LAS VEGAS — WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, former titleholder Miguel Cotto and two-division beltwinner Amir Khan are among those expected to be in attendance at Saturday night’s Showtime Pay Per View-televised clash between pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and welterweight contender Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) will defend his WBC 147-pound title against Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs), and, if successful, has said that he will return to the ring on Sept. 14.
Mayweather last fought on May 5 of last year, when he unanimously decisioned Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) for the WBA’s 154-pound belt.
Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision over Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant RING junior middleweight championship.
“Floyd wants to be involved in the biggest fights, so depending on how this goes this weekend, he’s going to look at who is available and against whom he can make the best deal. I think that a potential fight between Mayweather and Canelo is without any question the biggest fight that you can make in the sport. I mean, can you just imagine? I’m pretty certain that that fight could break all records,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“Miguel and his team are coming to the fight as well, so there are so many names, so I’m not really worried about finding an opponent for Canalo Alvarez. You’re never worried about finding somebody for Floyd Mayweather, because he’s the top dog. If Guerrrero wins, then there could be a rematch between Guerrero and Mayweather, or Mayweather might take a little break and then have Guerreo fight Canelo, that’s another possibility. So there’s a lot of those pieces that will be discussed next week when we see what happens this weekend. But whatever it is, it’s exciting. There are no boring fights there.”
Meanwhile, Last weekend, Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) rose from a fourth-round knockdown for last weekend’s unanimous decision over former two-time lightweight beltholder Julio Diaz that followed up December’s 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Molina.
Prior to facing Molina, Khan was knocked out by RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in July of last year.
Schaefer said Khan “is actually going to be coming here to Las Vegas” to discuss his future, which could include a December 7 rematch with Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) should Garcia get beyond a targeted September 7 showdown with the winner between Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse, who will meet on May 18.
Or Khan could rise into the welterweight division and challenge IBF titleholder Devon Alexander, who will make a defense of his belt against Lee Purdy on the Peterson-Matthysse card at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Mayweather is expected to wear Grant brand gloves, and Guerrero, Reyes, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission exectutive director Keith Kizer, adding that the fighters have agreed to wear 8-ounces gloves.
Kizer said Guerrero will make $3 million for the fight.
ABNER MARES IN SEARCH OF RESPECT VS. DANIEL PONCE DE LEON
Rising two-division titlewinner Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) and hard-punching WBC featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35 KOs) will each make $375,000 for their fight, according to Kizer.
A former 122-pound beltholder, Ponce de Leon, 32, won his current title with an eight-round technical decision over Jhonny Gonzalez last September, ending a 12-fight winning streak that included 11 knockouts for Gonzalez, who was dropped in the sixth round.
Ponce de Leon’s most recent losses were to Yuriorkis Gamboa, who is now a junior lightweight contender planning to fight at lightweight, and Adrien Broner, now a lightweight titleholder who is scheduled to fight for a welterweight title. Ponce de Leon fought Gamboa at 127 pounds (one pound over the featherweight division limit) and Broner up at 130 pounds.
Ponce de Leon has been stopped only once, and that was in the first round by Juan Manuel Lopez as junior featherweights in June of 2008.
In victory over Ponce de Leon, Mares could add to an already exemplery resume that includes having twice beaten ex-beltholder Joseph Agbeko, earned a decision over former beltholder Vic Darchinyan and battled to a draw with then-beltholder Yonnhy Perez – all over a 20-month span as a bantamweight.
After defeating Agbeko by consecutive majority and unanimous decisions, the latter in December of 2011, Mares rose to 122 pounds for a unanimous decision over ex-beltholder Eric Morel in April to earn the WBC’s belt.
In November of last year, Mares scored a unanimous decision over WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno (33-2-1, 12 KOs), who rose in weight to challenge for the junior featherweight belt. Mares dropped the Panamanian in the fifth round and ended his 27-bout winning streak.
“Given who he has beaten already in the last two and a half to three years, everyone except Donaire, because Donaire’s promoter didn’t want to make the fight, if Abner beats Ponce here and becomes world champion again, then I think that it’s pretty clear that he’s the best fighter in those smaller weight classes,” said Schaefer.
“I said before that if Donaire is a pound-for-pound guy, then I think, looking at the way that Abner has beaten all of these guys in the bantamweight tournament, then Abner definitely deserves to be on that pound-for-pound list as well. If he beats Ponce, then, for sure, he should be there. It will be interesting, and that’s a great fight, by the way.”