Canelo Alvarez bolstered his status as boxing’s brightest star in completely outclassing an overmatched rival Saturday night, while also confirming perhaps that he and Jerry Jones are a match made in heaven for pro sports’ biggest events.
AT&T Stadium provided a dynamic setting capable of holding all the adoring fans of the face of boxing and a home-field advantage the Dallas Cowboys could only dream of having.
A stadium-record fight crowd of 51,240 watched Canelo (48-1-1, 34 knockouts) pick apart titleholder Liam Smith (23-1-1) in a WBO junior middleweight title fight that ended in a ninth-round knockout.
The venue then immediately became the subject of speculation as Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo’s promoter, announced after the fight that he had offered his fighter’s chief rival an offer no one could refuse. The team of Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin immediately dismissed talk of an “eight-figure” payday offer for as hogwash, terming the talks as preliminary discussions that resulted in “nothing of substance.”
Nonetheless, there seems little doubt that the fight boxing fans want to see will come to be, perhaps in September 2017, as De La Hoya suggested.
And considering the experience in Arlington last week, AT&T Stadium would logically be at the top of the list to host the fight for Golovkin’s middleweight titles.
“Jerry and I were talking for several minutes and he said how he would love that fight here,” De La Hoys said. “I had to use one of his lines. I said ‘Jerry, you have to show me the money. You have to show me the money.’ That’s the bottom line.”
As if Jones has a reputation from backing down from a dare.
The path to the fight might hinge on the seriousness of a hand injury Canelo suffered on Saturday night. Reports surfaced on Sunday afternoon that there might be a break in the hand.
Las Vegas has its own inherent value for boxing’s biggest stars and its grandest events, but so does AT&T Stadium, particularly with its proximity to Mexico. Canelo, from Guadalajara, Mexico, who received congratulations from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto after the fight, continues to say he is on a historic journey with the Mexican people.
“I’m so proud for all the people of Mexican and this big victory for Mexico,” said Canelo. “I’m very thankful. I get the best support here in Texas.”
Saturday was likely not his last stop here.