THE house always wins. For Saturday’s clash with Caleb Plant, which Showtime will televise on pay-per-view, Canelo Alvarez has moved off his broadcaster of recent years on to an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions, the company which represents Plant. But in Las Vegas Canelo Alvarez can never be considered the away fighter.

“The significance of this really goes to the desire Canelo had to make the fight and so much so he wasn’t going to quibble about promotional alignments or network alignments or any of that. What mattered to him was that this fight happened. Not who it happened with, who’s promoting or what network it’s on. I think there is a comfort level with Showtime, it certainly helped that he had a good experience with us early in his career. But at the end of the day, he was so intent on making history, on establishing his legacy in this historic fight he wasn’t going to let things like promoter alignments and networks stand in the way of that. And we saw that. The fight fell apart and both fighters went their separate ways. It was Canelo who came back and revived things. He’s the one who said I’m not going to let my ego get in the way, let’s reopen conversations because this is the right fight to make and they got it right, the fight got done,” Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports president, told Boxing News.

Espinoza points out that it didn’t hurt those negotiations for Eddie Hearn, who promoted Canelo’s three most recent fights, to step away. “Eddie is very effective as a promoter but that approach isn’t always the best for deal-making. Personally I tend to think the more a deal is discussed and negotiated in the press, the less likely it is to get done because you get ego involved and there’s misunderstandings and there’s a whole layer of things going on besides the negotiation itself. So I think it was notable not that Eddie was or wasn’t involved, but that this got done largely behind the scenes. I mean there was some of it that came out but when they got down to the nuts and bolts of the deal, there wasn’t a lot of public posturing and positioning. It was let’s get the deal done and we’ll announce it once it’s finished,” he said. “Especially when it’s on a public stage and you have high level athletes who are used to being the alpha dogs in their position. So someone gets insulted in the press, someone feels like they’re being misrepresented or not getting their just due, it makes that negotiation much more complicated.”

Canelo is the global superstar of the sport. Showtime were understandably eager to work but especially for this contest with Plant. “What was even more attractive was this particular fight, it’s arguably his most meaningful fight in his career,” Espinoza said.

Alvarez is at such a level that if he were to lose, his next fight could still be one of the most lucrative of his career. “He’s going to have a really enticing rematch if he loses this,” Espinoza notes. “We always said whoever were to beat Mayweather, the biggest fight would be the one after Mayweather loses and I think Canelo has got that status. He is pretty universally considered the best fighter in the world, if somehow he were to lose, it would be a tenfold increase in the attention to what happens after that.”

And Espinoza added, “For his part Plant has a definite plan and he’ll tell you. He’s among the most outwardly confident I’ve ever met… You listen long enough to him and you start to believe him.”

The unthinkable could happen on Saturday. But Canelo Alvarez right now is always going to have upside.

Here Stephen Espinoza explains why he’s optimistic Canelo will choose Showtime for future fights