Eddie Hearn: “I Think Canelo Would Fight Usyk”
By: Hans Themistode
Canelo Alvarez has always prided himself on challenges. Even so, once he was notified of his possible future opponent, the Mexican native was a bit shellshocked.
Following his 11th round stoppage victory over Caleb Plant on November 6th, Alvarez sat back and thoroughly enjoyed making history. With the win, the pound-for-pound star became the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time. While Alvarez continued to enjoy his moment in the sun, Eddy Reynoso, head trainer and manager of Alvarez, was quietly plotting his next move.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the former Trainer of the Year, pleaded with Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC sanctioning body, to allow Alvarez to move up in weight to take on WBC titlist Ilunga Makabu. Though both Sulaiman and Alvarez, for that matter, were first initially taken aback, Sulaiman has allowed the pound-for-pound star to face him, something Alvarez has openly viewed as a difficult but achievable challenge.
Upon hearing the news of Alvarez’s foray into the cruiserweight division, Oleksandr Usyk, former undisputed cruiserweight champion and current unified heavyweight champion, has revealed that he would be more than willing to come back down in weight to face him.
“I can fight him at cruiserweight,” said Usyk to BoxingInsider.com. “The only thing is that I keep my belts at heavyweight. I go to cruiserweight, fight him, then go back to heavyweight. I want to stay at heavyweight.”
Despite Usyk’s willingness to move back down to a division he once ruled over, many have viewed the likelihood of a showdown between them taking place as unrealistic. Eddie Hearn, on the other hand, believes the Mexican star would absolutely face Usyk. Provided, of course, a suitable weight could be agreed upon.
“I think Canelo would fight Usyk,” said Hearn during an interview with IFL TV. “I think obviously, it would have to be at an agreeable weight. I can’t see Oleksandr Usyk coming back down to cruiserweight.”
Regardless of what Hearn believes is a realistic matchup, both men have other plans at the moment. In the case of Usyk, following his upset victory over Anthony Joshua to win his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles – the pair are currently locked deep in negotiations for an immediate rematch.
As for Alvarez, after aggregating every world title at 168 pounds, as previously mentioned, the Mexican star is eyeing a run in the cruiserweight division. Nonetheless, if it was up to Hearn, the long-time promoter would much rather see Alvarez attempt to become a two-weight undisputed champion.
“I personally think that Canelo should look to become undisputed at 175. I think he can do it. To be undisputed in two different weight classes would be incredible.”
What Does Dazn Actually Think About Boxing?
By: Sean Crose
And so now things have gotten ugly. Canelo Alvarez has gone ahead and sued his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, and the streaming outlet that’s contracted to run his fights, DAZN. Those of us who follow the sport of boxing closely knew there were issues in the air, but a lawsuit has a way of tacking an exclamation point onto matters. Things are bad, no matter how one looks at it. For Canelo is arguably the biggest attraction in boxing. The truth is that most of us weighing in on the situation don’t know all the details to make informed decisions about what’s going on. There are, however, things to be gleaned from what we know and read.
For starters, it looks as if DAZN may take its approach to boxing from the Mayweather-McGregor model rather than a model which argues the best fight the best. This isn’t to say the service sees boxing as entertainment more than sport…though this isn’t to say that isn’t the case, either. The service essentially slapped Canelo and boxing fans in the face last fall when it delayed the start of Canelo’s fight with Sergey Kovalev until a UFC pay per view card ended. When I asked DAZN about this, I essentially got a solidly unrepentant response.
Then there’s the reports that DAZN wants Canelo to fight UFC stars or a dangerously over the hill Oscar De La Hoya. These aren’t high level boxing matches. These are pop culture events. And Canelo has made it clear he’s not interested in being a pop culture figure. He’s not a publicity hound, plus – whether people want to believe it or not – the man regularly challenges himself in the ring. Names like Kovalev, Erislandy Lara, Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto and, of course, Floyd Mayweather abound in his resume. In other words, Canelo’s legacy is important to him. Fights with UFC stars and boxers close to fifty year of age do nothing for a legacy.
Yet that may well be what DAZN wants. Which, of course, leads us to boxing’s fans, those who pay monthly or yearly fees for DAZN in order to watch quality matches. There might be clear evidence out there that DAZN doesn’t care much about those who pay to mainly watch boxing. Those who long to see fights featuring UFC, YouTube and Instagram stars look like they may be more enticing to DAZN brass. And that may be perfectly understandable in a business sense…but it’s not good news for boxing fans. Nor, if it’s true, is it good news for Canelo.
Canelo Alvarez on Retirement: “36, 37 Years Old at The Max”
By: Hans Themistode
All good things come to an end.
In sports such as basketball and football, the end comes with a missed shot, or a bad pass down the field. But in boxing, the end for a fighter is much more cruel.
Muhammad Ali, Bernard Hopkins and Ken Norton share a few things in common. They were all world champions, all-time greats and absolute legends. But they also share an analogous ending.
The last image of Norton was an infamous one, as Heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney blasted him out in the first round. Muhammad Ali spent the final year of his career losing his finally two contests. An 11th round stoppage to Larry Holmes and a unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick. Bernard Hopkins, also lost his final two career fights. A unanimous decision loss to Sergey Kovalev, followed by a stoppage loss to Joe Smith Jr. In that contest, Hopkins was sent flying from the ring.
There are other all-time great fighters such as James Toney and Roy Jones Jr who also fought on for far too long.
In short, boxing heroes eventually succumb to father-time. There are a few anomalies such as Floyd Mayweather Jr and Rocky Marciano but those are the exception, not the rule.
Current pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez has never been a follower during his career. But he’ll gladly follow the path of Mayweather and Marciano, rather than Ali and Hopkins.
“36-years-old, for me,” said Canelo to Box Azteca. That’s a good time to retire, 37-years-old at the max. I always have discipline, work ethic, and dedication. The only thing that has changed is my successes, I train every day as if I was a rookie.”
At 29 years of age, retirement is still a long way away. But as they say in sports, once you begin to think about the finish line, the end isn’t too far away.
With that being said, the love affair between Canelo and the sport of boxing is still going strong. For now.
“My body asks me to fight. I keep training because I love boxing. I train, whether I have a fight or not. I’ll dedicate myself to my business.”
Former Trainer to GGG Believes he Could Get Seriously Hurt Against Canelo
By: Hans Themistode
Whenever Gennadiy Golovkin’s name came up on the boxing schedule, both fans and his opponents could expect one thing. Pain, and a lot of it.
Unlike most boxing matches where both men could easily hurt the other, when Golovkin fought, the pain was always one way traffic. Fight after fight, Golovkin found himself on the Sports Center highlight reel.
Knockouts in the fifth round, stoppages in the second and numerous TKOs in the first. Golovkin’s highlight tape has it all.
But it wasn’t just that Golovkin was handing out beatings left and right, but he also didn’t receive as much as a scar. In 350 amateur fights, by the way he won 345 of them, and 41 professional contests, Golovkin has never hit the ground let alone been visibly hurt.
But as they say, Father Time is undefeated and Golovkin, now aged 38, looked a bit vulnerable recently. In his last ring appearance against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Golovkin seemed to be hurt by a body shot in the fifth round before ultimately winning the contest by controversial decision.
A rematch was thought to be on the cards next but instead, Golovkin will get the fight he’s been waiting for.
Through two fights with Canelo Alvarez, many could argue that Golovkin should be 2-0 instead of 0-1-1. And while both have been competitive fights, that could change. With Canelo now in the prime of his life and Golovkin clearly on the back end of his, that seems like a recipe for disaster.
“This one maybe will hurt,” said former Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez. “Not because I’m not with him, but [this time it could] hurt because he gets hurt. [The trilogy is] not only the most significant, it’s the most dangerous because you’re talking about a guy who is at his peak now and believes he can do the same thing to Gennadiy that he did to Kovalev.”
“[Canelo] baited, baited, baited and waited for that right moment and it was destructive. I would hate to see Gennadiy go into that fight… or I would rather not see the fight than to see Gennadiy succumb to something like that, not being prepared physically and mentally.”
Eddie Hearn Still Believes Billy Joe Saunders vs Canelo Alvarez Will Happen Just Unsure When
By: Hans Themistode
For the past few years, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has been calling for a shot at pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez.
With back to back wins over Willie Monroe Jr and David Lemieux back in 2017, Saunders had effectively placed himself in the Canelo drivers seat. Yet, he was passed up by Gennadiy Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Saunders dreams of fighting Canelo Alvarez seemed like a distant memory. But fast forward three years and add three additional wins to his resume and Saunders finds himself in the position he had been waiting for.
On May 2nd, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saunders will finally receive his wish. The undefeated Super Middleweight champ will place his WBO title on the line in the bout he had been waiting for.
After years of waiting, Saunders finally landed his man. Or at least he hopes he did.
The unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic that has currently swept the entire sports world under the rug, has placed Saunders vs Canelo in major jeopardy. Their Super Middleweight contest has already been pushed back from their May date and has been tentatively set for June.
So now, like much of the sports world, the question of whether or not the contest will take place at all, is something that is almost impossible to answer at this point.
“Everything now depends on when the sport begins, because that fight was supposed to take place on Cinco de Mayo [weekend],” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Now we know that’s definitely not happening.”
If Canelo vs Saunders is pushed back even further, then there is a good chance it won’t happen at all. Reason being, is that a highly anticipated third contest between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin has been agreed too for September 12th.
Needless to say, a third Golovkin contest would be far more lucrative for Canelo. It would also do much more to enhance his already impressive resume. Still, even with their contest without a definitive date, Hearn believes that his man is next in line no matter what.
“Will boxing return in June, July? If it does, there’s every chance that Billy Joe Saunders will fight Canelo Alvarez in that period, and the date of the Golovkin fight will be put back. I think with the whole disruption, the old Cinco de Mayo and [Mexican Independence Day] will weekend have to take a back seat.”
For now, while the world waits on a decision, Saunders continues to play his part to prepare himself for the biggest fight of his life.
“Right now, Billy Joe Saunders is actually in Vegas, training,” Hearn said. “We were supposed to have a press conference on Monday, to announce the Canelo Alvarez fight. He’s out training with Ben Davison and Josh Taylor, who has just had his fight postponed for May 2 as well. No one knows what they’re doing. It’s the moment where you’ve got to stay focused, you’ve got to stay disciplined. I believe Billy Joe Saunders will fight Canelo Alvarez, as long as the boxing schedule returns this summer.”
Report: Canelo-GGG 3 Agreed To
By: Sean Crose
Lance Pugmire of the Athletic is reporting that Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are agreeing to meet for a third time. The fight will hopefully take place this coming September, provided Canelo can get past Billy Joe Saunders, who he’s still supposed to face in spite of the recent turmoil caused by the Corona Virus pandemic. Canelo was last seen winning a version of the light heavyweight title after stopping Sergey Kovalev late in a tough fight. Golovkin was last spotted in the ring grinding out a grueling win against Sergey Derevyanchenko. Agreeing to a third fight is clearly the most lucrative and fan friendly decision each man can make at this point in their respective careers.
Golovkin was long the most avoided man in boxing. A highly skilled stalker, the Kazakh was as patient in the ring as he was lethal. He was, in a sense, a larger version of Julio Caesar Chavez, another fighter who would calmly break down his prey. Canelo, on the other hand, had gone from “Floyd Mayweather Opponent” to being the most popular athlete in boxing. What’s more, the man’s skills seemed to sharpen parallel to his rise to the top of the sport. By the time the two fighters met for middleweight supremacy in 2017, theirs was the biggest bout the sport of boxing could make that didn’t include Mayweather.
The fight lived up to the hype. Although there was no stoppage or knockdowns, each man went to war, providing viewers with a high octane affair. The final decision of the judges, however, proved to be highly controversial. Although most felt Golovkin had clearly done enough to win, the match was ruled a draw. Things became even more intense when Canelo tested positive for a banned substance in the lead up to the highly anticipated rematch. Canelo’s team blamed it on tainted beef. Others weren’t having it. Still, Canelo went on to win a razor close second fight with the man who had by then become his arch nemesis.
Even though there were those who felt Golovkin might not ever get the judge’s nod against Canelo – who judges have long had a love affair with – people still called for a third fight. Canelo argued he didn’t want one…apparently, until now. Should Canelo-Golovkin 3 transpire, it will undoubtedly air live on the DAZN streaming service, which now airs both men’s fights.
It’s Between Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders For Canelo’s Next Opponent
By: Hans Themistode
When it comes down to choosing an opponent for four division boxing champion Canelo Alvarez’s next ring appearance, it seems to be a merry go round. The only difference on this ride, is that it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.
Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) has just about everyone calling him out. When you become a world champion in three weight classes simultaneously, the amount of callouts grows exponentially.
In his past three fights, Canelo campaigned in three different weight classes. First, Canelo needed only three rounds to rip away the WBA “Regular” title from Rocky Fielding. He grabbed the IBF crown in the Middleweight division from Daniel Jacobs shortly after, before capping things off with a brutal 11th round stoppage over Sergey Kovalev for his Light Heavyweight WBO belt.
Canelo may have been proud of the work that he has done as of late, but he now wakes up every single day to a new rumor from an opponent he quite possibly didn’t even know existed.
The latest Canelo news involved WBA “Regular” Middleweight titlist Ryota Murata. Apparently, he not only had his own intentions of fighting Canelo but he also intended on dragging him across the world to Japan in order to do so.
Before anyone could even wrap their heads around the news, Murata had seemingly out of nowhere, became the front runner.
Fans of Canelo begrudgingly, began to pack their bags to head half way across the world. Yet, it seems as though the long road trip won’t be needed. According to ESPN the Mexican born Canelo has narrowed his choices down to two opponents, and none include Murata.
Leading the large pack of Canelo opponent hopefuls is WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and WBC titlist Callum Smith.
Both front runners are coming off uninspiring performances in their last ring outing. For Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) he managed to score a stoppage win over the unknown Marcelo Esteban Coceres, but looked flat and uninterested throughout. As for Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) he struggled far more than anyone was expecting against his mandatory challenger John Ryder.
Pay no mind to either performance. Smith has the height, power and reach to give Canelo all sorts of issues, while Saunders is the sort of boxer that if he is on his best day, can take down anyone.
With Murata now officially out of the running, Canelo is expected to make a decision in terms of who he will choose as an opponent within the next few weeks. Of course, another dark horse candidate could appear but for now, it seems as though both Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders have the inside track to get the fight next.
Oscar De La Hoya Heaps Praise on Ryan Garcia and Gives an Update on Canelo Alvarez
By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Oscar De La Hoya burst onto the boxing scene, he was an instant star.
His 1992 Olympic gold medal and world titles in six different weight classes helped fuel a star studded career. De La Hoya hasn’t stepped into the boxing ring from a competitive standpoint in over a decade, but now as a promoter, he has helped put several boxers on the map.
His biggest star, Canelo Alvarez is universally known as the face of boxing. His youngest, Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia is on the fast track to a great career himself.
Most of the older boxers who have retired from the sport have taken on the “get off my lawn” sort of approach to the boxers of today.
If anyone understands just how difficult it is to build a star profile from scratch, it would be De La Hoya. With Garcia headlining the first card of his career on Valentine’s Day, February 14th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, De La Hoya is happy as can be to have someone so young and talented as Garcia. At just 21 years of age, De La Hoya can mold Garcia into one of the biggest names in the sport today.
“There is so much talent out there these days that it sometimes does make it a little harder,” said De La Hoya when discussing the difficulties of building a star boxer today as opposed to the era he grew up in. “But when you have a talent like Ryan Garcia, it makes it a little easier because he is doing the work, he’s fighting in the ring and proving himself. As a promoter, it makes my job a lot easier. Yeah we still have to organize the whole event and negotiate and the venue and all of that so it’s a lot of work but when you have a fighter like Ryan who gets it, it makes my job a lot easier.”
Garcia might be making the life of De La Hoya easier now, but it wasn’t always like that. Garcia came into the sport of boxing as a young 18 year old kid who believed he knew everything. The attitude and cockiness he showed both inside and outside of the ring may have brought him fans, but it was a constant headache for De La Hoya. Garcia isn’t exactly a vet at 21 years of age, but he has at the very least, matured.
“It’s experience. Every fight that you have, every training camp, every day that you sweat, blood and tears it helps. It’s just the experience. You gain that momentum and confidence where you feel like you can take on the whole world. Only fights can do that for you and taking on people who are better, stronger, faster and training more can do that for you. Ryan obviously hasn’t even reached his peak because he is so young but he is gaining that experience so that he could be the very best.”
The experience and maturity coupled with of course his skill level, has led directly to Garcia headlining this February 14th, card. It’s a milestone event for the young prospect but it could come with a major issue. Once a fighter transitions from the undercard to the main event, they seldom ever want to go back to the role of an undercard fighter again.
“We will have to see. Being under Canelo is always a good thing. But we’ll have to see because I believe that Ryan Garcia is going to be bigger than a lot of fighters that I promote. People love him. As long as he keeps performing the way he is performing then I think the sky’s the limit.”
Garcia might be a fighter on his way to stardom but the sports biggest star in Canelo Alvarez has his own fight date coming within the next few months.
“I have a pending trip to his hometown in Mexico very soon. That’s our little ritual, we go down there and stay there for a few days and talk for hours and hours to figure out the game plan. Hopefully within the next couple weeks we will have somebody nailed down in concrete.”
Finding an opponent for Alvarez is both easy and extremely difficult at the same time. The Mexican star currently campaigns at three different weight divisions. Those being Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight. So while the options are long, it also means that everyone wants their shot at him. One name in particular that has emerged as a front runner is current WBO Super Middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders. If that’s the name your hoping will be announced, don’t hold your breath.
“No, not at all.”
With Billy Joe Saunders effectively out of the running for the Canelo fight, fans will just have to wait to find out who he’ll take on next.
Canelo Alvarez Vacates WBO Light Heavyweight Title
By: Sean Crose
After winning the WBO light heavyweight title in impressive fashion last month by stopping the skillful Sergey Kovalev late in the fight, Canelo Alvarez has decided to vacate that title in order to move on to greener pastures. Although people instantly started thinking about how the Mexican star would fair against other current light heavyweight champions (Artur Beiterbev, Dmitry Bivol) immediately after his victory after the veteran Kovalev, those matchups will remain in the imagination rather than transpire in the ring. Having relinquished the title on Tuesday, Canelo is now on record having held the WBO championship for just over six weeks.
“I know,” Canelo claimed, “that my accomplishments in the ring have brought pride to my fans and my country.” Although he abdicated one of the organization’s belts, Canelo showed typical respect and courtesy when referring to the WBO. “I have long enjoyed my relationship with the WBO and appreciate all they do to preserve and enhance the sport of boxing,” he said. “This agreement allows the WBO to have its light heavyweight title contested regularly and allows me to pursue bouts against the best opponents, regardless of weight class.” Worth noting is the fact that Canelo won the WBOs super welterweight title by besting Liam Smith in 2017.
Canelo’s promoter, Golden Boy honcho Oscar De La Hoya, came across as fine with his fighter’s decision. “We completely support ,” he said, “the decision made by Canelo Alvarez and the WBO.” De La Hoya then engaged in the promotion business by building up his fighter’s November achievement. “Canelo made history by stopping Sergey Kovalev in impressive fashion to become a four-division world champion.” De La Hoya went on to point out his fighter’s ability to successfully navigate his way through differing weight divisions: “Not only did he show that he is a real threat at 175 pounds, but he also demonstrated that he is fully capable of moving across several divisions to look for the most exciting fights for the fans.”
WBO head Francisco Valcarcel also voiced support for Canelo. “Canelo has already accomplished much in boxing, and is still a young man,”Valcarcel claimed. “When his career is done, he will be regarded as one of the greatest boxers to ever step into the ring, and one of Mexico’s best fighters ever. We look forward to his future fights against rivals at the top of the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and other divisions.”
Questions will now undoubtedly turn towards who Canelo may indeed fight next. He clearly has no great interest in facing Gennady Golovkin, the middleweight powerhouse who most feel bested Canelo in at least one of their two fights (Canelo was given a controversial draw in the first battle, and a controversial win in the second). No one knows for sure, however, whether or not Canelo will return to middleweight at this point – perhaps to face another high level opponent in that division. Canelo might also choose to return to super middleweight, where he won a belt in late 2018, in order to face a high end opponent in that particular weight realm.
Canelo Vows To Never Allow DAZN to Delay Future Contests
By: Hans Themistode
This past November 2nd, was a historic day in boxing history. Yet, it was also a frustrating one.
Canelo Alvarez was successful in his bid to become a four division world champion as he moved up to the Light Heavyweight division to take on then champion Sergey Kovalev. The contest took place at the MGM Grand, Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although Alvarez was giving up a ton of size in the contest, he found a way to come away with the victory. The contest started slow between the two, but things picked up in the later rounds. After appearing to slow down, Alvarez managed to stop his bigger opponent in the eleventh round courtesy of a right hand from Alvarez.
The results of the contest were not surprising, but what preceded said bout was.
Although Canelo vs Kovalev was a huge contest. One that drew the interest of both hardcore and casual fans, it wasn’t the only massive contest that took place on the night. Several hundred miles away at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, UFC stars Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz took the city by storm at UFC 244.
Not only were the two contest taking place on the same night, but they were also taking place at roughly the same time. Fight fans would be forced to choose between the two. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It doesn’t occur often but when it does, both contests usually take place and fans simply choose where their allegiance lies. This time around however, something unusual happened.
Following a quick stoppage win in the first round during the co main event, fans and media alike were forced to wait over an hour and a half for the main event to take place. Instead of allowing both Canelo and Kovalev to take place, DAZN decided to put their main event on hold while they awaited the conclusion of Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
Yes, DAZN made the biggest star in boxing wait while another contest in an entirely different sport took place.
Wait, there’s more.
DAZN also played the UFC contest in the arena to the thousands of fans that were waiting.
Multiple camera shots showed both Canelo and Kovalev taking a nap on their respective couches in the back room while they awaited their turn to enter the ring.
DAZN’s logic behind their thought process was that if they simply waited for the UFC contest to be over, that they would see even more subscriptions. According to executive’s with DAZN, that is exactly what happened. Although they have not confirmed just how much more subscriptions they gained from waiting.
Still, whether it was a success for DAZN or not, it left a sour taste in the mouth’s of many that were there.
Boxing promoter Leonard Ellerbe, who helped build Floyd Mayweather into the biggest star the boxing world has ever seen, was adamant in his displeasure over what the streaming platform had done to Canelo.
“That would have never happened with a Floyd/Showtime event. Never ever!” Said Ellerbe.
Add Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza amongst those who were critical of DAZN as well.
“Stalling a Canelo fight so we can all sit in the arena and watch MMA on screens is insane,” said Espinoza. “An insult to the sport of boxing in general and to Canelo & Kovalev in particular. Fans came to MGM to watch boxing. If they wanted to watch MMA, they would have stayed home and done so.”
Whether or not DAZN will pull off another delay is still questionable. However, as long as he is apart of their platform, Canelo has vowed to never allow it to happen again.
“I will not allow them to do that,” said Canelo. “At least for my fights. I will talk to them [DAZN]”.
With Canelo slated to return to the ring in May of 2020, let’s hope that we will no longer have to deal with a delay ever again.
Boxing Isn’t Dead…But Canelo May Need To Repair His Image
By: Sean Crose
Canelo Alvarez brought down over a million pay per view buys when he battled Gennady Golovkin fourteen months ago. He did the same thing when he fought Golovkin a year earlier. A million pay per view buys, for those who don’t know, are hard to come by. Only a relative handful of combat sporting events do those kinds of numbers. And boxing, thanks to Floyd Mayweather, occupies the top spots for the most pay per view buys in history. Even if this weren’t the case, however, it would be hard to imagine boxing being in a bad place right now. It’s had five million-plus pay per view events in the past five years alone. And three of them have featured Canelo.
Yet here we are, late in 2019, with obituaries being written for the sport of boxing yet again. Boxing has gotten bad press since the time of bare knuckles, of course, but in our hyperactive age its easy for even paid journalists to get caught up in the moment, to tweet, as it were, before thinking. The boxing is dead crowd have been banging their drums quite loudly lately, ever since DAZN pushed back last week’s Canelo-Kovalev fight until a UFC fight card wrapped up in New York first. It was all the naysayers needed.
Of course, these individuals could look at pay per view numbers over the past five years, or realize that there’s a whole lot more boxing out there than there are UFC events. They could look at things like fighter paychecks or overall revenue or even pictures of Wembley Stadium when a big fight goes down in London. I suspect they won’t do those things though, because research isn’t exciting, and it generally doesn’t lead to click baity articles.What research does do, however, is give people insight, perspective, and a better handle on things in general.
As for Canelo, and the fact DAZN seemed less than confident about his drawing power last weekend…I think the man’s brand may be tarnished a bit, and I think DAZN suspected as much, too. I’m not the first person to make this assertion about Canelo’s brand being tarnished, but the more I think of it, the more clear it all seems. Combat sports, after all, live or die by individual brands. It’s been that way since the time of John L Sullivan. And Canelo may be seeing stock in his brand drop. Two highly controversial decisions in the Golovkin fights, PED tests, charges of stubbornness and of receiving preferential treatment…such things take their toll.
Canelo can still be the brand he was fourteen months ago. First, though, I think he has to try to drop down in weight and settle unfinished business with Golovkin next Cinco de Mayo weekend. That should appease critics and fans alike. It will also clear the air, so that his sparkling brand might actually shine once more. As for the naysayers, let them naysay. There’s good fights out there to watch.
DAZN’s Stands Defiant In Face Of Canelo-Kovalev Criticism
By: Sean Crose
You have to give this to DAZN…the streaming service is honest. While many companies would try to pull some PR shenanigans after disappointing a good amount of customers, DAZN has literally expressed no concern whatsoever for sowing dissatisfaction among a considerable amount of it’s clientele.
After it delayed last Saturday’s Canelo-Kovalev match for 90 minutes in order to appeal to MMA fans who were watching a card of their own, I decided to reach out to DAZN for an explanation.
The streaming service got back to me Tuesday. The individual I emailed didn’t respond to my questions directly, nor did anyone else at DAZN. I was merely referred to some quotes DAZN rep Joe Markowski had given to Steve Kim, who happens to write for ESPN (which broadcast last weekend’s MMA card). The quotes, such as they are, make it clear DAZN is happy it delayed the fight for an hour and a half on Saturday. What’s more, Markowski added absolutely nothing conciliatory towards those who paid for what was literally poor customer service. Sure enough, my question to DAZN about how some perceived their weekend strategy went unanswered.
Which brings us to a simple fact – DAZN is not only disinterested in individual consumer satisfaction, it isn’t afraid of that disinterest being public knowledge. Perhaps the streaming service received such a windfall from all those MMA fans this past weekend that it no longer feels it needs to play nice. Or perhaps it’s just an operation straight out of a Dickens’ novel. Either way, its coldness is notable. Imagine, if you will, a McDonald’s in Brooklyn being shut down by a health inspector and the company responding with “hey, we made millions around the world that day, so who cares about a handful of customers in lower New York?”
Although it hasn’t released exact figures on last weekend’s subscriptions, there’s little doubt DAZN had its reasons to do what it did. It’s obvious, for instance, that the streaming service expected Canelo to face Gennady Golovkin a third time after it coughed up a fortune to show both men’s fights. Canelo’s reported refusal to play along must be beyond frustrating. DAZN can’t be faulted fordoing what it takes to make a profit, after all. According to Sports Illustrated, the numbers indicate that the vast majority of Canelo fans live on the west coast. Those viewers weren’t inconvenienced the way the rest of the country was by DAZN’s weekend delay.
All of this makes DAZNs actions a bit more understandable, sure. But those actions are still inexcusable. The complete unwillingness to express empathy for unhappy customers is quite telling. Poor customer service is a slippery slope. If you get away with it once, you’ll most likely try it again. And that sort of thing takes its toll. As does arrogantly ignoring and insulting an entire demographic. Businesses and politicians have tried it before. All it takes is a Google search to see the results of such actions.
Canelo Alvarez on Possible Artur Beterbiev Showdown: I’m Ready
By: Hans Themistode
With Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 26 KOs) making not only a successful debut at Light Heavyweight, but an explosive one in knocking out former WBO titlist Sergey Kovalev. Many, like always, have wondered what could possibly be next for the Mexican superstar.
Canelo surely won’t be short on options.
As it currently stands, Canelo now holds world titles in three different weight divisions. Middleweight, Super Middleweight and now, Light Heavyweight.
Each weight class presents its own set of dangerous opponents. In the Middleweight division fighters such as WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) and WBO champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) are both undefeated and could provide Canelo with an arduous test.
Charlo, who has a December 7th contest against Dennis Hogan, is very big for the weight class. His ability to put his opponents out with his vaunted power is unlike any other in the division. Andrade on the other hand presents a different sort of challenge, as it easy to make the argument that no one is a better overall boxer than the current WBO champion.
At the Super Middleweight division, Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) has already proven his worth by winning the WBA title and coming out victorious in the World Boxing Super Series. He is clearly the top name in the division and a contest between the two has been floating around for quite some time now.
Each of these fighters would be a worthy challenger for Canelo, but like always in his already hall of fame level career, Canelo wants to face the most dangerous fighter of them all.
Newly minted unified Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) currently holds the distinction as the best fighter in the weight class. At least according to most. Unlike Kovalev, Beterbiev is in the prime of his career.
Questions surrounding just how good Beterbiev was as a fighter were put to bed once he stopped former WBC title holder Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the tenth round of their contest. Now that Canelo now holds a belt in the same weight class, a contest between the two seems inevitable.
During the lead up of Canelo’s contest against Sergey Kovalev, he was posed with the question of whether or not he would be willing to take him on. In true Canelo fashion, he didn’t mince words or back down from a possible showdown.
“I’m ready. Kovalev is better than Beterbiev and we are fighting Kovalev so why wouldn’t we fight Beterbiev?”
Did you expect anything different from Canelo?
He has shown time and time again that he has no issues taking the sort of fights that many believe he shouldn’t. With Canelo holding world titles in multiple weight divisions however, it could be quite some time before we see these two in the ring together.
With that being said, Canelo has always been very fond of making history over and over again. There is no other fighter in any weight class that will provide Canelo with a tougher challenge nor will anyone else allow him to continue to etch his name in the history books, which makes the possibility of this contest happening sooner rather than later.
Canelo vs. Kovalev: About that Hour and a Half Wait
By: Sean Crose
It may well have been smart business for the DAZN streaming service to make paying customers wait half an eternity to watch this weekend’s Canelo Alvarez -Sergey Kovalev fight. It might also make sense for restaurants to first serve patrons who pull up in the most expensive looking vehicles, no matter how long less lucrative seeming clientele have been waiting. Business is business, after all, and no one says a business has to pay an ounce of respect to those who purchase its product. People are free to spend their money elsewhere.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Yet it appears DAZN doesn’t believe boxing fans will take their business elsewhere. Either that or the service already feels its foray into boxing is a dud and it’s time to use its resources to appeal to fans of other sports. Regardless, DAZNs decision to wait until a UFC fight ended before airing one of the top boxing events of the year has made clear what it thinks of boxing fans.
And that isn’t much.
Even UFC kingpin Dana White seemed stunned at it all, so blatant was DAZN’s ass kissing of the UFC fans it hoped to lure in to watch a late night boxing match. He was right to seem stunned. It was stunning stuff, so stunning that pictures of Canelo and Kovalev lounging about until the UFC card concluded made their way across the internet.
Not that DAZN had seemed to care. Rather than apologize or make nice with subscribers, the service reportedly boasted afterwards that putting the main event on freeze for ninety minutes paid off. Needles to say, an email to DAZN has yet to be returned (Boxinginsider will notify readers if DAZN responds).
In the meantime, boxing nuts shouldn’t be surprised if DAZN pulls a similar stunt again in the near future. Again, a business isn’t required to respect its customers. And, as things stand, DAZN is apparently feeling its act of what was essentially poor customer service paid off. Besides, sometimes you can see the writing on the wall. It was obvious for a while, for instance, that HBO had tired of boxing.In this case, it certainly doesn’t seem like the folks at DAZN are in love with boxing’s core fanbase.
On the bright side, the Canelo-Kovalev fight proved to be a success. Kovalev, the bigger man and defending WBO light heavyweight champion, flustered Canelo for round after round until the Mexican star caught his man and ended things abruptly late in the fight. Impressive stuff. If only fans got to watch the match sooner.
Much, much sooner.
What’s Next for Canelo Alvarez?
By: Hans Themistode
It wasn’t easy, but Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is officially a four weight world champion. He accomplished this feat with an 11th round knockout victory over former WBO Light Heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alvarez worked hard for his newly minted title. The long reach of Kovalev was on display for much of the contest. But like seemingly always, Alvarez adjusted to what his opponent was doing and pulled out the victory.
This now makes Canelo a champion in three separate weight classes. The options he possesses for his next fight are never ending.
Just who exactly should he step into the ring with next? We’ll give you some of his best choices below.
Who thought that a contest between these two would be possible? If you raised your hand, then you obviously haven’t been paying attention.
Canelo is always willing to fight anyone. His introduction into the Light Heavyweight division was a difficult one, but it was a task that many thought he would successfully complete. No matter what division Canelo campaigns in, he always wants to fight the best. That distinction would seem to belong to Beterbiev after successfully unifying titles in his last bout.
This is a no brainer for Canelo. Beterbiev is the new boogieman of the division. This would be a mega fight that everyone would appreciate.
Although technically Charlo now resides two divisions below Alvarez, there is reason to believe that the new Light Heavyweight champion will come back down to his more natural weight class of 160. Waiting for him will be several worthy opponents, but none more than the WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo. There aren’t many fighters in the world who has a legitimate chance of defeating Canelo, Charlo is amongst those few.
This fight hinges on Canelo coming back down in weight, but if he does, Charlo deserves a shot.
If you don’t remember, let me remind you. Canelo currently holds the WBA Super Middleweight “Regular” title after he destroyed former champion Rocky Fielding in 2018. Smith is widely regarded as the best fighter in the division and one of the best in the world as well. He is currently scheduled to defend his WBA “Super” title against John Ryder on the 23rd of November. Provided he gets through that matchup, he should continue his aggressive pursuit of Canelo. Not only would he carry into the ring both a height and reach advantage, but his power seemingly dwarfs that of Canelo as well.
That sounds familiar doesn’t it? Canelo is fresh off his stoppage win over the much bigger Sergey Kovalev and has been fighting much bigger men for the majority of his career.
With Canelo able to fight in so many different divisions, it makes this contest difficult to predict if it will actually come to fruition. However, if Canelo decides to take another fight in the Super Middleweight division, then Callum Smith should get the first crack.