By Ivan G. Goldman
Showtime will begin the hard sell of its Sept. 14 pay-per-view card led by Floyd Mayweather-versus-Canelo Alvarez with its All Access behind-the-scenes show, premiering Aug. 24. Part 1 of “All Access” will be presented just before Abner Mares defends his new WBC featherweight title against Jhonny Gonzalez.
All Access, produced by former HBO executive Ross Greenberg, will have its hands full trying to come up with something new to say about the Mayweather family that wasn’t already said in all those “24/7” shows put on by HBO when Mayweather fought under its banner. Can it top the all-too-real hollering rant from Floyd Junior when he drove his father, Floyd Senior, out of the gym? Floyd Senior is his lead trainer now that Uncle Roger has been slowed down by health problems. Father and son worked together for Mayweather’s May 4 romp over Robert Guerrero like NASA scientists supervising a successful space maneuver.
But it’s questionable how many more times viewers will be interested in seeing Floyd frolic in clusters of hundred-dollar bills inside his Las Vegas mansion. The four-part reality series will seek to whet appetites for what will be the most expensive pay-per-view boxing show in history, selling at $75 for high-def reception.
Meanwhile, Showtime is still banned from some key markets, including parts of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, thanks to the CBS standoff with Time Warner Cable. Time Warner, refusing to pay hiked financial demands by CBS, threw its channels off its roster in several markets around the country. Showtime is a component of the CBS company.
The New York Daily News reported today that many New Yorkers were quitting Time Warner and signing up with Verizon Fios, which will give them access to CBS and Showtime, providing, of course, they pay the premium for Showtime. Some neighborhoods were seeing a 5 to 15 percent rise in new FIOS subscriptions compared to last year, the tabloid reported. And that’s before the start of the NFL regular season. The first major local CBS game in New York will take place the day after Mayweather-Alvarez, when Eli Manning and the Giants go against the Denver Broncos, quarterbacked by Eli’s older brother Peyton.
Mayweather-versus Alvarez will feature a 36-year-old Floyd pitted this time against a fighter with serious kayo power and youth on his side. Canelo is also quick and getting quicker, but unless Mayweather finally feels his age, the Mexican star will look slow against Floyd. The catch weight was set at 152, two pounds below Alvarez’s 154-pound comfort zone. Floyd seems to make 147 easily, but he’s fought at junior middleweight before.
The key to this fight is likely to once again be Mayweather’s pot-shotting lead right. No one has really solved it in his 44 pro bouts (no draws, no defeats, 26 KOs). He gets it on target and slips out of the way before anything can come back. It seems to tear down his opponents emotionally as much as physically. By the time they see it, it’s too late. They practice countering it in the gym, but in real life against Floyd the counters stop coming and the opponents stare at him like he’s one of Shakespeare’s ghosts come to life.
Mayweather knows many fans buy his fights hoping to see him lose, and he will definitely play this card to attract viewers Sept. 14 as Latino fans celebrate their charismatic Canelo, a 23-year-old punishing assailant who is 42-0-1 (30 KOs). But as Floyd’s lifetime rampage goes on, he’s definitely developed fans of his own. Certainly Las Vegas, which thrives off his title defenses, loves him.
Latest Las Vegas odds: Alvarez +195, Mayweather -275 — bet $100 to win $195 on Canelo, bet $275 to win $100 on Mayweather.
Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag, by New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman, was released in June 2013 by Potomac Books. It can be purchased here.