The biggest star in the sport of boxing today — middleweight and light-heavyweight Mexican kingpin Canelo Alvarez — recently returned to action.
In emphatic fashion no less.
Outpointing the far taller Callum Smith of the UK. Putting on a boxing clinic while doing so.
Winning virtually every round.
A much needed appearance by boxing’s biggest star before the end of a terrible 2020 for the sweet science (and for every sport).
Prior to the fight, he also settled a lawsuit this year with former promoter Golden Boy Promotions.
Stemming from a fractured relationship with company chief — former multi-weight world champion Oscar De La Hoya.
The relationship between the pair had become strained in recent years.
In an extremely adverse year anyway in 2020 for the world for obvious reasons, Canelo decided to take legal action in recent months.
Primarily to break free from his old promoter and become a free agent.
Both moved on professionally and amicably by all accounts subsequently in a settlement.
Speaking on a social media live stream De La Hoya spoke candidly on the subject to journalist Manouk Akopyan.
He did so by simultaneously comparing the situation to one he had in the past with Premier Boxing Champions creator Alan Haymon:
“Yeah, look. We’ve been through it a couple of times in the past. You know, when we lost all those fighters to Al Haymon. When he took the fighters to PBC. The fighters that we built like Deontay Wilder and Adrien Broner and all these guys. So I’ve been in this position and it doesn’t worry me whatsoever.”
“Obviously with this pandemic it was devastating to everyone across the globe so it was different circumstances than before like what it was with the Al Haymon situation.”
He went on:
“I just feel like I’m in the same boat as everybody at the moment. We have to weather the storm. We have to come back stronger. We have to come back smarter. We have to make these big fights. If I was Crawford’s promoters, if I was the promoter of all these welterweights, I would make these fights happen.”
Bullishly reminding fans of some positives in early 2020:
“Just make them happen. We can figure out the economics. There is money to be spread to everyone. Let’s just make these fights happen. It can happen. (Promoter) Bob Arum did a great job working with Al Haymon with ‘The Gypsy King’ (Tyson Fury) and Deontay Wilder. That fight was a wonderful event. So it can happen. Let’s just make these fights happen.”
“My new year’s resolution is for all promoters to work together and grow the sport.”
Sounds good in theory. Particularly for fights like Spence vs Crawford and Fury vs Joshua.
Just briefly on the above.
It should also be stated for objectivity however that the case referred to in the aforementioned was dismissed against Haymon.
Moreover — the other one (from around the same time) from the sport’s other large American promoter (Top Rank) against Haymon — was settled under confidential terms in 2016, too.
Two complex cases in court but that says it all and speaks volumes.
People have short memories. Haymon went onto to put boxing back on free television around the same period.
Okay, not anymore at the moment given the situation in the world.
Separately, it would be great to see the price point of pay per view come down a bit too at the moment.
Pricing point on the curve where supply meets demand as some should know in economics can be advantageous if done appropriately.
Equilibrium. There has to be a balance in everything. Business is no different.
My analysis suggests the recent Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr pay per view event could offer boxing a nugget of insight.
50 bucks could be a sweet spot for an American boxing pay per view.
Now, getting back to before.
Not many give credit to Haymon for the initial change of the boxing business away from premium networks in America a few years back either.
In an odd way, it helped boxing by forcing competitor Bob Arum and his company Top Rank to pick up their game.
Case in point by having an excellently performing TV deal now in place with ESPN and their wildly successful American sports app ESPN plus.
Doing quite brilliantly with what they could in 2020.
Ah yes, competition, a human concept that naturally lends its hand to fighting.
Why capitalism beats socialism (Marxism group-think and individual killing mentalities within that too) and communism any day of the week for me.
As for boxing — before Haymon put it back on the map on various platforms a few years ago when he launched PBC — before that — the sport’s audience had shrank in truth with it being on just two networks for so long in America.
All in all, as regards De La Hoya and Haymon above?
Politics. A never ending headache. What can you do. That’s just the frustration of the business.
Sometimes the game can annoy one with its boredom. It is what it is.
No point in stressing or worrying about anything in life.
Both are completely pointless. You could be gone at any point. 2020 showed the world that properly.
Only fearing God the only sensible and realistic solution.
As for this spat in boxing above, in conclusion, maybe there are positives from what the Golden Boy Promotions head honcho says above at the same time.
De La Hoya makes a great point at the very end I think. Talks sense there.
In that the big fights need to be made. They really do.
Made between all the main promoters this year. More than ever.
Boxing needs this to happen badly at the moment.
Otherwise as a sport we’ll keep having to reach out to celebrity boxing matches to acquire new audience outside of the current ad-hoc set up.
This (if it happens too frequently) will make boxing lose the run of itself and lose its identity long-term.
Can’t happen. No way.
Nothing wrong with sprinkling the YouTube boxing stuff and other outside-the-box ideas in to reach out to younger fans.
Not at the expense of the best fighting the best though.
Boxing needs to put itself first in 2021.
In the sense of — its own genuine merits, substance and holding as a sport itself as pertaining to casual sports fans’ perception of it — within its place in the wider pantheon of sports.
As for old Oscar De La Hoya?
He won’t feel too bad with his current biggest star back in action tomorrow, surely.
Ryan Garcia a serious talent breaking though as a new star in the sport.
Garcia takes on Luke Campbell of the UK on January 2nd.
Quality fight and match making to be fair.
What a way for boxing and the fight business to kick off the new year.