By Steve Kim Updated on February 29, 2024

Privilege and Pressure

Picture for Privilege and Pressure

You may have heard that Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has severed ties with Premier Boxing Champions, and is now essentially a free agent. Word is that he will reunite with Eddie Hearn, and then embark on fights versus the likes of Edgar Berlanga and Jaime Munguia (and not necessarily in that order) on DAZN.

It has brought about a loud chorus that the Mexican superstar is avoiding his biggest threat at super middleweight, David Benavidez.

Others will tell you that PBC and Al Haymon breached their three-fight deal(which specified bouts against the Charlo's and then Terence Crawford) by not guaranteeing him his reported $35 million dollar minimum for a May bout. The bottom line is that this deal was breached. Canelo -- who is no stranger with getting sideways with promoters, and jumping ship -- wasn't about to take a hair cut.

Picture for Privilege and Pressure@Lunatoonboxing

So which is it?

Did Canelo duck 'the Mexican Monster'? 

Or is a deal a deal, and a fighter has a right to enforce his contract that both parties willingly agreed to?

Both can be true. (See, how easy that is to admit?)

But this debate has divided the boxing fan base like a proposed bill would the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. There really is very little, if any, nuance in these debates. And just as little good-faith debating in these situations on social media.

But what this really points out is the privilege and pressure that is put on Canelo, who (despite what some misguided fans of Gervonta Davis claim) is still very much the face of boxing. He is the straw that still stirs the drink. He has the ability to paralyze career paths, and create gridlock in whole weight divisions. 

Picture for Privilege and PressureShowtime Sports

Yet, because he is who is, Alvarez doesn't have to accept any discounted deals, and he will always have a promoter and network that will welcome him back with open arms. And you don't mandate to Canelo (the WBC found that out several years ago), he faces who he wants for the most part. For his rivals, squaring off against him is akin to winning lottery ticket.

On the flip side, for whom much is given, much is expected. And unlike other boxers who get lauded for making adroit business decisions, or taking the path of least resistance while making millions, Canelo is expected to take on challenges, and the most dangerous fighter available to him every time out. He is expected to not only 'cross the street', but be the crossing guard for all his potential opponents. (By the way, nothing is keeping Benavidez -- who looks like he might be facing Oleksandr Gvozdyk at light heavyweight -- from coming over to the DAZN to face Alvarez in the future.)

We're here for the fights last I checked. But again, why isn't the same expectation placed on 'Tank' to face the likes of Devin Haney, or Shakur Stevenson? See, this is the double-standard/no-standard I have spoken about for years. The mental gymnastics some do to justify this is worthy of Simone Biles.

Picture for Privilege and PressureShowtime Sports

You read often on Twitter from 'fanagers' (as I like to call them) that, 'there's a reason why they call it prizefighting, and not pridefighting. Also I've been advised that legacy does not pay the bills, as fighters skirt more dangerous bouts that appeal to the fans. 

Does this not apply to Mr. Alvarez? Or just certain boxers that you happen to support?

All this reminds me of the line uttered in 'North Dallas Forty' by O.W. Shaddock (who was played by John Matuszak): "Every time I call it a game, you call it a business, and every time I call it a business, you call it  a game."



This movie is one of my favorites, and really lifted the veil on the business of professional football. I get the sense that 'the Tooz', who had a noted career in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders wasn't doing all that much acting in this climatic scene.

North Dallas Forty (10/10) Movie CLIP - It's a Sport Not a Business (1979) HD




This Saturday from San Juan, Puerto Rico on DAZN, Amanda Serrano defends her featherweight championship against Nina Meinke, and Jake Paul versus Ryan Bourland in a cruiserweight title. This card will be shown on DAZN...On ESPN+ from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in (my) Verona, NY, Top Rank has a pair of featherweight title bouts. Raymond Ford-Otabek Kohlmatov for the vacant WBA belt, and 'Venado' Lopez takes on Reiya Abe for his IBF strap....'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez and I will return next week.... I can be reached at










About Author
Privilege and Pressure
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.