Before former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s last two fights against Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara, he was seen by many boxing fans as the guy who would take over for the aging Floyd Mayweather Jr to become the sport’s next huge money-making pay-per-view attraction.
It didn’t matter that Canelo couldn’t speak English and that he looked too heavy for the weight division he was fighting in; fans still saw him as the guy who would take the baton from Mayweather and bring in huge PPV numbers each time he fought. But now after the disappointing PPV stats that Canelo brought in for his last two fights against Angulo and Lara, it’s now looking like Canelo will be more of a replacement of Miguel Cotto in terms of PPV stats than Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.
Canelo’s recent fight against Lara last July brought in an estimated 300,000 pay-per-view buys, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Canelo’s fight before that against a weight drained Angulo, who reportedly lost 34 pounds in training camp before the fight, brought in only 350,000 PPV buys.
To be sure, Canelo did a great job of selling tickets for his fight against Lara at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but he didn’t do well in inspiring boxing fans to purchase the fight on PPV.
It’s unclear what the expectations were from Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions for Canelo’s last two fights. Maybe they were happy with those results. It’s hard to say.
The 24-year-old Canelo’s low pay-per-view numbers could be a sign that he should have waited until a little later in his career before he started asking boxing fans to pay to see his fights. After all, Canelo had only been televised on U.S television a handful of times before he made the decision that boxing fans should have to pay to see him fight.
Canelo kind of took the backwards approach to becoming a star attraction on PPV. Instead of building up a huge following by fighting on regular Showtime for a number of years the way that Mayweather and Pacquiao built up their fan base in the U.S and then moving on to PPV, Canelo fought a handful of times on regular Showtime and then leaped into PPV after his loss to Mayweather last year.
The time was bad for Canelo, because not only was he still an unknown with a lot of casual boxing fans in the U.S, but he was also coming off of a one-sided loss to Mayweather. Asking boxing fans to pay to see him after loss like the one that he took against Mayweather might have been a mistake on Canelo’s part.
Canelo will be fighting in December against an opponent still to be determined. James Kirkland is one of the names that has been mentioned, but Golden Boy is still looking at other possible opponents. They want to make sure that Canelo wins this fight because he has a potential big fight against WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto in 2015.