There might be a power struggle going on at Golden Boy Promotions, but there’s no doubt about who the company’s prized boxer is aligned with.
Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez said Tuesday he’s intrigued by Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya’s push to renew fight talks with rival promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank despite resistance from Golden Boy’s chief executive, Richard Schaefer.
“If Oscar thinks it’s good and the best thing for my career, then I’m with Oscar 100%,” Alvarez told The Times. “The only one I’m with is Oscar. The only reason I came to this company is Oscar.”
The 23-year-old Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 knockouts) appeared at Olvera Street to promote his July 12 pay-per-view fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Cuba’s Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs).
De La Hoya told The Times last month he wants to repair the five-year-old strain with Arum, and even floated the idea of an Alvarez-Manny Pacquiao fight as an example of the fan-pleasing benefits of co-promotion.
Alvarez manager/trainer “Chepo” Reynoso said, “Of course, that’s a very interesting fight. What better fight could you want? We prepare our fighter to fight the best opponent possible, and trust the promoter will find those top opponents.”
Schaefer said because of numerous arguments and failed talks with Arum – most famously over the never-made Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight -- he doesn’t want to do business with Top Rank any longer.
De La Hoya, however, said he met last week with Arum in Beverly Hills to discuss among other things the former world champion boxer’s recovery from addiction and how he wants to proceed.
“I was down on the canvas and could’ve stayed down, and no one would have ever heard from me again,” De La Hoya said. “But I said I’m going to get back up and have my hand lifted in victory.”
He said his motivation beyond his family is to “help the sport that helped me. . . . This is my company. I’m the owner of the company.”
De La Hoya expressed confidence he and Schaefer can “work things out,” despite speculation that Schaefer – who has helped promote all of Mayweather’s fights since 2007 – is interested in joining Mayweather's manager Al Haymon in fight promotion.
Haymon represents several fighters in the Golden Boy stable, including Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia and Leo Santa Cruz.
A lawsuit filed in New York by boxing promoter Kathy Duva claimed Schaefer and Haymon are trying to “wrest control” of Golden Boy from De La Hoya.
“I’m here, and Golden Boy Promotions will be bigger and better than ever, regardless of what happens,” De La Hoya said. “I believe in myself 100% that I can get that [co-promotions with Top Rank] accomplished. I’m the owner of the company. I can get that done.
“I have no personal issue with Bob Arum anymore. I went to his house. He has this beautiful home – that I probably helped him build. We remembered old times together. I told him thank you for what he did for my career. Now that we’ve buried the hatchet, maybe next meeting we can talk business.
“For the betterment of the sport, the fans.”
De La Hoya said he’ll be “involved in everything,” including fight negotiations. “We have COOs, CFOs, CEOs, and then the owner. I will be right there, in everything.”
Soon, De La Hoya contends, it’ll be as simple as lobbing a phone call to Arum, suggesting a bout pitting a Golden Boy fighter against someone like Top Rank’s hard-punching welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov.
“That’s the risk that he has to take . . . and I hope my fighter wins. Whoever prevails, boom, there you go,” De La Hoya said. “But what that does, the fight fans get to watch the fight. And then Bob gets to call me. Those are the risks you have to make to make fights happen.”
Short of that is the current landscape.
“We’re making fights here at Golden Boy and we’re very successful, but . . . we haven’t even scratched the surface,” De La Hoya said.
Lara landed the shot at former junior-middleweight world champion Alvarez by also beating the last two men Alvarez defeated, Austin Trout and Alfredo Angulo.
Lara called out Alvarez following the Mexican’s March knockout of Angulo in Las Vegas, and Alvarez humorously asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see that fight. Only Lara’s manager spoke up.
“There wasn’t too much interest, but then the fans spoke up,” Alvarez said of social media chatter. “They were saying he’s talking too much, he offended me saying Cuban fighters always take Mexican fighters to school. I’ll be ready for him.”
Alvarez had a difficult time in losing to skilled boxer Mayweather last year in the most lucrative pay-per-fight in history, and said he expects Lara to “move all over the place,” too.
“My mentality is that of a winner, though. I have an arsenal with all the weapons,” Alvarez said. “I’m older, more experienced, so I can deal with that style. And if he fights, you know I can do that.”