By Jake Donovan
Tuesday’s press conference in Los Angeles to formally announce the September 15 showdown between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Josetito Lopez was chock full of reveals.
Three of the four televised slots have been filled. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer announced plans for live entertainment throughout fight week as well as major musical acts on the Friday and Sunday bookending the September 15 Showtime-televised card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Perhaps the biggest news of the afternoon – and perhaps the most inspiring for those appearing on the show – was the announcement of an added incentive to win and look damn good doing so. A cash bonus will be offered to the fighter who delivers the most crowd-pleasing knockout of the evening.
“This fight is called Knockout Kings,” said Oscar de la Hoya, Golden Boy president. “The best knockout of the night gets an extra $100,000.”
Dating back to the buildup for Lopez’ eventual upset stoppage win over Victor Ortiz last month, Golden Boy Promotions has made a point to sell each of its cards with the promise of the main attractions taking the fights out of the judges’ hands. The idea was spawned from the rash of controversial decisions in recent months, particularly Tim Bradley’s disputed points win over Manny Pacquiao last month in Las Vegas.
Since then, the Golden Boy brass has promised knockouts in each of its televised cards on HBO and Showtime. The idea for the ‘Knockout Kings’ tagline for this card was spawned when it was still believed that Ortiz would be facing Alvarez in September. Golden Boy stuck with the name and have pieced together the card to play into that theme.
Now the company will have the chance to literally put its money where its mouth is, provided that a vote-worthy knockout occurs on the televised portion of the card,
“The most important thing is that the fans at home through AT&T are going to vote to determine who deserves the $100,000.00,” announced de la Hoya, slipping in a shout out to one of the show’s many sponsors. AT&T subscribers will have the opportunity to vote on the evening’s best televised knockout.
It has yet to be confirmed if there will be other outlets provided for non-AT&T customers. For now, the goal to send in the fighters with the mindset that the judges need not bring their pencils or be given any chance to become part of the story.
“That’s an extra incentive for the fighters to give the best knockout of the night.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox