LAS VEGAS – The participants of Saturday’s hotly anticipated pay-per-view event made their grand arrivals to the MGM Grand on Tuesday, and the result was a bigger spectacle than anyone expected.
The red carpet was rolled out for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul Alvarez, as well as the fighters appearing on the undercard.
In comparison to previous Mayweather fights in Las Vegas, the turnout on the side of fans was overwhelming. Mayweather’s May bout with Robert Guerrero drew maybe half of what Tuesday’s arrivals drew. Fans waited patiently as Mayweather showed up a little later than expected, though he signed many autographs on the way to the stage.
“The atmosphere here is unbelievable,” said Mayweather when asked by radio personality and host of the arrivals, Tattoo, on the stage for the live stream.
Though Mayweather initially told RingTV.com at his media day in August that he thought Juan Manuel Marquez had a bigger following than Canelo prior to their 2009 bout, his eyes were opened to just how much support the young Mexican star received from his fans.
“Canelo represents Mexico well,” admitted Mayweather, who was humble in his responses and gave Alvarez credit for being undefeated in 45 bouts.
A big focus on Canelo when he made his arrival an hour earlier was whether or not he was struggling with the weight.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer indicated to RingTV.com earlier Tuesday afternoon that Alvarez was on target to make the 152-pound catch weight without trouble.
Alvarez didn’t look tremendous at the grand arrivals, and one media member remarked that he looked like he could really use a cheeseburger. Alvarez indicated to the media he was at 153 pounds at that moment and would have no issue making the weight.
Alvarez continued to defend his stance that it was Mayweather’s side that demanded a catch weight, saying they negotiated from having to come in at 147 pounds to where they currently are at.
Schaefer told RingTV.com that afternoon that a substantial seven-figure dollar penalty would accompany Alvarez if he didn’t make the contracted weight, but made it clear that he didn’t think Alvarez would have that problem.
Garcia feels his son is disrespected
At the grand arrivals, Angel Garcia went through his usual routine, launching into a profanity-laced tirade about how his son Danny, THE RING/WBC/WBA 140-pound champ, is being overlooked against Lucas Matthysse before their junior welterweight title clash on Saturday.
“Vegas don’t know nothing, the world don’t know nothing, only I know everything,” Garcia would say comically when interviewed by Tattoo on stage.
Garcia finished off by chanting “U-S-A” before exiting the stage. RingTV.com tried conducting an interview with Garcia, but was turned down.
“You guys put Matthysse on the cover of your magazine, so go over there and interview him,” said Garcia. “You guys disrespected the champ.”
Cano doesn’t see issue with weight
Pablo Cesar Cano will open up the pay-per-view undercard against new Mayweather Promotions-signed Ashley Theophane in a 10-round bout.
Though all the literature regarding the fight indicated it was to be a welterweight contest, postings online had it rumored to be at a catch weight of 143 pounds.
Cano’s manager Rolando Arellano told RingTV.com over the phone on Tuesday that the fight was a 140-pound fight.
Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez confirmed via email to RingTV.com that the fight is at a 143-pound catch weight.
When reached for comment afterwards, Arellano responded comically, “Well, Pablo is under 143, so I guess we’ll have to feed him.”
Cano previously missed the 147-pound welterweight limit when facing then-WBA beltholder Paulie Malignaggi last October, making a move to 140 pounds intriguing.
“Cano now has a nutritionist and is making weight the right way,” said Arellano. “We feel 140 pounds is his best weight and moving forward that is where he will fight.”
Cano previously burst on the international scene in 2011 with a game challenge against Erik Morales, losing on cuts as a 21-year-old upstart.
Cano jumped two weights but surprised people by coming in heavy against Malignaggi, though Arellano explained away the problem.
“There’s a difference in culture,” said Arellano. “In Mexico, you dehydrate yourself and get down as low in weight as possible whereas in America you do things the right way. Pablo had trouble adjusting.”
Cano stated after the grand arrivals he doesn’t see any issues making the weight limit.
“I don’t have any problems with the weight because I had good work for the fight,” said Cano through interpreter Francisco Posada.
Cano has taken on a really tough schedule of opposition since the Morales fight. He’s faced Johan Perez, Malignaggi, and Shane Mosley since, leaving some wondering if he’ll be worn down.
“Those fights with Morales and Mosley have helped prepare me for this opportunity, and I think the experience will pay off against Theophane.”
Photos / Esther Lin-SHOWTIME, Naoki Fukuda