Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, the current WBC-WBA junior middleweight champ, may be the greatest threat to date to Floyd "Money" Mayweather's reign as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. He is young, in his prime, and, most importantly, a natural 154-pounder. Of Mayweather's last five opponents, four of them were at great odds. Robert Guerrero and Juan Manuel Marquez were smaller men climbing up in weight. And Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, were past their prime. Alvarez is none of those things.
They meet in Las Vegas on September 14 in a fight that will be broadcast by Showtime Pay Per View. The build up began Saturday night, with Showtime's All Access series. Here's a look at episode one.
Best Spoken Line, Floyd Mayweather: "Canelo's 22. I've been at the top since Canelo's been five years old. I think he's going to see it's a lot different when it's at this level. I've been there before."
Best Spoken Line, Canelo Alvarez: "I'm grateful to the people who support me wherever I go. I need to repay them with a victory."
Best Spoken Line, Mayweather, Part 2: "As a promoter, I believe that the fighters should win in the long run. Because the fighters are taking all the risk." There's a lot of truth to that statement and it's a refreshing sentiment because fighters are too often exploited. But don't forget, a manager or promoter has bankrolled every great fighter in history. They all get their start because someone believes in them and thus puts their money up. How many turn out to be Floyd Mayweather? So, yes, the businessmen in boxing do take a risk as well.
The scenic view: Guadalajara, Mexico.
Training Days: The quick glimpse of Floyd on the jump rope.
Best written line: A simple fact unites them both. The knowledge that a single defeat will change forever what they claim to be.
Best supporting cast: Canelo's brother, Rigo.
* It would be a mistake to say that because Canelo's only 22, he's inexperienced. He turned pro at the age of 15.
* New narrator Barry Pepper was smooth and even. His sports background? He's played Roger Maris and Dale Earnhardt Sr.
* Nice to see Floyd supporting Mickey Bey.
*Nice psychological play by Mayweather, who repeteadly referred to Canelo as an undercard fighter.
* A lot is made of Alvarez's looks. Like Oscar de la Hoya before him, Canelo has a lot of female fans. One commentator described Canelo - which translates to Cinnamon - as the Mexican James Dean. And then Floyd described him by saying, "Nobody told me I was fighting Blake Griffin."
* Nice shot of glovemaker Grant 'Elvis' Phillips in the opening.
* It was telling that Alvarez did not allow his daughter's face to be shown on camera. Although no explanation was offered, it likely speaks to the widespread kidnapping in Mexico.
* The camera caught a quick look of disgust on de la Hoya's face when he asked Mayweather to pose for a photo with him and Floyd responded with a wisecrack. For the record, Oscar has come the closest out of anyone to beating Floyd when they dueled to a split decision in 2007. In all likelihood, if Oscar didn't fade late, he would have won the bout.
*Fantastic camera work for the New York City press stop. Wondering how many cameras Showtime had there? Newsday covered that event but the scope of the crowd looked even greater watching it on television.