Lem Satterfield

Mayweather ‘proud of’ Alvarez

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — RING No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Floyd Mayweather Jr., said that he sees similarities between himself and RING 154-pound champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the 22-year-old Mexican star whom he will face in a Showtime Pay Per View-televised clash on Sept. 14.

“Actually, I can really say that he’s a fan of mine,” said Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) during a Tuesday afternoon interview at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., which marked the second stop in an 11-city promotional tour.

“I can respect him. He’s a fan of mine. You have to realize this. He likes to use the shoulder-roll. He likes to fight with his hands down and to use his defense. I can see a lot of me in Alvarez.”

Although Alvarez (42-0-1, 31 KOs) is coming off the biggest win of his career, a unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Austin Trout on April  20, Mayweather does not see enough of himself in the younger man to believe Alvarez’s assertion that he can outbox the eight-belt titlewinner.

“I wouldn’t say that,” said Mayweather. 36. “I wouldn’t say that at all.”

Alvarez was 20 when he unanimously decisioned Matthew Hatton for his current WBC junior middleweight belt. Since then, he has made six title defenses, four of them by knockout. He will meet Mayweather at a catchweight of 152 pounds.

Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya told RingTV.com during a January interview he thinks the fight could surpass the record numbers drawn by his split-decision loss to Mayweather in May of 2007.

Mayweather-De La Hoya holds the all-time pay-per-view record with more than 2.5 million buys. Early indications are good for Mayweather-Alvarez; tickets at the MGM Grand were sold out in less than 24 hours.

“I consider myself a fast fighter, and I consider myself to be an intelligent fighter. I’m very similar to Floyd, and you know that he’s fast and he’s intelligent. But the difference is that I’m bigger and I’m stronger,” said Alvarez, during an interview with RingTV.com in May.

“I’m going to construct a game plan with my team so that I can be able to beat him. Throughout the years, there hasn’t been a change in Floyd. He’s always been the same kind of fighter, and I know him very well. I know what he does. Now I know that there are going to be doubters, but I feel that I’m going to come up with the right game plan and that I will be able to beat him.”

 

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Mayweather won his first world title at the age of 21, lifting the WBC’s junior lightweight belt from Genaro Hernandez with an eighth-round knockout in October of 1998.

“You have to realize the guys that I fought when I was 21. Sometimes, you look at these guys, and you say that I became a champion when I was 21. But look at how long these guys were professionals,” said Mayweather,

“I was only a professional for only a year and I became a world champion, and I fought the toughest guy at my weight class at that particular time, when everybody thought that I was in over my head.”

After defeating Trout, Alvarez clamored for a bout with Mayweather, who is coming off a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero.

“We’ll just have to see if he really wanted this fight come Sept. 14. A lot of guys always have a game plan,” said Mayweather, who earned the THE RING’s 147-pound title by defeating Guerrero.

“A lot of guys always say what they really want, but I always tell you, ‘It’s different at this level.’ Same thing I told Robert Guerrero. It’s different at this level. It’s not the same.”

In beating Trout, Alvarez vanquished a fighter who had handled Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision in December of last year. For Cotto, the bout followed a unanimous-decision loss to Mayweather in May of last year.

“I’m not taking anything away from Austin Trout, but Austin Trout did not fight the best Miguel Cotto, I don’t think. The fight was a lot closer than they had it, but he came out victorious. Once again, I think even the Trout and Canelo bout was a lot closer. I think that Trout was very, very hard on himself, because he got knocked down, and that’s something that he never experienced before in a fight of that magnitude,” said Mayweather.

“And, of course, any punch that Canelo throws, the crowd would go crazy. So that was playing the a major part in the fight also. And I don’t think that the scoring was right…It was a lot closer than what they had it. I think that he won just because of the knockdown. If there wasn’t a knockdown, the I think that the fight could have went Trout’s way. I think that Canelo was landing the bigger shots, but Trout was landing more shots.”

In September of 2010 in a 154-pound bout, Alvarez scored a sixth-round knockout over ex-beltholder Carlos Baldomir, whom Mayweather dethroned as WBC 147-pound titleholder by unanimous decision in November of 2006.

 

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Alvarez also unanimously decisioned a junior middleweight Shane Mosley in May of last year, nearly two years to the day after Mayweather had done the same as welterweights in May of 2010.

“Not taking anything away from Canelo, but the only thing that he’s doing is beating whoever is in front of him. Canelo may beat an older Shane Mosley, or an older Baldomir,” said Mayweather. “Trout was in a big fight, but he didn’t fight the best Miguel Cotto, and Canelo got a victory over him. So it takes a lot to impress me, but I’m proud of Canelo.”

 

Thursday, June 27

Atlanta, GA

Location: Centennial Olympic Park – Southern Company Amphitheatre

265 Park Avenue West NW (Marietta Street & Andrew Young International Boulevard)

Atlanta, GA 30363

Fan Arrival Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Press Conference Begins: 1:00 p.m. ET

Friday, June 28

Miami, FL

Location: Tina Hills Pavilion at Bayfront Park

301 North Biscayne Boulevard

Miami, FL 33132

Fan Arrival Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Press Conference Begins: 1:00 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 30

Mexico City, Mexico

Location information to be announced separately.

Monday, July 1

Houston, TX

Location: Union Station at Minute Maid Park (Main entrance)

501 Crawford Street

Houston, TX 77002

Fan Arrival Time: 12:00 p.m. CT

Press Conference Begins: 1:00 p.m. CT

San Antonio, TX

Location: The Alamo

300 Alamo Plaza

San Antonio, TX 78205

Fan Arrival Time: 5:00 p.m. CT

Press Conference Begins: 6:00 p.m. CT

Tuesday, July 2

Phoenix, AZ

Location: Herberger Theater

222 East Monroe Street

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Fan Arrival Time: 11:00 a.m. MT

Press Conference Begins: 12:00 p.m. MT

Los Angeles

Location: Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE

777 Chick Hearn Court

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Fan Arrival Time: 6:30 p.m. PT

Press Conference Begins: 7:30 p.m. PT

 

Photos by Tom Casino, Showtime

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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