LAS VEGAS – Stephen Espinoza revealed Wednesday that Canelo Alvarez’s return to Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime Pay-Per-View will be a huge success at the box office. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Showtime’s president of sports and event programming projected that ticket sales for the Alvarez-Jermell Charlo card Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena will exceed $20 million. That would mark the third time in less than six months that a PBC/Showtime Pay-Per-View event exceeded $20 million in ticket revenue at T-Mobile Arena.

The card headlined by Gervonta Davis’ seventh-round knockout of Ryan Garica on April 22 generated a live gate of nearly $23 million. The event that featured Terence Crawford’s ninth-round stoppage of Errol Spence Jr. on July 29 produced more than $21 million in ticket sales.

“The event on Saturday night will generate a gate of over $20 million,” Espinoza stated during the final press conference Wednesday for the Alvarez-Charlo fight. “That’s a rare feat in combat sports. It’s rare in concerts or events of any kind. But this will be the third time in the last six months that we’ve done a gate [in excess] of $20 million. Again, our third $20 million gate in the last six months.

“To put that in perspective, UFC has never done a gate of $20 million in its entire history. We’ve done it three times since April. Like I said, this is special. This is different. There’s nothing else going on in combat sports that matches this type of event. We have to enjoy this event. We need to savor it. This is the best our sport has to offer.”

Houston’s Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), boxing’s undisputed junior middleweight champion, has moved up two divisions, 14 pounds altogether, to challenge Guadalajara’s Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) for the Mexican icon’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles. Charlo can join Crawford as one of only two male boxers to be crowned undisputed champion in two weight classes during the four-belt era if he defeats Alvarez, who is listed by most sportsbooks as a 4-1 favorite.

“This isn’t just a fight,” Espinoza said. “This isn’t just a boxing match. This is special. This is different. This is the best the sport has to offer. This is as good as it gets. Calling Canelo versus Charlo a fight is like calling filet mignon meat. It’s like calling LeBron James a basketball player or calling ‘The Godfather’ just a movie. This is special. This is different. When you drive down the street, you see a lotta cars. And there are cars, and then there are Bugattis, there are Lamborghinis, there are [Koenigseggs]. Not all of them are the same.

“Not all boxing is the same. Not all combat sports is the same. No, what we’re doing here on Saturday night, what’s been going on all year, is special. It’s different. It’s not the same, old boxing. It’s not like the others. And no disrespect to anyone, but there are levels to this. And what we’re doing here is the highest level of the sport. This is a historic matchup. Truly elite, undisputed champion against another elite, undisputed champion. This is special. It’s different.”

The 33-year-old Alvarez’s fight with Charlo is the first of a three-bout agreement with Al Haymon’s PBC. The four-division champion last fought on a PBC card in November 2021 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, where Alvarez knocked out Caleb Plant in the 11th round to become the first fully unified super middleweight champion of the four-belt era.

Alvarez-Charlo will headline Showtime Pay-Per-View’s four-fight telecast Saturday night (8 p.m. EDT; 5 p.m. PDT; $84.99).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.