Oscar De La Hoya met for three hours Thursday with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, building a bond that could lead to the placement of a Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight unification fight later this year at AT&T Stadium.
De La Hoya, who promotes World Boxing Council middleweight champion Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts), of Mexico, said it’s a “strong possibility” that Alvarez will fight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, by the end of the year. No fight date agreement was struck, verbally or written, De La Hoya said.
But De La Hoya also said that Alvarez, who has his first title defense coming May 7 versus England’s Amir Khan at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, wants to fight three times this calendar year.
Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, told reporters this week in Los Angeles that there’s a signed agreement stating that Alvarez must either fight Golovkin next should he defeat Khan or be stripped of the WBC belt, with it going to mandatory challenger Golovkin, who already holds the World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation belts.
There is concern, however, that after bringing in less than 150,000 pay-per-view buys for his October technical-knockout victory over David Lemieux at a sold-out Madison Square Garden, Kazakhstan’s Golovkin still has audience-building work to do despite a 21-fight knockout streak.
Alvarez’s November victory over Miguel Cotto generated 900,000 pay-per-view buys, and he’s also participated in the second-most lucrative bout of all-time, his 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“[Golovkin] is a possibility [for AT&T Stadium], obviously it came up,” De La Hoya said of the meeting with Jones. “Is he going to fight him? Absolutely, that’s no issue whatsoever. But the question is when. Our thoughts are that the fight is going to eventually happen.
“As you know, we have to build this fight up to be the next super-fight. And, yes, it will be the next super-fight. The difference with this one [and Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao] is there will be action, there will be knockdowns — probably a knockout — so it’s a matter of focusing all of our energies on May 7 with Amir Khan and then we’ll take it from there.”
Now residing in Los Angeles, the Big Bear-trained Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) will fight little-known unbeaten mandatory IBF challenger Dominic Wade of Maryland on April 23 at the Forum.
Jones last year hosted Golovkin and his promoter, Tom Loeffler, at a Cowboys game.
De La Hoya said he enjoyed the meeting that came after Alvarez instructed him he wants to fight at least once a year in Texas.
The session was intended “to open up some dialogue and create a relationship with [Jones] … it was great. We have an obligation to explore the opportunities all over Texas, including San Antonio, and that’s a tremendous opportunity for Canelo to expand his fans,” De La Hoya said.
“First, we’re going to get through May 7 and if everything goes well, we have options, Las Vegas or Texas.
“Jerry Jones and I agreed Canelo has a difficult task in front of him because of Amir Khan’s speed. Stylistically, it’s one of those fights for Canelo, like Mayweather or [Cuba's Erislandy] Lara, where he’s facing speed with his power. So we agreed let’s wait until May 8 and proceed with our conversations.”
De La Hoya said that when the Golovkin fight does happen his Golden Boy Promotions will be the bout’s lead promoter.