By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Win, lose or draw, Canelo’s Alvarez’s rematch with Gennady Golovkin could be the Mexican superstar’s last fight with HBO.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Alvarez’s exclusive contract with HBO expires after his pay-per-view main event versus Golovkin on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. Oscar De La Hoya, whose company promotes Alvarez, told the newspaper that he’ll consider a new television or streaming partner for Alvarez because he’s not certain about HBO’s long-term commitment to boxing.
“It makes me wonder if HBO even wants to be in boxing,” De La Hoya told the Los Angeles Times.
Competitors Showtime, ESPN and DAZN, a well-funded streaming service set to launch September 22, all would be interested in doing business with Alvarez, boxing’s most proven pay-per-view star.
“HBO’s been my family since I started boxing and it has been my family up until today,” De La Hoya said. “I’ve always given HBO the first and last opportunity, but this is a business and I must do what’s best for my fighters. I want to do what’s best for Canelo’s career and, right now particularly, boxing is big business on television, with more than 200 fights on a year.”
Depending on what happens Saturday night, the 28-year-old Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) could return to the ring in December for a lower-profile fight. That possibility will make De La Hoya act quickly to secure Alvarez’s next television or streaming contract.
“I’m going to carefully analyze everything,” De La Hoya said, “and right after the final bell Saturday, I’m moving forward with this decision to explore what’s in Canelo’s best interest.”
Alvarez returned to fight exclusively for HBO after he edged Erislandy Lara in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event in July 2014. He fought live on HBO in the first fight of that agreement – a third-round knockout of James Kirkland in May 2015 – but his rematch against Golovkin will mark his sixth straight HBO Pay-Per-View fight since he defeated Kirkland.
“Given the circumstances that boxing is in at this moment,” De La Hoya said, “with ESPN, DAZN and the fact that FOX television has paid millions and Showtime’s doing many things, it’s going to be very interesting for us and Canelo to see what HBO can do to keep him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.