Canelo proves he’s a superstar, but will he be tested?
by Bryan Fonseca
Dec 18, 2018 | 9831 views | 0 0 comments | 509 509 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sold-out 20,112 flooded Madison Square Garden to watch Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) obliterate overmatched Rocky Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) in a glorified sparring session on Saturday.

The bout was tailor-made for Canelo to pick apart the weakest of the 168-pound super middleweight champions in his move up from middleweight (160 pounds), and MSG was hand chosen by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, along with Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, who is backed up new streaming service DAZN, as the venue to coronate the Mexican megastar.

“I’m happy and I’m grateful to be here, I hope this is the first of many,” said Canelo through a translator of competing at a place that has launched many Hispanic boxers into new levels of stardom in its storied history.

Canelo knocked down Fielding four times, finishing him in the third, a complete mismatch, thoroughly enjoyed by Alvarez’s supporters and De La Hoya himself.

“Let’s enjoy the night now,” De La Hoya said at the press conference, cracking open a can of Tecáte beer while Canelo worked his way over.

There’s a lot to celebrate, but De La Hoya left many questions unanswered. The standard “what’s next?” in particular, as it pertains to Canelo.

Saturday’s bout was the first of an 11-fight deal worth $365 million – the largest contract in sports history for a pro athlete – for Canelo, who turned 28 this past July.

The expectation is that Canelo will return for the coveted Cinco De Mayo weekend card, which will be on May 4. It’s a weekend Canelo has competed on and highlighted every year since 2015, noticeably against overmatched opponents James Kirkland, Amir Khan (who moved up two weight classes), and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

However, De La Hoya was adamant about nothing being in the works yet.

“We have no opponent, we’re not even thinking about it,” he insisted.

De La Hoya further cited Golden Boy Promotions’ plan to put-off planning until after the holidays, opting for a celebration and time with their families.

Perhaps most notably, Brownsville’s Danny Jacobs (35-2, 29 KO’s) is already campaigning for the opportunity. Jacobs even showed up to fight week events, held an impromptu press conference in New York City on Friday night, and entered the ring to respectfully confront Alvarez following his victory.

The two shook hands, and he pleaded his case.

“Obviously he’s fighting for legacy and capturing another belt. It’s a great thing for his career, I support him on that,” Jacobs said, hoping to insert himself into Canelo’s future plans. “But I do feel that he has a lot of unfinished business in the middleweight division.

“I think I’m the perfect candidate,” he continued. “I’m a world champion now, and that says a lot. I think now that the fans are wanting the fight. Let’s do this, maybe Cinco de Mayo in Vegas?”

Canelo made it a point to tell reporters that he fears no one. As De La Hoya continues to be strategic in his corner, there’s no telling what will happen five months from now.

“What I always want to do is to make the best fight whether they’re for world titles or not,” Canelo said. “Right now, what I can tell you is that I just want to make the best fights for the public. I’m going to trust everyone and trust my team. I’m not scared of nobody.”
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