Canelo open to fighting in September, sans fans

Boxing

Although no opponent or date has been finalized, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said Canelo Alvarez is willing to fight without a live audience in his next outing.

Alvarez, who holds titles at 160 and 168 pounds, is one of the biggest draws in the sport. But regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic will prevent events from having audiences as fights begin to resume.

“Yes, for the time being, Canelo is open to fighting in September with no fans,” Gomez said Wednesday on “The 3 Knockdown Rule” podcast. “We’re actually discussing all the details now. But he’s open to it.”

As for who Alvarez’s opponent will be and when a fight will take place, Gomez said nothing has been finalized. Alvarez was expected to face WBO super middleweight belt-holder Billy Joe Saunders on May 2 in Las Vegas, but that fight didn’t happen because of the pandemic.

For now, the economics of the business have been greatly altered. With no fans and no tickets sold, the numbers involved in overall revenue have shrunk. For a franchise fighter such as Alvarez, who signed a ballyhooed, 10-fight, $365 million contract with DAZN in 2018, ticket sales are vital to the bottom line. For example, Alvarez’s rematch against Gennadiy Golovkin sold 16,732 tickets at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, netting more than $23.4 million.

The reality is there is currently less money available to everyone involved in the sport.

“It’s going to be tricky. There are certain fighters that are going to accept it. They understand it,” said Gomez, whose company hopes to resume operations on July 4. “There are other fighters that are going to reject it.”

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