By Jake Donovan
From the moment the thought came to mind of pairing together Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo, promoter Richard Schaefer lost several nights’ sleep pondering the best way to present the fight. The CEO of Golden Boy Promotions didn’t just want to make the fight; he wanted to create an event that resonated with fans.
“A few weeks ago, I couldn’t sleep so I turned on the TV,” Schaefer recalled of the genesis of the March 8 event that will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “I came across this infomercial, where they’re selling this product and then as you think about buying it, you hear, ‘But wait, there’s more!’
“As I’m watching this and thinking about the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo, I think to myself, wouldn't it be great if people saw a boxing card where they said, "Wow there's more.” That's what we are doing here.”
The public has already responded to the event, which will be carried live on pay-per-view and distributed by Showtime.
“Tickets went on sale (January 17) and we have already sold close to 6,000 tickets (as of January 21),” Schaefer reveals. “I do anticipate a full sellout on March 8.”
The spirit of the card follows the same template applied to Golden Boy’s final major event of 2013, an all-action televised quadruple header in San Antonio. The main event saw Marcos Maidana beat down previously unbeaten Adrien Broner in one of the year’s biggest surprises, in a Fight of the Year candidate that topped a crowd that provided thrills from the start of the Showtime telecast.
Dare anyone say, the March 8 lineup could possibly outperform the aforementioned memorable card.
“The whole card is totally loaded,” Schaefer proudly exclaims.
In addition to the four fights that will be offered on the pay-per-view telecast, Showtime will also offer a ‘free-view’ lead in prior to the a la carte event. On the free portion of the show, former two-division titlist Jorge Linares faces Japan’s Nihito Arawaka, whose name resonates with boxing fans thanks to his herculean effort in last July’s Fight of the Year entrant with Omar Figueroa in San Antonio.
Figueroa will also return to the ring on the same card, as he faces Alvarez’ brother, Ricardo Alvarez. The bout will be contested for Figueroa’s alphabet interim title, which – for those who honor every belt boxing has to offer – with an Alvarez win could create a historic moment.
“It would be historic in Mexico if one family produced three champions. Rigoberto Alvarez, Canelo's brother, was the former 154 lb. world champion. If course Canelo was champion and now Ricardo is going to attempt to be a world champion.”
The feat – again depending on your viewpoint on the legitimacy of alphabet titles in all varieties – would match that set by the Kameda brothers last year, currently the only trio of siblings in boxing history to have reigned as a champion at some point in their respective careers.
Also scheduled to appear on the show, 154 lb. titlist Carlos Molina defends his belt versus unbeaten Jermall Charlo in the pay-per-view opener. The evening’s chief support pits unbeaten 122 lb. titlist Leo Santa Cruz versus former 115 lb. champ Cristian Mijares.
“Wait, there is more,” Schaefer quips. “The main event is the one we've been waiting for and, of course, is Canelo versus Angulo. Whether it's toe to toe or and hand to hand, one thing I can say is that it's going to be all action. These are two fighters who love to stand in the center of the ring and slug it out. This is what fans love to watch and what fans will get to watch.”
Both fighters enter the night on the heels of a loss. Alvarez (42-1-1, 30KO) tasted defeat for the first time with a points loss to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. last November. Angulo (22-3, 18KO) was on his way to a considerable upset before a damaged eye socket forced him to concede to Erislandy Lara in the 10th round of their 154 lb. war last June.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBoxTags: Saul Alvarez , Richard Schaefer , Alfredo Angulo , Canelo-Angulo , Canelo vs. Angulo