But fans should probably start paying attention, because Alvarez (22-2) now holds the distinction, with the possible exception of Dream's Shinya Aoki, of being the best fighter in the world not currently under contract with Zuffa (owners of Strikeforce and the UFC).
The diminutive Philadelphia-based lightweight has an exciting fan friendly style punctuated by lighting fast hands laced with granite. He's among a handful of lightweights with true one-punch knockout power and is considered by many to have, by far, the best boxing in the sport's lightweight division.
To ask Alvarez, however, his boxing should be pretty good by now, he's been working on it his entire life.
"Growing up in my neighborhood fighting was very popular, and boxing was popular," Alvarez told MMA Fight Corner presented by FiveKnuckles.com. "So instead of playing stickball and hockey, everyone would have boxing gloves. I used to have two or three sets of boxing gloves and I would take them down the block and knock on my friends door and instead of saying, 'Hey you wanna play some stick ball?' I'd say, 'Hey you wanna fight?'
"So we'd go out to the middle of the street, we'd put the gloves on and people would keep rounds and we'd fight. We'd break when a car came down the block, but that's how we played. It seems weird to some people, but fighting and boxing were like our stickball and our hockey."
With his strong boxing pedigree one would imagine that Alvarez might be inclined to try his hand at the sweet science. In fact, he's been prodded to do so on a number of occasions by many, including boxing legend and future hall-of-famer Bernard Hopkins. However, Alvarez is quick to dismiss his abilities as a pure boxer, believing that he wouldn't do well in the sport as a professional.
"I don't think I'd do well," Alvarez said. "Just because in boxing it would be hard for me to make 147. And I know boxers here in Philly at that weight and I spar with them, and I get my (expletive) whooped. They're not no world champions either, but these guys are seriously good. It would be really tough for me. I'd have to develop a whole different style of boxing to be successful.
"Actually Bernard (Hopkins) thinks that I would become a world champion; he said it out of his own mouth that he's never seen an MMA fighter box the way that I box. And I felt good about him saying that, but in the back of my head I'm thinking to myself, 'Nah.' Maybe I'm not as confident in myself as some other people are, but I'm not looking to go into pro boxing any time soon."
Though somewhat bashful about his tremendous boxing skill, Alvarez pulls no punches about the status of his boxing compared with his contemporaries at lightweight in MMA.
"I definitely, 100-percent feel that I have the best hands in the lightweight division," Alvarez said. "If I watch Melvin Guillard, I definitely see a lot of holes. He's quick, he's explosive, but he gets a little wild.
"My boxing trainer is getting Bernard Hopkins ready for his next fight. I train with some real high-level boxers in Philadelphia and they kick my (expletive) two or three times a week, and they all say that I should maybe...
Also talks about how MMA is run.
Very good interview.
Interview starts at 1 hour, 38 minute mark.
Interview is from May 2011.
Last edited by Kid Gavilan on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
- Posts : 1791
Join date : 2010-07-10
Age : 98
Location : Andromeda galaxy