On Saturday night, Josesito Lopez (30-4, 18 KOs) broke the jaw of Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs), stopping him in nine and abruptly destroying Golden Boy Promotions’ plan to match the former welterweight champion against undefeated junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1 29 KOs) on a September 15 pay-per-view card.
On Sunday, Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Shaefer told RingT.com that the broadcasting options for Alvarez’s September bout are now up in the air. Depending upon who is chosen as a replacement for Ortiz the fight could either remain as a pay-per-view or be moved to regular Showtime.
But the most intriguing option mentioned by Shaefer was the possibility that the bout might be broadcast on CBS. This would mark an exciting return of the sport to network television:
“I know that CBS has college games that day. They have college games in the afternoon, but we have national clearance from CBS in the evening, and they are very interested in having Canelo on,” said Schaefer .
“I think that CBS would be an interesting angle. I think that it has been since the 1990s that you had boxing on free over the air network television. So this would be historic. And it just shows you how popular Canelo is.”
The uncertainty over broadcast venue mirrors the uncertainty over Alvarez’s next potential opponent. After an impressive unanimous decision victory over future Hall-of-Famer Shane Mosely on the Mayweather-Cotto undercard last May, Alvarez had been set to face former champion Paul Williams in an eagerly anticipated matchup.
But Williams suffered a career-ending motorcycle injury later in the month. Explosive southpaw James Kirkland was mentioned as a possible opponent, but was unable to sign due to a nagging shoulder injuy suffered in his last fight.
Golden Boy then penciled in Ortiz for Alvarez’s September dance card, even as he had the fight with Lopez looming. Lopez had himself been brought in as a replacement opponent for Ortiz, after his original opponent, Andre Berto, tested positive for PED’s.
But Lopez showed up at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night determined to be more than just a stepping-stone. He fought intelligently and courageously against the larger and favored Ortiz, using great movement and counter-punching to make a competitive fight and force Ortiz to quit on his stool prior to round 10.
Now Golden Boy is onto finding a plan “D” for their exciting 21-year-old star. Shaefer emphasized to Ringtv.com that the fight would only be on pay-per-view if the next opponent has stature sufficient to justify it: “…we don’t believe in putting together cards and have fans pay if the cards don’t belong on pay per view.”
With a September 15 date, Golden Boy and Alvarez are already set to go head-to-head against an eagerly anticipated Top Rank pay-per-view scheduled for that night between undefeated WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and pound-for-pound standout Sergio Martinez.
Facing a shortage of opponents with the resume and popularity to justify a pay-per-view slot, Shaefer indicated that Golden Boy might instead flank their chief rival through simple access:
Which Fight are you more likely to watch September 15Chavez vs Martinez Alvarez vs TBA vote to see results
“Sept. 15 is Mexican Independence Day, and if we, in fact, have Canelo Alvarez live on CBS, where you will have millions — and not just hundreds of thousands — but millions of people watching, I think that it would be very fitting that you have somebody like Canelo do that. Canelo is the biggest star in Mexico, and he is fighting on the No. 1 network in Mexico, which is Televisa. So it would be very fitting that he would be the one to bring boxing back to network television here in the United States,” said Schaefer.
Potential opponents for Alvarez include IBF and WBA belt holders Cornelius Bundrage and Austin Trout, as well as a former welterweight champ Carlos Quintana.
A lot of hardcore boxing fans would love to see Alvarez matched with former Cuban amateur standout Erislandry Lara, who lost a highly disputed decision to Paul Williams last year and looked brilliant TKOing Ronald Hearns inside of the first round last April.
Although he seems like a long-shot selection, Miguel Cotto would allow Golden Boy to salvage the pay-per-view option.
According to the Ringtv.com story, an opponent should be named later in the week:
“Basically, Canelo is in town, and his managers and trainers, Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, they’re flying in. On Tuesday, we will have the names and everything ready to be discussed with Chepo, Eddie and Canelo, and I would expect that on Wednesday or on Thursday that we will then announce who Canelo will be fighting on Sept. 15 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas,” said Schaefer.
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