By Marc Livitz: As the respective chapters close on the colorful and always debatable careers of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the sweet science will undoubtedly have its new crop of torchbearers in the coming years. Meanwhile, the sports crazed nation of Mexico has always had its nationalistic hands full when it comes to the legends of the sport. The boxing hotbox has given us such legends as Julio Cesar Chavez, Ruben Olivarez, Ricardo Lopez and Salvador Sanchez. In recent years, many fans of the sport have come to love such names as Barrera, Morales and Marquez. As of now, only the third name on that list is still an active fighter and he’s doing so at the age of 41.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has become not only part of the face of Mexican ring superstars, but a well known commodity amongst general sports fans as well. It’s not often that we come across a red headed and freckle faced gent who resembles a bit more Ireland than any hint of the land of the Tri Color.
In any case, Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO’s) is a remarkable talent whose abilities are in no way outweighed by his image. The kid can fight and at the young age of 24, his lone defeat on his resume was one in which he was clearly in over his head, yet all time box office and viewing records were shattered. Today, Canelo broke a bit more into history by making the monumental switch from cable programming giant Showtime back to his old stomping grounds of HBO. There has been much talk as of late of the nonsensical cold war between Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Incorporated finally hitting the much needed brakes and burying the invisible hatchet.
Alvarez may have taken a giant step in the right direction this afternoon. Another great performance to cap off 2014 will be anxiously awaited by his legions of fans that saw him rebound from his tough loss to Mayweather, Jr. by registering victories against two formidable foes in Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara.
He doesn’t often mix his words because he doesn’t often have many to give. The soft spoken, former junior middleweight titleholder is expected to return to the ring this December, possibly in the state of Texas.
“I am very excited and happy to be back”, said Canelo during an international media call today. “I look forward to working hard and accomplishing more and so I’ve signed a long term deal with HBO.”
Golden Boy Promotions president, Oscar De La Hoya was simply beaming with pride and confidence this afternoon as he described Alvarez’s historical move. “Today is a historical day for boxing in general”, he said. “It’s my pleasure to have always worked with a great young fighter like Canelo Alvarez, who we started promoting in 2010. We always agreed that was something special about him and at the tender age of 24, he has just begun. Canelo will now be fighting on HBO network. It’s a great day for boxing not just here in the states, but around the globe as well.”
For several years running, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has cornered the boxing market with automatically penciled in dates closest to May 5 and September 16. Those two particular times of year were usually set aside for Mexican fighters to clash and Canelo Alvarez as well as his promoter was in full agreement this afternoon. The young fighter commented, “Those two dates need to be taken back to the Mexican people and involve a Mexican fighter. That’s what it’s about.” Oscar De La Hoya quickly added, “Canelo gave me my marching orders and that was to schedule fights during May and September of next year.”
“As his promoter, I have to do everything I can to make that happen. He’ll not only be fighting on pay per view, he’ll also be featured on HBO for his fans. You don’t see that too often in today’s world with a fighter of his level. If he asks for May, then I’ll get him May. I wasn’t a ten time world champion for nothing, so I will fight for him if I have to.”
The boxing legend from East Los Angeles elaborated, “In boxing, it’s very difficult to keep anything under wraps, but we agreed that we had to make this special announcement. It deserves to have its own day. This move will continue to solidify boxing as the best sport on the planet and will continue to open doors to so many young fighters.”
Hopefully, the new agreement will allow Canelo Alvarez to be matched against a new line of competitors who were previously kept from doing so due to not only the squabbles between promotional companies, but rival cable networks as well.
“I’m just doing what Canelo has asked of me”, said De La Hoya. “He asked me many months ago to explore the possibility of fighting on HBO. I hope that this doesn’t ruin any relationship with other networks because this is for the fans of boxing.”
September 23, 2014