You have to give it to Oscar de la hoya – he certainly understands that glamour match-ups and popularity go a long way in the making of superstars. Representatives of Golden Boy have confirmed that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the wildly popular Mexican star and WBC middleweight champion — who himself just happens to be no more than a super welterweight, will defend the belt he won from Miguel Cotto against (eh-mm..) Amir ‘King’ Khan on May 7 at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Two quick observations about this: It is an extremely fan friendly bout and an absolute joke at the same time.
Where do we start here? First of all, Alvarez (46-1-1, 32KOs), who earned his shot at a WBC middleweight title that Miguel Cotto had no business holding himself by blasting “B” warrior and club-fighter James Kirkland, is technically two full weight classes beyond Amir Khan. This fight is all about a spectacular event to set up a mega-bout with KO machine and budding superstar Gennady Golovkin, the RING pound-for-pound #3 best fighter in the game.
There’s wild and very real speculation that Golovkin may be set to face ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins on the same card to set up the expected fall superfight between Golovkin and Alvarez. As great as GGG has looked in dispatching everyone he’s faced in brutal fashion (including a flamboyant stoppage of David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden in NYC last October), this fight proves boxing is a popularity contest, where substance takes a backseat to style.
The Kazakh KO machine needs a high profile win over someone well known to extol PPV dollars from a casual public that still doesn’t really know him- as evidenced from the poor PPV numbers his bout with Lemieux generated. Even though it was a fantastic event. If Hopkins does indeed make himself available to GGG, his very life might be at stake, as he was fortunate to survive a brutal beating from Sergey Kovalev in November 2014.
But now we know why the WBC reneged on its mandate that Alvarez fight Golovkin on May 7, thus allowing GGG and Canelo more time to build up their inevitable war. The problem is, you the public will have to pay for a non-competitive tune up card via PPV– just to get the opportunity to pay for the fight you really want to see. Make sense?
Khan (31-3, 19KOs), a fighter who would’ve made more sense to be in with Danny Garcia (who brutally KO’d him in July 2012) instead of a hard working Robert Guerrero a few weeks ago for the WBC welterweight title, will be fighting some eight pounds north of 147lbs after agreeing to a catchweight of 155 to face Alvarez for the middleweight belt. For perspective, “A Mere Con” hasn’t been a belt holder since losing his super lightweight belt to Lamont Peterson in December 2011, never avenged his super lightweight KO loss to Danny Garcia and was stopped by Bredis Prescott at lightweight in 2008.
What the hell is he going to do with Canelo Alvarez?
Khan whined after not being able to get superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the ring, and has played diva with IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, even though deals were put in front of him by Brook’s camp to stage an all U.K. superbout between them prior to this announcement. But this is boxing in 2016, where things like weight classes, honor and pedigree don’t matter as they did in the past. “Con” didn’t look good against Chris Algieri last May (in fact, Algieri was robbed) and didn’t exactly scare anyone against Devon Alexander before that. But never-the-less, here he is vying for one of the most prestigious titles in all of sports.
A few years ago, Alvarez was fed an overmatched and smaller Josesito Lopez in September 2012, whom he dispatched in 5 rounds prior to facing Austin Trout in March 2013. Canelo was of course on a collision course to face Floyd Mayweather, so a similar strategy appears to be in play as he sets himself up to collide with the most feared fighter on the planet in GGG. For more on this event and all of the ongoing drama sure to come with it, please visit Real Combat Media.