The Alvarez-Dela Hoya alliance

Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

News that the Miguel Cotto-Canelo Alvarez middleweight championship fight generated 900,000 pay-per-views (PPVs) proves the Mexican is boxing’s next big superstar.

Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is retired and Manny Pacquiao past his prime, boxing needs a new superstar and Alvarez fits the mold. Although he lost to Mayweather on September 14, 2013 via majority decision, the Mexican has recovered remarkably with key wins over Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland, among others.

The Mayweather fight even bolstered the stock of Alvarez because it generated 2.2 million PPVs, one of the top three highest of all time. While the American can be credited largely for helping generate that high level of PPVs, there is no doubt Alvarez also helped pull in those huge PPV numbers.

One more thing going for Alvarez is he is managed and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions of Oscar Dela Hoya, which assures the Mexican he will be getting the best paydays. The Alvarez-Dela Hoya alliance, whether unholy or not, should actually be envied by other promoters and boxers.

Alvarez earned $15 million from the Cotto fight, while the Puerto Rican pocketed $5 million. How does that compare to the reported $5.35 million Tyson Fury earned from grabbing the heavyweight belts from Vladimir Klitschko who in turn earned about $8.25 million?

One of the most overlooked achievements of Dela Hoya is he pushed the paydays of boxers outside the heavyweight division to astronomical sums. While Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfredo Benitez and Roberto Duran proved fighters in the welterweight to middleweight divisions could grab the limelight from the heavyweights, it was Dela Hoya who showed fighters in those divisions can earn more than the heavyweights. The huge paydays of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao would not be possible if it were not for Dela Hoya getting fight purses running into the millions of dollars.

Remember that Pacquiao’s first multi-million dollar paycheck amounting to $6 million was from his systematic beating on December 6, 2008 of Dela Hoya, who made at least $20 million in the fight.

Also, Mayweather’s first huge paycheck was in May 5, 2007 when he won via split decision over Dela Hoya. The American pocketed $20 million while Dela Hoya made at least $52 million, a record at the time. Notably, the Dela Hoya-Mayweather fight was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.

One of the Dela Hoya’s first big paydays was when he lost via split decision in a welterweight unification fight on September 18, 1999 to Felix Trinidad. Dela Hoya earned $21 million and Trinidad $8.5 million. Does earning $21 million 16 years ago sound astounding to you, and how does that compare to the $30 million heavyweights Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis each earned when the squared off in June 8, 2002?

Now that he is a boxing promoter and manager, Dela Hoya knows very well how to spot talent that could bring him more money and who could in turn earn big bucks. Alvarez fits the mold.

And to prove that Dela Hoya knows how to handle Alvarez, he did not call out undefeated knockout artist and middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to immediately fight his “golden find” right after the Mexican beat Cotto to win a version of the middleweight title.

So expect Golovkin-Alvarez not to happen sooner or later, because Dela Hoya knows the risk of Alvarez facing the Kazakstan knockout artist this early.

Instead, expect Dela Hoya to pick “safer” opponents for Alvarez like welterweight champion Keith Thurman, who despite being undefeated has not faced the type of opposition Alvarez has faced.

At 25 years old, it is actually foolish to pit Alvarez against dangerous opposition from a business standpoint and Dela Hoya knows that very well.

I am not denigrating Alvarez because he is boxing’s biggest star now and has outshone the heavyweights. But just imagine what Alvarez would be now if Mayweather and Pacquiao fought in the shadows of the heavyweights during their prime? And just imagine what Mayweather and Pacquiao would have been during their prime if Dela Hoya was just an undercard feature for most of the heavyweight fights staged during his active years?

Many will love to denigrate Dela Hoya for his achievements as a boxer but one this is very clear – boxers outside of the heavyweight division who have earned and will earn multi-million dollar paychecks owe a lot to Dela Hoya, including Alvarez.

It looks like the Alvarez-Dela Hoya alliance is going to make lots of money in the next years to come. That’s good and bad for boxing.


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