Promoter Oscar De La Hoya insists that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the future of boxing, and perhaps his win over James Kirkland cemented the transition.
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De La Hoya was pleased with HBO’s decision to air a repeat of Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao prior to Saturday’s bout, as he believed that fans would be able to watch the natural transition from stars of the past to the new one.
“It’s a passing of the torch. You have the replay of Mayweather and Pacquiao, then the main event, and a transition between the present and future,” he is quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
Alvarez isn’t a new name on the scene given that he is 45-1-1 (32 KOs) in his professional career, and naturally many will remember him for the lopsided defeat he suffered against Mayweather.
While that fight was too early for him, the 24-year-old has youth on his side and a fanatical contingent of Mexican fans that has already helped him become a real success in the sport both in and out of the ring.
The fight against Kirkland on Saturday – which resulted in the American being knocked-out with a vicious right-hand shot – was perfect for him, as he not only got through a tough test but also gave fans the kind of action and finish that they crave.
De La Hoya remains adamant that he has the next boxing mega-star under his tutelage which is backed up by the revenue he already generates, and their rise and popularity is mirrored somewhat given that they take on any fighter and give the fans what they want to see.
The ‘Golden Boy’ insisted that he sees plenty of himself in Canelo, as in an era when fighters are obsessed with protecting their undefeated records and making as much money as possible, Alvarez will fight anyone and anywhere.
The Mexican star has already proven that in the fights he has already taken, and if the public demand is there for a bout in the future, with Miguel Cotto being the perfect example, then there will be no doubts that Canelo will be pushing for it to happen.
Although the Mayweather loss was a blow, it would have taught the youngster plenty of lessons to take forward in his career, particularly if he faces another defensive-minded, counter-punching genius down the line given his preferred style of being a brawler and big puncher.
However, with the unbeaten American set to retire in the next 12 months depending on if he has a rematch with Pacquiao, the torch is certainly there for Alvarez to pick up and carry forward. A clash with Cotto would potentially see him break out into super-stardom, as that fight would both re-ignite the famous Mexican-Puerto Rican boxing rivalry and put on a real show for fans around the world.
It’s easy to jump on the hype and find the next big thing, but Alvarez is ready to fight the best and give the fans what they want. Canelo appears to be the real deal and so the narrative that ‘boxing is dead’ is a lie with talent like him around ready to ensure that there is plenty to look forward to post-Mayweather.