Eleider Alvarez, Jean Pascal Meet At The Crossroads

WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson and Andrzej Fonfara sounded off at the final press conference on Tuesday at Montreal Casino for their 175-pound rematch

WBC Light Heavyweight No. 1 contender Eleider Alvarez and former 175-pound champ Jean Pascal faced off during the final press conference for their co-featured bout that opens the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Their bout comes in chief support to the light heavyweight title fight rematch between Adonis Srevenson and Andrzej Fonfara, with both contests airing live this Saturday on SHOWTIME from Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

The light heavyweight doubleheader was strategically arranged, as there stands a very good chance the winners will square off later this year.

Alvarez (22-0, 11 KOs) is undefeated and the mandatory challenger for Stevenson’s WBC belt, but he’ll face the toughest test of his career in Pascal (31-4-1, 18 KOs), a former WBC 175-pound champion who has faced some of the world’s best light heavyweights over the past decade.

Here’s what the chief support boxers had to say:

ELEIDER ALVAREZ

“He has a lot of experience, but experience can be negative sometimes. He’s experienced, but he has negative experiences and losses, too. I don’t think it will be a factor Saturday night.

“My style will be an advantage. I’m taller, I have a longer reach, and a better jab. My footwork is better, too. So I think my style is my advantage.

“I’m fully ready for my title shot. I’ve been ready for 18 months, but for some reason it didn’t happen. I’m ready to face everybody. I’m probably in the toughest division in boxing right now, but once Stevenson comes I’ll be ready.

“I didn’t wait 18 months to become a world champion for nothing. I won’t give a victory to Pascal. I’ve waited for 18 months for my chance and I won’t give it to Pascal.

“Sparring with him (Pascal) is an advantage, but it was a long time ago and now he’s changed teams. So I don’t know what he’s done in his training camp this time.

“Marc (Ramsay) taught me some tricks, but I already know Jean Pascal because I trained with him and sparred with him for a while. It’s an advantage to have Marc, but it can be different and you never know what he’ll bring to the ring this time around.”

JEAN PASCAL

“Winning is the only option for me.

“I’ve been in some battles, but my tank is still full.

“I’ve faced way better opposition than him. I’ve been there, done that on the big stage. This is a big, big fight, and I’ve been here before. That’s the thing with experience – you can’t buy experience. You have to live it, and I’ve lived it many times. I’m ready to be on the big stage once again.

“Training camp went really well. I was with Roy Jones Jr. and Stephane Larouche and we stayed in Montreal for the whole camp. We had no injuries and we’re ready to go on Saturday.

“Sparring with Alvarez isn’t really an advantage for me. The last time we sparred was like two or three years ago. I know him, but he knows me also. I actually have two strikes against me – he knows me well, but his coach knows me by heart because he’s my former coach. But none of that matters. I’ve done my homework and I know what to do in the ring.

“Right now my focus is on Alvarez. After the referee raises my hand and we’ll see what’s next."

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