Saturday’s pay-per-view card headlined by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul Alvarez has been generating an unbelievable buzz in Las Vegas since early in fight week. The turnout for Friday’s weigh-in is something that had to be seen to be believed.
Passionate boxing fans camped out at the entrance to the MGM Grand Garden Arena as early as midnight and the line stretched well into where the food court sits, about half a football field away.
“We haven’t been asleep for 27 hours,” said a Mayweather fan named Tiffany, who was wearing shirt emblazoned with “The One.” “It’s pure adrenaline that’s keeping us awake.”
“Everybody thinks so much of Canelo and say that he’s going to beat Floyd, but they know deep down Floyd’s going to beat him,” said Ashley, another Mayweather fan who had been there since 6 a.m.
The odds of the fight have Mayweather currently sitting at just more than a two-to-one favorite, making Alvarez the shortest odds underdog since his coming-out party against Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007.
“The only reason the odds are close is because [Canelo]‘s undefeated,” said Ali, a young Mayweather fan near the front of the line.
Standing to the immediate left of that group of Mayweather supporters was a solid contingency of Alvarez followers that believe Saturday is the night Mayweather will be dealt his first professional defeat.
“He’s young and hungry,” said one Alvarez fan. “Mayweather’s old and is ready to retire. When Canelo knocks him out, he’ll retire.”
Despite an experienced professional record of 42-0-1, Alvarez is just 23 years old and has only beaten one top ten opponent, Austin Trout, in April of this year.
“He’s not inexperienced, he’s a hard fighter, and Mayweather is old and is gonna crack,” argued another passionate Alvarez fan.
The Alvarez supporters that have been waiting to see the Mexican idol weigh-in have been there since early in the morning, though their enthusiasm suggests that they’ve had someone bringing them coffee or Red Bulls throughout the morning.
None of the Alvarez fans interviewed felt that the judges will be necessary.
“Remember Marquez and Pacquiao, Marquez gave him a hard right?” said one fan. “Mayweather is going to mess up and Canelo is going to land a hard shot and that’s going to be it.”
“Once Canelo wins, there is going to be a rematch, that’s how it is,” said that same Canelo fan.
With the weigh-in still a few hours away, the length of the line just to see two guys climb onto a scale and pose off against each other is astounding. If this is a microcosm of what the atmosphere will be in the MGM Grand Garden Arena tomorrow night, it promises to be something boxing fans will remember for a long time.
Photo by Mark Ortega