Canelo Alvarez’s next fight possible for Indio, Alcatraz Island or Mount Rushmore
By Dan Ambrose: Oscar De La Hoya has his eyes on three possible venues to stage Canelo Alvarez’s September 12 fight. His first choice is at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, California. Golden Boy has a relationship with the Fantasy Springs management, which gives that place a high chance of having Canelo fight there.
Indio is where Golden Boy Promotions is staging their July 24 card headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr vs. Samuel Vargas. It’s a small venue and just perfect for the pandemic, which makes crowds irrelevant. The superstar Canelo’s September fight will be behind closed doors, making it unnecessary for Golden Boy to book a larger venue.
De La Hoya is also interested in potentially staging the soon to be 30-year-old Canelo’s next fight at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California or Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
If Golden Boy selects one of those two places, it would be an outdoor event for Canelo, who still doesn’t have an opponent.
Golden Boy leaning towards the Fantasy Springs
If Canelo fights on Alcatraz Island, it would require everyone to be transported by boats to and from the place. There would be nothing easy about having Canelo fight in that location.
“You know, a venue like Fantasy Springs is very possible,” said De La Hoya said to the Desert Sun. “If our options are Mount Rushmore and Alcatraz and Fantasy Springs, I wouldn’t mind going to Fantasy Springs because it would be the most convenient for us because of our partnership. It’s something we’ve discussed internally.”
Oscar will decide on the location for Alvarez’s next fight in “next couple weeks.” Given how much hard work it would be involved in Golden Boy nailing down Alcatraz or Mount Rushmore for Alvarez’s next fight, it’s highly unlikely they’ll choose one of those places.
Once Golden Boy picks out specific places for Canelo to fight, they often repeatedly go back to the same location. For example, Canelo Alvarez has competed at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas FIVE times in his career, and at the MGM Grand in Vegas seven times.
One reason why Canelo probably won’t be fighting at the Fantasy Springs after the pandemic ends is the limited amount of seating. The place holds around 5,000 is considerably smaller than the venues that Alvarez is accustomed to fighting in Las Vegas, New York, and Texas.
There are now less than two months to go, and Canelo’s opponent hasn’t been selected. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez seemed nonchalant recently in giving an interview in which he said there’s no rush to pick Canelo’s next opponent because they don’t need to sell tickets.
Canelo’s opponent might not be announced until August
Eric says Golden Boy might wait until August before Canelo’s September 12 opponent is announced. As of Wednesday, John Ryder is the fighter that is rumored to be Canelo’s opponent.
It would require a lot more effort by De La Hoya and Golden Boy for them to place Alvarez’s September fight at Alcatraz or Mount Rushmore. There would be a lot of red-tape to deal with in getting the National Park Service to agree to let Golden Boy use one of those places for Canelo’s next fight.
Alcatraz is a former Federal Penitentiary that closed in 1963. It’s now used for year-round tours to the public. The rationale for why De La Hoya is considering Alcatraz and Mount Rushmore as a location for Canelo’s fight is he believes it would be an excellent way for him to showcase his talent. The picturesque views of those locations would give the viewing audience at home something interesting to see.
“I always go back to relationships and Fantasy Springs has been an amazing partner,” said De La Hoya fawning about the Indio venue.
“We love the venue and it’s convenient. The fact that the gate is irrelevant, it makes all the sense in the world.”
If De La Hoya wants to impress the casual boxing fans, then Alcatraz or Mount Rushmore would be the ideal place to achieve that end for Canelo’s next fight. But Golden Boy can’t afford to be lazy about it. They would need to work hard in setting up the fight in those areas, and it’s hard to picture them doing that.
Golden Boy needs to move quickly
With the way that Golden Boy is moving glacially slow in picking Canelo’s next opponent, it suggests that they wouldn’t be able to move quickly enough to book Alcatraz or Mount Rushmore. These are locations that you can’t drag your feet and wait until August to set something up. Golden Boy needs to be proactive to get one of those places.
DAZN needs Canelo to face someone that the boxing fans want to see him fight, but Golden Boy is likely to fall short on that end. If the rumors are true that British fighter John Ryder (28-5, 16 KOs) is selected for Canelo’s September 12 match, this would be a move to please the UK boxing fans.
DAZN is making its global launch in the United Kingdom, which makes it ideal if Golden Boy selects a British fighter for Alvarez’s next match. The choices are limited; unfortunately, Billy Joe Saunders, a well known Brit, recently pulled his name out of contention for the Canelo fight because he needed more than ten weeks to train to trim down his physique.
Saunders put on a lot of weight during the lockdown, and he can’t take it off in the ten weeks remaining before Alvarez’s September fight. With Billy Joe out of the running, it leaves Ryder and Callum Smith as the only two guys that Golden Boy is said to be looking at for September. Callum (27-0, 19 KOs) has already turned down one offer from Golden Boy, and he’s a risky fight for Canelo due to his size and power.
Callum Smith an option for Alvarez
For Canelo to fight the 6’2″ Callum Smith, he would mostly be facing another light heavyweight. It’s unclear whether Canelo possesses the self-confidence needed to meet a 175-pounder again.
According to Mike Coppinger, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn offered Golden Boy the option of picking Dmitry Bivol as a potential opponent for Canelo, but he’s not heard anything back. Even though Bivol fights at 175, he’s smaller than super middleweight Callum Smith.
Given that Canelo wasn’t interested in defending his WBO light heavyweight belt after beating Sergey Kovalev, it makes it unlikely that he’ll select Callum for his September fight.
- Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders in Arlington, TX or Las Vegas on May 8th
- Jake Paul dares Canelo to fight Benavidez, Charlo, Ward & Andrade
- Tony Yoka vs Djeko on March 5th, LIVE on ESPN+ & Premier Sports
- Canelo Alvarez says Billy Joe Saunders will be “easy work”