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Canelo vs. Khan 3-city press tour starts on Monday, 2/29

Amir Khan Canelo AlvarezBy Dan Ambrose: This coming Monday on February 29, WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) and his welterweight challenger Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) will begin the first stop of their three-city international press tour in London, England at the Park Plaza at 12 noon GMT.

The second stop of the press tour will be on Tuesday, March 1 in New York at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square at 12:00 p.m. ET. The tour will wrap up on Wednesday, March 2 in Los Angeles, California at the Universal City’s Walk’s Five Towers stage at 3 p.m. for fans to arrive with the start of the press tour at 6 p.m. PT.

Khan is expected to do most of the talking during the press conferences, because he speaks English and he’s very verbal. Khan is easily one of the best talkers in boxing. He should be able to make up for what we don’t get from Canelo. Khan may need to carry the press conferences if Canelo is his usual stoic self. If Khan can monopolize the time at the podium, it might be interesting to watch.

The three-city press tour will publicizing the Canelo-Khan fight on May 7 fight on HBO pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In additional to the press tour, there is expected to be an HBO 24/7 series of episodes to hype the fight.

“This is Canelo’s coming out party. Canelo now has the opportunity to become that next exciting pay-per-view king and Tecate will definitely help with his popularity here in the United States,” De La Hoya told ESPN.com. “When you connect with the American consumer it’s like you’ve made it. He [Canelo] understands how important it is,” De La Hoya said about Canelo speaking/learning English. “He’s been a little shy about speaking it because he likes to do everything perfect.”

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya is calling it Canelo’s coming out party, as he’s expected to speak in English during the 24/7 episodes and during the press tours. Canelo is studying English with a tutor, and the idea is to turn him into a crossover star like De La Hoya was during his career.

It’s going to be a real test to see whether Canelo will speak English or instead speak in Spanish with an interpreter alongside him like we’ve seen from him in pass press conferences. IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has proven that you don’t need to be able to speak perfect English in order to win fans. Just as long as you try, smile a lot, and come across as personable, the fans love you.

Canelo will need to think about smiling a little while he’s talking, and say some positive things to make the fans like him. Canelo hasn’t been known for smiling a lot at the press conferences, especially after he was beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and after he struggled to win controversial decisions over Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout.

This is a fight that could attract a lot of attention worldwide compared to Canelo’s past fights, because he’s facing a popular British fighter in Khan. It’s considered a mismatch in the eyes of the boxing public because of Khan moving up from the 147lb division to take the fight, but you never really know.

Canelo is a slow fighter on his feet, and he’s just 25. Canelo has not looked good in his toughest fights of his caeer, and he’s someone that probably should have an additional three losses on his record. Being popular is nice obviously, because Canelo has gotten the benefit of the doubt several of his fights. This fight could wind up being Canelo’s biggest PPV fight in which he’s the A-side. He brought in 2.2 million PPV buys in his fight against Mayweather in 2013, but it was Mayweather who was the A-side attraction in that fight.

In Canelo’s last fight against Miguel Cotto last November, the fight brought in 900,000 PPV buys on HBO. Cotto was considered the A-side in that fight. But, now Canelo is clearly the A-side against Khan, and if the fight can bring in more than 900,000 pay-per-view buys, it would be a big deal. It would prove that Canelo is the biggest pay-per-view attraction in the sport now that Mayweather is retired and Manny Pacquiao is going out the door after his final fight of his career on April 9.

If Canelo vs. Khan can bring in over 1 million PPV buys, then Canelo can use that as a tool to get a better cut of the revenue from his future opponents, and he can use it to get his opponents to cave in on his catch-weight handicap requests.


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