Many previously successful relationships end in divorce but usually the writing is on the wall.
Last week, Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez launched litigation against long-time promoter Oscar De La Hoya and his company Golden Promotions alongside US streaming network DAZN as frustrations boiled over at an apparently reduced purse on offer for his next fight.
Eddy Reynoso, Canelo’s manager and trainer, has insisted that the relationship with De La Hoya and company was already on thin ice long before the legal papers were filed.
With boxing halted in its tracks by the Covid-19 Pandemic, ruling out the huge cash injection of a live gate, and no Canelo mega-fight on the immediate horizon, simmering discontent has boiled over.
Tensions were already high when Canelo fought Sergey Kovalev last November with the Mexican hardly exchanging a word with De La Hoya on fight week. Now Canelo has filed a $280 million lawsuit against the promoter, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN, claiming a breach of contract amongst other damages.
“It would be a lie to say that we have a great relationship [with Golden Boy]. We already had some disagreements behind the scenes, there wasn’t a great relationship,” Reynoso told ESPN Deportes.
“I have been working with [Golden Boy] with the other boxers we have had; [previously with Oscar] ‘Chololo’ Larios, [Javier] ‘El Chatito’ Jáuregui, and it had been a good relationship. But with Saul we have not had the best relationship in the last few fights. Sometimes there are things that do not work as one would like, but we have characterised ourselves by having discipline and doing our job.
“We want [to] keep working, fighting, we have nothing against anyone, what we want is to continue the race and everything is in the hands of the lawyers. We have not fought at all this year. Of course, the pandemic has come, there are many things out there that have not gone as one would like. They are sensitive issues, but we are confident that everything will work out in our favour and we will continue as we have to this point.
“We want all the fights. There is Billy Joe Saunders, [Gennady] Golovkin, [Callum] Smith, [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko. I’d like him to fight Billy Joe; the WBC [super-middleweight] title [at 168] that is vacant for a unification. They will [green light} Avni Yildirim, who also deserves a title fight. A lot of people don’t know him, but he has made his fights to be number one. There is also Caleb Plant in the IBF, we are here to fight with whoever. It is a matter of promoters to fix themselves.
“Saul is a 100% athlete, he is always in the gym, boxing regularly. If you look at him, he was doing two fights a year. And this year we have had no activity. Hopefully, this year we will get a fight and, if not, we’ll stay in the gym to start the year off with a return to the ring. Like all athletes, inactivity affects them, but we try to make up for this inactivity in the gym, by working, learning, reviewing what Saul knows how to do.”