Arum wants Canelo and GGG on ESPN
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum would welcome having WBA/WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez and former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin coming over to ESPN to have their fights televised/streamed on that network now that their contracts with HBO are up.
Canelo defeated Golovkin by a 12 round majority decision in their rematch on HBO PPV on September 15. Which network Canelo and GGG wind up on next could determine whether they face each other in a trilogy fight. Arum would love to have Canelo and GGG come over to ESPN.
It would be a big shot in the arm for ESPN to have Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and GGG wind up on their network. The ratings would be huge for the two fighters, especially if it were on regular ESPN. Of course, it would be bad if two continue to be involved in controversial decisions like we’ve seen with them, but Golovkin hadn’t dealt with that until his two fights with Canelo and his fight with Daniel Jacobs.
For ESPN to get Canelo and GGG, it would likely cost a lot to sign them both. Whether the network has the desire to sign the two to contracts is unclear. Canelo and GGG would be great additions to ESPN if they could get them both, because they’re two of the most popular fighters in U.S boxing. Manny Pacquiao is 39-years-old and on his way out of the sport, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. rarely fights nowadays as he floats in and out of retirement.
“In our agreement with ESPN we will welcome all promoters,” said Arum to ESPN Deportes. ”If Oscar de la Hoya is sincere and Golden Boy wants to make fights on ESPN in that agreement, we are open, in the same way we will be for Tom Loeffler and Gennady Golovkin. It would be lovely (to have ‘Canelo’ and GGG)…we would be open to having ‘Canelo’ and GGG on ESPN,” Arum said.
Canelo and Golovkin are expected to face each other in a rematch in 2019 in either May or September. If ESPN could be the one that streams that fight on ESPN PPV, it would help attract boxing fans to watch more of their boxing content on their network and potentially subscribe to their ESPN+ app.
Top Rank Boxing has fights coming up involving WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford defending against Jose Benavidez on ESPN+ on October 13, and Vasyl Lomachenko facing Jose Pedraza in December. Arum wants to setup a fight between Crawford and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2019, but whether the fight takes place is another question. Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) fights on Showtime/CBS, and he’d unlikely agree to fight on ESPN against Crawford. By the same token, Arum probably isn’t about to allow Crawford to fight on Showtime in a match against Spence. The only way a unification fight between Spence and Crawford would workout is if the two networks – ESPN and Showtime/CBS – would agree to televise the Spence-Crawford fights on both networks. Since neither fighter is a pay-per-view start at this time, it would mean smaller ratings for them. This isn’t a Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao type of situation where you’re talking about huge audiences flocking to both networks due to the high popularity of the two fighters. Spence and Crawford have yet to establish themselves as bankable stars despite being talented fighters. If the networks were to agree to have the Spence vs. Crawford fight shown on ESPN and Showtime/Fox, it would be smaller ratings and likely not worth it for them to televise the fight.
Canelo Alvarez still plans on fighting in December
Saul Canelo Alvarez says his plans are for him to return to the ring in December against an opponent still to be determined. Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) won’t be slowed by the cut that he received in his win over Gennady Golovkin in their rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo plans on resuming training to get ready for a fight on December 15 against a still to determined opponent. It’s unclear whether Canelo will fight on HBO or not. According to Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, his contract with HBO is up. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. If Canelos contract isn’t up, then he’ll be back with HBO for his next fight.
“I want to keep active, personally, I want to fight in December; tomorrow, Saturday, I’m going to have my stitches removed with a surgeon here in Guadalajara, and give me their point of view, but my plan is to fight in December, “said Canelo to ESPN Deportes.
Canelo will take a week off before he starts training for his next fight on December 15. Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso will be talking to his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions to find out the name of his next opponent will be for December and what date the fight will be taking place. Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux is the fighter whose name is being mentioned as the most probable opponent for Alvarez to fight in December. WBC interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo is another name that is being mentioned as a possible option for Canelo to fight in December. Jermall would be a dangerous foe for Canelo to take after the tough fight that he had against Golovkin on September 15.
Canelo is open to staying with HBO, even though it could potentially isolate him from some of the other top fighters, who are signing with Matchroom Boxing and Showtime. If Canelo winds up in an isolate position with HBO, it might limit his ability to get big fights and continue being the popular fighter he’s been in the past. Canelo has been involved in some big money fights on HBO.
These are the big money fights Canelo has had while on HBO:
– Canelo vs. Miguel Cotto – 938,000 buys
– Canelo vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. – 1,000,000 buys
– Canelo vs. Gennady Golovkin – 1,300,000 buys
– Canelo vs. Amir Khan – 600,000 buys
– Canelo vs. Liam Smith – 300,000 buys
Canelo needs bigger names for him to bring in the big money. His fights against Liam Smith and Amir Khan failed to bring in the huge cash. If Cotto had fought Cotto earlier in his career before he was exposed by Antonio Margarito, Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather, he likely would have made a lot more money fighting him. What Canelo doesn’t need is to isolate himself on a network where he’ll face limited options when it comes to opponents. For example, if Golovkin winds up signing with ESPN or Showtime/CBS, it might make it problematic trying to setup a trilogy fight against Canelo if the Mexican star extends his contract with HBO.
Reynoso says he welcomes the idea of Canelo fighting the likes of Jermell Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, David Lemieux or Daniel Jacobs for his next fight. Reynoso feels that Canelo has already proven himself by beating the best middleweight in the division in Golovkin, so he’s not worried about him facing any of those guys. However, styles make fights, and those guys might prove to be even more of a problem for Canelo than GGG did. Those are taller and younger fighters than GGG. However, it’s still unlikely that Canelo will choose to fight the likes of the Charlo, Saunders or Jacobs.