Now that he has completed the 10-city promotional press tour for the Showtime Pay Per View clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer can begin to focus on the event’s undercard.
“I will be working now on the next few days right through the 4th of July weekend to try to put the undercard together,” said Schaefer. “I would anticipate that within the week that we will have something to announce.”
Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) and Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) was a sold-out show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena less than 24 hours after tickets went on sale.
“What I’m trying to do, and I don’t know yet if I am going to succeed, but I am certainly going to do my best to make it huge,” said Schaefer.”I’m going to try hard to see if I can put an undercard fight on this card which would make this by any and all means clearly the biggest pay per view event of all time, which I think that it already is.”
As far as numbers, that record is currently held by Mayweather’s 2007 win over Oscar De La Hoya, which garnered 2.4 million pay-per-view buys.
Schaefer would neither confirm nor deny the potential for a junior welterweight bout between RING champion Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) and RING No. 1-rated Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) to land on the Mayweather-Alvarez card.
“Can you imagine that? Well, you know, I’m not going to comment on that, because I’ve noticed that it serves me well to get stuff done and then to talk about it,” said Schaefer.
“Because whenever I talk about something that isn’t done, there are so many evil people out there, believe it or not, who are trying to mess things up. I just would rather get stuff done. But of course, this would make it the biggest double-header of all time, if that, in fact would happen. But I’m not saying yes, and I’m not saying no.”
DE LA HOYA, ALVAREZ, CONFIDENT OF VICTORY
De La Hoya, who was seated next to Alvarez on the dais in Los Angeles, told the pro-Alvarez crowd chanting “Ca-nel-o!” that he was “convinced Canelo will win,” and that he “believes this event will break all the records.”
During his turn at the podium, Alvarez said that it was “his time,” telling the fans, “we’re going to win this together.”
Mayweather responded: “They never said a word in the first nine cities. They were totally quiet. Now, all of a sudden we’re in L.A., and they’re talking big like, Canelo is the king. Well, as you saw, if you shoot shots at me, I’ll shoot shots back. How you react to me is how I’ll react to you. You show me respect, I show you respect. Every time they give a fighter a huge buildup, I bring them down.”
“It’s so crazy. Canelo is a great, young, strong champion, but he’s never fought on pay-per-view unless he’s been on one of my undercards. I’ve been here before, done it all for 17 years. Does he belong in the ring with me? We’ll just have to see, but I haven’t seen it yet. I’m young, strong and rich. He may be number one in his division, but I’m number one in boxing. You’ll see on September 14.”
MAYWEATHER TO DONATE TO FIREFIGHTERS’ FAMILIES
Mayweather’s company, Mayweather Promotions, will make a donation to the families of the firefighters who were killed in Arizona earlier this week.
Tuesday’s stop for the Mayweather-Alvarez tour, scheduled for The Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, was canceled in the wake of the devastating wildfire that killed 19 elite firefighters.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the people who lost their lives in those fires,” said Mayweather. “This was a terrible tragedy and everyone needs to support them. Never take anything for granted.”
MAYWEATHER RECALLS OLD HAT
On Tuesday at the Nokia Plaza at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, Mayweather recognized Schaefer’s three teenaged sons, Richard, 18, Nicky, 17, and Alexsi, 15.
“For the last fight, they made some limited edition snake skin hats which sold out like hot cakes at the MGM Grand, and I think that Floyd was very impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of the three Schaefer boys. The project was actually done by Alexsi and Nicky — the youngest one and the middle one,” said Schaefer, referring to Mayweather’s unanimous decision victory over Robert Guerrero for THE RING’s welterweight championship in May.
“They created those special hats. One of those limited edition hats they presented to Floyd, and Floyd was wearing it last night. So Floyd presented them with The Money Team hat, the TMT hat, and a special T-shirt as well. Nicky was part of the entire tour, and Floyd calls him ‘The Champion,’ and my youngest one, Alexsi, and all three of my boys are very good friends with Floyd’s kids. They hang out together.”
Mayweather also had gifts for Schaefer and Showtime Sports Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza, who were instrumental in the completion of the projected $250,000 million contract Mayweather signed with Showtime and its parent company, CBS Corporation, in February.
“Floyd gave me the TMT gear, a hat and shirt, and the same for Stephen Espinoza. I have to tell you, to be up there at the press conference and to at first have Oscar acknowledge my work and all of my efforts as part of the presentation, and then, later on, you have Floyd Mayweather do the same and present you with the TMT gear, I think that was very nice. Two of the greatest fighters of our generation acknowledging my work. It made me feel very good,” said Schaefer.
“Floyd is a terrific fighter and a loyal guy as well, even though everybody knows there is no contract between Golden Boy and Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather is his own boss. I’ve been disappointed many times by fighters where you have a contract, and I have to tell you that the way Floyd Mayweather is treating me and my family as well, it’s really refreshing, because you don’t always see that in the sport of boxing. When you read about whether Floyd is taking pictures at the Super Bowl with Bob Arum, or he was eating lobster with Don King, I don’t really worry. Floyd is as loyal as it is, and I appreciate that.”
MAYWEATHER-ALVAREZ, FOX DEPORTES TO SUPPLY JULY 4TH FIREWORKS
On July 4, FOX Deportes will present a special marathon of Golden Boy Classics featuring Mayweather and Alvarez.
At 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT, FOX Deportes will rebroadcast the final episode of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Guerrero, followed by five bouts involving Mayweather and Alvarez.
At 7:30 p.m. ET, Alvarez will be shown vanquishing England’s Ryan Rhodes by 12th-round knockout in June of 2011, after which Mayweather’s triumph over De La Hoya and Alvarez’s unanimous decision over Sugar Shane Mosley in May of 2012 will be shown, back-to-back, at 8:30 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
Photos by Esther Lin, Showtime
Photo by Nicole Becerra, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com