De La Hoya talks Canelo Alvarez, says fighters ‘pricing themselves out’
By Sean Jones: Oscar De La Hoya is having a difficult time trying to find an opponent that fits the reduced budget for Canelo Alvarez to fight for his scheduled return to the ring on September 12.
The chances of Canelo facing a good opponent for that date appear to be slim due to the likelihood of no crowd being present. Without the gate money, it puts Golden Boy in a bind in limiting the money they can pay Canelo’s opponent and for the undercard.
The big problem is the $33 million that Canelo receives for each fight as part of his DAZN contract, and that makes it difficult for Golden Boy Promotions and De La Hoya to find a fighter with the limited money they’re working with for his next fight.
The superstar Canelo, 29, prefers to fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, but he might not going to be able to fight in front of a crowd in September if the pandemic is still creating an obstacle.
De La Hoya isn’t sure if Las Vegas will be open for live events by the time Canelo fights on September 12 on DAZN, which is going to make it a problem for him to find an opponent and put together an undercard.
Oscar worries about money
“If you take that fight to Las Vegas, to T-Mobile Arena, is it going to be open to the public? We just don’t know yet,” De La Hoya said to RingTV about Canelo’s next fight.
“It’s really not going to be enough people to generate the monies that are being paid out. That’s a big problem. That’s one of our big concerns.
“How do we pay Canelo, and how do we pay his opponent? And plus, you have to expense out the four fights that are on the undercard and all the testing that we have to do,” said De La Hoya.
Without a gate, Canelo may be stuck fighting someone like David Lemieux, Anthony Dirrell, or John Ryder in his next fight on September 12. While that may temporarily solve the problem in terms of balancing the money, it’ll result in fewer boxing fans subscribing or reactivating their suspended accounts with DAZN.
Canelo needs a talented fighter that the fans want to see him fight for him to bring in a lot of new subscribers to DAZN. He’s not going to get the numbers he needs if De La Hoya and Golden Boy pick a bargain-basement opponent that is willing to take less than a big paycheck to fight him.
When fighters hear about the huge cash Sergey Kovalev and Daniel Jacobs both received to face Canelo, they’re not going to want to be his opponent on September 12 for chickenfeed.
Would Alvarez agree to a pay cut?
One solution would be for Canelo to take less than the $33 million that he’s given per fight on his DAZN contract, and use the extra money to pay for a quality opponent and assembled undercard. So instead of Canelo getting $33 million, he could take $25 million, and let Golden Boy use the $8 million to find an opponent and help put together an undercard.
Would Canelo be willing to give up part of his guaranteed purse to help with the card? That’s unlikely, and I don’t see it happening for this fight for any of his future matches. The pandemic could last into 2021, and it’s unclear whether the vaccine will solve the problem if one is found.
If this thing lasts for three years or more years, Canelo may need to get used to fighting lower-level guys that boxing fans have scant interest in seeing. Of course, you can argue that many fans didn’t want to see Canelo’s fights against Kovalev, Rocky Fielding, Amir Khan, Jacobs, and Liam Smith.
Fighters pricing themselves out
At this point, though, Golden Boy may need to scour the bottom of the 160 and 168-pound weight classes to find Alvarez’s next opponent.
“A big problem has been these fighters are just pricing themselves out,” said De La Hoya about Canelo’s opponents. “Does the money matter or does the legacy matter?
“That’s what fighters have to ask themselves, you know? Do I really want to be a world champion or do I just want to make money and get out of the sport?”
Fighters expect to be paid top dollar when they face Canelo Alvarez, and there’s a track record for that happening. The guys that have been fighting Canelo in the last few years have made the kind of cash to where they could retire from the sport of boxing.
Fighting Canelo means that a fighter has won the lottery, and can live well with the massive money they get fighting him.
Unless Canelo wants to sacrifice some of his own purses to help find his opponents during the pandemic, he’s probably going to get stuck fighting lesser guys that boxing fans have no interest in seeing. We’re probably talking about Canelo needing to bite the bullet for September of this year and May of 2021.
Canelo’s trilogy match with Gennady Golovkin will need to wait until the pandemic is gone, and that’s not projected to happen until the second half of 2021.
Oscar worries about money
For De La Hoya to be talking about Canelo’s potential opponents pricing themselves out, it’s ridiculous. These guys are going by what Canelo’s past opponents have made, and they want to get the same kind of green.
Oscar hasn’t said what kind of money that Golden Boy is willing to offer Canelo’s opponents. Is it $1 million now? Canelo’s last opponent Kovalev received a guaranteed purse of $3 million last November. However, that number likely went a lot higher with additional money. Canelo received a guaranteed $35 million. That’s a lot of money for a fight that looked like a slow-motion sparring session.
De La Hoya rules out a fight between Canelo and Gennadiy Gololovkin for September because it’s a match that would require a crowd.
“A fight with Gennadiy Golovkin, we need a gate,” said Oscar. “We need people, we need a crowd,” De La Hoya said. “And until we know what Las Vegas is gonna do, we can’t pull the trigger on anything regarding a Canelo fight.”
Golovkin makes a lot of money per fight on DAZN as well, and that would make it impossible for Canelo and him to fight without a crowd in September. Canelo and GGG are supposed to be fighting in May of 2021, but that’s not looking good right now if the pandemic is still around, preventing boxing fans from attending live sporting events in the United States.
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