When former RING junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez returns to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 8, site of his first-career loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, it will be an all-Mexican clash against rugged veteran Alfredo Angulo on a pay-per-view card being billed as "Toe-To-Toe," according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
"I got the fight done this afternoon and I think that it's one of the most exciting fights that you can make in the sport," said Schaefer. "These are two of the most exciting fighters irrespective of the weight class. You can expect fireworks.
"They're going to come forward and they're going to go toe-to-toe, and that's name of the card, 'Toe-to-Toe.' I just can't wait. It's definitely the most exciting fight that you can make at junior middleweight."
Although Schaefer had hoped that Alvarez would have his next fight against Miguel Cotto, whom he offered a deal worth in excess of $10 million, it appears that the Puerto Rican star will take a bout against RING/WBC 160-pound champ Sergio Martinez.
Alvarez's majority decision loss to Mayweather grossed a record $150 million. Angulo scored two knockdowns during June's exciting 10th-round stoppage loss to Lara.
"Sometimes losers are winners in boxing," said Schaefer. "Thank God the old thinking that if you lose a fight, you have to go back in line, that's just not true any more. Fight fans and sports fans, they want to see toe-to-toe battles. They want to see excitement and you win some and you lose some. In that regard, this is pure entertainment on March 8. These guys are going to go toe-to-toe, but this is also high stakes.
"You lose against the pound-for-pound best fighter in Floyd Mayweather, which everybody does, and with Angulo, he had dropped Lara a couple of times and was ahead on the cards when the freaky injury happened, and so he's motivated because he knows that this is a must-win night for him, and Canelo knows that it's also a must-win night for him also. So both guys have a lot of pride, both guys will show a lot of heart, and those two guys don't like each other. So there's definitely going to be a little bit of everything."
Alvarez is also scheduled to return on July 26 and Nov. 22 of 2014 following the loss to Mayweather that dethroned him as RING and WBC 154-pound champion, but Angulo is hoping to derail those plans.
"This a fight that has gotten approved…Canelo's agreed to it, we've agreed to it and Richard and Showtime have agreed to it. If Canelo, Richard and Showtime say that it's a go, and we say that it's a go, then, I guess that it's a go," said Angulo's manager, Michael Miller.
"Those are the four parties that matter. So this means that Alfredo still is relevant, and that it means that he's getting a great opportunity to go and prove to the world that he's still got what it takes to step up to the plate again against the world's most elite fighters in this weight category."
If Schaefer is successful at finalizing the deals on three more bouts, two of the undercard fights could match WBC 122-pound beltholder Leo Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) against Cristian Mijares (49-7-2, 24 KOs), and WBC interim titleholder Omar Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) opposite Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez, (23-2-3, 14 KOs), Canelo Alvarez's older brother.
Mijares has won two straight since falling by split-decision in April to Victor Terrazas, whom Santa Cruz knocked out in the third round in August.
"We're going to try to put together another one of those cards we've become famous for at Golden Boy which hopefully fit into the concept of the toe-to-toe battles," said Schaefer. "So we're trying to finalize Leo Santa Cruz against Cristian Mijares, which is a helluva fight. The same thing with Omar Figueroa against Ricardo Alvarez, Canelo's brother."
Schaefer said Ricardo Alvarez is hoping to follow in the path of his two siblings, including Rigoberto Alvarez, who was dethroned as titleholder following a decision loss to Trout in February of 2011.
"That would be the first time in the history in Mexico where three brothers become world champion," said Schaefer. "Canelo is one of them, Rigoburto was one of them, and now, Ricardo is going to try to be one as well going against Omar Figueroa."
Also, ex-beltholder Jorge Linares (35-3, 23 KOs) could be matched in a lightweight bout against Japan's Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs), the latter of whom rose from the canvas during a brutal unanimous decision loss to Figueroa in April.
"The opening bout would be another absolute barn burner, and maybe one of the most exciting discoveries of 2013 was Arakawa, who fought Omar Figueroa," said Schaefer. "So he'll go against Jorge Linares. With this card, it doesn't get much better than that, top-to-bottom."