Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have signed to fight one another on September 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It’s the biggest fight that can be made in the sport today. Both boxers immediately let their fans know about the deal on Twitter
, as did promoter Oscar De La Hoya (the source of the above photo). Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer later confirmed to Rick Reeno
that the fight will take place at a 152lb catch-weight and be broadcast on Showtime pay-per-view.
Firstly – this is huge news. Mayweather is boxing’s biggest star and its generally recognised pound-for-pound king. Alvarez is a star in his own right, with a huge following among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Both men are coming off big wins – Mayweather picked apart Robert Guerrero earlier this month, while Alvarez was a revelation in beating #1 junior middleweight contender Austin Trout in April.
There were many, many reasons to think this fight would never happen. Mayweather is notoriously choosy about his opponents, and many thought he would baulk at fighting a large, young, hard-hitting junior middleweight like Canelo. Mayweather is also something of a part-time boxer, generally fighting only once a year – fans doubted that his six-fight deal with Showtime could change his schedule. Finally, Alvarez seems acutely aware of his own value – he took his fight with Trout off the Mayweather vs. Guerrero undercard – creating a potential stumbling block in negotiations with a man nicknamed “Money.”
None of that matters now. While many fans are still smarting from the repeated failures to make a fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, this fight shows that boxing can sometimes do what needs to be done.
As for the fight, it should be a cracker. Mayweather is the best fighter in the sport at any weight. Canelo hits like a kicking mule and is improving all the time – which may be why Floyd chose to fight him now. Some will point to the 152 lb. catch-weight as an unfair advantage for Mayweather (who has fought at 154 lbs. before) but I don’t think it should be an issue. Get the tequila off the shelf: This Mexican Independence Day weekend is going to be a hell of a fiesta.