August 22, 2013
Showtime's All Access series returns on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, for the first of four installments previewing the highly anticipated Sept. 14 pay-per-view bout at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez.
The series, which will be narrated by Emmy Award winning actor Barry Pepper, takes viewers behind the scenes to peek at the fighters in training and in their private lives during the weeks leading up to their bout.
On the Mayweather side, little is new. We see him flaunting his jewelry, hitting the bag, jumping rope, praising his uncle and father and talking about his elite position in the sport, much as he's done on similar preview shows.
The most compelling moment from a Mayweather standpoint comes when he's arriving for a news conference in Mexico City that is filled with Alvarez fans. He expresses a concern as he's entering the building about their behavior.
We're in Mexico. They better not throw no urine on me.
Fortunately for Mayweather, they don't.
It gets a little interesting when promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who lost to Mayweather in a 2007 fight that set the pay-per-view record with 2.5 million sales, gets involved. On Alvarez's plane, he predicts "a new rooster" will emerge.
Then, De La Hoya causes Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of his promotional company, to raise their eyebrows when he's introducing Alvarez at a Los Angeles news conference. When De La Hoya refers to Alvarez as the biggest star in boxing, both Mayweather and Ellerbe laugh openly at him.
Mayweather then goes on the attack when he gets to the microphone.
Canelo is such a big star, but he's never been on pay-per-view unless he's on my undercard. But he's such a big star. He's such a big star, Oscar. I'm young. I'm fly. I'm flashy. I'm rich.
De La Hoya says that Mayweather is like a thorn in his side that he hasn't removed in the more than six years since they fought.
Golden Boy began promoting Mayweather in 2007 with the De La Hoya fight. Since that bout, De La Hoya's job on every subsequent promotion has been to tout the opponent's chances. He predicted victories by Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto and Robert Guerrero.
As Mayweather finishes his rant at the Los Angeles news conference, the camera cuts to De La Hoya who, predictably, picks Alvarez to win.
I respect that he's beaten everybody and he still has that oh on his record. But one thing that Mayweather has to understand is that my fighter is going to kick your ass.
We learn that Canelo fought a lot as a child, because his schoolmates referred to him as "Freckles" and "Cheesehead." We see him spar with one of his brothers and we watch as he sings -- quite badly -- while on a plane.
He expresses confidence at every turn and vows he won't be intimidated.
This episode isn't going to be the one to convince those who are on the fence to run out and immediately buy the fight, but it's a good start to help build the hype for the Sept. 14 match.