By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya is reporting that the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) vs. James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) bout, which will be televised on regular HBO, has been moved from May 2nd to May 9th. The fight will be taking place at the Minute Maid Park, in Houston, Texas, USA.
While De La Hoya previously mentioned wanting to move the Canelo-Kirkland fight to May 9th if the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao fight were to take place on May 2nd, it is now official.
The Canelo-Kirkland fight is now been moved to May 9th in Houston, Texas. There had been talk of the fight being staged in San Antonio, Texas at the Alamodome, but De La Hoya decided to move it for some reason.
What’s particularly interesting about De La Hoya moving the Canelo vs. Kirkland fight to Minute Maid Park is that the place only holds 40,000 boxing fans. De La Hoya was recently talking about the Canelo-Kirkland fight drawing as many as 60,000 fans. De La Hoya said he thought the fight could break the record for the Alamodome set by the Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez fight. But that’s not going to be possible now that De La Hoya has moved the Canelo-Kirkland fight to the Minute Maid Park due to its smaller dimensions than the Alamodome.
The only way De La Hoya can hope that the Canelo-Kirkland fight breaks the Chavez-Whitaker record is if they construct extra seating for the venue, which obviously is impossible.
It’s a smart move by De La Hoya to move the Canelo fight to the smaller Minute Maid Park, because I don’t see the fight drawing huge numbers at al. At best, I can see it pulling in between 10,000 to 20,000 fans, and that’s if they heavily discount the tickets to get people interested in buying them.
“The week around Cinco de Mayo will be the biggest in years for boxing, bridging the present and the future as the three biggest stars in the sport all step into the ring in just a seven-day period. It is my hope and belief that this May week will usher in a new era of our sport, one in which we as a sport give fans what they want, the best facing the best.”
Canelo wanted to fight on Cinco de Mayo on May 2nd against Kirkland. But with Mayweather and Pacquiao taking that date, the only way Canelo could have kept the date is if he agreed to fight on the undercard of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight as part of a split site bout.
I don’t think Canelo would have ever gone for that idea though, and he obviously didn’t have the popularity to kick Pacquiao and Mayweather off the May 2nd date. I’m sure we’re going to have a repeat of this affair later on this year in September when Canelo attempts to take the Mexican Independence Day holiday date, which Mayweather will also be attempting to take.
Since Canelo doesn’t have the same pay-per-view appeal as Mayweather, Canelo will have to either move off the date or accept seeing his PPV numbers take a major hit due to boxing fans choosing to buy Mayweather’s PPV fight on Showtime instead.