After the fights: Different worlds of Canelo Alvarez and Kavaliauskas

Canelo Alvarez is boxing’s biggest superstar. He’s supposed to be having fun at the top, but boxers like Egidijus Kavaliauskas are making their mark. 

It’s natural for boxers to chase the realm of superstardom that few like Floyd Mayweather Jr. have achieved. Canelo Alvarez earned his way into that elite company, but his biggest battles may now be in the courtroom instead of the ring.

The pandemic has changed everything, including the sporting world. Professional sports organizations are trying to find ways to replicate their previous earnings while adapting to events with no fans. That’s impossible.

Every sport relied on a live gate for income, boxing more than most. Top Rank and Matchroom creatively found ways to produce competitive fight cards for fans with the current limitations in place. Their events are quality, but absent of big names.

Boxers occupying the sports second tier are putting in work as they hope to climb the ladder into boxing’s elite. Canelo Alvarez sits atop of boxing’s food chain, but an inflated contract with Golden Boy in association with DAZN along with the current pandemic has his career at a standstill.

Alvarez’s recent lawsuit attempt revealed his frustration with Golden Boy, DAZN, and the world. DAZN can reject opponents because they don’t meet their definition of “premier.” Still, the truth is they can’t afford Alvarez because of their financial situation impacted mainly by the pandemic.

In his lawsuit, which was rejected, Alvarez said he’d be willing to entertain offers below his current licensing price tag, but the reality probably hasn’t hit him that he has to accept far less than what he’s used to getting paid.

Alvarez worked hard and deserves all the money he gets, but the world is different now, and he can’t get paid his former profits if the money isn’t there.

DAZN and Golden Boy are in a bind because they can’t afford the best fighter in boxing. That’s an indicator that they are in dire financial straits, as are millions of Americans who are currently unemployed and unable to pay their bills.

Considering the world we live in, nothing is certain, including the boxing future of Canelo Alvarez.

Boxers like Egidijus Kavaliauskas can find fights because they haven’t hit the heights of a Mayweather or Alvarez. They are trying to make ends meet and are willing to take a pay cut to get in the ring. The sport is used to paying a premium fee for their stars, but that’s an impossibility at the moment.

Kavaliauskas isn’t a superstar, but he’s a skilled boxer who is exciting to watch and entertains fans every time he gets an opportunity. He likely made a lot of new fans after knocking out Mikael Zewski in eight rounds. Kavaliauskas isn’t making Alvarez-money, but he’s staying active and building a following.

Alvarez is entitled to every cent guaranteed by his contract with Golden Boy in concert with DAZN. He has a legal right to pursue financial compensation if Golden Boy and DAZN aren’t living up to their end of the bargain, but if the money isn’t there, then no one is going to win.

Alvarez also needs to consider his future. If Golden Boy and DAZN can’t pay him near what he’s used to, can anyone? He can try to go it alone and be his own boss, but there are no guarantees that he can master all the business tasks required to turn a profit close to what he has earned in the past.

Alvarez is proving the old saying “more money, more problems” true, especially during the pandemic era. Nothing lasts forever, and neither will the pandemic, but its impact might resonate for a long time to come. Alvarez has to decide how he wants to play this thing out, and it’s complicated and filled with questions.

Until Alvarez figures out his next move, at least we have boxers like Kavaliauskas to fill the void and help keep boxing moving along and relevant during a time of uncertainty.

Next: Egidijus Kavaliauskas drops and stops Zewski in 8

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