Is it “The” fight everyone wants to see? Probably not. But is it the best fight available? It most certainly is.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., a world champion at 147 and 154 pounds, has agreed to fight young Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez on September 14 at the MGM Grand live on SHOWTIME Pay-per-view.
“I chose my opponent for September 14th and its Canelo Alvarez,” Mayweather tweeted Wednesday night. “I'm giving the fans what they want. It will be at the MGM Grand.”
Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) failed on many occasions to come to an agreement with Manny Pacquiao. It was a fight that many believed could’ve set pay-per-view records.
Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) isn't quite be the fighter Pacquiao was a few years ago. He doesn't have Pacquiao's out-of-the-ring appeal either, but he is viewed as arguably the top young fighter in the sport.
Mayweather agreeing to a fight against Alvarez will come as a bit of a surprise to some, who believed the undefeated welterweight was damaging his legacy by handpicking his opponents and not always taking on the top challengers. His last two fights against Robert Guerrero and Victor Ortiz did little to change the mind of Mayeather's critics.
All of that changed with Wednesday’s announcement.
Mayweather, who’s in the midst of a six-fight deal with SHOWTIME that boxing insiders say is worth over $250 million, had been under pressure to validate the contract. His win over Guerrero on May 4, although impressive, didn’t exactly inspire confidence with Showtime executives, especially with fans still screaming for Mayweather to fight Pacquiao.
Taking on a fighter the caliber of Alvarez, who’s fresh off an impressive unanimous-decision win over Austin Trout, eased any doubts about Mayweather’s willingness to take on the best fighters.
The fight is expected to at least equal the Mayweather-Miguel Cotto PPV out put of 1.5 million. If the fight exceeds those numbers, it will be a huge boost to SHOWTIME, which took some hits from critics for committing so much to a 36-year-old fighter.
It is also to be a victory for Golden Boy Promotions. The promotional giant, which represents Alvarez and works in close association with Mayweather, cut ties with HBO recently and committed itself to SHOWTIME.