Thursday, March 23, 2023  |


Oscar De La Hoya: Miguel Cotto-Canelo Alvarez talks have begun

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya (R) with Canelo Alvarez. Photo by Dennis Poroy - Getty Images.

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya (R) with Canelo Alvarez. Photo by Dennis Poroy – Getty Images.

ATLANTIC CITY — RING middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and No. 1-rated junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez have begun negotiations for a May 2 bout, according to Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya.

“There are preliminary talks with the Cotto camp and obviously with Golden Boy on behalf of Canelo. So the fact is that Cotto wants the fight and the fact is that Canelo wants the fight,” said De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez.

“We have to iron out details, but I’m very confident that this fight is going to be made because both fighters understand that the fans are demanding for this one to happen.”

Cotto (39-4, 31 knockouts), of Puerto Rico, was last in the ring for his 10th-round technical knockout of Sergio Martinez in June, while Mexican star Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) is coming off a split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in July.

De La Hoya called a match between Cotto, who turned 34 last month, and Alvarez, 24, “very important toward possibly seeing the pugilistic rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico once again,” adding, “It would be Salvador [Sanchez] vs. [Wilfredo] Gomez, [Julio Cesar] Chavez Sr. vs [Edwin] Rosario, [Oscar] De La Hoya vs. [Felix] Trinidad. Huge!”

The target date would be May 2 on HBO Pay-Per-View, said De La Hoya, with no location yet determined.

“There is no leading candidate as to a venue. We’re in preliminary talks. We’ve been talking with Todd duBoef at Top Rank, and we will schedule more preliminary talks in the near future,” said De La Hoya.

“It will be for Cotto’s title, absolutely. This is the biggest fight that can be made and that people are talking about for next year, which is Cinco de Mayo. I have no doubt in my mind that this fight does closer to 1.5 million homes.”

In November 2013, Cotto turned down a deal worth in excess of $10 million to face Alvarez, according to then-Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who resigned from his post in June. Instead, Alvarez’s next fight was a 10th-round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo that helped him to rebound from his majority-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013.

Cotto-Alvarez could be a monster event given that Alvarez’s loss to Mayweather grossed a record $150 million, and Cotto is widely considered the most lucrative pay-per-view attraction in boxing behind Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather, aligned with Showtime, traditionally competes on the weekends of Mexican holidays Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day. His past three victories were over Alvarez, Marcos Maidana by majority decision in May, and Maidana, yet again, by unanimous decision this past September.

THE RING’s No. 1-ranked fighter, pound-for-pound as well as THE RING’s welterweight and junior middleweight champion, Mayweather has yet to name an opponent for May 2, although rumors abound that a Pacquiao fight could be next if he gets past a defense of his WBO 147-pound belt against WBO 140-pound titleholder Chris Algieri on Nov. 22.

“Look, May 2 is obviously the target date for Cotto and Canelo. Now, if a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is going to happen, and they’re going to say, ‘We’d better go on May 2, because Canelo is going to take that date,’ then, you know what? Our plan worked. We helped to make that fight. So it’s interesting what it can do toward a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight,” said De La Hoya.

“These types of events that we want to put on is going to put some pressure on Pacquiao and Mayweather and make them think, ‘Hey, we’re falling behind, we’d better get this fight done.’ So the strategy of putting the fights first and the strategy of putting the fans first, and the strategy of Golden Boy wanting to work with every promoter and wanting to make the best fights, that strategy could help make Mayweather-Pacquiao, because of the pressure that they’re going to feel.”

Although it is “very unlikely” that the sport’s two biggest fights land on May 2, “you never know,” said De La Hoya.

“But you know what’s going to happen here to make it interesting?” said De La Hoya. “It’s that as long as we can make the big fights happen, Cotto-Canelo could possibly be a trilogy.”