Canelo Alvarez vs. Terence Crawford is the biggest fight Turki Alalshaikh could make right now

Canelo Alvarez vs. Terence Crawford was once a pipe dream, now it's closer than ever to being a reality.
Canelo Alvarez and Terrence Crawford
Canelo Alvarez and Terrence Crawford / Getty

More than 15 years ago, renowned boxing journalist and HBO commentator Larry Merchant conceived an idea. He proposed a match between the then-lightweight champion, Manny Pacquiao, and Oscar De La Hoya. While initially lambasted as a circus act, the fight did take place and was the vehicle that propelled Pacquiao into superstardom. 

A decade later, another fight once thought to be a pipe dream could be on the horizon. A battle between current undisputed super middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and former undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford may be closer to happening than anyone could have imagined. 

Over the last few years, Turki Alalshaikh has become one of the most influential figures in boxing. The chairman of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority has brought a multitude of significant fights and events to his country of Saudi Arabia with plans to expand his vision for the sport. 

On August 3, Alalshikh will have his first major boxing card in the United States. The event is part of Riyadh Season and is set to be one of the best boxing cards from top to bottom fans have seen in years. Headlining the event will be Crawford, who will challenge Israil Madrimov for the WBA super welterweight title in an attempt to become a four-division champion. 

Crawford, the sport's number one pound-for-pound fighter, is the favorite against Madrimov. Unexpectedly, according to Alalshikh, a win will put him in a position to challenge Alvarez, with a proposed date in December or January of next year. 

How realistic is Canelo Alvarez vs. Terence Crawford

"I'm working to deliver Canelo, but it will be a big fight for Crawford," Alalshik told ESPN. "I'll discuss with him the names." 

After Crawford's historic victory over Errol Spence last year, he stated his desire to fight Alvarez on numerous platforms. Despite never fighting above the middleweight limit, Crawford believes he could defeat Alvarez. He believes the fight would be huge and one of the most significant the sport has seen in quite a while. 

"Terence Crawford vs. Canelo Alvarez is the biggest fight in boxing right now," Crawford said on his social media earlier this year. "Like it or not, it's just facts." 

Indeed, for Crawford, a fight with Alvarez will be the ultimate match to bring him a gigantic paycheck while also enhancing his legacy. It's a win-win situation for Crawford, whether he wins or loses. 

Alvarez doesn't have the same luxury. The four-division champion has been reluctant to take questions about fighting Crawford seriously, often dismissing the fight as a figment of imagination. The fight would present another sizeable payday, but the ramifications of a loss to Crawford could damage his legacy and standing when he retires. 

"So now, if you imagine Crawford as a welterweight at 168 pounds," Alvarez said in an interview with Box Azteca this year. "I have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Because if I win, they'll say, 'Oh, he was too small and everything!" 

Alvarez's apprehension to face Crawford could be quelled by money. And if anybody has the money to make this fight come to fruition, it's Turki Alalshikh. We'll have to wait and see.

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