Speaking with Lem Satterfield, Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez says that the winner of the July 9 fight between Paul Williams and Erislandy Lara will be in consideration to face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez:
"This is [Lara's] world title fight. Even though there is not a world title involved, he's fighting one of the top fighters of our time, and of this era. And if he can beat Paul Williams, then we can be considered for all of the other fights. ... There is no tomorrow. This is his fight."
"Paul Williams is one of the best. And we'll see. We'll see what happens," said Gomez. "Obviously, all of the big names are going to be considered. When you have a network like HBO, they make things happen. If the money's there, anything can happen."
Gomez's motivational high school football speech for Lara aside, Williams' promoter Dan Goossen is on board with the idea of his fighter against Canelo, too:
"There's no question that it's a fight that we're always willing to make," said Dan Goossen. "But rather than call anyone out, all that we want to do is get Paul back to where he demonstrates and has the type of fight that people can sit back and realize that his last performance against Martinez was an anomaly and that 'The Punisher' is back."
Let's really get into this. The Williams vs Lara winner is not going to fight again on September 17, and if it's Williams as will be expected by most, he's not going to Mexico to fight Saul Alvarez until he's old, decrepit, and out of options. I mean these are just common sense statements, I think.
Golden Boy is almost surely going to go with either Alfonso Gomez or Ricardo Mayorga for the Alvarez fight on 9/17, which means that those hoping for Alvarez to get a serious challenge in his next fight will probably still have to wait. Look, it's not all bad -- Alvarez is still very young, a fact Golden Boy reminds you of constantly in one of two ways. The first is, "He's so young and look how incredible he is! He's one of the best in the world and a world champion!" The second is, "Look, you guys, he's just a kid out there, so let's be nice and take it easy and not rush this thing." It's old carny promoter stuff. Whatever's convenient is what floats.
I really have no preferred opponent between Gomez and Mayorga. I think Alvarez handles both of them easily. Gomez can't punch and I think Alvarez is already a better boxer than him, and Mayorga is a washed-up old punching bag whose act even started growing tired for me last time out with Miguel Cotto. And truthfully, I think Alvarez would totally beat the crap out of Mayorga at this stage. That's just a matchup I see as all kinds of wrong for Mayorga. He'd be facing a fighter somewhat similar to Cotto, but who is younger, bigger, and physically stronger. I think it would be a wipeout.
What I'm expecting for Canelo Alvarez -- and in a nice change of pace for anyone who isn't Manny or Floyd, people do ask me about him -- is that he'll fight one of those two in September, maybe fight again in December, and then in the first quarter of 2012, take on a real contender. I'm sure between then and now I'll hold on to my reservations about "the kid" and his level of competition, but I really think he's got the goods and is someone we're going to be talking about for a long, long time. So at this point I'm just sort of taking his career as it comes.
Yes, I wish he'd fight someone top 10ish in September, and truly feel he should go ahead and fight Vanes Martirosyan now as opposed to waiting around until the WBC actually enforces that mandatory, if they really ever plan to do so. Or I wish he'd fight someone like Pawel Wolak, against whom he'd be the favorite, but would be up against a double tough guy in his prime in what I think would be just a great little fight.
But that's not going to happen, and I know that eventually he'll get there. I have trouble treating him as a little puppy who needs to be handled gently given the thorough beatings he's putting on competent veteran fighters, but what am I gonna do, man? Change the world?
Still, don't think for a second that Golden Boy would seriously entertain Alvarez vs Williams any time soon. That's not going to happen.