It was the end of a whirlwind three city international press tour for the Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32KOs) vs. Amir “King ” Khan (31-3-0, 19KOs) Cinco De Mayo weekend fight that Donald Trump built, according to Golden Boy Promoter Oscar De La Hoya last week in Los Angeles – the final stop on the tour: “The response we had in the UK was amazing and New York was incredible,” said De La Hoya in describing the previous stops to promote the battle scheduled for May 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the brand new T-Mobile Arena. “Here in LA, I can’t wait to start the press conference at 6:00pm tonight and I have to thank Mr. Trump for this,” concluded De La Hoya with a mischievous cheese eating grin.
Honest Abe, to hear De La Hoya tell it, the idea of matching up red hot WBC World Middleweight champion Alvarez against former two time light-welterweight Khan was borne directly from De La Hoya’s internal reaction to the somewhat incendiary Mexican and Muslim campaign talk of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. “You have the biggest Mexican fighter on the planet today (in Canelo) and one of the most popular Muslim fighters in Amir Khan,” intoned the East LA born and bred De LA Hoya, adding with a wide grin, “I mean sh*t, this is like a dream come true for Mr. Trump. It’s the biggest fight of this year!”
To add to the fight festivities, Oscar De La Hoya plans to include the planting of a tree of peace in Las Vegas as a measure of exactly what he believes bringing together a pro Mexican audience along with a pro Muslim audience can do to generate great American entertainment, fun and national revenue for all. “Fight fans will tune in, casual fans will tune in. The brand new arena, T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Cinco De Mayo weekend. We’ve already put the order in – bring in extra Tecate beer because the fans are going to be thirsty that weekend, ” concluded a pleased as punch De La Hoya.
While Trump’s views might appear to be the major the controversial foil for the May boxing match up, the real controversy that keeps unfolding would seem to be centered around the question of weight. When it comes to Alvarez’s first title defense of his much desired WBC title, the fact that Khan is jumping up not one but two weight classes to fight Canelo at 155 has been the cause of much speculation and concern that the battle might prove a mismatch in Alvarez’s favor. Nevertheless, despite these concerns on paper, viewed side by side during the media tour, many noted that Khan rather than Canelo would seem to be the naturally bigger man. To hear Amir subsequently address the issue to the press, he seemed to be more on the side of enjoy the novelty of his unusual status versus dreading the difficulties: “I’ve never gone into any fight as a professional where I’ve been the underdog and that for me is massive,” stated Khan, adding: “I really believe that that’s going to work on my side going into this big fight.”
As for Canelo, in his usual straight forward fashion, he made it clear that no easy button had been pushed in his decision to fight Khan, but rather the opposite, considering Khan’s reputation and resume. “When you are inside the ring, nobody has an advantage,” stated Alvarez politely, continuing: “I’m always going to be criticized and that doesn’t bother me. I have to be ready, I have to get ready for whatever (Khan) brings and that’s what I’m focusing on.”
To the delicate question of focus, Golden Boy’s ultra bright spotlight on Canelo vs. Khan as the biggest anticipated fight of 2016, continues not to be strong enough to obliterate 2017’s gorilla in the shadows, self dubbed “Mexican Style” supernova middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31KOs) the “Good Boy” hailing from Kazakstan and training in Southern California. Fight fans have long been clamoring for a do or die matchup between Canelo and GGG as the two brightest and most bruising stars in the increasingly thinning top boxing middleweight stratosphere. Golovkin has his own fight to win before May 7th versus Dominic Wade (18-0, 12KOs), on April 23, 2016 at the Forum in Los Angeles, but smart money says GGG will likely defeat Wade, finally clearing the path towards the long awaited showdown between GGG and the winner of Canelo vs. Khan. In any event, barring some crazy upset, Kazakstan will likely be in the house come May right along with Mexico’s finest and the best Muslim fighter the UK has to offer come T-Mobile fight night. Win or lose, it should be a dream come true for Donald Trump, Oscar De La Hoya, boxing fans, and anyone worldwide who loves to see a good middleweight showdown American style.
Saul ” Canelo” Alvarez vs. Amir “King” Khan will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on HBO PPV on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 9:00pm ET/ 6:00pm PT.