By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Boxing fans aren’t exactly excited about the Canelo Alvarez-Joshua Clottey fight.
Alvarez still doesn’t consider their Dec. 6 meeting at Alamodome in San Antonio anything resembling a soft touch. He considers Clottey’s unanimous-decision defeat of Australia’s Anthony Mundine (46-6, 27 KOs) on April 9 near Mundine’s hometown as evidence Clottey (38-4, 22 KOs), who’ll turn 37 on Oct. 6, still can compete at a high level.
“You have a strong fighter in Clottey,” Alvarez said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with boxing writers at HBO’s building in Manhattan. “He’s very strong and anything can happen. He’s a fighter with a lot of experience. He’s been tested, he’s coming off a very, very good win and at this level anything can happen. No fight is easy.”
Alvarez versus Clottey, which will be broadcast live on HBO, will officially be announced sometime next week. Alvarez’s past three bouts have been televised via Showtime Pay-Per-View, but he recently signed a multi-fight contract to fight exclusively on HBO and HBO Pay-Per-View. When asked about criticism of the Alvarez-Clottey matchup, HBO Sports president Ken Hershman emphasized the importance of bringing the 24-year-old Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) back to premium cable, where it won’t cost fans an additional $55-$75 to watch him perform.
“I don’t know what the reaction’s going to be,” Hershman said of the Alvarez-Clottey fight. “We are looking at the long-term relationship here and never really focused on any individual fight – fight by fight by fight – when you’re talking about a star of this magnitude and a relationship this long. And strategically, it has to fit in. There are arguments why Clottey will be an interesting, compelling fight. People don’t have to buy [those arguments], but it’s not pay-per-view. It’s on HBO and we think it’s going to be an entertaining night. We have a great undercard we’re putting together for that show and we think it’s value for our subscribers. Canelo’s been on pay-per-view for his last three or four fights now, and it’s time to bring him back to the masses.”
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.