Lightweight title-challenger Eddie Alvarez is confident heading into his July 7 main event against champion Rafael Dos Anjos, but it isn’t because he has some certain, detailed vision of how the fight will play out. "I really don’t go into fights with expectations," he told media members during a conference call, this week.
"The only thing I really expect is that when things happen, I will move correctly and do the right thing."
Former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson’s late coach Cus D’Amato used to talk about how his goal as a trainer was to work with his fighters in such a manner in the gym that, through repitition and expert correction, they eventually wouldn’t be able to do a movement or technique incorrectly, even if they tried. Alvarez has been training with his own boxing savant, coach Mark Henry, and says it has done wonders for his game.
"I think being with Mark Henry, I’m fighting way more intelligent than I ever have," he explained.
"I sort of needed him a while ago [chuckle], thank God I’ve got him, now. Doing things a bit smarter, a bit more efficient gets the fights won."
Though Alvarez now has the disciplined mindset of putting winning above all else, in the cage, he fully expects for his fight with the champion to be a thrilling one. "Like Dos Anjos…I’ve got a high finishing ratio," he said.
"It feels like he’s a bit confident in his stand-up. I feel like I can catch him if he gets over-aggressive, and it can go bad, quickly. This is going to be a highly explosive, violent fight from the beginning."
Though the champion has won five straight contests, compared to Alvarez’s current two-fight win streak, the challenger refuses to give Dos Anjos too much respect. After all, the New Jersey kid will soon get to experience for himself what the Brazilian has to offer, so there’s no need to over-think things.
"My hat is off to him. He did really well against the guys he fought, but none of them are me," he said.
"None of them guys are my style. None of them fight the way I do. None of them guys fight with the spirit I do. I’m not going to give a guy credit until we get inside the cage and we mix it up a bit."