Jerry Glick reporting: The Hard Rock Café on Broadway in Manhattan was the scene of the New York stop on the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara, “Honor & Glory” PR train promoting their July 12th fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, to be broadcast on ShowTime PPV.
Before the press conference got underway promoter Oscar De La Hoya, founder and head man at his Golden Boy Promotions, sat down with a few of the media to talk about the fight and recent events that have been made public concerning his personal life and the company he heads.
Former WBC and WBA Light-Middleweight champion, Canelo Alvarez, 43-1-1 (31 KOs), has not had a “gimmie” fight in years. His last seven opponents have all been the kind of opponents that other fighters think twice before deciding to take them on. Two rugged journeyman, Alfonso Gomez, and Kermit Cintron, followed by multi-weight world champion, Sugar Shane Mosley. Then highly regarded Josesito Lopez, WBA Junior Middleweight belt holder, Austin Trout, the incomparable Floyd Mayweather, and in his last fight he battered rugged Alfredo Angulo into a tenth round TKO . He could have asked for an easy one this time, but insisted on interim WBA 154 pound champion, Lara, 19-1- 2 (12 KOs).
He and Lara share two top rated common opponents, Trout and Angulo with similar results; TKO 10 over Angulo and a twelve round decision over Trout.
Saying that Canelo, is willing, as was he during his illustrious career, to take on the best available, “Nobody wants to fight Lara,” said Oscar. Then comparing it to his career he said, “Nobody wanted to fight Ike Quartey; nobody wanted to fight Whitaker.”
Asked if he was advised not to fight them, he explained, “No, with me they knew that if you tell me to stay away from somebody, I’m going to fight him. That was just me, and Canelo is the same way.”
About this fight, De La Hoya sees it as a pick’m fight. “It’s a 50-50 fight,” said the Golden Boy. “That’s the truth. It’s an honest answer.”
He handicaps the fights this way, “Lara’s not just a boxer,” said Oscar. “He does like to engage. He does believe that he has speed, I don’t think he has more power than Canelo, but he believes in his power, and he has courage. He’ll stay in there with you. He will get hit one time so he could land two. He’s got that attitude. This will be interesting because Canelo can hit, he is strong. I think the fact that he boxed Trout and went up against Mayweather and got used to elusiveness and slickness and slipperiness, that type of boxing style, I think he wants to go in there and prove to the world; I’m not scared of anyone, I’ll fight anybody.”
Oscar sees a huge possibility of an Alvarez-Cotto fight if Cotto beats Sergio Martinez, “A huge fight, and even if Cotto loses, he goes back down to 154 and he can still fight Canelo.“
And the possibility of a second Alvarez-Mayweather encounter? “He (Canelo) is still young,” said De La Hoya. “If he’s (Mayweather) still around I would like to hold Canelo back another year and a half, two years, so if he’s still around, and I think he still will be, then yes, absolutely, a rematch.”
There is talk going around boxing about the rift between De La Hoya and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. Asked what would happen if they were to part ways, is there a no compete clause in any contract that may exist between them preventing Schaefer from starting up his own promotional company, and maybe even raiding Golden Boy’s fighters.
Seeming to not want to go into details, Oscar said, “Everything is rumors, rumors, rumors. Nobody talks to me and now you’re getting it from the horse’s mouth, It will be worked out. Everything is getting worked out, and that’s all I can say.”
He said that he and Schaefer are talking, “We talked the other day,” he added. “We are working things out. That’s the bottom line. This is a company that I started. Richard has been very instrumental. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing and so things will get better.”
About the future of the business of boxing at Golden Boy, Oscar is able to put things in the proper order, “The root of the sport is these young kids. If you have fighters who can fight,” he explained. “You have the total package, they sell themselves. We have this machine; the Golden Boy machine, so when you have a good fighter with the Golden Boy machine, he’s going to become a star; no doubt about it. It starts in the grass roots, with these young kids. So does it mean we go with the amateur program? Does it mean I start the Golden Boy national tournament? Like the Golden Gloves or USA Championships. Get these kids motivated because there’s so much talent out there but they are not boxing anymore. They’re trying baseball, they are trying football, they want to play basketball. Maybe it starts with the grass roots because look at what we’ve done in such a short period of time. We’ve generated the biggest revenues; we’ve sold the most pay per views which is 205 million, we keep on filling arenas. We know how to promote, we just need more fighters that we can promote.”