The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez showdown is a rarity for this era of boxing – a high-profile matchup of boxing stars that has the potential to be both a pay-per-view blockbuster and an entertaining fight.
Once upon a time, the best boxers on the planet often combined to make the biggest events in the sport as well as the best fights. Sugar Ray Leonard’s dramatic confrontations with Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, the classic Hagler-Hearns shootout and the Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe trilogy are a few examples of past glory.
In recent decades, the dominance of special talents such as Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins and Mayweather have turned the “mega-fight” into one-sided boxing clinics. Mayweather is arguably the most dominating of the bunch.
Since his revenue record-breaking victory over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, all of Mayweather’s fights have been pay-per-view successes but few have delivered sustained action and drama thanks to the five-division titleholder’s superb defensive skill and boxing technique.
However, more than a few fans, boxing insiders and odds makers believe that Alvarez not only possesses the ability to make for a competitive fight but the size and power to pose a legitimate threat to the 36-year-old future hall of famer.
Why? One need only look to the weight class at which the bout will be contested – junior middleweight.
Mayweather’s first foray into the 154-pound division was against De La Hoya, who troubled him with his jab and forced the boxing master to settle for a split-decision victory. His second junior middleweight bout was against Miguel Cotto in May. Cotto was written off by some, but the Puerto Rican veteran held his own in a competitive decision loss and even managed to bloody Mayweather’s nose and mouth.
Consensus is that Mayweather loses a step when fighting above 147 pounds. Alvarez, who turned 23 in July, is not only a natural junior middleweight – unlike De La Hoya and Cotto – he has what those two veterans lacked: youth.
Will youth be served on Sept. 14? Here’s how Mayweather and Alvarez match up in 20 categories.
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