Saul “Canelo” Alvarez calls the shots when it comes to his career. The 30-year-old Mexican star has leveraged his drawing power this year into not only breaking free of his promotional ties with Golden Boy Promotions, but also restructuring his massive $365 million deal with streaming service DAZN to his even greater benefit.
Now, the four-division world champ and top box office draw has the kind of career independence, ala Floyd Mayweather, that could see him start raking in the really crazy money.
But, first, there needs to be a steady stream of bankable opponents for him to face. Head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza, feels he can oblige Canelo with his roster of Showtime-friendly fighters competing under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner.
“I think there’s a lot of intriguing fights [for Alvarez],” Espinoza told FightHype.com prior to Saturday’s Nonito Donaire-Nordine Oubaali in Carson, California. “Jermall Charlo has said that he would move up to 168 for that. I think that’s a great fight. David Benavidez I think is maybe the most interesting fight of all given David’s size and skill set. Caleb Plant, obviously, that would be for the undisputed title. You can even throw Errol Spence in there, there’s been discussion of that…I think there’s a lot of intriguing fights for Canelo.”
The Showtime executive is confident that Alvarez will be attracted to the fighters his side of the fence can deliver to him, not only because of their status and competitive ability, but also because of the appeal they may have to fans.
“He’s never hesitated to take the tough fights. Going back to when he was with Showtime…He fought Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara when everyone was telling him not to. So, you really can’t doubt his willingness to take on the best. So, right now, to me, that says, in some order: Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, Errol Spence. Those are the most intriguing fights…Those are the fights fight fans want and we know Canelo is all about giving fans the fights they want.”
Alvarez is just emerging from a two-fight stop gap deal with Matchroom Promotions that kept him at DAZN. He may have to leave Matchroom and DAZN for this next leg of his career.
But then, of course, he’s Canelo Alvarez and he probably has enough pull to force anyone and everyone to accommodate whatever he wants. So, it wouldn’t be much of a shocker to see all of these PBC fighters having to move over to DAZN for a shot at him.
The one thing we do know for certain is that Alvarez wants that IBF title from Caleb Plant so he can become the first undisputed 4-belt champ in the history of the super middleweight division. But with Plant reportedly looking for a $10 million payout, there may be some struggles in getting that fight signed.
Beyond the PBC crew of super middleweight and super middleweight-able potential foes, there’s not a whole lot out there for Alvarez.
There’s a third Gennadiy Golovkin fight, that neither Canelo’s nor GGG’s side seems to want all that much anymore. There’s a Demetrius Andrade bout, which Alvarez pretty much laughed out of the room following his recent win over Billy Joe Saunders. There’s maybe, possibly an all-Mexican clash with countryman Jaime Munguia that nobody seems to talk about. And that’s about it.
It’s pretty clear that Espinoza’s above stated path is the only logical one for Alvarez, but that’s only if business doesn’t stand in the way of good things– as it often does in big ticket boxing these days.
Whatever the case, Canelo will do what Canelo wants. That’s the spot he’s earned in the sport right now.