It looks as though Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have agreed to face each other in the ring on September 14th this year. It is no small miracle that this fight was made, let alone as quickly as it did.
This is how it’s supposed to be, this is how it was done in the days of Ali and in the days of Ray Leonard. It wasn’t like this with Mayweather-Pacquiao. It doesn’t matter. That’s the past, and this is now.
After Alvarez’ strong showing against previously undefeated Austin Trout, the demand for a Mayweather showdown went through the roof.
With Pacquiao out of the picture courtesy of a roid-enhanced right hand, boxing was left with Mayweather, who seemed more than happy to feast on fighters of Robert Guerrero’s caliber and showed no interest in taking on a fight that had the slightest hint of danger.
Perhaps the abysmal PPV numbers backed Mayweather into a corner, forcing him to face an opponent guaranteed to generate twice the PPV buys as Robert Guerrero was able to. After Canelo’s solid performance against the tall and slick Austin Trout, many, including myself, were convinced that Canelo destroyed his chances of ever fighting Mayweather.
For a time it appeared that way as Floyd Mayweather Sr. came out in public to say that Mayweather will only fight Alvarez at 147. Now it appears as though Mayweather has forced Canelo into a more reasonable weight limit of 152, which is a catchweight nonetheless.
This after Mayweather spent years accusing Pacquiao of “draining” his opponents, including Miguel Cotto who weighed in a whopping one pound less for the Pacquiao fight than Cotto did in his previous bout. Still, I can’t deny how surprised I am that Floyd actually agreed to this fight.
I would’ve been surprised if he agreed to fight Canelo at 147. I’m pretty much blown away that they are fighting at 152. It doesn’t mean, however, that Mayweather deserves credit for fighting Alvarez.
Mayweather is after all, the number one pound for pound boxer in the world today and is the self-proclaimed greatest fighter of all time. Are we to expect anything less from him than to fight the absolute best available foe?
After ducking Manny Pacquiao for two years and after choosing to retire during the time when Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams were in their primes, are we now supposed to fall down at Mayweather’s feet for finally giving us a fight that we actually want? I don’t think so.
Alvarez is a true champion and a real threat to Mayweather. He’s young, he’s strong, he has deceptive speed. He has the size and very respectable boxing skills. He has shown intelligence in the ring. He hits hard enough to actually win by a lucky punch if all else fails. Mayweather’s previous foes may have had one or two of these traits but there was not one who had them all.
Beating Alvarez would be Mayweather’s legacy fight. If he gets past Canelo in convincing fashion, Mayweather deserves to be considered among the top 10 boxers of all time. But again, agreeing to fight Canelo and beating him are two separate things. Mayweather only deserves credit if he does the latter.