As our camp concluded in Las Cruces, New Mexico this past Sunday, I raced home to pack up for the next month in Ruidoso, New Mexico. As I drove down the street towards my house, I kept thinking about the fight. I kept thinking about my game plan that I must execute April 20, 2013 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. As my thoughts rushed past what another victory would mean to my family, my city, and myself, I kept pulling myself back to reality. Every day in training becomes the same reality of not looking ahead, but to be FOCUSED on what is in front of you.
The hardest part of camp is being away from my fiancé and my children. I miss the way they make me laugh. I love making them laugh and miss playing with them. When I really begin to think about it, I miss the way they say, “Daddy”.
As a boxer, you become known as a warrior.
Warrior Definition: “A person engaged in, experienced in or devoted, to war”.
My parents served in the military growing up (stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas). They served their country and they taught me what it meant to be an American. They taught me the discipline needed day in and day out to be successful. They engrained in me the stories of the “Wounded Warriors” that have sacrificed their lives for my family. They taught me that war does not choose race or nationality. War affects us all. War comes in various forms to each and every one of us. War can be caused by abuse, neglect, or conflict. War is a very dangerous form of strife, and when provoked, can cause lasting damage.
When I step into the ring, I do not step into the ring lightly. I am very conscience of my opportunity to represent my country. Boxing doesn’t compare to what our military accomplishes every day for our country. It upsets me that our veterans do no receive the respect they deserve. Many men and women have given their life for me to have the opportunity to raise my family in a free country, and I pray that I will always represent them well. I will never give up in the ring. I will always dig deep inside to push past any pain or thoughts of quitting.
At this point of training camp, I am very on edge. I am literally a mad man whose only focus is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. I am obsessed with not just winning, but out-boxing, out-smarting, and destroying him. I have to train to calm down. I have to run faster and punch harder to just feel any relief of this mission that is in front of me.
Coming to Ruidoso at this point in training camp is a really smart move. Just when I felt I was in the best shape my body could possibly be, we switched gears and come to train in higher elevation. The higher altitude shocks your body to push harder than before. You come to the point when your lungs are burning against the mountain wind and you know that you are not ready for the battle that is in front of you.
The fight is less than 30 days away and I must patiently wait for the fight in front of me. When I’m not training, I will relax by playing video games, talking to my family, and reading my Bible. I will be a creature of habit over the next few weeks. I will take no days off mentally or physically. I must prepare for battle like a soldier. That is why I have “Soldier of God” tattooed on my arm, so I never forget the preparation. I know that I will be prepared because my family taught me how to be a warrior. Now this warrior must prepare for war.