By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent isn’t the only thing that hasn’t been solidified.
Oscar De La Hoya, whose company promotes Alvarez, said Tuesday that he isn’t sure if Alvarez’s next fight, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 6, will be broadcast by Showtime or HBO. Alvarez’s past three fights have been televised by Showtime Pay-Per-View and his previous two bouts aired on Showtime.
Now that HBO has changed its stance on working with Golden Boy Promotions, however, De La Hoya is open to bringing the 24-year-old Alvarez back to the network that helped develop De La Hoya into one of the biggest stars in boxing history.
“Canelo has no ties with anybody now,” De La Hoya said after a news conference at Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria hotel to offically announce the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight championship unification fight Nov. 8 in Atlantic City. “Yes, he has been fighting on Showtime lately. But it’s what Canelo’s going to want. I’m going to sit down with him next week and we’ll go over that. But I’m sure his decision will be based on who wants him more.”
De La Hoya is certain Alvarez’s next fight won’t be televised via pay-per-view, though.
“I’m going to talk him into fighting on regular TV,” De La Hoya said, referring to HBO or Showtime. “He’s fought three in a row [on pay-per-view], so it’s very, very important that whoever’s going to televise his fight next really promotes him to the masses. It’s very important. That’s how you build stars. Canelo is understanding that, so hopefully when we sit down next week I’ll have some concrete answers for [the public] and take it from there.”
Showtime didn’t release official numbers from Alvarez’s last pay-per-view main event, a controversial split-decision defeat of Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) on July 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Typically, when Showtime or HBO doesn’t announce pay-per-view numbers it means the show underperformed.
Regardless, Joshua Clottey is believed to be the front-runner as Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) and his handlers determine his next move. Ghana’s Clottey (38-4, 22 KOs, 1 NC) out-boxed Australia’s Anthony Mundine (46-6, 27 KOs) to earn a unanimous decision in his last fight, April 9 in Newcastle, Australia, but he hasn’t recorded a noteworthy win on American soil in six years.
Heavy-handed James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs), of Austin, Texas, and WBO 154-pound champion Demetrius Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs), of Providence, R.I., also are potential opponents.
“We’ll know next week,” De La Hoya said. “We’re sitting down next week. He’s coming to L.A. and we’ll know. There’s three candidates, real possibilities. There’s Kirkland, there’s Clottey and there’s Andrade. So there’s three guys out there.”
When reminded there has been backlash on social media regarding an Alvarez-Clottey clash, De La Hoya added, “He had a win overseas against Anthony Mundine. It depends on who’s available. For instance, Kirkland, it depends on if he’ll be ready of not. It all depends. We have to put all the pieces together and then we’ll announce it hopefully next week.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. Tags: Saul Alvarez , HBO , Joshua Clottey , Oscar De La Hoya , Canelo-Clottey , Canelo vs. Clottey