In mid-day Los Angeles WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez arrived with his team at the garden setting restaurant Café Pinot.
Amid the trees, skyscrapers and blue skies, Golden Boy Promotions announced to the dozens of media drinking tea under shady umbrellas their breakthrough idea of hosting two major fights in separate locations.
Few raised their eyebrows.
While Floyd Mayweather and WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz battle in Las Vegas, 300 miles west Canelo (37-0-1, 27 KOs) defends his title against fellow Guadalajaran Alfonso Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KOs) in Los Angeles on Sept. 17. Both will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.
“It’s never been done before,” said Tony Walker, who handles HBO pay-per-view boxing shows.
Richard Schaefer, CEO for Golden Boy, said that a concert featuring famous Mexican bands will perform at the Staples Center after Canelo and Gomez battle it out for the junior middleweight title.
Gomez promises death before defeat.
“I promise to ruin all these plans,” said Gomez, who fights for Top Rank and was allowed to participate against a Golden Boy fighter. It’s something that was not possible the last several years. “Unlike his previous opponents I plan to die in that ring in order to win that championship. I’m going for the knockout.”
Gomez, who defeated Jesus Soto Karass, Jose Luis Castillo and Calvin Green in succession, also performed a rap in Spanish where he promises to dethrone Canelo.
Alvarez was not amused and his already reddish complexion seemed to get redder.
“I’m not a clown, I do my talking with my fists,” said Alvarez, whose last two fights were against prizefighters, Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes, from United Kingdom.
The unusual pay-per-view split will feature a large screen at Staples Center where fans can watch all of the fight emanating from Las Vegas including the mega fight between Ortiz and the return of Mayweather.
“And the people at Las Vegas can see Canelo fight at Staples Center live,” Schaefer said, adding that Erik Morales has been added to the Mayweather-Ortiz fight card in the MGM Grand Casino Hotel on Sept. 17. “It’s going to be an exciting night.”
Tickets for the Alvarez-Gomez fight begin at $50 and include all of the pay-per-view fights from Las Vegas and a concert.
“It’s going to be a great show,” said HBO’s Walker.