Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon didn't have to struggle to activate Alex “El Nene” Sanchez's competitive streak .
A few text messages to Sanchez's cell phone were enough to start conversations between the retired former world champions, who are determined to collide in the ring on December 4 in a sanctioned fight.
“When I wake up, I see some messages from Ivan saying to get ready because he finally decided to give me the rematch. He surprised me because I am retired, but he got me interested and I quickly said yes,” said Sanchez to Carlos Gonzalez.
In 2011, Sanchez hung up his gloves after suffering a fourth consecutive defeat.
Calderon and Sanchez met in 2003 at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon. Calderon retained the title of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), at 105 pounds, by unanimous decision with scores 117-111, 116-112 and 118-110.
“Ivan proposed that we do an exhibition fight like Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. I told him no, because climbing in the ring is not a game. If we do it, it would be real because if the fans are going to pay, we are going to give them the show they expect,” said Sanchez.
“We will submit ourselves to the medical examinations required by the boxing commission. We are both healthy, we stay healthy because we work with young people in the respective gyms and I understand that it will be something nice."
Calderon, in fact, maintained that his ultimate goal is to challenge current WBO 105-pound champion Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez.
“The one who brought Bimbito into the conversation was Ivan. I really have no interest in Bimbito because afterwards people will say that I want to get the young boxer out on the road. Besides, Ivan knows that I am more dangerous than Bimbito. Ivan wants to be world champion again, but he can't sleep on me because I want to get rid of that thorn in my side," Sanchez said.
Sanchez, 47, said he began training to gradually lose weight until he reached 112 pounds.
“I already started to move. We took the December date so that we both have plenty of time. Boxing is always in our blood. We realize that we still have something left because we are boxers all our lives," Sanchez concluded.