Sergey Kovalev, Eleider Alvarez, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, Dmitry Bivol and the Manager of Dmitry Bivol (Vadim Kornilov) and Isaac Chilemba all participated in a conference call ahead of the "Super Men" card on August 4. You can see highlights below:
"Do you feel pressure in this fight to have a big showing and to put on a big fight because of the importance of this fight for your career and the possibility of fighting the winner of the main event?"
"Yes. I am fighting a youngster. He is a hard-hitting young fighter. The only thing I can do is work harder. I want to become a world champion. I rely on my team, Jodi and Roy, to help me bring my A game and this is my chance to showcase my skills. This is my opportunity to show the world what I can do."
Yvon Michel, Promoter of Eleider Alvarez:
"We are very, very thrilled to be part of this great event. We are thankful to Main Events, HBO and Sergey Kovalev for the opportunity. I want to personally thank Kathy Duva and her team for their great collaboration. Eleider Alvarez was an amateur star in Columbia. He won a gold medal in the Pan-Am games. He turned pro in 2009. He is undefeated with a record of 23-0. He just came back from three weeks training camp in Bogota. He is at the peak of his career. He has his best training camp of his career. He has great talent. He has a great team. He is highly motivated. He is hungry. He has all the ingredients to be the new WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion."
"First of all, thanks to Kathy Duva, Main Events and Sergey Kovalev for accepting this fight. And thank you to Yvon Michel and my manager. I am very thankful for the opportunity. I am very excited for this fight and the opportunity to fight for the WBO Champion of the World."
"There was a lot going on. Eleider was supposed to fight Adonis Stevenson and, obviously, that didn't happen. How easy was this fight to make?"
"From my perspective it was extremely easy. I gave Yvon a call and he asked for one day. He got back to me and accepted the deal. We had a contract signed in a few days."
"During that day, I called Eleider and his manager and trainer. We had a meeting. I came back from that meeting with the mandate to go forward. It was that easy."
"When the guys want to fight each other, it is not that hard when you have two fighters who want to get in the ring and fight."
"Eleider, what is it like psychologically facing someone who has so much momentum? It is sort of like going up against Tyson in his prime. What is it like going up against Sergey as the underdog? What is it like for you psychologically?"
"This is a big challenge for me. This is something very big. Each time I usurp myself. I had a lot of fights that were against opponents that were not the same quality of Kovalev but I always give 100% in the ring. This is no different. I am going to give 100% and I will be at the top. When the challenge is bigger, I always perform better. If this is the biggest challenge of my career then I will be up to the task."
"Eleider, your best punch is your jab. You control the distance in the ring in your last several fights with that jab. However, in the last few fights you haven't faced a devastating puncher like Kovalev, particularly with the right hand. Are you concerned that you might not be as effective with the jab against Kovalev because of his right-hand punching ability?
"My jab is my best weapon so I am going to use it against Kovalev."
"Eleider, you said nothing has come easy for you. After being the #1 contender, he defended fighters like Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal and still could not get the fight enforced as the WBC mandatory. Does he view this fight, as Kovalev, as a do or die situation for him career-wise based on how difficult it's been for him to get his first title shot?
"Yes, I think this is my biggest opportunity. I waited for three years and a half for my chance. This is my biggest fight. I never let the past decide me. I'm gonna be ready for this. When I fought Isaac Chilemba, it was a do or die fight. When I fought Lucian Bute, it was the same thing. I had the same pressure when I fought Jean Pascal, so I am used to have the kind of fight that it's a do or die."