Cotto-Canelo: When and where?
This much is clear: The highly anticipated match-up between Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez looks like it will take place on either Nov. 7 or the 21st. As for where it will land, well, while a host of fans had a pipe dream of somewhere in Texas (in either Dallas or San Antonio) the two frontrunners for now are Thomas and Mack Center and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
(Let’s be honest; it’s never about what the fans want, unfortunately.)
The bid for the Thomas and Mack – which has recently gone through a multimillion-dollar renovation – is being backed by Steve Wynn. While that’s all well and good, you have to wonder if any of that money was spent on putting in an extra cab line or three. I’ve talked to more than a few disgruntled fans who have horror stories of waiting more than an hour or two to get a ride back to the strip (quick tip: take the walk to the Hard Rock Cafe and grab a taxi there). Ask anyone who has seen a fight at this venue (“The House that Tarkanian Built”); it’s a bit of a logistical headache.
The MGM Grand is a familiar spot for fights and I’m told that Roc Nation and Cotto prefer this building but the precocious “Canelo” considers this facility a bit too influenced and under the spell of one Floyd Mayweather Jr. – all the way to the point in which he has an issue with the big mural featuring “Money” that adorns the side of the hotel.
Golden Boy Promotions officials were in Las Vegas earlier this week in regard to this promotion. What will be interesting to see is if they end up doing business again with Richard Sturm, the president of MGM Grand Entertainment, who is firmly in bed with Al Haymon and the Premier Boxing Champions. If Alvarez had his druthers, this fight would be in Texas but you always got the sense that Cotto didn’t want to cede home canvas advantage to this degree as Alvarez would most likely enjoy a significant advantage in fan support here. Ironically, Freddie Roach prefers to go to the “Lone Star State” and isn’t so keen on going back to Vegas and dealing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission after the ordeal he and his camp had to go through during Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao week.
Cotto and Roc Nation preferred New York but without casino money and the steep taxes in that state, this was never a serious possibility, I’m told.
As for the date, HBO prefers Nov. 21, believing it’s a superior pay-per-view date and that the replay will do better numbers on the following weekend. As for Nov. 14, the UFC has a pay-per-event scheduled that evening and has a hold with the cable and satellite industry.
So where will this fight eventually land? As Larry Merchant taught me long ago: “They always go where the most money is.”
Now a lot of things still have to happen and both Kovalev and Ward have to win a fight or two first but this would certainly be one of the most significant and highly anticipated fights next year.
– Who knows if this fight has died on the vine but, finally, a bout between L.A. rivals Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares has been finalized for the Staples Center on Aug. 29. Perhaps this bout has lost some of its luster (especially in the wake of Mares getting drilled by Jhonny Gonzalez in Aug. of 2013 and Santa Cruz not exactly facing a Murderers Row over the past couple of years) but it says here that it still has a chance of being a pretty good scrap. A lot is on the line, namely relevancy.
– According to Top Rank Promotions’ Bob Arum, the last hurtle for Brandon Rios facing IBF welterweight titlist Kell Brook on Sept. 12 is the rematch clause.
– While Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank and Bad Dog Productions all have pending litigation versus Al Haymon, I’m told another promotional entity is thinking about jumping into the fray in suing Mr. Haymon/PBC.
– Names such as Antonio Orozco, Humberto Soto, Mauricio Herrera and Ruslan Provodnikov are among the names on the list that are being considered for Terence Crawford’s next opponent. The date being proposed for his return to Omaha, Neb. is Nov. 7.
3 KNOCKDOWN RULE
After a hiatus, Mario Lopez and I came back this week with two editions of “The 3 Knockdown Rule” than can be downloaded on iTunes.
Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he tweets (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. He also shares photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.