Oscar De La Hoya has revealed that his promotional company attempted to make a Canelo Alvarez-Jermall Charlo fight for last May 4.
According to De La Hoya, Charlo’s handlers turned down “a very lucrative offer” to battle Alvarez in what would’ve been by far the biggest fight of the undefeated Charlo’s career. That offer was made when Charlo was the WBC’s interim middleweight champion and due a shot at Alvarez’s WBC world 160-pound championship.
“We had an amazing, amazing offer for Charlo, a very lucrative offer for Charlo, and he turned it down,” De La Hoya told Fight Hub TV during an interview posted Tuesday to its YouTube page. “Well, Charlo didn’t turn it down, but his agent or whoever, whoever’s behind PBC, I don’t know.”
When asked how much money Golden Boy Promotions offered for Charlo to face Alvarez, De La Hoya replied, “I’m not gonna say the offer.”
The retired six-division champion clarified that the offer was made to Charlo to face Alvarez in May “not of this year, last year. And it just didn’t happen. So, that’s the sad part about the business of boxing, is that I can’t work with my hands tied behind my back. Look, I’m a fighter. I grew up boxing. I want these fights. I wanna make these fights happen. You know, calling all promoters – let’s make ‘em happen. Jesus, for the sake of the sport, for the sake of the fans.”
That offer presumably would’ve required Charlo to battle Alvarez in a fight carried by DAZN, the streaming service that signed Alvarez to a deal in October 2018 that could become worth $365 million. Charlo’s fights have been broadcast by Showtime and FOX, the two networks with which Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions has television deals.
Mexico’s Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) instead defeated Daniel Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round middleweight championship unification match May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) beat Brandon Adams (21-3, 13 KOs), a huge underdog, by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder June 29 at NRG Arena in Charlo’s hometown of Houston.
That victory marked Charlo’s first defense of the WBC world middleweight title. The former IBF junior middleweight champion was elevated from interim champ to world champ just before he faced Adams because the WBC designated Alvarez its “franchise” middleweight champion, making him the first such ambiguous champion in boxing history.
Later last year, Alvarez jumped up two weight classes and knocked out Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) in the 11th round of their fight for Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title November 2 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Charlo took on another big underdog, Dennis Hogan (28-3-1, 7 KOs), and stopped him in the seventh round December 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Earlier in the aforementioned interview with Fight Hub TV, De La Hoya discussed his frustration with an inability to match fighters his company promotes against those affiliated with Haymon’s PBC. De La Hoya stated that it’s up to fighters advised or managed by Haymon to demand the fights they want, the way WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder insisted on fighting Tyson Fury, who’s never been affiliated with Haymon.
“I’ve worked with all promoters, I really have,” De La Hoya said. “It is difficult, but it’s possible. I’ve worked with promoters. The one promoter I haven’t, or the one agent or whatever he is, PBC [run by Haymon]. It’s been difficult, but I don’t think – it’s hopefully not impossible. I think, hopefully, we can make some fights with [Haymon] because, you know, you have fighters like the Charlo brothers, or you have fighters like ‘Tank’ [Gervonta Davis] for Ryan [Garcia]. So, there’s many fights we can make. Hopefully, we can just get along and make these fights happen for the fans.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.