COMMENTARY | Could it be that the five-division world champ and current pound-for-pound top dog, Floyd Mayweather, is being elbowed off his boxing pedestal even before upcoming opponent Robert Guerrero has had a chance to lay leather on him?
Mayweather, who will be fighting Guerrero on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the WBC welterweight title, is being put in the tough spot of having to secure his next fight date before the opening bell of this next challenge.
The date in question, September 14, is the Saturday of Mexican Independence Day weekend and, traditionally, the biggest boxing day of the year. Including the Guerrero fight, Mayweather will have fought six of his last seven bouts on either Independence Day weekend or Cinco de Mayo weekend, with four of those seven contests coming against Mexican or Mexican-American opponents.
Whether Mayweather needs this Latino piggyback at this point of his career remains to be seen, but efforts to lure the Canelo Alvarez-Austin Trout bout to the May 4 undercard show that somebody in Team Mayweather thinks it's a good idea to play to the Mexican fight fans during the nation's two biggest holidays.
However, this year, Mayweather's dominion over the much-coveted date is in real doubt.
Saul Alvarez's title unification victory over Austin Trout in front of 40,000 screaming fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio last Saturday has changed the dialogue somewhat. For the first time in years, there will actually be competition for the date Mayweather may want.
Mexico's rising superstar, "Canelo," would like to share the ring with "Money" on September 14, but he claims to be dead-set on that date even if Mayweather opts to not accept his challenge.
"I'm not obsessed with fighting Floyd Mayweather," Canelo recently told BoxingScene. "There are many other options available for me and I'm ready to fight whoever. I'm ready for any fighter and I'm going to talk to my team and we'll see what happens next."
But, when pressed about the possibility of fighting on the disputed September 14 date, the 22-year-old two-belt champ was extremely decisive.
"Yes, that date is for us. That's what we talked about and that's the date we will be fighting."
And, while "Canelo" Alvarez is staking his claim to stardom and the right to Independence Day weekend, another big bout has popped up for that same day.
Reports indicate that Manny Pacquiao's two most recent conquerors, Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley, are close to signing a bout against one another rather than a rematch with Pacquiao.
Bob Arum, promoter of both Marquez and Bradley, has targeted September 14 for the contest-even if Saul Alvarez also decides to fight on that day. However, the founder of Top Rank Promotions is still begrudgingly acknowledging Mayweather as the ultimate deciding factor as to who fights on September 14.
"They say [Sept. 14 is reserved] for Mayweather," Arum told BoxingScene. "But if Mayweather fights a non-Hispanic, like Devon Alexander, why the hell is he screwing around on a date that's a Mexican holiday? That's wrong. He shouldn't do that, but we don't think Mayweather is going to fight Sept. 14 anyway. So we have an alternate date, if we have to move, but if Mayweather isn't fighting then that's our date and we're going to fight that night."
Now, the big question is whether Mayweather will go for the obvious date and pick the obvious opponent (Alvarez) or completely flip the script and leave Mexican Independence Day weekend to the Mexicans.
As is usually the case with Mayweather in his role as cash cow, he is the master of his own destiny. However, this time, there is a definite nipping at his heels and it may just be a matter of time before someone moves up to knock him down a peg.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Robert Guerrero
- Saul Alvarez