By Rick Reeno
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, tells BoxingScene.com that it wasn't easy to finalize a deal for a Showtime Pay-Per-View collision between former junior middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-1-1, 30KOs) and dangerous Alfredo Angulo (22-3, 18KOs), for March 8th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Apparently, there is a lot of animosity between Canelo and Angulo, and both fighters made it clear to Schaefer that they do not like each other. The pay-per-view event will be called - "Toe To Toe" - because Schaefer does not expect a distance fight in the main event.
"Canelo will fight with anyone. I sat down with him in San Antonio [in December], when he was there to see his brother fight. I told him that based on the feedback that I was getting, a fight with him and Angulo was one of the best fights that you could make in the sport. From an excitement point of view, there is a lot of pride on the line in that fight for both guys. It's a must win night - for Canelo after the Mayweather fight and for Angulo after that misfortune in the Lara fight. For both guys, a lot is riding here," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"They do not like each other. There is some rivalry there. I do not know where it's coming from, but I know that based on my conversations with both guys - they really can't stand each other. I had to overcome that sort of sentiment with Canelo, who said 'I don't want this guy to make money off of me.' I had to overcome that, negotiate it through and get it done. I'm really excited about it."
Schaefer is still working out the details to finalize the undercard. There are ongoing negotiations to put together an undercard fight between Canelo's younger brother, Ricardo "Dinamita" Alvarez, and WBC interim-lightweight champion Omar "Panterita" Figueroa. Another fight being worked on is a super bantamweight clash between WBC champ Leo Santa Cruz and mandatory challenger Cristian Mijares. And a war between former champion Jorge Linares and tough Japanese contender Nihito Arakawa.
"I want to put something together like we've done in 2013, these great pay-per-view cards. They have become a hallmark of Golden Boy pay-per-view - and that's top to bottom great fights, entertaining fights, meaningful fights, evenly matched fights. And in these fights - toe to toe battles. Talk about action heroes, you look at this card and you have eight of them right here on this card. My matchmakers are working [on the undercard fights] and hopefully we pull it off," Schaefer said.
Canelo is coming off a twelve round majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. from September 2013. Mayweather-Canelo was the most lucrative event in boxing history and generate over 2.2 million buys on pay-per-view.
Angulo is coming off a June 2013 ten round TKO loss to Erislandy Lara, where Angulo had the Cuban boxer down twice before suffering an eye injury that led to the fight being stopped in the tenth. At the time of the stoppage, the fight was up for grabs on the official scorecards - with one judge having Angulo up 86-83 and two others having it scored 85-84 for Lara.