by Charles Jay
Most of the signs point to a “go” for Floyd Mayweather taking on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in his next fight, which would take place May 5, and there are many reasons for it.
Of course, one of them involves commerce, and as everyone is aware, Mayweather is about “Money.” May 5 is “Cinco de Mayo,” a holiday which is celebrated by Mexican-Americans all over the country. Alvarez is not only Mexican: he is very much a Mexican of the moment; one of the bright, emerging stars in boxing, and someone who would make a much more profitable foil for Mayweather than the vanquished Victor Ortiz, who provided the opposition in Mayweather previous fight. In fact, whether a fight like this were to be held at the Staples Center or the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it would be an almost certain sellout, unlike the Mayweather-Ortiz fight, which showed something less in terms of box office.
When you think about it, the fact that Mayweather has been so fixated on a May 5 date may have given a clue.
Then, of course, there is the fact that Alvarez is a promotional “property” of Golden Boy Promotions, with whom Mayweather is not under contract but is also associated. This opens up the possibility for him to have some control over more revenues than might otherwise be possible, much like his last fight, which turned out to be a rather worthwhile venture.
Then there is the matter of what is going to go on in the ring itself.
A source who is close to the proceedings told Boxing Insider that Alvarez appeals to Mayweather from the perspective of style.
“Floyd feels that Alvarez is a very good fighter,” said the source, who chose not to be identified. “But that he is not that hard to figure out. He knows that the kid knows what he is doing in the ring, but he doesn’t put an awful lot of pressure on. Floyd likes that, because he doesn’t want to be pressured. He doesn’t mind having a guy who is going to stand there with him, because that gives him an opportunity to go to work.”
Reportedly, Mayweather has seen what he considers to be flaws in Alvarez’s style, based on the last couple of fights he’s seen. Certainly he has provided plenty of material, in that he has fought sixteen times in the last three years, and seven times in sixteen months since winning the WBC “Silver” middleweight title over Luciano Leonel Cuello in July 2010.
Even in Alvarez’s TKO wins over Alfonso Gomez and Kermit Cintron in his last two outings, in which he has had to go only a total of eleven rounds, Mayweather considered him, according to the source, to be “suspect.”
That almost sounds like what some people have described as Mayweather’s reaction to Manny Pacquiao’s recent controversial decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez. As most boxing fans know, Mayweather has postured as if he was seeking a fight with Pacquiao on the May 5 date, but supposedly a cut Pacquiao suffered in that last fight precludes any recovery in time for May 5, although discussions are ongoing for a June or July rematch (constituting a fourth fight) with Marquez.
Mayweather is not bad at studying the styles of opponents, and is arguably one of the most prepared fighters when he goes into the ring. Alvarez, though only 21 years of age, is a veteran champion and has many of the moves of a veteran. This level of boxing “education” makes him actually somewhat more predictable in a sense than someone who is more orthodox, as B.I. is told about Floyd’s own capsule analysis.
One contrast that certainly exists as to the level of activity between these fighters. While Alvarez can be considered one of the more active champions, Mayweather will have fought exactly three times in four and half years by the time May 5 rolls around.
There is also the matter of weight. One could probably conclude that, at 21, Alvarez is a growing boy. He’s now a solid 154 pounds, and has been there for the last three fights.
However, Mayweather, who won the WBC welterweight title with his victory over Ortiz, has fought over 147 pounds only once, and that was when he took the WBC’s 154-pound crown back in 2007 (another Cinco de Mayo fight where he weighed 150).
What Mayweather seeks to do, according to the source, is perhaps ask Alvarez to turn back the clock a little, getting himself down to 150 pounds, or even lower, for the sake of making the fight. This may not be a big chore for Alvarez, but it would mitigate any potential advantages Alvarez would have if he made Mayweather to move up. As the bigger attraction, Mayweather would have the leverage to call the shots when it comes to whatever weight this fight took place at.