Canelo-Kirkland to go on 2-city promotional tour
By Dan Ambrose: In an effort to drum up interest in their May 9th fight, former WBA/WBC 154 pound champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) and James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) will be going on a short two-city promotional tour next Tuesday, March 2nd in Houston and San Antonio, Texas.
The Canelo-Kirkland fight isn’t a pay-per-view bout like most of Canelo’s fights are nowadays. The fight will be televised on regular HBO. The Canelo vs. Kirkland fight will take place on 5/9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
The fact that the Canelo vs. Kirkland promotional tour is limited to just two cities in Texas, it suggests that the focus of the tour is just to bring in ticket sales for the fight.
Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya is hoping to sellout then arena, but that still might be difficult to do without them doing something drastic such as touring Texas. The main problem is that De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions picked the wrong opponent for Canelo to fight.
Instead of them picking a younger, more relevant fighter like the Charlo brothers, Erislandy Lara, Demetrius Andrade or Gennady Golovkin, Golden Boy selected a fighter who hasn’t fought in ages in Kirkland. On top of that, Kirkland is overweight and will need to lose close to 50 pounds of weight to get down to the 155.
The tickets are cheap enough to potentially bring in a lot of fans. The cheapest tickets go for $10. The main question is will boxing fans in Texas be interested in either Kirkland or Canelo enough to want to make the effort to come see the fight live. The fight will be shown on HBO, and it might be the far better deal.
Fans like to see fighters when they believe that they’re seeing the best, but with the way that Canelo has fought recently in his fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout, it’s asking a lot to assume that they’ll want to come see him fight in large numbers.
There will be some fans that will want to come see the fight, but it’s unclear whether 40,000 will want to come see the fight. Unless they’re able to sellout the stadium or sell a significant portion of the stadium out, it kind of defeats the purpose for the fight to be staged in a large stadium.
It would be embarrassing if only 10,000 tickets were sold, because with that number, they could have staged the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, or another one of the smaller venues in the city.
The Kirkland fight will be a good test of Canelo’s drawing power in Texas. If he can’t draw huge numbers than it’s not a good sign. Canelo, of course, can turn things around with his career if he starts facing top level opposition and beating them without controversy, but it’s unclear whether he can do that. We saw him struggle with Lara, Trout and Mayweather, and now he’s reduced to fighting an overweight, inactive Kirkland.
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