Canelo Alvarez really looks forward to making his debut in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
He makes his East Coast debut, at MSG, on December 15th when he challenges Rocky Fielding for the WBA "regular" super middleweight belt holder.
"It's the Mecca of boxing," Canelo said. "I have wanted to fight there for many years, and this is a great opportunity to give the fans from Latin America and Mexico a great fight.
"This is a fight I made because I want to make history as one of the top Mexicans to win three titles. He is the current WBA champion. ... I asked for the opportunity to fight at 168 pounds. For me, it's the history. Only 10 Mexican champions have titles in three weight classes. I am taking a big risk entering his comfort zone."
Fielding is 27-1 with 15 knockouts, but he's never faced anyone close to the level of Alvarez. And Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 knockouts) has the edge in experience, speed and ring savvy.
"Moving up a division, that's the biggest risk," said Alvarez, who was a super welterweight champion before moving into the middleweight ranks. "I don't know how it will feel there. He is the champion and has the experience at that weight, and it is a risk for any fighter to (add) eight pounds. I just take it as another challenge."
He recognizes his popularity with Hispanic fans, but when pressed on who have been the greatest Mexican champions, he demurs, fearing he will leave out someone and be accused of disrespect. What about Canelo being considered in that group?
"They are all legends," he said. "I respect them too much to say who is the best. But there continue to be so many champions from Mexico, they are the pride of Mexico. They have given a lot to the Mexican people.
"It is a difficult sport. You need discipline and sacrifice, so I respect them all."