New York – Canelo Alvarez can hang up the gloves, enjoy life with hs family, and become a good ambassador for the sport of boxing. But the 168-pound unified champion and to most the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, is also considered a face of the sport.
There is nothing more to prove for Canelo Alvarez. At 31-years of age and a champion in four weight classes, Alvarez has established a legacy. He is the also the richest fighter on the planet and can walk away from boxing tomorrow.
This is not about the ego, something that surrounds the sport with promoters, managers, and the trainers. This is about continuing a legacy and to be the best at what he does in the ring. He doesn’t need the money or the fame.
Boxing is the priority and Canelo Alvarez, also the pride of Mexico, will attempt to gain another title Saturday night in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena when he opposes 175-pound champion Dmitry Bivol, a gentleman from Russia who has made it known he is against his country at war with the Ukranian government.
Bivol was honored to defend his title against the “Mexican King.” There were other options. Canelo Alvarez, a free agent and a fighter with luxury of commanding his next opportunity, said he wanted to once again seek another title in a different weight class.
You get in the ring with Canelo Alvarez, with a title on the line or not, this is an opportunity. An opportunity to dethrone perhaps the best fighter of this era is an opportunity of a lifetime in the sport.
“ I like the opportunity to be undisputed at 175,” Alvarez said this week “
Canelo also likes to fight undefeated opponents to also prove his point of being the best pound-for-pound. Bivol (19-0) will be the third. He disposed Caleb Plant (21-0) and Billy Joe Saunders (30-0) on his way to the undisputed 168-pound titles, and has no problem selling a fight. In fact, each time, Alvarez sells out the major venues including his unification bout against Plant at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. A record 74,000 fans witnessed his dominating knockout win over Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez has the liberty of going with the flow. Promoters compete for the purse bids for his next fight, and that can be done when you are the best at what you do. No matter, a venue will sell out when Alvarez is the main event.
And the Pay-Per-View numbers are still strong when he is the main attraction, as they will be again Saturday night when casual fans of the sport will also purchase the Matchroom Boxing $74.00 DAZN Pay-Per-View telecast.
Last fight, Alvarez was the attraction for a SHOWTIME Championship Boxing Pay-Per View. This time he returned for a two-fight deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, the two have had a successful and good working relationship the past few years.
When you are the best fighter on the planet, with a world wide fan base, promoters will look at a fighter as that special commodity in a boxing pay-per-view business that is too much and slowly losing out to the various streaming networks.
Win or lose, and Bivol is a viable threat, he can take strong punches to the body that Alvarez throws. This is the first of a two fight deal for Alvarez and Matchroom, in excess over $259 million. And a third meeting with Alvarez and rival Gennadiy Golovkin awaits in September to settle a score for all the belts at 168.
Their previous two fights ended with questions. The first was a controversial draw. The second fight and Alvarez won a controversial majority decision that many said should have went to Golovkin.
Take a look at the Numbers that exhibit Canelo Alvarez and hs latest deal with Matcroom Boxing:
$4.4 million per round
$3.3 million per landed punch
$1.3 million per punch thrown
Consider Alvarez is a rare champion that fights three times a year. He earns his money. Also consider the purse per fight surpasses the lucrative contracts that high profiled MLB, NFL, and NBA superstars earn on the field and in the arena for the duration of a 162, 17, and 82 game schedule of a season.
It is impressive and for a fighter even more. Then again, a Canelo Alvarez does not come round the corner and become a superstar overnight. He is rare, special, and boxing is his craft.
Saturday evening the legacy will continue. Win or lose, Canelo Aovarez has etched his name with the immortals in boxing history and will get his day in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
But the business remains at hand. This could go to a decision, then again, 39 others have felt the punches and went down before a Canelo Alvarez fight went to the judges scorecards.
Regardless, a legacy has been established. Alvarez says he wants to fight another eight years and perhaps test the heavyweight division. With him moving up in weight is possible and success at what he does occurs all the time.
Because Canelo Alvarez is boxing and the face always comes with critics, and there are those who say a substance abuse suspension a few years back damaged his legacy.
I beg to differ. You will see the face of boxing and perhaps the greatest of this era Saturday night again in Las Vegas. The legacy will continue and another meeting with Gennaidy Golvkin awaits in September to settle the score.
Rich Mancuso is the senior writer @Latinosports.com Twitter @Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso Watch Rich and Robert “The Wiz” Rizzo live Tuesday evening 10pmET ParrotTV.com YouTube Live “Sports With Rich” Like, Comment, Subscribe.
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