By Marc Livitz – Call it a set of brass ones or just impenetrable will.
Maybe it’s a bit of both; or worse yet, it could be the incessant voices in either ear of one Saul “Canelo” Alvarez which led him to draw an indelible line in the pugilistic dirt. The admissions last week from Canelo’s side of the negotiating table ultimately meant that he’d be removing his name, likeness and participation from the highly anticipated (maybe that’s a bit of a stretch) fight card which was (and still is) set to take place in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 4.
Capitalism, free will, best interests, or perhaps a case of borderline Narcissism? Allow us to take a quick look at what has transpired.
Saul Alvarez has allowed no confusion to interfere with his aspirations to get Floyd Mayweather, Jr. into the ring. All in good time, Canelo. Forget you not of the upcoming bout you signed to face a certain Austin “No Doubt” Trout. For the red-headed fighter from Jalisco, Mexico, to overlook his upcoming opponent from Las Cruces, New Mexico, would be beyond foolish.
Last week, Alvarez chose to withdraw from the often grandiose and coveted Cinco de Mayo fight card which attracts thousands upon thousands of fight fans to the desert. He did so, of course because Mayweather, Jr. understandably blew off Alvarez’s request for an ironclad guarantee that the two would meet during Mexican Independence Day weekend in September.
What message has been ultimately sent by this?
Is it a case of spreading the love around for the fans of the sport of boxing, or as close to a bonafide illustration of “If I can’t play here, then I’ll just take my ball and go home” as we could possibly get? It’s quite permissible for Canelo Alvarez to do everything he can to further his career in the shortest amount of time, as time is but one thing which fighters can neither control nor purchase. Golden Boy Promotions will have to do some moving around, but all signs point to them being able to perhaps not completely plug the chasm created by one of Mexico’s newer sporting heroes, but to at least patch the wounds with a sufficient bandage. Abner Mares versus Daniel Ponce de Leon for the WBC featherweight title is no slouch in and of itself, but it doesn’t quite have the same co-headlining potential of an Alvarez versus Trout matchup.
There are winners and losers here.
Imagine for a moment if you will that everything goes to the original plan. The scene was the MGM Grand at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue in Sin City. Hypothetically speaking, Alvarez tops Trout and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. runs circles around Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. The cameras and ever present posses are now in the ring and the time comes for the victorious “Money” Maywather to be interviewed. Before Showtime’s Jim Gray even gets the chance to talk to Floyd through the loudspeakers, a familiar crimson coiffured character weaves his way through the needlessly present masses and gets eye to eye and face to face with Mayweather, Jr. The staredown ensues and the match scheduled for Saturday, September 14, 2013 is now a reality.
Was that scenario too far fetched for Canelo Alvarez to imagine?
Be as it may and indeed to yet be seen, Alvarez is doing what he can to get ahead in the most feasible way possible, in his mind and the thinking caps of those who would like to steer him in the right direction. All systems now seem to be a respective go for the championship showdown between old and new Mexico to be headed to San Antonio, Texas. The handlers in south Texas have almost rolled out a red ring apron to land the bout in the Alamo City and travelers from the area as well as south of the border should pack the Alamodome on Saturday, April 20. Lost are the lights of Las Vegas, but gained is the chance, for those who can’t afford a trip to Vegas, an opportunity to see a fighter who is slowly becoming a national treasure in his native land.
Hopefully, the beer will flow, the t-shirts and programs will fly from the merchandise stand, and a fun time will be had by all. Showtime network has already applied the yin to the yang and declared the fight is “non pay per view”. That’s not synonymous with “free”, but it sure does sound better than $59.95 plus tax and an additional fee should the viewer want to view the bout in HD (and who in 2013 doesn’t?).
Let’s just hope for Canelo’s sake that his plan doesn’t backfire and blow up in his face like a loaded cigar.
Let’s recall for a parting moment just towards whom he has cast the die. This indeed could be his Rubicon. Julius Caesar gambled 2,000 years ago and won. Even though Floyd Mayweather, Jr. recently put the pen to papyrus on a lucrative fight deal with Showtime, he still knows that he is still the cat with the most baseball cards.
Any way we choose to slice the situation, not everyone can win.