It's official. Showtime is back in the Saul "Canelo" Alvarez business.
Six months after the 23-year-old Mexican redhead dropped a decision in his 43rd pro fight—one that wound up as the highest-grossing pay-per-view boxing event ever—he returns to the network's PPV arm with a 154-pound scrap against fellow Mexican tough guy Alfredo Angulo.
And if the whole scenario reminds you a little of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios scrap on another network a few months back, well...it ought to. Like its adversary HBO with the multi-divisional Filipino champion, Showtime is banking that Alvarez's return will provide an automatic boost back into the land of megafight relevance.
Canelo's opponent on Saturday at the MGM Grand—though accomplished and respectable, as Rios was in November—was no doubt selected as much for an ability to accentuate Alvarez's positives as he was for the likelihood that he'll win the fight.
Angulo, like Rios before him last fall, was defeated in his last outing before landing the supporting role on the subsequent marquee, and his presumed main task on Saturday is to provide a recognizable and moderately competitive speed bump before eventually stepping aside to allow for Canelo's money shot.
Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
Time: Showtime PPV starts at 9 p.m. ET; main event around 11 p.m. ET
Venue: MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada
Odds: Alvarez (-800), Angulo (+500)
Note: Odds provided by Bet365.com and correct as of 3/2/2014 at 1 p.m. ET; subject to change