Breazeale will face Devin Vargas, lightweight Sharif Bogere is being matched against Hector Velasquez and heavyweight Michael Hunter will fight Jerry Forrest.
TOMOKI KAMEDA-PUNGLUANG SOR SINGYU ADDED TO ALVAREZ-LARA CARD
Golden Boy has added WBO bantamweight titleholder Tomoki Kameda (29-0, 18 KOs) of Japan to the Alvarez-Lara undercard against Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-2, 31 KOs) of Thailand for a bout that will be televised on the Showtime free-view an hour before the Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast.
In other bouts on the pay-per-view portion of Alvarez-Lara, three-division titlist Abner Mares will face veteran Jonathan Oquendo in Mares' first fight under trainer Virgil Hunter; junior welterweight contender Johan Perez will battle former title challenger Mauricio Herrera and ex-titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez, of Puerto Rico, will clash with Francisco Vargas of Mexico.