COMMENTARY | Pound for pound top dog and five-division world champ, Floyd Mayweather has just made things official-His next opponent will be WBC and WBA junior middleweight champ, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Commenting through his official Twitter account, Mayweather had this to say:
"I chose my opponent for September 14th and it's Canelo Alvarez. I'm giving the fans what they want. It will be at the MGM Grand."
The contest, which will be contested at a 152 lb. catchweight, will be held on September 14, as rumored, and will have a total of four belts on the line.
Alvarez will bring his WBC and WBA 154 lb. belts to the affair, as well as the Ring Magazine title, while Mayweather will put up the WBA "super" junior middleweight title he won from Miguel Cotto last year.
The pay-per-view telecast from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will likely generate the kind of buy rate Showtime had envisioned when they first signed the controversial Mayweather to a six-fight, 30-month deal, rumored to be the richest in boxing history.
After rumors began circulating of a less-than-blockbuster buy rate for the May 4 Mayweather-Robert Guerrero card, many felt that the red-headed Mexican battler was the only commercially viable choice for "Money" Mayweather in his second bout with his new network home.
Already a superstar in his native Mexico, Alvarez, who will be 23 by fight night, has proven himself a draw in the United States as well. His April 20 unanimous decision win over WBA titlist, Austin Trout at a jam-packed Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, also won the young fighter a certain level of boxing "street cred" after being widely criticized for a relatively weak recent stretch of opposition.
The unanimous decision over Trout proved that, not only could "Canelo" beat a legitimate Top 5 junior middleweight, but that he could also put up solid TV ratings and live gate numbers as a featured solo attraction.
For Mayweather, an Alvarez contest could be his biggest seller since his record-setting pay-per-view with Oscar De la Hoya in 2007, which generated approximately 2.4 million buys. Realistically, Mayweather-Alvarez will easily surpass Mayweather-Guerrero, which hovered around the million mark and may even outdo Mayweather-Cotto, which came in at 1.5 million buys.
In the ring, Mayweather should hold most of the cards against the young, relatively flat-footed Mexican champ. With an edge in speed, reflexes, and a massive advantage in overall ring smarts, Mayweather will likely be the heavy betting favorite and could, conceivably, take a wide unanimous decision.
However, Alvarez is physically stronger than anyone Mayweather has ever faced before and is practically bursting with confidence. The younger fighter will also have a huge edge in size, even under the catchweight conditions. Alvarez routinely weighs in at over 170 lbs. by fight night and will likely have more than a twenty pound advantage over Mayweather, who is really little more than a smallish welterweight. Given the weight advantage and the heavy hands of Alvarez, "Canelo" should be a live underdog for this bout-especially seeing the technical, tactical progress he made for the Trout fight.
The 152 lb. catchweight clause will surely be the cause of much controversy in the weeks leading up to the bout as much has been said about arch-rival Manny Pacquiao and the Filipino's frequent requests for catchweight bouts against naturally larger foes. In the past, Mayweather and his team have referred to Pacquiao as "The Catchweight King" and have bragged about Mayweather fighting opponents at their natural weight.
All in all, though, Mayweather-Alvarez was the right fight to make and it should be a truly intriguing match-up. Thankfully, the contractual bickering is over and the two sides can now get down to the actual fighting.
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.
Sources: Twitter, Yahoo Sports
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Canelo Alvarez