CANELO ALVAREZ’s eagerly-anticipated showdown with Caleb Plant will NOT be pushed back this weekend – despite its clash with a monster UFC card.
The pound-for-pound king’s undisputed super-middleweight title fight with the American will take place at the same time as a blockbuster UFC 268 card at Madison Square Garden.
But Showtime have no plans to push back the pair’s ring walks to accommodate for the bonanza of mixed martial arts at the Garden.
Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza told ESPN: “We’re completely unconcerned with the timing of any other competing event.
“Canelo Alvarez is the No.1 star in boxing by far at the box office.
“We wouldn’t be doing his event justice if we were putting his audience in the arena, and on television, on a delay and sort of compromising the viewer experience and fan experience to accommodate some other event happening across the country.”
Espinoza anticipates some ‘crossover’ but is confident the UFC’s penultimate pay-per-view card of the year won’t detract from Canelo’s potentially historic bout.
He said: “I’m not saying that competing combat sports on that same night will never draw from our audience.
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“But in terms of the overlapping fan appeal, I don’t think there are any Canelo fans who are worried about Colby Covington and vice versa for that matter.
“Undoubtedly, there is some crossover.
“But if you look at the kinds of events, the demographics, we’re relatively unconcerned about losing [our] audience.”
But renowned pundit and coach Teddy Atlas reckons several boxing fans will end up tuning into Kamaru Usman’s clash with bitter rival Colby Covington.
He said: “Those fans will say, ‘I’m going to go over where I’m guaranteed a competitive fight, I’m going to go with the sure thing, and guess what else I’m going to get? The undercard.’
“Boxing fans are not dumb. I have news for the promoters: The gig is up.
“They’ve been suffering through some of the crap on the undercards and guess what? There is no crap on the undercard of the UFC.
“Every one of those fights can be life or death, every one of those fights can be a war.”
The clash of pay-per-view events is the second time in three years a Canelo fight has fallen on the same night as a UFC pay-per-view event.
In November 2019, the Mexican’s WBO light-heavyweight title fight with Sergei Kovalev clashed with Jorge Masvidal’s UFC 244 clash with Nate Diaz.
And that night, Golden Boy made the stunning decision to delay the fight until after the conclusion of the BMF fight.
That delay led to a fully kitted out Canelo catching some shut-eye less than an hour before his 11th-round KO of the Russian.
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