Canelo Alvarez leaves Golden Boy and DAZN for "greener pastures"?
In 2010, Oscar De la Hoya's promotional company, Golden Boy Promotions, introduced Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to the American boxing market.
Over the past decade, Oscar, Eric Gomez, Richard Schaefer, Roberto Diaz, and Don Chargin did a masterful job in cultivating boxing's brightest star over North America.
Although all parties involved had a successful run and made boxing history together, both factions have agreed to officially part ways.
In a not so surprising turn of events, Team Canelo's head trainer and manager, Eddy Reynoso, posted this statement on his official Twitter account, Friday morning, November 6th, 2020.
“In my role as a manager and coach of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, I allow myself to communicate to the boxing community and to all our fans, that starting today, November 6th, ‘Canelo’ becomes a free agent, so we are ready to continue his boxing career,” Reynoso wrote in an official press release.
“All this time we have been working hard in the gym with a lot of responsibility and discipline, to be in great physical shape and ready to fight this year and it will be!”
To confirm, Canelo's former promoter released an official statement as well:
"The lawsuit was resolved to everyone's satisfaction and we wish Canelo the best going forward," De La Hoya stated. "In the strong partnership with DAZN, we will continue showcasing our wide array of talent, including rising superstars like Ryan Garcia, Jaime Munguia and Vergil Ortiz Jr., all of whom have the talent and potential to become the next biggest star in our sport."
Throughout the past year, Canelo Alvarez became surprisingly candid regarding the "disloyal" treatment from Oscar and company. And despite never voicing his sentiment publicly, De la Hoya appeared to be more than just a bit "put off" by his superstar's lack of gratitude for his organization's efforts in nurturing Canelo's future Hall of Fame career over the past decade.
Unfortunately, disgruntled fighters are nothing new to the sport.
Canelo's former promoter initially formed Golden Boy Promotions as a result of his checkered relationship with Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank, Inc. in 2002.
It's amazing how history tends to repeat itself in boxing.
It's with great certainty that only now Oscar fully understands what Bob has had to endure for five decades.
Upon his split with Top Rank, Inc., Oscar went on to compete in record-breaking events, opposite Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Most fans don't realize that former CEO Richard Schaefer had never even attended a live fight before agreeing to work with Oscar and company. Although Oscar, Richard and Eric had lots of help from the late, great HOF promoter Don "War a Week" Chargin, DLH and the gang were simply "winging it" for the first few years in the business.
Can Canelo do the same?
It's going to be difficult.
While it sounds nice to announce free-agency in the business of boxing, it's virtually impossible to maintain that distinction and expect muti-million dollar guarantees from network affiliates. Any benefactor will expect something in return after making that kind of investment.
After acquiring the services of Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez in October of 2018, DAZN experienced a severe case of "buyer's remorse" and apparently weren't pleased with the initial return on their investment after only three entertaining events.
Be it the economic downturn as a result of the global pandemic, or a lack of appealing, mainstream-friendly opponents, DAZN wasn't satisfied paying Canelo Alvarez $35 million per fight, and subsequently attempted to renegotiate their deal with both Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo.
That's when the wheels officially came off the Golden Boy/Canelo express.
Unfortunately for Canelo and company, they may experience the same results with their next business partners, whomever that may be.
It's rumored that Canelo has already begun brokering a deal with power adviser Al Haymon to face current IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KO) for a December 19th date on either FOX or Showtime Sports.
Although the pairing is a great match-up to boxing die-hards, the event barely creates a ripple among mainstream and casual audiences.
It's been reported that Canelo scoffed at DAZN's appended offer of $17.5 million per fight. How dare they! Who do they think they are, moving from a guaranteed $35 million to an insulting offer of 50%?!!
Will FOX be willing to guarantee that much money for a match-up opposite a relative unknown like Plant? Especially after losing money on Deontay Wilder's February outing, in which they guaranteed the "Bronze Bomber" a reported $25 million, it's highly doubtful.
Will FOX or possibly Showtime Sports have deep pockets for a Canelo acquisition at this point in time? Perhaps $17.5 million wasn't such a bad guarantee after all.
Canelo may discover that life in the big city is very difficult during this global pandemic...especially when a mainstream name like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin, or even Julio Chavez Jr. isn't available.
Although bouts with Jermall Charlo, David Benevidez and Caleb Plant are great match-ups for the die-hard boxing fan, they won't attract the kinds of numbers any platform would be expecting for tens of millions of investment dollars.
Who knows...perhaps Canelo Alvarez's journey may prove to be more lucrative without Oscar's Golden Boy brand? Maybe he can broker his own TV dates, and secure his own site fee?
Best of luck, Canelo...without the benefit of legitimate mainstream opposition, you're going to need it.