Welcome home, team. Another luxuriously appointed, Ferrari leather-clad episode of boxing’s tastiest weekly morsel, The Sunday Brunch is about to be served. 15 amazingly attentive waiters will sweep the dining room and tend to your every outrageous whim. On tap for today, a mega-bout looms large. We take a look at the key players and talk some analytics. We are the company who brought you the post 9/11 “Terrorist Hunting Permit” stickers. With that being said, I gave you your instructions in the dressing room; what I say you must obey – Cuidate, escucha me, toca los manos y buena suerte…Let’s get it on!
In less than two weeks’ time on September the 14th, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will host perhaps the biggest blockbuster fight of the decade thus far. Floyd “Money” Mayweather will look to defend his undefeated record and his status as the sport’s top fighter when he takes on 23 year-old Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the unified championship at junior middleweight. The bout will take place at a catch weight of 152 pounds, allegedly proposed by Canelo’s camp and later accepted by Mayweather’s.
At the manditory WBC 30-day weigh-in, Saul Alvarez tipped the scales close to the maximum 10% of the agreed upon limit at 166.8, or nearly super middleweight. Floyd Mayweather, always in top form, barely cracked the 150 pound mark. What this means is that Canelo will have to work on dropping nearly 15 pounds during his stay at Big Bear Camp while working on his normal preparations, while Mayweather will only have to work on his usual routines. Due to Alvarez’s young age, I don’t see this being a problem for him come fight night. Canelo will likely rehydrate big and out-weigh Money by around 19 pounds.
2013 has been amazing in terms of quality fights, but having two undefeated superstars in the main event and possessing a likely nuclear bomb of an undercard, this promotion may quite possibly shatter Pay-Per-View sales records.
The record in question is Floyd Mayweather’s 2007 showdown with then PPV king, Oscar De La Hoya. That event came to sell a record breaking 19 million dollars from the live gate alone. The fight itself sold in excess of 2.5 million buys – a staggering 135 (+/-) million dollars in revenue.
The move to accept the fight two pounds south of the junior middleweight limit can very well be a wise play for Floyd Mayweather. In his last fight, Mayweather registered a nearly perfect performance versus Robert Guerrero over 12 rounds (landing 60% of his power and connecting almost double Guerrero’s figures) , but the bout sold less than what was expected, only creating around 870 million dollars in Pay-Per-View sales.
With the enormous following Saul Alvarez brings with him, attracting both casual and educated boxing fans on both sides of the boarder, a likelihood of a broken PPV record is much higher than has been the case in many of Floyd Mayweather’s recent fights.
The logic here is that since having a lower value than expected in his first fight for Showtime, Mayweather can easily make up the slack by taking an extremely high profile match like this one with Canelo Alvarez, who has a massive Mexican fan base (Canelo’s last fight was against Austin Trout and over 40,000 fans showed up to the Alamodome to support him). While Alvarez has never headlined his own PPV, he has been on the undercard on several of Floyd Mayweather’s. Look for an overwhelming contingency of diehard Mexican supporters to flood the MGM Grand and surrounding closed-circuit bars come September 14.
Another point worth mentioning is that this fight is taking place within the same year as Mayweather’s last match (something he hasn’t done since 07’). The lack of a lull between fights is almost always beneficial to keeping a fighter’s skills honed, though with Floyd Mayweather, that has yet to be the case – even with his well-documented layoffs.
The two fighters also have an enormous age gap between them. Alvarez just turned 23 in July while Mayweather is midway through being 36 years-old. The timing of this fight feels well thought-out, however. Wait any longer and Mayweather risks his reflexes eroding due to age, while Alvarez would further grow into his prime, gain experience and perhaps even cultivate more confidence than he already has. If this bout was penciled in earlier, perhaps the overwhelming notion would be that Canelo was too green for this caliber of opponent and event. I feel that this will be a step beyond what the young Alvarez has faced thus far, Mayweather will offer angles and looks that Canelo has not seen in person.
This match will ultimately boil down to experience. While Canelo will bring many advantages with him into the ring, at this time he is lacking the top tier exposure that comes from spending many years grinding at the highest level of the sport.
Floyd Mayweather will take a few rounds to adjust, possibly tasting Saul Alvarez’s ripping combinations in the process, but after four rounds have passed, Saul will begin to have a bewildered, frustrated and bloodied look on his face. Watch for Floyd to reopen the cut Canelo sustained in the Shane Mosley fight around midway through the contest. Mayweather will press the action and try to stop Alvarez in the 11th round but will be unable to drop the larger man. Floyd Mayweather by wide UD.
Thanks so much for joining us this week, next time we’ll be taking a look at the Showtime All-Access Floyd Mayweather Saul Alvarez documentary leading up to the big fight. We’ll talk strategy and I’ll tell you what I’ve noticed from this past week. Take care to dry your hair before going outside if there are snow conditions. I know the urge to put a huge amount of Aqua Net in your hair while it’s still wet and go outside to create helmet hair is almost irresistible, but trust me – don’t do it. Sante.