By Jake Donovan
The first major pay-per-view event of 2014 will play to a wider audience than anticipated.
The March 8 showdown between Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo, which headlines at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be broadcast live in movie theatres throughout the United States, it was announced Thursday morning.
The coverage comes in addition to the event being distributed live by Showtime Pay-Per-View.
"March 8 will be a huge night for boxing, and as we team up with Fathom Events once again, fight fans in movie theaters around the United States will be able to experience the entire Canelo vs. Angulo event like they never have before," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
The collaboration between Golden Boy Promotions and Fathom Events has become a semi-regular occurrence dating back to the blockbuster May '07 event between Floyd Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya. An industry record-setting event at the time, 'The World Awaits' packed the MGM Grand, closed circuit theatres throughout the Vegas area and - in a hugely successful expirement - movie theatres throughout the country.
All of Mayweather's pay-per-view events have since been distributed to nationwide cinemas, as have other select events presented by Golden Boy Promotions.
Alvarez (42-1-1, 30KO) co-starred in the last pay-per-view card to play in movie theatres, his losing effort to Mayweather last September. The event went on to become the highest grossing boxing show of all-time, raking in nearly $150 million in PPV revenue, over $20 million at the live gate and millions more from closed circuit and cinema sales.
"The fans know that I always look to leave them satisfied with my performance in the ring and that's why I invite all of them to be part of a great experience by watching my fight against 'El Perro' Angulo on the big screen," said Alvarez, who hasn't fought since the loss to Mayweather. "I promise endless action from the first bell because when Mexican fighters get in the ring, fans are guaranteed a tremendous fight."
Angulo (22-3, 18KO) fights as a pay-per-view headliner for the first time in his career, as well as in the main marquee for a theatre-aired event. The March 8 showdown marks his first fight since a grueling war with Erislandy Lara, where Angulo scored two knockdowns and on his way to an upset before being forced to bow out after what was believed to be a broken orbital bone.
The 31-year old remains an industry cult favorite.
"My fans know that my hands speak louder than my words," said Angulo. "For those who don't know me, this cinematic experience with Canelo on March 8 will help you see why these hands always guarantee a great show. Please sit back, enjoy and get ready for a great performance."
The loaded undercard includes: Leo Santa Cruz versus Cristian Mijares in a 12-round super bantamweight title fight; Omar Figueroa in his first defense of his lightweight title against Ricardo Alvarez, one of several of Canelo's older fighting brothers; and Carlos Molina facing Jermall Charlo, in his first defense of the 154 lb. belt he lifted from Ishe Smith on the undercard of Mayweather-Alvarez last September.
For a full list of theatres showing the event, visit: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/canelo-vs-angulo-live
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox