Oscar De La Hoya (the promoter, not the fighter; Oscar currently wearing both hats, his imminent ring return still set to go) is livid over what he refers to as “the terrible ratings from boxing on network TV the last few weeks.” The 47-year-old head of Golden Boy Promotions took to twitter yesterday to vent his anger and to also make it clear how Canelo Alvarez, the biggest star in boxing today, absolutely needs to fight “ASAP.”
As fans know, it’s been tough for promoters to make the big fights due to the coronavirus, with no fan attendance allowed at most fight venues (some shows, in New Zealand and Germany for example, have had fans permitted) but De La Hoya says the absence of a Canelo fight has hurt the sport. Fans are “flocking to baseball and the UFC,” De La Hoya says, “largely ignoring the greatest sport in the world.”
Canelo was to have fought in May, then in September, but as of now, there is nothing set for the Mexican superstar. And De La Hoya says the sport needs Canelo back fast!
“If anyone doubted how badly boxing needs Canelo – the sport’s biggest star – back in the ring, look no further than the terrible ratings from boxing on network TV the last few weeks,” De La Hoya wrote in his tweet. “It’s a f-king embarrassment that sports-starved fans are flocking to baseball and the UFC & largely ignoring the greatest sport in the world. I have been working tirelessly day and night with our partners at DAZN to get a Canelo fight done ASAP and get our sport back on track.”
It has indeed been a frustrating time for Canelo, and for his millions of fans. Canelo has not boxed since last November when he made history by defeating light-heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev. A fight with Billy Joe Saunders looked possible for this year, as did one with Callum Smith, but nothing has been made. The last name thrown into the mix was WBC approved Avni Yildirim, but DAZN said no to that fight.
The latest word is how Canelo may now fight in November; with Saunders and Smith both being in the frame once again. That would be a full year of inactivity for the recently turned 30-year-old superstar.
Maybe De La Hoya is coming back, at least in part, in a bid to add excitement and to bring back big TV numbers to the sport he is clearly so passionate about.