Canelo Alvarez could lose millions from Chavez Jr. purse to legal issue

Canelo Alvarez is arguably the biggest name in North American boxing, taking the sport by storm over the last six years. 

His fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 is one of the next superfights for the sport, with Canelo set to pocket at least the $10 million he’s guaranteed from the purse. A lingering legal issue could come in and take nearly that entire portion of his cut, however. 

Alvarez’s former promoter Felix “Tuto” Zabala Jr. is looking to take $8.5 million out of that purse, according to court documents that have been obtained by media. All-Star Boxing Inc. was awarded an $8.5 million judgment against Canelo stemming from his jump to Golden Boy Promotions. 

Alvarez moved to Golden Boy Promotions in 2011, taking the opportunity in front of him to join Oscar De La Hoya’s company as their prizefighter. It was the right move, as he’s only continued climbing the ranks since then.

His 2013 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the third-richest match of all-time, and Alvarez is perceived as ascending to boxing’s throne after Floyd’s retirement. 

Canelo’s former promotion company had filed litigation against him in 2011 on the grounds of a contract breach. A judgment was made in 2016, and the $8.5 million (and interest) has not been paid yet. Hence, Zabala Jr.’s legal team is looking to garnish his next purse.

“Defendant Saul Alvarez has failed to pay the amount of the judgment as set forth in the order and it does not appear that defendant has in his possession sufficient visible property on which a levy can be made to satisfy a judgment,” the filed motion reads. 

Alvarez is appealing the judgment, however. A spokesman for Golden Boy Promotions took to the offensive and responded to the story, calling All-Star Boxing “desperate” for publicity as it lacks “significant fighters.”

“Lacking any significant fighters to promote and desperate for publicity, All Star Boxing has decided to employ an improper legal tactic that has no chance at succeeding but has garnered a cheap headline or two.

“We are fully confident that Canelo will prevail in his appeal and be cleared — just as Golden Boy was — forcing All Star Boxing to scramble for relevance in some other way,” Stefan Friedman said in a statement to ESPN.

It’s an interesting story to follow heading into the May 6 showdown, and if the purse money is garnished from Alvarez, that’s a significant sum of money to be out of. 

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