Mayweather vs. Canelo Will Resurrect Boxing's Popularity

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 04:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his unanimous decision victory against Robert Guerrero in their WBC welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 4, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) squares off against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the boxing world will get the superfight it desperately needs.

This is the kind of bout that can resurrect boxing as one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Mayweather's co-manager Leonard Ellerbe told the AP, via Yahoo! Sports, why his client wanted to fight Alvarez next: "Floyd has said from Day 1 that he wants to give fans the best fight out there and here it is. We have the two biggest stars in the sport and they're fighting each other Sept. 14."

After signing the deal to make the fight official late Wednesday night, per Dan Rafael of ESPN, the excitement surrounding the two undefeated champions—the bout will be contested at a catchweight of 152 pounds—going to war inside the ring is already through the roof.

While this battle won’t have the same aura that the proposed superfight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao would’ve had if Pac-Man hadn’t lost two straight fights, few boxing experts would question that this is the biggest possible fight right now.

Rafael believes this is the fight the sport and its fans wanted, as he noted on Twitter:

Money is often criticized for taking the easy way out with his challengers. With the entire boxing world screaming for Alvarez to be the next challenger, it's clear that Mayweather wants to prove a point to the doubters.

In this battle of undefeated champions, the fans are the real winners. Just ask Money:

The sport of boxing has lost much of its allure with mainstream fans because of the lack of depth in interesting divisions (heavyweight, namely) and the lack of bona fide superstars, but Mayweather has always been a steadying force who could rake in the PPV buys.

While Showtime points out that Money’s last fight against journeyman Robert Guerrero reached over a million PPV buys, per USA Today, that is still a lower number than Mayweather has become accustomed to over his career.

For a fighter who holds the record for all-time buys at a single event—Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, via ESPN—barely crossing over the million mark is not acceptable. Those numbers likely played a big role in choosing Alvarez this time.

With the fans yearning for this fight, Mayweather and his team of public-relations geniuses will begin to hard-sell this bout for the next several months. As the hype continues to build, the aura around what could be the biggest fight in years will bring boxing fans out of the woodwork for this superfight.

Boxing needs a bout that fans from all walks of life can get behind, and a battle of undefeated champions like Mayweather and Alvarez is exactly what the sport has been calling to see.