A three city press tour came to New York City Tuesday afternoon and for Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan, who clash on May 7th in Las Vegas, it was more than a spectacle at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. Most promotional press tours have become a media and fan circus and this one was no different.
Except Canelo Alvarez is promoted as one of the top three spectacles in the sport and Amir Khan, a former two-time world champion has resurged and was once considered and bypassed as an opponent for eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao.
Khan got the call as the best opponent right now to dethrone Alvarez, the WBC Lineal Middleweight champion. No confusion there because Alvarez has a part of the middleweight title when he won a commanding 12-round decision over Miguel Cotto in November. Khan, at the time was still petitioning the sanctioning organizations to get a shot at Pacquiao.
So there they were a day after a long flight from London, and Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions billing this as a Mega fight. The emphasis is the speed of Khan and power of Alvarez, and the fight will be televised on HBO Pay-Per-View from the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas trip.
HBO needs a so-called mega fight. As much as boxing and a decreasing fan base looks at potential fights, and there are many that can me made, suddenly the network along with Showtime, the other major televised division of the sport are having problems scheduling dates due to budget constraints. And by all means this is not a mega-fight when it comes to the hype and anticipation of Mayweather-Pacquiao last May,
We all know that hype of Mayweather-Pacquiao resulted in the highest grossed fight all-time, set pay-per-view records, and was an all time disappointment as it pertains to the mega fight.
De La Hoya is the ultimate politician of boxing and wants the best for fans. Making big fights are what the fans deserve, so he says, and from all standards Canelo Alvarez is a draw and Amir Khan has his following from a great fan base in England. However by all means much hype about this one may not live up to expectations, unless of course Khan pulls the ultimate upset that he is capable of doing.
At the Hard Rock they had a gallery of fans cheering and showing their allegiance to both fighters. And when it comes to media this was also a spectacle, maybe a few less than a similar hyped up press conference in New York last year that kicked off the Mayweather-Pacquiao promotion.
“Canelo is that superstar that boxing needs,” said Jim Lampley the Hall of Fame fight caller for HBO. He answered a few questions to the gallery of fans when he exited the room and posed for photos. Lampley would not pick a winner but both fighters had their say, and it was no different from the day before or what will be said Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles.
“I will be the new middleweight champion,” Khan said. “What will win this fight is speed, determination and skill. My dream has always been to fight the best and test myself and in Canelo I’m facing just that.”
Khan will have to confront the power of Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KO’s) and he will move up in weight. That could be a disadvantage because Alvarez, the known puncher is accustomed to being where he is at middleweight. Alvarez has gone the distance in five of his last seven fights while Khan, (31-3, 19 KO’s) since 2012 has won his last five.
Three of those fights he stopped opponents that were much smaller than Alvarez. Again, there is no dispute that Amir Khan is a viable opponent from his past history, but to bill this as a mega fight is beyond expectations when taking into consideration that Alvarez could have taken on any of the other viable middleweights.
But Alvarez has bigger plans, and a real mega fight with knockout artist and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, a unification bout waiting in the wings if he gets by Khan.
“Want to put on a great fight for the fans,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. He never says much and waits until the bell rings to make a statement. The overall sentiment is Khan will be a tune-up before getting to Golovkin and that is more of a reason not to consider this a mega fight.
Yes it was another spectacle at the Hard Rock and there was no definite answer as to who will win this one.
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