“I got the call and accepted without hesitation,” said Gardiner. “This is a huge opportunity to showcase myself on a big stage. I always said that I wanted to fight good fighters. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time building up an impressive record but never testing myself. This is a big step and a test but I’m more than willing to take it.” And get tested he will. Gardiner will step up in class to face Alvarez, who has been in the ring with the likes of former North American Boxing Association (NABA) light heavyweight champion Nicholson Poulard and former world title challenger Edison Miranda. Both fighters have each fought almost exclusively in Montreal, so both are more than familiar with each other. Gardiner, who recently signed with Ottawa-based Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTT), is excited to show his new management team that he is the real deal.
In a sport in which many fighters are unsure about - if not outright opposed to - taking risks with their glossy records early in their career, this certainly can’t be said of Gardiner and Alvarez. Both fighters will be putting their blemish-free ledgers on the line in front of their hometown supporters. “I’ve always said that I want tough fights and I want to keep moving forward in all my fights,” said Gardiner. “I want to win a world title and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.” On the biggest boxing stage in Canada on Saturday night, Gardiner will certainly get an opportunity to take that first step.
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