Good and bad in Canelo following Mayweather’s plan
The best and the worst thing about Canelo Alvarez is that he has torn a page directly out of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s playbook. Ever since losing to Mayweather three years ago, Canelo (more importantly, Oscar De La Hoya) has learned the art of creating big business out of boxing. On some levels, it has worked. With the knowledge that he’s the bigger attraction, Canelo and Golden Boy have refused to make concessions on anything when making fights. On another level, it has done exactly what Mayweather did to boxing fans: turn them off.
Those that say Canelo is ducking Golovkin are wrong. If there wasn’t a business side of boxing where promoters dictate the terms for their fighters, Canelo vs. GGG would have already taken place. However, there is a business side that Canelo learned when he went to the school of Mayweather on Sept. 14, 2013. When facing a bigger star, he would concede weight and any advantage he could possibly have in order to make a lot of money and fight the best in the business. After experiencing that, Canelo and De La Hoya realized that they were the only superstar left standing and that they would dictate the terms with every opponent moving forward.
But there is a significant difference between Canelo and Mayweather. Canelo has a built-in core base of Mexicans who will follow him wherever he goes. That base is what makes up the majority of his following and helped him score the biggest attendance of the three fights that took place at AT&T Stadium (Pacquiao-Clottey and Pacquiao-Margarito were the other two). His base is exceptionally strong. However, he has yet to reach the mainstream celebrity status that Mayweather held. Love him or hate him, Mayweather was a master of ceremonies wherever he went. That, along with a cultivated image of villainous ruler who everyone wanted to see destroyed, made Mayweather unlike any other boxer we have seen.
Canelo’s mainstream outreach is limited because he has yet to master the English language and it limits his outreach in the States. It doesn’t necessarily “hurt” him but it does put a ceiling on his potential. Because of that, it creates this illusion that all of his opponents should bow down to his terms. Not to mention that his opponents don’t have the illustrious task of being the first to put a blemish on his record because Mayweather already handled that.
It has benefited him thus far as illustrated by the 50,000 plus who attended his one-sided shellacking of Liam Smith. If it were any other boxer, a fight against Smith wouldn’t have taken place at the humongous confines of AT&T Stadium nor would it have been on pay per view. But, alas, it was. And people paid for it.
That kind of power is the reason why a fight against Golovkin has yet to take place. Like Mayweather, Canelo and De La Hoya are going to squeeze every drop of anticipation out of this fight before it is made. They saw the success of Mayweather-Pacquiao – while ignoring how that mega event nearly ruined the entire sport – and realized that the blueprint for how to turn a boxing match into a mega event was made. De La Hoya probably (and rightfully) thinks that the big difference between Canelo-GGG and Mayweather-Pacquiao is that the likelihood of Canelo-GGG being a dud in the ring is slim to none. At any rate, the plan appears to be for De La Hoya to drag this thing out until the buzz reaches a deafening roar and, in the process, have Canelo “work” his way up to 160 pounds by beating up on overmatched opponents he can cash out on.
From a business perspective, that’s a great thing. No matter what happens when Canelo and GGG meet in a boxing ring, they will both cash checks with multiple zeroes.
However, the problem with this plan is that it’s so close to Mayweather-Pacquiao that boxing fans can sniff out this scenario before it reaches its completion. And, for the most part, boxing fans are absolutely unhappy with the fact that they have to once again wait for a fight in the future that they wanted to see yesterday.
We won’t learn much about how Canelo-GGG will play out as long as they are fighting other people. You know, unless they get knocked off on the way there. And it appears that GGG isn’t planning to just beat up tomato cans on the road to Canelo if a fight against Daniel Jacobs is made. As for Canelo, he’ll stack his bank account against whoever De La Hoya feels like putting him in there against as long as he fights on Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day. It’s formulaic, but it works.
The current plan is September 2017. However, with Canelo’s injury, that could delay things further. And considering that the redheaded Mexican is only 26, he can afford to wait. Golovkin doesn’t have Father Time on his side at the age of 34.
Ultimately, everything is in Canelo’s favor the longer they drag this out. Sure, we’ll complain about how this is hurting his stature. But it really isn’t in the grand scheme of things. It’s the School of Mayweather and it appears that Canelo is well on his way to getting his master’s degree.