Mayweather vs. Canelo: Fight of the Century?

By Richard V. Powell on October 1, 2012
Mayweather vs. Canelo: Fight of the Century?
If Pacquiao loses to Marquez, it’s almost a certainty that Canelo will have hit the jackpot.

Fights of the Century come and go, but the 21st century is still young, and millions of fight fans around the globe would love to see Canelo be given a shot…

Until Canelo’s recent demolition of Josesito Lopez, the idea of a superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez was only simmering in the minds of boxing fans. After Canelo turned up the heat with his incredible display of power, maturity and blazing speed, those once-simmering thoughts have become a raging boil.

Most people knew Canelo would develop into a world-class fighter, but the question has always been when. Yet no matter how well he’s performed, his critics were always quick to point out that his hand-picked opponents, such as 40-year-old Shane Mosley and battle worn Kermit Cintron, had seen better days.

Fans and critics alike have been yearning to see the 22-year-old go toe-to-toe with a real contender, a boxer in his prime who could give Canelo a fight. Josesito Lopez, despite the disparity in weight, fit the bill after coming off of a jaw-breaking TKO win over Victor Ortiz in his previous outing. 

Canelo’s breathtaking performance against Lopez answered a lot of questions about his readiness to fight the best. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s biggest fan, his father Floyd Sr., is a convert after the Lopez KO. “This kid can fight,” he told “I mean FIGHT. The way he sits on his punches and digs to the body like that—this kid ain‘t no joke.” Asked if he thought Canelo is ready to take on his son, Mayweather said, “I don’t think he can beat my son right now but he’s as ready as he’s ever gonna be. To tell you the truth, I’d like to see him fight my son twice. I think he’d lose the first time but the second time would be very interesting. That would be the Fight of the Century.”

What would this hypothetical “Fight of the Century” look like? Will Mayweather have his back against the ropes, working the famous shoulder roll while Canelo tees off on him with those vicious body shots for which he is best known? Can Mayweather handle that kind of power? Canelo will undoubtedly eat more crisp punches in this fight than any fight he’s been in before. Can he deal with the pressure or will he fold like Ortiz and resort to dirty tactics? The possibilities are endless.

There’s no fighter alive that brings the heat to a fight like Floyd Mayweather Jr. When Money May is involved it becomes more than just a fight: it becomes an event.  Adding the million-plus pay-per-view buys from Mayweather’s fans and legions of haters, along with the tsunami of interest from Mexican behind Canelo, and you have the biggest pay-per-view extravaganza since Mayweather fought De La Hoya, which surpassed 2.4 million buys. It would not be irresponsible to predict that Mayweather-Canelo could shatter that longstanding record.

The avalanche of money is one thing, but the intrigue surrounding the matchup is another. De La Hoya was 34 years old and a veteran of many wars by the time he faced Mayweather; there was talk of his retirement before the fight was made. Canelo, on the other hand, is extremely hungry and at the beginning of what looks to be an incredibly lucrative career. But even at his young age, he has been fighting professionally since the age of 16 and has 42 professional fights under his belt without a loss. 

Canelo fighting Floyd looks increasingly attractive in light of how far Mayweather’s other potential opponents have fallen. The former “Fight of the Century” candidate, Manny Pacquiao, lost much of his luster when he dropped a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley. In the fight before that, Pacquiao looked like a shadow of his former self in his third performance against Juan Manuel Marquez. Insiders believe Manny stands a good chance of losing the fourth fight with Marquez, which would be the death knell for a big fight with Mayweather.

Sergio Martinez is also believed to be on the short list of possible candidates. But he poses a different set of problems. Unlike Canelo, who represents power versus Mayweather’s speed, the lightning quick Maravilla will fight fire with fire. On the flip side, Martinez’s inability to KO Chavez Jr.—who some say was actually high in the ring during their fight—and the knockdown he suffered in the 12th round raise serious questions about his suitability. Since Cinco de Mayo is the date for major pay-per-view fights, the millions of Mexicans Canelo would draw to this fight dwarfs the support that Martinez receives from his fellow Argentineans.

As we draw closer to Cinco de Mayo, talk of a fight between Mayweather and Canelo will grow more heated. If Pacquiao loses to Marquez in December, it’s almost a certainty that Canelo will have hit the jackpot. He wants Mayweather and says he knows he can beat him. Fights of the Century may come and go, but the 21st century is still in its infancy, and millions of fight fans around the globe would love to see Canelo be given a shot.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Recap: Canelo Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez - SHOWTIME

Victor Ortiz vs Josesito Lopez

HBO Boxing: Floyd Mayweather - Greatest Hits

HBO Boxing: Canelo Alvarez - Greatest Hits

Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Victor Ortiz

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  1. Goron Hartman 01:35pm, 10/08/2012

    No,no, no, wait one year.  Canelo is not ready for Mayweather yet. A fight this soon would be for the $$ for the promoters, not for the best course for Canelo.

  2. FrankinDallas 05:51pm, 10/02/2012

    OMG please stop. Floyd would TOY with Canelo. I like the kid, I really do, but this would be like throwing raw meat to a starving crocodile. If Lopez consistently hit Canelo with overhand rights (because Saul barely moved his head) WTF do you think Mayweather would do..all night?

    This is a silly matchup…I’d say Canelo JCC jr would be the first FOTC but Junior is too big for Alvarez.

    Has to be Cotto. At least you’re talking about Mexico vs Puerto Rico, which is always good for the PPV numbers.

  3. Rob 10:21am, 10/02/2012

    Canelo doesn’t even deserve to be a “champ” yet. Who has he beaten? Better yet, how has he beaten that is ranked at 154lbs? Nobody. The kid has potential, i actually like him as a fighter but he is NOT ready for the elite level. Mr. Powell sounds like the Chavez fan boys before the Martinez fight saying that “Chavez is going to KO Maravilla”. Who has Chavez been in the ring with? Who has Canelo been in the ring with? The problem here is that people get ahead of themselves. This kid needs to step up his competition; he needs to fight Lara (or Molina) or someone ranked at 154, then he can fight Cotto (which they are talking about for next May) and then maybe he will be ready for top notch opposition. Sorry Mr. Powell, your theory is WAYYYYY premature, you have to walk before you can run.

  4. RicoGILL 09:28am, 10/02/2012

    Did Taylor really beat Hopkins? Could Pavlik beat Hopkins? Let’s not rush Alvarez to his first lost. Does Floyd even look beatable? Has he ever? Never bet against Money Mayweather!!! Giving Alvarez a loss this early in his promising career could mentally damage him, especially when someone is telling him he can win against Mayweather!!! Give the kid a chance at success before introducing him to failure!!!

  5. Damien 09:12am, 10/02/2012

    Tell Canelo to Beat Cotto or Lara 1st, then he’ll deserve a shot at the Champ…

  6. trequan 05:35am, 10/02/2012

    Mayweather is a great fighter but all those wins is going to have to stop, Canelo Alvarez IS GOING TO TAKE THE WIN…...........



  7. Joe 03:50am, 10/02/2012

    Canelo is a tough dude and might be able to generate enough pressure to make it a real fight.  I’d agree that if he were able to beat Cotto in preparation for Money I’d be a bit more likely to pick him outright.  I’d pay the $59.99 to see this matchup that’s for sure.  I’m not convinced Money wants to fight a big, young, strong, hungry guy like this at this point.

  8. McGrain 01:54am, 10/02/2012

    I wasn’t impressed with Lopez as an opponent and think Mayweather is a big ask for this kid at this point.  It would be a calculated risk…Is Mayweather old enough to lose?

  9. Apeg3200 08:26pm, 10/01/2012

    Before Canelo fights Mayweather he has to go through Miguel Cotto.

  10. raxman 08:24pm, 10/01/2012

    geez. i’m surprised. i didn’t think anyone was giving canelo credit for lopez. he was about to step up opponent wise until both khan and ortiz got shattered and then golden boy reverted to safety first match making via a blown up junior welterweight.
    i used to give some credence to the whole “its not who he beats but how he beats them” arguement - the same one y’all used for bute - but since then i wait until those sorts of fighters actually beat a star before i dub them star.

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