Álvarez, Boxing’s Undisputed King, Is a Target for Fighters and Promoters
Álvarez fought six times on DAZN, first under his now-terminated contract with Golden Boy Promotions and later as a free agent in a series of one-off bouts. He returned to Showtime’s pay-per-view platform for the Plant bout, and the broadcaster hopes to leverage its ties with the Premier Boxing Champions managerial outfit to lure Álvarez back. David Benavidez, a former supermiddleweight champion, fights under the P.B.C. banner, as does Jermall Charlo, a middleweight champion open to moving up a weight class.
“We’re optimistic we’ll be able to continue the relationship,” Stephen Espinoza, president of Showtime Sports, said before the fight.
Álvarez’s allure to promoters and broadcasters is clear. In addition to his pay-per-view numbers, he attracts ticket buyers. In May, more than 73,000 spectators filled AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and watched him break Billy Joe Saunders’s face in a world title bout. On Saturday, a capacity crowd of 16,586 came to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to see him school Plant.
Those numbers also attract interest from other fighters, who recognize that an Álvarez bout is likely to bring a career-high payout.
After dispatching Marcos Hernandez with a highlight-reel, bolo punch knockout in the co-main event, the former supermiddleweight champion Anthony Dirrell mused about becoming Álvarez’s next opponent. If he cannot secure that fight, he said, he will retire.
“I’m 37 years old. If I can’t fight for something, I’m fighting for nothing,” he said at a news conference. “I’m getting too old for this, man.”
And after winning a decision over Colby Covington to headline U.F.C. 268, Usman, a 170-pound mixed martial arts champion, talked openly about fighting Álvarez in a boxing match.
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