Saul “Canelo” Alvarez looks to begin rebuilding his career March 8 at the MGM Grand Garden, the same place it was sidetracked in September.
The former WBC world junior middleweight champion will look to rebound from his 12-round majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. against veteran slugger Alfredo Angulo. The 12-round nontitle fight will be the main event of Golden Boy Promotions’ card and will be televised on Showtime Pay Per View.
“We think we have an exciting fight,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said Thursday. “Canelo needs to win this fight, and it’s a huge opportunity for Angulo. I expect these guys to go toe-to-toe, and that’s how we’re going to promote this card — ‘Toe To Toe.’”
Alvarez, 23, was given a boxing lesson by Mayweather when they met Sept. 14. But because of questionable judging from Las Vegas’ C.J. Ross, Alvarez won six rounds on her card, and what should have been a unanimous decision for Mayweather resulted in a majority decision.
The fight with Angulo (22-3, 18 knockouts) is the first of what Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) hopes will be three ring appearances in 2014. The original plan was to face Miguel Cotto, but he rejected a multimillion dollar offer from Golden Boy, preferring to wait until early June and a possible fight with Sergio Martinez in New York.
With Cotto not in the picture, it was either IBF junior middleweight champ Carlos Molina or Angulo, who is looking to avenge a loss against Erislandy Lara on June 8. Angulo knocked Lara down twice in the fight, but Angulo sustained damage to the orbital bone in his left eye and the fight was stopped in the 10th round, giving Lara the interim WBA junior middleweight title.
Angulo was chosen despite not possessing a title belt. He is a hard puncher and has fought some good but not great fighters, including Gabe Rosario, and has lost to James Kirkland, Kermit Cintron and Lara.
But Angulo, 31, never has fought anyone close to Alvarez’s caliber, and Schaefer said Alvarez will have to carry the promotion and draw fans to the PPV.
“Angulo is a tough guy,” Schaefer said. “He hits like a mule. He’s no pushover, believe me. But there’s no question Canelo is the one with the star power. He has millions of fans, and just because he lost to the best doesn’t mean it’s the end of his career.
“He’s young. He’s strong. He came out of the fight physically OK. It’s no disgrace to lose to Floyd. Look at (Juan Manuel) Marquez. He bounced back after losing to Floyd. Same with (Miguel) Cotto. Even Oscar (De La Hoya) had big fights after he fought Floyd.”
As for Mayweather’s scheduled May 3 date, Schaefer said that announcement is a few weeks away. But he thinks Mayweather’s next ring appearance will be at the MGM. There have been rumors that Mayweather might fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., but Mayweather and Schaefer have shot them down.
“I haven’t talked to Floyd recently, but I believe his intention is to fight at the MGM,” Schaefer said. “That’s his home court, so to speak, and I don’t think Floyd likes giving up his home-court advantage. But Floyd is his own boss, and when he lets us know what his intentions are, we’ll proceed, just like we always do.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.