"Everything is going great! Things are going good and preparations are winding down and Lopez is ready to go...We have been working with bigger sparring partners. If Canelo plans to beat Josesito on September 15th, he's gotta be prepared to go through hell to do it because let me tell you, Lopez is prepared to do that," stated world-class trainer Henry Ramirez, who gave us an update on training as he prepares Josesito Lopez for his upcoming September 15th showdown with WBC jr. middleweight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Check it out!
PC: How is everything going, man?
HR: Everything is going great! Things are going good and preparations are winding down and Lopez is ready to go.
PC: This has been a big year and a huge couple of months in particular for Jose. From the outside looking in, how do you think he has handled it all?
HR: Pretty good, man. He's a pretty easy going guy and he doesn't get too riled up. The extra media attention has been a little above and beyond and a little bothersome as far as a lot of different requests, people wanting to come to the gym and different camera crews being there. Showtime has been in there for a few days, so it's bothersome, yeah, but did it affect us and restrict us from doing the work we needed to do? No, because I didn't allow it.
PC: A lot of trainers don't like the media being in the gym a lot. They don't like all of the request, so as a trainer, how have you handled all of this?
HR: I gotta be honest, I really don't care for it. I don't like it at all, but I understand that's part of the promotion of the event. I generally will allow the cameras in on non-sparring days, but on sparring days, I don't want anything to be bothered at all. And a lot of the stuff that they want us to do is staged, do this and do that, so I understand its part of the business with big fights. I went through this with Arreola before, but for some reason, this time seems like it's even more than when we fought Klitschko. When we fought Klitschko, there was a bunch of media attention, but with this fight with Canelo, it's been twice that.
PC: Do you feel like you have studied film more or changed anything on your end for this fight, or have you handled it like any other fight?
HR: You know, I watched a lot of video, which I generally try to do. Lopez sat and watched video with me. I've gone back and looked at video again here recently, but for the most part, we are just preparing for this like any other fight. Obviously the extra weight is something we have been working with. We have been working with bigger sparring partners. If Canelo plans to beat Josesito on September 15th, he's gotta be prepared to go through hell to do it because let me tell you, Lopez is prepared to do that.
PC: You guys said early into camp that weight wasn't gonna be the focal point as far as Josesito's weight. Is that still the case where he will just weigh-in comfortably and not try to hit the mark so to speak?
HR: Nah, he's going to come in where he's comfortable and then obviously he will come in a little heavier on fight night. But the thing I've been doing for sparring, I want every guy that we spar with between 65 and 170, so whenever we spar, I put the partners on the scale and most of them have been 67-68 pounds and that's where I want these guys that spar with Josesito because Canelo will probably be about 170 come fight night.
PC: They put out a little sparring footage of Canelo. What did you make of that?
HR: I mean, I seen the video that they put out and I'm a little more reserved and confidential with stuff like that, but maybe they feel it's not a big deal. It was only a round and I really didn't see anything different that I hadn't seen already, and to be honest, it's not gonna have a bearing on the outcome of the fight. What's gonna happen is gonna happen, you know?
PC: No, I feel you on that. I've bumped into you in Vegas at some Floyd Mayweather fights in which Canelo was on the card, so you have had a firsthand look at him on several occasions. What do you think of him as a fighter overall?
HR: He's very talented. He is very composed in the ring and very patient. He's not your typical Mexican fighter that just comes forward and puts pressure on you. He can box a little bit, his jab is pretty decent, and he goes to the body. Hey, there is a lot to like with Canelo. Is he unbeatable? No! Is he some physically imposing dominant guy? No, not by any stretch, but I'm not gonna say he's not talented.
PC: We have seen him box, like he did against Shane Mosley, but we've also seen him come in and try to steamroll his opponents, like he did Kermit Cintron. What Canelo Alvarez are you guys expecting?
HR: You know, you can prepare for what you think you're going to see and prepare for scenarios and what you think is going to be the case, but to be honest, you don't know what he's going to bring on fight night. I know what Lopez is bringing. He's gonna be a guy that's going to try and push him out of his comfort zone and have a real desire to win and a guy who I think Canelo is going to feel is a lot physically stronger and harder to push around than a guy who doesn't have to suck down in weight.
PC: I gotta get your thoughts on Saturday's big fight between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. Are you going with your fellow Bay brother or you think Chad will win this fight?
HR: You know, it's funny, I actually just sat down with Virgil [Hunter] about 30 minutes ago. I wished him well and he wished me well and I think he actually said he's coming out to Josesito's fight. I'm pulling for Andre Ward, man. He's everything I like about the sport. He's a humble man and a family man, but come in that ring man and Andre Ward is a beast. He has that undying will, man, and so far, he hasn't been denied. Chad Dawson presents a different problem. He's a good athletic fundamentally sound boxer. I think it's going to be a good fight and better than what people anticipate, but I think Ward is going to pull it off.
PC: Before I let you go, I see pictures are out of Arreola being back in the gym and he looks to be in good shape. Any update on him?
HR: Yeah, Chris is back in full training mode. He has been for a few weeks already. We're just waiting for a date to get finalized. From what I hear, it's going to be late October and the opponent is there; I just can't say who it is. We are just waiting on a date to get finalized. I have the fight September 15th in Vegas and I have to be there Monday the week before the fight and I will take Chris with me for the week to keep an eye on him training. I don't want to leave him behind in other words.
PC: Well, keep me posted on that my man. I wish you and Josesito the best of luck on the 15th. Is there anything else you want to say before I let you go?
HR: Just for the fans who support Josesito and the people that doubt him, I think they are gonna be in for a big surprise come September 15th. Look for us to put on a great show and for the whole event to be a success.