LAS VEGAS – Montana Love cannot wait to disappoint some of Canelo Alvarez’s fans by beating one of his stablemates on Alvarez’s undercard Saturday night.
The unbeaten junior welterweight contender from Cleveland is set to square off against Gabriel Valenzuela in the co-feature before Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol fight for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title in the main event of this DAZN pay-per-view telecast. Guadalajara’s Valenzuela (25-2-1, 15 KOs) has won 15 fights in a row, but the left-handed Love (17-0-1, 9 KOs) figures to be the toughest opponent of his six-year pro career.
“We know he, like any other Mexican, come forward,” Love said during a press conference Thursday at MGM Grand. “You know, we know he coming to fight. And he got a good idea. You know, he try to do the counter-punching and everything. It’s a good idea, just with the wrong guy. You know, we’re gonna continue to stick to our game plan. We worked hard, had a very long camp. And we ready, ready for whatever. A shootout, whatever they wanna do we can do it.”
The 27-year-old Love legitimized himself as a contender in the 140-pound division by stopping former IBF junior welterweight champ Ivan Baranchyk (20-3, 13 KOs) in an action-packed slugfest August 29 on the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley undercard at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Love signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing following that impressive victory and stopped another fighter from Guadalajara, Carlos Diaz (29-2, 14 KOs, 2 NC), in the third round December 4 on the Devin Haney-Joseph Diaz Jr. undercard at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“He’s given me a big test, Eddy Reynoso, and I’m really motivated for it,” Valenzuela said in reference to Alvarez’s trainer and manager. “So, I’m looking forward to, you know, getting the win and taking it back to Mexico.”
Valenzuela, who is also 27, promised Love that he would shut him up the next night as they stood face-to-face after weighing in Friday afternoon on a makeshift stage outside of T-Mobile Arena. Love believes an arena full of devout Alvarez fans will help motivate him versus Valenzuela.
“You know, this card wouldn’t be right if ‘Too Pretty’ ain’t put his drip on it,” Love said. “You know what I’m saying? I’m probably one of the flyest fighters in boxing right now. I carry a different type of swag and, you know, I’m gonna entertain the fans. You know, I know a lot of them gonna be booing and, you know, a lot gonna be cheering as well. But, you know, we not worried about that. I’m here to do my job and we’re gonna get it done.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.