Following Boxing Event, Land Commissioner Fights For Alamo Plaza
Thousands of boxing fans gathered in Alamo Plaza Monday night to see Mexican boxer Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and American Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. for themselves.
The mob of fans filled the plaza, screaming "Canelo" over and over, wanting his picture, his autograph and the experience of being close to the Mexican boxer.
Alvarez and Mayweather are promoting a September title fight in Las Vegas. Promoters, including retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Productions, are touring 11 cities to hold events like the one in Alamo Plaza.
The media event closed off Alamo Street in front of the Alamo and police officers were stationed along the perimeter to keep the crowd under control.
De La Hoya said San Antonio is a boxing town, and believed Alamo Plaza was the perfect spot to hold the announcement.
"The Alamo -- this is where it all went down, and to have a champion like Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and, well, a late Mayweather, this was the perfect place," he said.
But others disagree
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is vowing to restore peace, respect and dignity to the Alamo.
"We need to start moving in the right direction," he said. "I think the city of San Antonio is going to come along. But it all really needs to be replaced with something that's more on point, and more related to the sacrifices made at the Alamo by those Texians and Tejanos who died there."
The battle to remake Alamo Plaza has been a long and tough road. Historians and others would like the tourist attractions across the street to be closed off from view. In 1982, musician Ozzy Osbourne was banned from the Alamo for urinating on the Alamo.
Most recently, in May, producer/rapper Kayne West wanted to project a video on the Alamo as a promotion, but it never happened. Patterson credited Mayor Julián Castro for acting swiftly with police to stop it.
All the paperwork is in order
The permit to hold events like the boxing promotion is within the rights of the public, according to Downtown Operations Interim Director Jim Mery, who noted that the plaza is one of many downtown public spaces available for rent.
He said when the fight promoters requested the space to hold the announcement, all that was required is that the program should not cause physical harm to the public and to any property.
"Because it is a public space," he said, "the reservation will be approved."
Rachel Rodriguez, who drove from Uvalde just to see Alvarez, agreed that there is no disrespect happening.
"This is Mexico, really. This is where we come from. It's perfect right here, this is where we fought and everything so this is where it should be," she said.