De La Hoya hopes Canelo vs. Kirkland breaks Chavez-Whitaker attendance record at Alamodome in San Antonio, TX
By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya is hoping that his fighter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s fight against James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) on May 2nd will break the long-standing record for attendance at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The date of the Canelo-Kirkland fight may change from the 2nd of May to the 9th, depending on whether the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao mega-fight takes place on May 2nd.
Canelo-Kirkland can’t take place on the same night on May 2nd as Mayweather-Pacquiao, because that pay-per-view broadcast will be televised on both HBO and Showtime. Unless Canelo wants to be a part of that card, he has pretty much no other choice but to fight on a different date, because it’s highly unlikely that HBO is going to televise two separate boxing cards on the same day on their network.
The record of 58,891 fans was set by the Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Pernell Whitaker fight on September 10th, in 1993 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. De La Hoya believes the Canelo-Kirkland fight can bring in over 60,000 fans. That’s obviously a highly ambitious number, given how Canelo has fought recently with a loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr, a questionable victory over Erislandy Lara, a poor performance against Austin Trout, and a victory over a weight-drained Alfredo Angulo.
“We will fill the arena and we will seek to break the attendance record that Chavez in his fight against Whitaker at the Alamodome,” De La Hoya said via Debate.com.mx.
The last time that Canelo fought at the Alamodome in 2013, he drew 40,000 fans. However, that was in a much meaningful title fight against Trout, rather than Canelo fighting a guy who hasn’t fought since 2013 in James Kirkland. Trout was at the top of his game when he took that fight, and it was considered a competitive match-up on paper.
In contrast, Kirkland has been out of the ring for ages, he’s reportedly badly out of shape and near 200 pounds, and he’s not going to be trained by Ann Wolfe. This has Canelo victory written all over this fight, and it’s not seen as a match-up that is nearly as competitive on paper as the Canelo-Trout fight was.
The tickets for the Canelo-Trout fight were said to have been heavily discounted in order to bring in a lot of fans. Unless Golden Boy and Canelo plan on discounting the tickets in the same manner, and perhaps giving away a large amount, it probably is unrealistic to assume that Canelo will be able to bring in anywhere close to the same numbers he did last time he fought at the Alamodome.
As far as the 60,000 number that De La Hoya has been talking about, I think that’s totally unrealistic. Canelo isn’t at the level that Chavez was when he fought Whitaker in 1993 in terms of fan appeal. Canelo’s fights against Mayweather, Trout and Lara have kind of exposed him to many fans as not the guy that he was thought of back in 2013 before his fight against Trout.
For boxing fans who may not remember, the Chavez vs. Whitaker fight was a very controversial fight in which the judges scored the fight a 12 round draw despite many fans seeing the fight as a clear victory for Whitaker.
Yes, it was a huge crowd at the Chavez-Whitaker fight, but the event was tainted in the minds of many fans due to Chavez getting a draw in a fight that they felt that he should have lost. I’ve personally seen the Chavez-Whitaker fight many times, and I don’t know how the judges were able to score that as a draw, because it seemed like a conclusive victory for Whitaker. Hopefully for the sake of boxing, we don’t see the Canelo vs. Kirkland fight wind up with a similar outcome.
We already saw Canelo win a controversial decision over Erislandy Lara in his last fight in July of last year in a bout that many fans saw as a Lara victory. We also saw Canelo beat Austin Trout by a wide 12 round decision at the Alamodome in April 2013 in a fight that some fans scored as a draw while others scored it as a victory for Trout. The thing is two of the judges gave Canelo a wide victory by scoring it 118-109 and 116-111. The third judge scored it 115-112 for Canelo. I had Trout winning the fight by a comfortable margin.
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