Every few years a fight comes along that is bigger than the sport of boxing. A fight so massive, its appeal so wide, that it even transcends the sport itself, becoming part of the mainstream cultural zeitgeist.
To make this leap, you don't necessarily have to have a good fight—though in Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. versus Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime have a compelling one. More important, however, is the presence of an icon.
Muhammad Ali. "Sugar" Ray Leonard. Mike Tyson. Oscar De La Hoya.
With the right opponent, at the right time, a mere fight could turn into an event. Mayweather has joined this elite club, wearing the black hat as boxing's premier villain and laughing all the way to the bank.
But though Mayweather has made magic at the box office several times in his long and illustrious career, only with the right opponent has he truly struck gold. In Alvarez, the ingredients seem to be in place once again for a record-setting night.
Young, handsome and charismatic, Alvarez also happens to pack a powerful punch. In his native Mexico, he's giving soap-opera stars and teen idols a run for their money. His televised fights have drawn upward of 15 million viewers.
For Mayweather, all of this makes "Canelo" the perfect foil. Young versus old. Humility versus arrogance. Power versus speed. It's the contrasts that make the fight interesting.
On Saturday, the biggest fight of the decade goes down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. If you're like many sports fans, you'll find yourself sucked into the fight one way or another—at a party, a bar or after an impulse purchase at home.
Here's what you need to know to really make the most out of the night.