Floyd Mayweather Jr. Challenges Unbeaten Canelo Alvarez
Floyd Mayweather Jr. really is sincere about being more active and facing the top fighters after signing a lucrative deal with Showtime in February.
After producing a somewhat lackluster experience for the fans in his last fight against Robert Guerrero earlier this month, Mayweather has signed on to fight perhaps the sport’s second biggest star in Saul (Canelo) Alvarez on Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at a catch-weight of 152 pounds on a Showtime distributed PPV-card, according to multiple reports.
The two boxers signed the contracts on Wednesday. Mayweather first broke the news on his Twitter account, saying: “I chose my opponent for September 14th and it’s Canelo Alvarez. I’m giving the fans what they want.”
Though he’s not facing Manny Pacquiao – the fight most fans want to see – Mayweather, 36, is tackling something he hasn’t dealt with in recent years: namely a young, hungry fighter in the prime of his career who has yet to taste defeat. While he’s just 22, Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 knockouts) has proven himself to be a highly effective and crafty fighter, based on his close but impressive victory against southpaw Austin Trout this past April.
Meanwhile, Mayweather, the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter, has skillfully chosen his opponents in recent years, feasting on the likes of Guerrero, Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricky Hatton, fights where Mayweather was heavily favored at the outset. Since 2009, Mayweather has fought just once a year, a timetable that will change with his bout with Alvarez.
The fight will be the second in a six-bout, 30-month deal that Mayweather signed with Showtime in February. It’s also his eighth straight bout at the MGM Grand, though the Sept. fight with Alvarez will fall on Mexican Independence Day Weekend, giving Alvarez, who is Mexican, an advantage in terms of crowd support.
After routing Guerrero on May 4, Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) is moving up in weight to face the ever-improving Alvarez, who holds WBA and WBC junior middleweight titles at 154 pounds, though the two have decided to conduct their fight at two pounds less. Mayweather also holds a junior middleweight belt, which he won after beating Cotto in 2012 before he went on to face Guerrero at welterweight.
A call to Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy, which promotes Alvarez and has worked with Mayweather in his last seven fights, was not immediately returned.