CANELO ALVAREZ is the most highly paid active boxer in the world today, thanks to a long term deal with new broadcaster, the streaming service DAZN. But the Mexican superstar does not appear content to rest on his laurels, enjoy the rewards and take on easy opponents through the course of 2019.
“Not at all,” Eric Gomez, president of Canelo’s promotional company Golden Boy, tells Boxing News. “What people don’t know is we had a similar deal with HBO and he had a guaranteed amount of purses for his HBO fights. The money just went up now. Now he’s got even more an incentive to prove to the world that’s he’s the number one guy.
“Canelo, look at his record, he’s always wanted to fight the best. He wants to make history. Obviously the money’s great. It’s secondary when you’re chasing history. That’s what he’s doing, he wants to chase history.”
Alvarez is pledging the prime years of his career to DAZN. “He’s giving them everything. If we’re successful with this venture, most likely he’ll retire with DAZN. We believe in DAZN, the brand’s strong. The marketing that they’re doing for this fight has been incredible, unprecedented. We’re very excited about this new partnership, this new venture for us,” Gomez said. “It’s historic, it’s massive, DAZN they wanted to make a statement and they want to really breakthrough in the United States market and they just got the biggest star in boxing.”
Alvarez intends to be busy and expects to fight three times in 2019, beginning in May. “Those are his dates. He wants to try to fight three times next year. He wants to repeat May, September and December. Barring any injuries, we’ll look to do that. That’s the gameplan,” Gomez said.
The potential opponents will be dictated by how Alvarez feels his super-middleweight experiment against Rocky Fielding goes on Saturday (December 15). “It’s up to him. He’s going to sit down with us after the fight. He’s going to let us know how he felt. He’s got a lot of questions too. Is he going to be able to carry his punch to this weight class? Rocky’s a big boy. He’s a big man. In the face off, he’s huge. There’s a lot of questions. How is Canelo going to carry the weight? Is he going to be slower, is it going to affect his speed? Can he bring his punching power with him? We won’t know till after Saturday, we won’t know. He might tell us it’s too much to give up, I can’t fight at this weight class. I want go back to ’60. Or he could say I felt great, I felt incredible, I want to keep campaigning here,” Gomez said.
IBF middleweight champion Danny Jacobs is already calling for a May unification with Alvarez, who holds the WBC and WBA middleweight world titles. But, Gomez warns, “He [Canelo] has got all sorts of options. Danny Jacobs is going to have to get in line. Everybody’s calling him out.”
Nor does Alvarez feel he has any unfinished business with former champion Gennady Golovkin after their close, controversial fights. “Not at all. 24 great rounds. He beat him far and square, boxed incredibly in both fights. He beat him. There’s nothing else to do there,” Gomez said.
It’s a reminder that, as Gomez says, Canelo Alvarez is “the man in sports right now.”
That comes with a certain pressure. “I’m sure there is,” the Golden Boy president continued. “He wants to prove that he’s worth all that money and he wants to prove the world that he belongs. He’s earned it. It’s not just a show. He’s earned it. He’s earned his place and he wants to prove it.
“He wants to perform.”
In other words, exactly the kind of pressure Canelo Alvarez relishes.