MIAMI - Oscar De La Hoya believes Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's highly anticipated rematch with Gennady Golovkin is close to being finalized and will be driven by increasing animosity between the two fighters.
Alvarez, who pulled out of his May 5 middleweight clash in Las Vegas after twice testing positive for Clenbuterol in February, announced on Tuesday that he has enrolled in the year round Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug-testing regime.
Alvarez's determination to prove he's a clean fighter has finally satisfied the Golovkin camp who were very critical about the slowness of the Mexican to publicly state his intentions for testing. They wanted assurances of him being tested before agreeing terms.
Golden Boy Promotions owner De La Hoya, however, insists a new deal for the fight is "75% certain" to be reached in time for it to be scheduled for September 15.
De La Hoya told AFP at the Sportel Summit in Miami: "Canelo has announced that he will be tested by VADA but what a lot of people don't know is that he's been actually tested several times with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"They tested him just two days ago. I think they're testing them today as well, but he wanted to enroll in the year-round testing for his fans .
"He wants to keep proving that he's innocent to keep proving that it was an innocent mistake, what took place.
"And it's funny because I've traveled to Mexico quite a few times now and they ask people, what do you think about this news with Canelo? And they're like, what news?
"With all this animosity now, guess what? The fight is going to be even bigger."
Alvarez's stature in the United States has undoubtedly taken a hit with Golovokin publicly calling Alvarez a cheat.
De La Hoya isn't worried.
Alvarez remains one of the biggest names in boxing and is guaranteed to generate lucrative pay-per-view numbers.
He added: "I think it's (Canelo's stature) been affected here a bit in the US. But guess what, I've always said you're as good as your last fight.
"Canelo is fine though. He wants to fight.
"I'm 75 percent sure, confident that, that we can get this done because it (the talk from GGG camp) had been quite disparaging towards him. But of course everybody uses their own negotiating tactics.
"But I can say that I think I'm about 75 percent confident right now and happy with the process that has happened the last couple of days in terms of the broader stuff.
"There's no cut off date but there will be one shortly because we need to get to work."AFP