BOXING

Pondering and Dissecting the Shutdown of the Canelo Alvarez September Fight Date

So, Canelo fans, it looks like you can scratch off the September fight date for your guy, and schedule a movie, or a hair washing party, or whatever, for Sept. 14.

Golden Boy Promotions announced on Wednesday that the red-head would not be gloving up in September and that they’d be figuring out alternative arrangements for the middle-super middleweight-maybe light heavyweight ace.

Here is the release which GBP, headed by Oscar De La Hoya:

 

GOLDEN BOY POSTPONES CANELO FIGHT

LOS ANGELES (July 17, 2019): Golden Boy and Canelo Alvarez have made the strategic decision to postpone their typical September fight. The decision was made in an effort to secure the right opponent and to do justice to the level of promotion required for a boxing star of his magnitude. Though Canelo typically fights in May and September, it is not without precedent to fight later in the year as Canelo did fight in December of 2018 in Madison Square Garden. Canelo’s next fight will now take place later in 2019.

“As a Mexican, it’s a responsibility and an honor to represent my country in both May and September,” said Canelo Alvarez. “Those are my dates. However, as a world champion in multiple weight classes, I also have the responsibility of delivering the most exciting and competitive fights possible. That’s why Golden Boy and my team have decided to postpone the date in order to do right by my fans by promoting the best fight possible and with the best opponent possible.”

So, gents, and ladies, started their engines of speculation.

Here’s what we know…

A third fight with Gennady Golovkin was not Option A…or B…or probably C, either. Is that because Canelo isn’t jazzed about that idea…or is Oscar and company thinking that yeah, they’ll do that…but later.  Not so soon…

Canelo isn’t one for playing these things out in public, so he isn’t out there parting with the inner workings of his mindset right now. Is he irked at GGG for busting is chops so heavily before their second fight? My guess would be nah, this is a strategic business move. They used that word in the release, “strategic,” and would it make sense if maybe the main reason for kicking the GGG can down the road is because GGG is 37, and turns 38 in April, and it isn’t improbable that Canelo would be not displeased to roll the dice and see if just maybe age has dimmed the Kazahk’s reflexes a quarter notch more, in May 2020?

OK, so that September date, what about that. Well, someone grabs it, right? Sniffing around and talking back-channel to some folks, I don’t think that DAZN says “we must fullfill that date” and scrambles to put something together to cater to Mexican Independence Day weekend.

DAZN bossman John Skipper…

… who by the way has more than boxing on his plate, they want to be a full fledged OTT operation and soon-ishly, put out a statement before dinner, in response to the Canelo/Golden Boy move:

“We continue to work toward putting together a compelling annual schedule for fight fans. It would be premature to comment on our plans until we finalize the remaining cornerstones of the 2019 calendar. Canelo is extremely important to DAZN. His first two fights with us generated significant subscription growth for our service and we’re excited to see him back in action later this year.”

Seeming translation: We want to nail down the next Anthony Joshua fight, and have to figure out when he will fight Andy Ruiz. And GGG will have a fight, too, and so we won’t be running around with our hair on fire. I’ve been running rodeos for a long time, I get that the talent can and will act differently in boxing than in sports where the commissioner over-sees schedule making. And the reading between the lines translation with some supposition thrown in: Yep, we’d have hoped to give subscribers Canelo-GGG 3 in September. But we’d have been A-OK with Canelo versus Sergey Kovalev, that would have given subscribers reason to join or retain. So, we will not be deterred, and we will think of other matches and dates that make sense, and allow us to finish the year on high notes.

Now, what do you all think about this possible play…

We know Serget Kovalev is open to fighting Canelo and Team Canelo seems to want to test those 175 waters. What if Kovalev handles his business end of August, and defeats Anthony Yarde, in Russia? How about the Canelo and Kovalev teams re-visit talks, and if his body allows, Kovalev signs on for a pretty quick turnaround, and fights Canelo before the end of the year? But of course, there would be back and forth on money matters, but maybe the math works better if Kovalev didn’t have to fork over a piece of his pie to a step-aside hand-out (as would have been the case if he rebuffed the Yarde mandatory to fill the Canelo September slot.)

People will speculate that we have a power play clash going on, and that Canelo and Golden Boy and DAZN are at a standoff. I don’t get that sense, but I’m not in those back-rooms. I think, however,  the deal is too new for that dynamic to be in play. They all are still figuring out the dynamic, and leverage and such is still being hashed out. You could argue that fans should perhaps not be crushed, because it seems like DAZN is being fairly firm in what fights they do and don’t want. Middle ground will have to be found, and though promoters might not always agree, it is best when they take more risks, and accept sterner tests than maybe they want. When the platforms cede too much control, a give an inch, sometimes yards are taken…That doesn’t serve the best interest of the sport at large.

Michael Woods
About the Author:

Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; http://NYFights.com is my site

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