It was a panic-button announcement, but don’t press it just yet.
Oscar De La Hoya told reporters in Las Vegas on Saturday that a potential Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Miguel Cotto fight is not going to happen.
“We had a deadline -- a fifth deadline last night -- and Cotto and [his manager Gaby Penagaricano] turned down the deal,” De La Hoya said in a conversation at MGM Grand recorded by video reporter Elie Seckbach. “Canelo has to move on.”
The domino effect of that could influence ongoing talks to arrange a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight that has progressed past purse, site, date and drug-testing agreements to talks about how to televise the pay-per-view bout between the fighters’ respective premium cable networks, Showtime and HBO.
Cotto (39-4, 32 knockouts), the reigning middleweight champion, and Mayweather (47-0), the reigning welterweight titleist, fought in 2012, with Mayweather winning a unanimous decision while taking more punishment than usual.
A rematch that would give Mayweather a title in a sixth division would be option No. 2, and those who believe Mayweather has never wanted a Pacquiao fight are embracing that boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter will leap at this chance.
Yet, there are obstacles to such a deal, starting with the fact that there’d likely be less of an appetite for Mayweather-Cotto II after it generated in excess of $40 million in pay-per-view profits last time.
Mayweather has earned more than $30 million in each of his two 2014 fights against Marcos Maidana and would probably want more for the stiffer challenge of Cotto, who figures to be deserving of more than $10 million.
Where is that money coming from?
One high-ranking boxing official close to the Mayweather-Pacquiao talks said Penagaricano isn’t angling for Mayweather and might pursue a meeting at 154 pounds against former welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in June if Alvarez is indeed moving on.
The boxing official is not authorized to speak publicly because of the sensitivity of the talks.
That same official -- despite De La Hoya’s statement -- said there’s a possibility Alvarez-Cotto discussions could be revived this coming week.
While the Mayweather-Pacquiao television talks hit a snag Friday, it’s believed executives at the highest levels of the companies -- including CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves and HBO Chairman Richard Plepler -- are interested in hammering out an agreement to make the sport’s ultimate fight happen.