Will southpaw Austin Trout, of Las Cruces, N.M., be facing Mexican counterpart Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a clash of unbeaten junior middleweight beltholders on May 4 at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay Per View?
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer called the proposed co-feature to Floyd Mayweather’s defense of his WBC welterweight crown against Robert Guerrero “definitely premature.” Trout characterized the deal as “close,” as did a third source claiming familiarity with the negotiations.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) announced that he would face Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), who is after his 16th straight victory and his 10th stoppage victory during that time.
But on Feb. 15, the statement, “Canelo vs. Trout May 4 MGM,” was tweeted from Alvarez’s Twitter account, @CaneloOficial.
“We were waiting on Floyd to see what Floyd’s doing, but Canelo tweeted it, and it’s been close for a while now,” said Trout, who interprets the tweet as an acknowledgement from Alvarez that he has agreed to the fight.
“You can say that I think that it’s close. It would be accurate to say that it’s close. I am waiting to receive the contract any day now, but I think that it’s close.”
Both Mayweather and Alvarez had targeted May 4 for their returns, in addition to each boxer having said that he wants to fight on Sept. 14. The dates fall on the two traditional Mexican holiday weekends — Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day.
“Our first order of business was to finalize all aspects of the Floyd Mayweater fight for May 4,” said Schaefer, “and while we obviously had some conversations and discussions as it relates to Canelo fighting on the same card, now, within the next 24 to 48 hours, we want to hopefully finalize that fight. We’re going to turn our attention to Canelo’s fight and to finalize that. Whether it’s going to be Trout or not, I really don’t know yet.”
“So that’s what I’m going to be working on now. All of these reports out there which mention Trout as a sure shot, they’re definitely premature because the fact is that there are three different opponents that we are looking at. Everything is going to come to a head now within the next 24 to 48 hours. But we do hope that by the end of the week, we will be ready to announce Canelo’s fight as well. Everybody just has to wait a little bit longer.”
Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya told RingTV.com in an interview last month that he believes that a card featuring both Mayweather and Alvarez will surpass the numbers drawn by his split-decision loss to Mayweather in May of 2007.
Mayweather-De La Hoya holds the all-time record of pay-per-view buys with more than 2.5 million.
“May 4, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will go down in the history books as one of the biggest, if not, the biggest cards in the history of boxing,” said Schaefer.
Trout (26-0, 14 KOs), a 27-year-old WBA beltholder, is coming off December’s unanimous decision victory over four-time, three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Alvarez (41-0-1 30 KOs), a 22-year-old WBC titleholder, is coming off September’s fifth-round stoppage of Josesito Lopez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“The final details have not been brought to my attention, so you can’t say that it’s done until that’s agreed upon. You know where I stand, and where I have stood,” said Trout.
“Me and Canelo fighting each other is something that boxing needs. Champion fighting champion, you can’t get any more exciting than that. I’m very glad that he’s stepped up and made his opinion known. I know that Canelo is the one who is pushing for it.”
Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com