As the showdown approaches Saturday night between World Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and WBO a Light Heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev, the other equally intriguing subplot is Alvarez’s strained relationship with his promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
And that PR soap opera had an ugly chapter unfold Wednesday
First, the Athletic’s boxing insider Mike Coppinger published an exclusive interview item where Alvarez ripped the former world champion fighter, De La Hoya and now head of Golden Boy promotions:
Canelo Alvarez has been with Eddy and Chepo Reynoso since age 13. Clearly, he’s a loyal guy. He doesn’t see that same trait in Oscar De La Hoya.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) October 30, 2019
This was in specific response to questions about how De La Hoya and Golden Boy had caused Alvarez to be stripped of his IBF middleweight title earlier this summer. The story also includes the accusation by Alvarez’s camp that Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Garcia purposely mis-led them about the deadline to agree to fight Russian Sergey Derevyanchenko.
They say it’s because he and Golden Boy had the deal with Gennady Golovkin to fight Derevyanchenko waiting in the wings. And, that fight was quickly signed the week after Alvarez was stripped and Golovkin won the vacant belt earlier this month.
So, with that item having the boxing internet on fire throughout the morning, the fighters and their promoters all met Wednesday afternoon with the international media for the final time prior to Saturday night.
And, it was clear from the beginning that even though Alvarez had to sit next to De La Hoya, that he had no use for being around him.
Canelo is sitting right next to Oscar at the press conference here at MGM Grand, but he's not even acknowledging Oscar is there. #CaneloKovalev
— Keith Idec (@Idecboxing) October 30, 2019
We wrote previously about the strained relationship Canelo and De La Hoya, that eventually had a face-to-face to attempt to clear the air. They decided on a plan and were able to secure the Kovalev fight for November 2nd.
At the press conference, Alvarez never smiled, shook Oscar’s hand or would even look at De La Hoya, while De La Hoya was talking during his time at the podium promoting the fight.
Canelo later took to the podium thanking everyone in a roll call, mentioning Golden Boy, but conspicuously not De La Hoya.
This only further adds do the behind-the-scenes drama headed to the weekend that’s going on between the super star fighter and De La Hoya and his organization.
Alvarez has not only an agreement with De La Hoya but also an 11 fight deal with The DAZN streaming service paying him over $300 million. This will be the third fight for Canelo under that umbrella with lots of speculation that both sides may work out a mutual separation at some point, well before it gets anywhere near 11 fights and that type of money.
Ultimately, Saturday’s fight with the Russian 175 lbs. champ will come down to whether Alvarez can out fight and outlast his opponent. However, clearly he has an issue that may either be motivating him or distracting him.
We will find out soon.