Can you recall a boxing match between two great warriors being promoted as a peace mission?
When HBO and Golden Boy Promotions hooks up, you never know what’s lying in the cut.
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman, in his never ending battle for world and boxing promoter peace, announced that when WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) meets former two-time world champion and resurgent contender Amir “King” Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) in a 12-round championship rumble on Cinco De Mayo weekend at the newly-constructed, 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, “Peace and Inclusion” will be the theme of the fight.
“We have Catholic and Muslim fighters coming together...we will plant an olive tree near the Arena as a symbol of the peace and unity (that the world needs),” said Sulaiman, as he addressed a packed Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan, site of the Alvarez-Khan press conference on Tuesday.
(Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk)
The legendary Broadway spot was the second stop of a three-day tour promoting the May 7th championship fight. The first stop was on Monday in London at the Park Plaza Riverbank. The last stop is on Wednesday at Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles.
HBO and Golden Boy Promotions are going all out to promote this fight, which pits Alvarez’s power against the smaller Khan’s speed and boxing savvy.
HBO’s Executive Vice President Peter Nelson was on a “We Are The World” wave as well. He described the fight between Mexico’s Alvarez and UK’s Khan as a pleasant change from the political wars that have been going on in this country. He says a gentleman's brawl between two proven champions with completely contrasting styles and advantages is what boxing needs.
“Sports is something that brings us together in a time of divisiveness and empty rhetoric,” Nelson said at the podium. “The sheer quantity of unpredictability in the quality of boxing has drawn fans away. The quality of unpredictability in this fight will bring fans back.”
Most of the fans in attendance were pro-Alvarez, They were deep in the spot, holding Canelo posters, speaking his native language and refusing to let Aamir Khan really get a word in when he spoke. There were, however a few vocal Khan fans who retaliated and also showed some disrespect to Alvarez when he attempted to address the media and fans.
The oddsmakers like the 25-year-old Canelo to dominate Khan and continue to take over as boxing’s newest, biggest pay per view draw.
Canelo has been a wrecking ball of late, but Khan knows that lofty place well. The Bolton, Lancashire, England hero catapulted into the media spotlight at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and as a professional, he became an international celebrity and a two-time world champion. After disappointing losses to Lamont Peterson in 2011 and Danny Garcia in 2012, Khan has clawed his way back into championship contention against Canelo, who dominated Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto in November.
Khan told the crowd, "This is a fight I can win."
If Khan manages to pull it out, then it will be a glorious rebirth. Golden Boy CEO and legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya says don't sleep on Khan. The upset potential of this fight reminds him of one particular classic confrontation in his own career.
“I remember when I was a fighter and there was a smaller guy named Manny Pacquiao who came up in weight to face me and nobody thought he would win,” De La Hoya said. “You know what happened in that fight...he retired me.”
Just a word of advice from Oscar to Canelo his new cash cow. There is money to be made so don't slip now. Just do what you do and spill blood in the name of peace.