This week, Floyd Mayweather officially announced his next fight will be against 22-year-old wunderkind and unified junior middleweight champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 14. Let’s cut to the chase: This will be the biggest fight in boxing this year. This is the biggest fight that could have been made this year (sorry, Manny Pacquiao). Financially, this has a decent chance to be the biggest fight of all-time.
In other words, get prepared to spend the next three months being inundated by high-pitched uninformed opinions from the likes of Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Steven A. Smith. Expect to have Floyd Mayweather’s potential place in history debated ad nauseam. Brace yourself for dozens of interviews in which Floyd Mayweather discusses Floyd Mayweather in the third Floyd Mayweather.
Since you’re not going to want to sit through all that, I’ve prepared this handy guide of everything you have to look forward to and everything you have to dread.
The Good News:
This Fight is Legitimately Huuuuuge: Haven’t heard of Canelo Alvarez? Then you definitely aren’t from Mexico. Alvarez has a massive following in his home country where he turned pro at only 15 years of age (at least if you believe his birth certificate – some don’t) and racked up more than 30 wins before turning 20! His matinee idol looks (our friends at Grantland described him as a cross between Blake Griffin and Matt Damon), undefeated record, and compelling storyline got him signed to Golden Boy Promotions and imported to the US as a pay per view attraction at the tender age of 19. Right now, he’s the third most marketable star in boxing, behind only Mayweather and Pacquiao. If he wins this fight, he’ll surpass both.
This is a Real Fight: Floyd Mayweather opened as a significant -250 betting favorite, and rightfully so, but make no mistake: this is the first time Mayweather has faced an opponent who has a legitimate chance to upset the applecart since he squared off with Oscar De La Hoya –now Canelo’s promoter – more than six years ago. Canelo is young and has his shortcomings, covered below, but no one disputes his power or his will to win. To accomplish what he has at his age takes special talent, no matter how carefully De La Hoya and Co. have managed his career. Mayweather gets a lot of guff for ducking opponents, as he should, but everyone should tip their hat to him for taking not only the biggest fight but also one of the most challenging.
Mayweather Shows Up Every Time: For all the negative things you can say about Floyd Mayweather, one thing you can’t accuse him of is showing up unprepared for a fight. Mayweather has had good fights and great fights, but never a bad one. He’s never shown up with an ounce of fat on his chiseled frame. He’s never faded down the stretch of a tough fight. While he can act like a pompous spoiled child outside the ring, he’s nothing but a consummate pro inside of it.