In all, 43 men have walked into a boxing ring with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather believing they had the stuff to become the first to defeat him. They all said the right things, appeared confident in their abilities, and they all failed.
On Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will become the 44th man to attempt the feat, and like his predecessors, he knows just what to say.
The 22-year-old Mexican superstar is undefeated and exudes a confidence that appears more genuine, and less false bravado, than we've seen from past Mayweather opponents. But confidence, in excess, can be the undoing of a fighter, especially in a big moment such as this.
"Obviously it's not good to be overconfident, but you can be confident about your own abilities," Alvarez told Bleacher Report on Monday. "I'm not underestimating anybody, but you know I feel I'm going to be ready for this fight, and I'm going to be able to do it."
Whether or not he'll be able to do it, and become the first to defeat Floyd Mayweather, remains to be seen. But Alvarez certainly has reason to be confident.
He's younger, stronger and bigger than his opponent. The physical advantages he'll bring into the ring, even at a catchweight of 152 pounds, are clear. But one key component he lacks is experience.
Anyone in attendance at the New York City kickoff of the Mayweather-Canelo press tour would be hard-pressed not to be awed by the crush of media and fan attention already being paid to this bout. And it's only going to get bigger, hotter and more pressure-packed as we get closer to the fight.
It's an environment that's par for the course if you're Floyd Mayweather, but one which can cause a younger, less-experienced fighter to come unglued. But for Canelo Alvarez, the moment is less one to get lost in, and more an opportunity to be seized.
"Of course I'm ready. That's why I've trained so hard," Alvarez said. "I've been waiting for this moment, and I've gotta take advantage. So of course I'm ready."
The contrast between the two fighters is clear as day. Mayweather is a flashy, brash fighter who has legions of fans, but scores of others who would like nothing more than to see him get knocked out.
Alvarez is more low key, quiet and respectful. And while we're still in the early stages of hype for this fight, he has nothing bad to say about his opponent. He understands the history here, and that this isn't a former great like Shane Mosley, or a very good opponent like Austin Trout.
He's going in there with the pound-for-pound king, a fighter most consider the best of his generation, and possibly one of the greatest of all time. Alvarez knows he'll need to dare to be great, and nobody is going to hand it to him. He'll need to take it, and he can only do that by beating Floyd Mayweather, greatness and all.
"Everybody knows that Floyd's the best without question," Alvarez told a raucous crowd in New York City's Times Square on Monday afternoon. "But this is my time, and we're gonna win."
Whether or not Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will be "The One" to steal the tagline of the fight won't be seen until Sept. 14. But he sure seems confident.
Kevin McRae is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted all quotes were obtained first-hand from the Mayweather-Alvarez NYC press conference and the writers personal interview conducted on June 24, 2013.
You can follow Kevin on Twitter @McRaeBoxing
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