Mayweather vs. Canelo: Money Doesn't Need Manny Pacquiao to Move the Needle
As the old saying goes, money talks. But in boxing, the more appropriate saying is Money talks—as in Floyd "Money" Mayweather.
These days, you need only to follow Money to find the money. Despite the protestations of fans and promoters alike for many years now, that holds true despite the slim odds of a Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao fight ever happening.
See, Mayweather will be absolutely rolling in the dough after his fight Sept. 14 with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. In fact, he'll be rolling around in an all-time record amount of dough, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN:
Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., already the world's highest-paid athlete in recent annual surveys, is unlikely to yield his crown with the disclosure Wednesday by adviser Leonard Ellerbe and Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer that he will earn a guaranteed purse of $41.5 million for his Sept. 14 junior middleweight unification fight with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"Floyd is the biggest star in the sport and the best in the sport, and when you're the biggest star and you are the best, you get paid the most money," Ellerbe told ESPN.com. "So this comes along with the territory."
Mayweather's purse shatters the previous record of $32 million, which he set for his May 2012 fight with Miguel Cotto and then tied for his fight this past May against Robert Guerrero. For 2013, Mayweather's guaranteed purses will total $73.5 million.
With that amount of money coming in, Mayweather is probably more than happy to hear the sound of cash registers in his head while Pac-Man chases around little dots on a screen in comparison.
If there is a slogan for boxing as a whole right now, it is probably, to borrow from Jerry Maguire, "Show me the Money!"
Granted, there probably isn't an opponent outside of Pacquiao that fans would want to see Mayweather take on more than Alvarez. The 23-year-old Mexican is a future star of sport, setting this matchup as a battle between the present and the future, the most iconic boxer in the world today versus the man who aims to claim that crown tomorrow.
The last thing Alvarez wants to be remembered as is Mayweather's 45th straight victim. Even if he doesn't win the fight—if he makes Mayweather sweat—his reputation will only improve.
That's another intriguing element of this fight.
For Alvarez—short of being knocked out in the early rounds—there isn't nearly as much to lose in this fight as there is for Mayweather. He's already a heavy underdog, and a loss wouldn't stymie his career so long as he showed himself to be competitive and exciting.
But Mayweather has everything to lose.
Of course, there is his undefeated record. But there is also his drawing power, especially if Alvarez, inexplicably, knocks him out. Heck, even the leverage in a Pacquiao fight is at stake, if the two boxers ever go down the long and winding road of those negotiations again.
For both fighters, the best-case scenario is a tightly contested match that leads to a trilogy, the sort of trilogy that will launch Alvarez into stardom and put the cherry on top of Mayweather's epic career.
Yes, the type of trilogy that proves, once again, that Mayweather doesn't need Pacquiao to remain the most compelling and valuable figure in the sport of boxing.
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