Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya won’t reveal the next opponent for WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who is slated for a return to the ring on Sept. 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegs, but he did unveal his musings about a potential 154-pound tournament on Sunday.
“Golden Boy is all about thinking outside of the box and to bring the best fights in this division. I haven’t talked to anyone formally about it,” said De La Hoya, adding that he would bring his idea to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and matchmaker Eric Gomez.
“What’s going to happen is that I’m going to sit down with Richard and with my matchmakers and we’re going to analyze who we have at 154 and then we’ll take it from there.”
Unlike Showtime’s Super Six Classic, which produced THE RING’s super middleweight champion Andre Ward and featured a round-robin format that lasted just over two years through December of last year, De La Hoya said his event would begin with quarterfinal, eight-man bracket.
“Why not do an eight-man tournament in a shorter period of time. Why not have three fights or even four fights in one night and make it a single-elimination tournament in a shorter amount of time. It doesn’t have to last a year or two years. You can make it single-elimination, and this tournament can last just a few months,” said De La Hoya.
“You don’t necessarily have to be the winner of a tournament like this. If you fight in a great fight, then you’re going to come out of that tournament a star. Win or lose, as long as you fight, you don’t lose. But a tournament at 154 pounds would be incredible. It would be amazing.”
The weight class is loaded, De La Hoya contends, starting with three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. that ended his string of three straight stoppage victories.
IBF beltholder Cornelius Bundrage is coming off Saturday night’s Showtime-televised seventh-round stoppage of Cory Spinks, whom Bundrage originally dethroned by fifth-round stoppage in August of 2010. On the Bundrage-Spinks undercard, Cuban-born left-hander Erislandy Lara unanimously decisioned Freddy Hernandez
Lara was coming off a first-round knockout of Ronald Hearns in April. Prior to facing Hearns, Lara had not been in the ring since July of last year, when he lost a disputed majority decision to former two-time titleholder e Paul Williams which many observers thought Lara had won.
Hammer-fisted southpaw James Kirkland had originally agreed to replace Williams as the new opponent for Alvarez after a career-ending injury from a motorcycle accident rendered the former two-time welterweight titleholder paralyzed from the waist down.
But Kirkland cited recovery from shoulder surgery on his right arm and money as his reasons for not taking the bout.
Still others to be considered are Carlos Molina , Alfredo Angulo or former welterweight beltholder Carlos Quintana, the latter of whom has split bouts with Williams and who looked very strong in scoring his recent knockout on the Mayweather-Cotto card.
Molina is coming off a controversial 10th-round disqualification loss to Kirkland in March, and Angulo, off a sixth-round knockout loss to Kirkland during which both fighters were floored in the first round in March. Still another is unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan, said De La Hoya.
“Bundrage, Trout, Lara, Canelo, Cotto, Kirkland, Angulo making a comeback. S–t, I might even throw myself into the mix,” said the former world titlewinner.
“That’s how good this tournament could be. These are just ideas that I’m throwing out there, and it would seem to me that the public would really demand it and that the public would love it.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com