On Monday, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez will begin a rare—if not unprecedented—11-city tour to promote their Sept. 14 bout, per Ring Magazine.
A promotional strategy this big is uncommon—even for a Mayweather fight—but if there is a fighter in the world who can handle the hype, it's Money. In contrast, if there is a fighter whose makeup would suggest that the massive hoopla could distract them, it may be Canelo Alvarez.
The 22-year-old super middleweight champion is quiet, reserved and seemingly quite shy in nature. It is easy to see how these events could put him in an uncomfortable space.
Mayweather will use every opportunity to gain a mental edge over Canelo. You never know when Mayweather will turn on the bravado, or hit you with the more introspective and softer-spoken Money we've seen more and more as he's gotten older.
In any case, Mayweather keeps his opponents off balance before fights about as much as he has during fights over his legendary career.
The tour is set to end on July 2, with stops in Phoenix and L.A. It is nearly two-and-a-half months before the men are set to meet in the ring, but in such a big fight, one has to wonder how an unorthodox event during fight preparations could affect the participants.
How do you feel about the 11-city tour?
There are even more reasons beyond his introverted demeanor that would suggest Canelo may be adversely affected by the tour.
Not only is Mayweather the older, more experienced fighter in major fights, but he's also in the more comfortable position of having to add weight to meet the 152-pound weight limit.
Alvarez is already a bigger man naturally, but now he has to come down—albeit just two pounds—to make weight. It is yet another adjustment in the process of preparation.
At such a high level, every little edge counts. Against the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, there will be little-to-no room for error or a lack of focus. The tour equates to just another potential distraction for Alvarez en route to the biggest fight of his life.
Fighting Mayweather is as much about mental preparedness as it is about physical execution. The mind games and psychological warfare begin the moment he acknowledges an opposing fighter's presence on his radar.
It continues through the pre-fight negotiations and after the fight has been agreed to. Few can match Mayweather when it comes to trash talk. Alvarez isn't even close in that regard. This tour is only going to make that point more obvious.
Poise and patience will be a key if Alvarez is going to have a chance to best Mayweather. Money's psyche games over the course of an eight-day tour could get under Alvarez's skin and make him abandon his game plan in the ring.
Before Mayweather fought Robert Guerrero, he completely dismantled him in their face-to-face promotional meeting. Money also duped his opponent into thinking he'd slug him toe-to-toe.
This didn't happen, and while this trickery wasn't the primary reason Money destroyed Guerrero, it worked as a small piece to a masterfully assembled puzzle.
The platform this tour creates will allow Money ample time to prep the subject of his next masterpiece.
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