Floyd Mayweather Jr. is as good a salesman as he is a boxer. He has crafted an image and sold it to the American public to the point where he keeps breaking pay-per-view records.
On Saturday, he's in a fight that he doesn't need to sell.
Many people believe Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has a real chance to beat Mayweather when they fight in Las Vegas for Alvarez's WBA and WBC junior middleweight titles. The bout will be televised by Showtime and is expected to eclipse the record of 2.5 million buys that Mayweather established in 2007 when he fought Oscar de la Hoya.
"You've never seen a guy 44-0 versus a guy 42-0," Mayweather said on a conference call last week. "Like I said before, in Mexico he's a young rock star and everybody that they put in front of him he was able to go out there and do his job. He's done it in a tremendous fashion. He's a good, strong, solid boxer and I mean, it's a very intriguing matchup. Me not even being a boxing fan, I would want to see two undefeated fighters at the top competition against one another."
While Canelo's ring resume is impressive, these are the numbers people are paying more attention -- 36 and 23. That would be Mayweather's age, followed by Canelo's. Mayweather, though, has managed to spin a 13-year age difference into an advantage by suggesting that Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 knockouts) lacks the experience to win a fight of this magnitude.
Canelo believes that is a mistake.
"I think that the way he's talking he's underestimating me, but at the same time I think that he's worried," Alvarez said. "I think that he's very, very worried, but he's always been like that. He's always been a talker and that's the kind of person he is, but I don't care. I don't care what he's saying. I don't care what he's thinking. What I care about is what I'm saying and what I'm thinking and I'm controlling it and that's what matters to me."
But Mayweather says he is more prepared for this fight than he has been in some time, primarily because of the quick turnaround from his last fight in May. Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) hasn't fought twice in the same year since 2007. Seven months after winning a split decision over de la Hoya, he stopped Ricky Hatton. De la Hoya, who runs Golden Boy Promotions, checked into a treatment facility this week and will not be in the arena to support Alvarez.
The 133-day span between Mayweather's fight against Guerrero and this Saturday's bout is the shortest time between fights for him since 2001 when 126 days separated wins over Diego Corrales and Carlos Hernandez.
"I thought I was going to be kind of upset because I didn't get a chance to take a vacation, but actually, this camp went great," Mayweather said. "I was able to get right back into the groove . . . I was still sharp. Like I said, we got a lot of young and up-and-coming talent in our boxing club that pushes me to the limit and keeps me sharp. I'm trying to outdo the young guys . . . The only thing that can do is make me better."