Mayweather vs. Canelo: Fight of the Century?
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 Boxing.com. “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.