Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) is one of the greatest fighters to ever grace a boxing ring, and when he fights Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the legend will turn his younger opponent into a bona fide star.
Even if Alvarez takes the loss, as long as he gives Mayweather a tough fight and makes it all 12 rounds, the Mexican superstar will blossom into an international phenomenon.
Mayweather has talked about his career exit strategy and his eventual retirement from the sport of boxing, per ESPN, and Alvarez and the people around him realize this may be the only chance the 22-year-old fighter has to challenge the undefeated streak.
The boxing world has been begging for a superfight worthy of getting excited about, and with Alvarez also boasting an unbeaten record, this is the kind of bout that reinvigorates a sport and turns the participants into megastars.
With Mayweather likely playing the role of bad guy as he always does, the non-Mayweather supporters will latch on to Alvarez, thus successfully polarizing the boxing world and making this one of the biggest fights in years.
For those questioning if this marquee bout is too soon for the burgeoning Mexican fighter, Canelo’s promoter and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya told Lem Satterfield of Ring Magazine about the timing of this fight and how it benefits the younger fighter so much:
First of all, I don't think that it's too soon, I think that it's the perfect moment. You know, the one thing that people have to realize is that Canelo is only getting better and improving as every fight goes on. I can't imagine how good he's going to be two, three years down the road. At this tender age, and he'll be 23 by the time he fights Mayweather, this is the perfect time. The perfect time. Canelo is a seasoned young fighter who is not yet in his prime. The question is, is Mayweather going to beat Canelo solely on experience? I would guess that I think not.
While taking the defeat would be tough on Alvarez’s career—the first loss on anyone’s record is difficult to swallow—the Mexican sensation has his entire career ahead of him to find redemption for a possible defeat.
Some fans know about Alvarez and his style now that he has agreed to fight Money, but during the build to the fight with Mayweather and the hype around the PPV, he will become a household name for even the most casual boxing fans.
That’s the power of fighting Mayweather.
Mayweather will make Alvarez a star no matter what the outcome of the actual fight, but if Canelo is somehow able to stop Money’s unbeaten streak, he would instantly catapult himself into the discussion as one of the toughest pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Win or lose, the risk Alvarez will take stepping into the ring with Mayweather will be worth the reward of getting the popularity rub from the greatest fighter of the last decade.