Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan who made the fight possible?
by Hector Franco
The last week has created a lot of buzz in the boxing world. The boxing world was given one of it’s first true surprises of the year as a fight between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan was announced. Most at first thought this may have been a hoax. It has come with it’s fair share of criticism, but most fans seem to be excited at the thought of a brand new match up.
Another rumor was reported this week that started off with a posting on social media site Reddit, where the funding behind Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was brought into question. The investment firm Waddell & Reed seems to be losing money as a whole and it would seem that the effect that this may have on the PBC is substantial. In relation to how Amir Khan was able to get a bout with Canelo Alvarez, it leaves fans with more questions than answers. Just how was this bout put together?
Amir Khan is different. Khan isn’t the same as his Haymon counterparts. Khan has the same drawing power as a Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter in the states, but has a built-in fan base in the UK. To speculate here, his deal with Haymon may have been different than any other fighter. Khan was the only Haymon fighter who took it upon himself to really call out Floyd Mayweather Jr. and actually throw insults his way. Khan was unable to secure bouts with Mayweather or Pacquiao, so the next biggest bout he could secure for himself was Canelo Alvarez. Khan has maintained a relationship with Oscar De La Hoya. Khan and De La Hoya have stayed in communication even during the Richard Schaefer-Haymon raiding of the Golden Boy roster. Khan due to his own choice sat out most of the last three years. He has been largely inactive. He was content in unsuccessfully pursuing bouts with Pacquiao and Mayweather and was not able to secure other bouts that would be meaningful as well. Khan taking the Canelo fight has left himself with the option to come back down to welterweight should he lose to Alvarez. The Kell Brook bout will always be there as it will be a huge fight over in the UK, no matter the circumstances of Khan’s fight with Canelo.
The newly appointed president of HBO Sports is Peter Nelson. It would seem that the old regime under Ken Hershman made it a priority to not have a working relationship with Al Haymon. HBO just as much as Golden Boy with Khan were able to keep the negotiations for the bout on the hush. It’s possible that Peter Nelson may be changing who HBO is willing to work with under his guidance. Nelson is known for being a fan of the sport and getting the likes of Golovkin, Kovalev and Roman Gonzalez on the network. There are only so many bouts that can be made using the same promoters over and over again. Rebuilding the relationship with Haymon can help resurrect programs such as Boxing after Dark. Let’s face it, it’s not like were seeing Golden Boy and Top Rank put on many shows together. Although on March 5th, they will be working together for a card featuring Luis Ortiz, Sadam Ali and Jesse Vargas. It’s important to cut the Network ties to promoters and fighters. Nelson may focus on buying fights on the network and not fighters.
According to Golden Boy Promotions they had no discussions with Al Haymon to make the bout between Amir Khan and Canelo Alvarez. Khan however in the press release and in interviews discussing the bout did thank Haymon for helping making the fight happen. Khan may have asked for Haymon’s blessing to make the fight happen. This could have been part of a plan that Haymon had in mind as well. Haymon unlike any other promoter, has kept himself completely away from the media. There aren’t any interviews with Haymon. You never see Haymon at any press conference for any of his fighters to announce a bout. Haymon is a complete mystery to all boxing fans and media. We can only speculate as to his involvement in making this bout a reality. Khan may have nudged Haymon to allow him to take part in a Canelo bout as to make up for not being able to get Khan any big fights in the last three years. It could be years until we find out the hand that Haymon played in any of the bouts that have taken place in the last decade.
However, this bout was made it’s clear that it took multiple groups to come together to make it possible. This bout is more about the event than the fight itself. It is now up to Golden Boy to put together a card that will make this one event that boxing fan’s can’t miss. This could end up being a one-off where these groups work together only once. Boxing fans hope that regardless of the players involved in the making of the card happen that it is a sign that more bouts will be put together regardless of promotional ties.