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What's next for Alvarez?
The next opponent for WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul Alvarez could be named as early as Wednesday, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
The next defense by Mexican WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez could be on Showtime Pay-Per-View, Showtime's regular network or perhaps its sister network, CBS, on Sept. 15, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer informed RingTV.com on Sunday.
Schaefer addressed the future of Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 knockouts) with RingTV.com the day after a planned matchup with ex-welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) was foiled by Ortiz's ninth-round stoppage loss to Josesito Lopez (29-4, 18 KOs) in a thrilling Showtime-televised clash.
"Basically, Canelo is in town, and his managers and trainers, Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, they're flying in. On Tuesday, we will have the names and everything ready to be discussed with Chepo, Eddie and Canelo, and I would expect that on Wednesday or on Thursday that we will then announce who Canelo will be fighting on Sept. 15 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas," said Schaefer.
"Depending on the opponent, the fight will either be on pay per view, live on Showtime, or live on CBS. One thing that we don't want to do is that we don't believe in putting together cards and have fans pay if the cards don't belong on pay per view. If it does not belong on pay per view, then I want to find a way to make a fight available for fight fans without making them shell out money. If that is the case, then, of course, that is my preferred solution."
Schaefer said that CBS officials have indicated that the network is very interested in televising an Alvarez bout.
"I know that CBS has college games that day. They have college games in the afternoon, but we have national clearance from CBS in the evening, and they are very interested in having Canelo on," said Schaefer .
"I think that CBS would be an interesting angle. I think that it has been since the 1990s that you had boxing on free over the air network television. So this would be historic. And it just shows you how popular Canelo is."
Schaefer is undeterred by the fact that on the same night and in the same town that Golden Boy have scheduled Alvarez's next fight, Top Rank and DiBella Entertainment will have on HBO Pay Per View main event between Alvarez's countryman, WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KOs), and RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs).
"Sept. 15 is Mexican Independence Day, and if we, in fact, have Canelo Alvarez live on CBS, where you will have millions -- and not just hundreds of thousands -- but millions of people watching, I think that it would be very fitting that you have somebody like Canelo do that. Canelo is the biggest star in Mexico, and he is fighting on the No. 1 network in Mexico, which is Televisa. So it would be very fitting that he would be the one to bring boxing back to network television here in the United States," said Schaefer.
"I think that that in itself would be a huge story. Our sponsors love the idea of being affiliated with a network television event, and for Canelo, it would be a big honor. For the fight fans, it would be a special treat as well that they wouldn't need to pay money, and they could watch the No. 1 star on the Mexican holiday from the leading hotel and casino company in Las Vegas, the MGM resorts group. All-around, that would be a great way to celebrate this traditional Mexican holiday and a traditional boxing holiday."
Schaefer would not go into detail about the names of potential rivals to replace Ortiz, other than mentioning that Lopez's promoter, Dan Goossen, has expressed a desire to face Alvarez, this, despite the fact that Lopez was fighting at a career-high 144 and three quarters against Ortiz.
Schaefer also mentioned "a wild card" opponent, but would not elaborate beyond that.
"There is another wild card, which I really don't want to disclose. I want to negotiate that a bit further," said Schaefer. "But if that wild card were in fact to happen to be the next opponent, that would be a big pay per view."
Past names have included IBF and WBA "regular" titleholders Cornelius Bundrage or Austin Trout, as well as unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan or former welterweight beltholder Carlos Quintana as potential rivals for Alvarez.
Alvarez was at ringside at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, Calif., on June 2 when left-hander Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) defended his belt by unanimous decision over Delvin Rodriguez.
Bundrage (31-4, 18 KOs) has a Showtime-televised rematch in defense of his belt with ex-beltholder Cory Spinks, whom Bundrage dethroned by fifth-round stoppage in August of 2010.
A southpaw who has split bouts with left-handed two-time titlewinner Paul Williams, Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs) has scored two consecutive knockouts since, himself, being stopped in the eighth round by Andre Berto in April of 2010.
Quintana's most recent outing was last month's sixth-round knockout of Deandre Latimore on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather's unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto for the WBA's super junior middleweight title.
On the same night as Quintana-Latimore, Alvarez scored a unanimous decision over former champ Shane Mosley on May 5.
Williams was the initially intended opponent for Alvarez until he suffered a career-ending motorcye injury. Hammer-fisted southpaw James Kirkland was the next consideration, that is, until he pulled out over money and the risk of re-injuring a repaired shoulder that was damaged during his disqualification win over Carlos Molina in March.
Alvarez has decided to dedicate the Sept. 15 bout to Williams.
"I am very upset about what happened to Paul. I know that an accident can happen to anyone, and right now, the most important thing is for everyone to pray for his recovery. Paul Williams is a warrior who gives everything in the ring, but right now he is fighting the biggest fight of his life outside the ring," said Alvarez.
"I extend my best wishes to him in his recovery and to his family as well. Paul will always be a champion, and I am going to dedicate my September 15 fight to him and his family. God-willing, and health permitting, I want to invite him and his family to be ringside on September 15 in Las Vegas."
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org