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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: CANELO-PBC, HANEY-GARCIA

By Paul Magno | February 29, 2024
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: CANELO-PBC, HANEY-GARCIA

So, was there some sort of big news that happened this week? Apparently so. Let’s dig into my bulbous, bulging Mail Sack to look for some sanity in these weirdo times. This week, we talk Canelo-PBC with a side order of Devin Haney-Ryan Garcia.

Canelo vs. PBC

Hey Paul.

Canelo and PBC have parted ways. There are conflicting reports about what happened, but there seems to be no going back now. What does this mean for Canelo, PBC and for the sport of boxing in general? I’m always optimistic by nature, but you can’t spin Canelo vs. Berlanga and Benavidez vs. Not Canelo in a positive way. What say you?

– John from RI

Hey John.

I got so many emails about this Canelo situation that I’ll consolidate them all into this response because you pretty much covered all the bases.

The first thing we have to put out there is that none of us-- unless we were directly part of the dialogue-- REALLY know the truth about this. There are media reports out there, but you can’t take them as guaranteed 100% non-biased and accurate. We just don’t know when it comes to a lot of this.

According to what’s been put out there, though-- largely by Dan Rafael and Jake Donovan-- the split occurred due to a disagreement over Canelo’s May 4 opponent. According to reports, Canelo wanted Jermall Charlo for May 4 and PBC, despite Charlo being wildly inactive, suffering through personal issues, and apparently inebriated the last time he was heard in public, was willing to take the likely PPV loss on that fight, if Canelo would agree to face David Benavidez in September. That, apparently, is where the impasse turned into a bypass, leading to the two sides parting ways. There’s also a report out there that PBC had not put Benavidez on the list of acceptable opponents from which Canelo could choose when he first signed his three-fight deal with the company, thereby making it even easier for Canelo to walk away and potentially claim breach of contract. If that last part is true, it was a major tactical error by PBC, although the split may still have happened because, by all accounts, Benavidez is absolutely not in Canelo’s immediate plans.

The Mexican star is apparently intent on going back to DAZN where he aims on exploring fights with Edgar Berlanga and Jaime Munguia.

But, again, we don’t really know and, unlike everyone else, apparently, I’d feel shaky about laying blame on either side without knowing all the facts (I know, ethics, wow!).

So...taking what we DO know, we have a bit of a bad situation all-around.

Nobody wants to see Canelo vs. Edgar Berlanga-- other than Canelo, Berlanga, and the dependents of Canelo and Berlanga. Canelo vs. Munguia has the potential to be an entertaining action fight, but Munguia is nowhere near the same level as Canelo and the end result is more likely to be a one-sided boxing lesson en route to a late KO for Alvarez.

For PBC, a quick regroup and Plan B are in order. Their March 30 debut pay-per-view on Amazon Prime, headlined by the Tim Tszyu vs. Keith Thurman main event, was thought to be a trial run to work out any kinks or complication on the new platform, before going big with Canelo on May 4. It was also expected to be a profit flatliner, business-acceptable as a prelude to the big Canelo fight. Obviously, that plan is out the window now. The company’s next biggest attraction, Gervonta “Tank” Davis is reportedly tied to a bout with Frank Martin during the summer at some point, although nothing’s been confirmed. Davis-Martin is a good fight, but it won’t carry the sales power of a Canelo fight. Plus, that one’s not until the summer, anyway (if it DOES happen). This puts the company in a tough spot, especially considering the recent losses and diminished market value of PBC stars such as Errol Spence, Deontay Wilder, and Jermell Charlo, who lost a one-sided decision to Canelo last September in the first (and apparently last) fight in his deal with the boxing company.

We’ll see how all this shakes up, but not getting Canelo-Benavidez is a loss for boxing fans. And, a shaky start to the PBC Amazon Prime deal, despite what the company’s serial critics dim-wittedly believe, is bad for boxing as a whole.

In a glass half-full world, we’d have Terence Crawford re-signing with PBC for a bout with the winner of Tszyu-Thurman while Canelo fights Munguia first in May. Then, maybe, a Canelo-Benavidez cross-company bout in September, although this might be closer to science fiction than optimism. And while this is going on, someone, somewhere builds Jaron “Boots” Ennis into the star he needs to become because we desperately need a new American star.

I’ll be writing more about the Canelo situation in this Monday’s Notes from the Boxing Underground column.

Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia

Hi Magno.

That Haney-Garcia NYC press conference was lit. Do you think this one is going to be a firefight or just another dud with a lot of fake hate leading into it?

– Tony

Hey Tony.

I wouldn’t call it a dud. I would say, though, that there’s nothing in Haney’s body of work that suggests a “firefight” is in his DNA. Having said that, though, Ryan Garcia is so vulnerable in so many ways that he very well could get stopped. Haney is also vulnerable and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could be clipped by Garcia’s rocket left hook which, in my not so humble opinion, is still one of boxing’s best single-shot weapons. At the very least, there are some compelling aspects to this matchup, although I serious doubt that a war will erupt at any point. Most likely, we’ll see Haney competently and decisively outbox Garcia and the two will hug it out afterwards because, “it’s all good.”

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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