Floyd Mayweather is finally giving fans what they want in his next match, and it will be the biggest one in his career.
The boxer announced on Twitter that he will face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in September:
I chose my opponent for September 14th and it's Canelo Alvarez. I'm giving the fans what they want. It will be at the MGM Grand.— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) May 30, 2013
This will be one of his toughest—if not the toughest—bout of his career. Alvarez is an incredible 42-0-1 in his career with 30 knockouts. However, the most amazing part is that he is still only 22 years old.
Throughout his young career, the Mexican fighter has displayed great strength and quickness to help him win the WBC Light Middleweight title and various other honors. He has the talent and ability to give Mayweather a legitimate challenge when the two eventually get into the ring.
Who will win?
This could change the narrative for Mayweather, who appeared to care more about his undefeated record than actually providing good matchups.
Money has defended his title against big-name opponents in the past. Competitors like Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley brought in plenty of publicity, but both were past their prime when they got into the ring.
Boxing fans have wanted to see the talented fighter go up against someone else at the top of his game.
Most recently, people have been calling for a bout against Manny Pacquiao. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition after years of negotiation. Since the Pac-man has now lost two matches in a row, the call for this match has dropped significantly, and it might never happen.
This leaves Alvarez as the only true competitor near Mayweather's skill level. There are some guys who would put up a fight like Timothy Bradley or Sergio Martinez, but there is only one person in the sport who could realistically expect to pull off the upset.
Amazingly, this is actually a good thing for the welterweight champ. Mayweather has made winning look too easy over the years, especially against Robert Guerrero in his most recent fight. He no longer needs to go for the knockout, as he can simply dominate on the scorecards.
Adding more easy victories will not do anything to help his legacy. Instead, he needs a true test where people can doubt him, before coming through with a win. This will certainly be that opportunity.
Dan Rafael of ESPN.com thinks this will be one of the biggest fights in decades:
Mayweather-Canelo will rank up there with some of the biggest fights I've covered. Floyd-Oscar, Lewis-Tyson, Pacquiao-Oscar come to mind.— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 30, 2013
If Mayweather is able to come through with a convincing victory, he will show that he was truly the best of his generation. He will likely retire after his current 30-month contract with Showtime, according to Rafael. This will account for four more fights after Alvarez.
Looking at the current boxing landscape, it is tough to imagine anyone else coming up in that time who could represent that big of a challenge. This means he can retire undefeated as the best of a generation and one of the best ever to step in a ring.
On the other hand, he could severely affect his legacy if he is unable to defeat the younger fighter. He will still be one of the best, but he will always see that number in the loss column.
Mayweather is taking a big risk by agreeing to this fight. It pleases the fans, but he is putting his entire legacy on the line. He better make sure he brings his best effort, because this will be the lasting moment of his entire career.
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