By Dan Ambrose: If Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) gets past WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) this Saturday night, we could see Canelo facing former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao in his next fight. According to Lance Pugmire, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum spoke to him this week, saying that Canelo is now one of the guys that he’s interested in matching against Pacquiao.
“Bob Arum told me this week that Manny Pacquiao may be on the table for you,” Pugmire said to Canelo.
This is interesting because the guys that Arum had previously been considering for Pacquiao were less appealing opponent like Amir Khan, Terence Crawford and Tim Bradley for Pacquiao’s April fight next year. But if Pacquiao chooses Canelo, then he’d be assured of getting a huge money fight for his April fight.
It would obviously be a much bigger payday for Pacquiao than he’d get facing Crawford, Khan or Bradley. It’s also a fight that would interest more of the boxing public, provided that Canelo gets past Cotto this Saturday.
“Yes, of course, it’s a fight [Canelo vs. Pacquiao] that could happen in the future, but right now my focus is on Miguel Cotto 100 percent and nobody else. I am not thinking about the future,” Canelo said to Lance Pugmire of the latimes.com about a fight against Pacquiao.
It looks like Canelo is playing it low key right now about the Pacquiao fight. It doesn’t make sense for Canelo to show a lot of interest in fighting the Filipino fighter until the Cotto fight is out of the way.
Arum had previously talked of matching the 5’6” Bradley against Canelo for his next fight. Arum said he spoke to Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya about matching Bradley against Canelo, and he was in favor of that fight taking place. Arum reportedly didn’t like the idea of Pacquiao being the one to face Canelo because of the size differences between the two fighters.
However, with Arum OK with the even smaller 5’6” Bradley facing Canelo, it took away any argument that Arum might have for not letting the 5’6 ½” Pacquiao fight Canelo, because he’s slightly taller than Bradley, almost the same weight, and much more elusive with better hand speed. I can see how it would be in Pacquiao’s best interest to step in front of Bradley to take the fight with Canelo for himself because it’s the second biggest fight that could be made in boxing right now for Pacquiao if Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn’t make a comeback to face Pacquiao next year.
Pacquiao vs. Canelo isn’t as good as a rematch against Mayweather obviously, but it’s definitely the next biggest payday for Pacquiao. We’re probably talking about a fight that could bring in over 2 million buys between Pacquiao and Canelo. Mayweather vs. Canelo drew 2.2 million buys on Showtime pay-per-view two years ago in 2013. But with Pacquiao vs. Canelo fight taking place on HBO with their larger subscription rate, it could easily come in over 2 million buys to surpass the Mayweather-Canelo fight.
I think a lot of boxing fans would purchase the Canelo vs. Pacquiao fight just to see if Canelo would be able to send Pacquiao into retirement with a knockout loss. There would be a lot of intrigue there with this fight.