Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has been widely regarded as the best young fighter in boxing for quite some time, but he was no match for Floyd "Money" Mayweather on Saturday night as the 36-year-old champion improved his career record to 45-0. Despite that, Canelo should do everything possible to negotiate a rematch.
While Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao is the fight that boxing fans have clamored for in recent years, it's certainly possible that Saturday's tilt between Mayweather and Alvarez was far superior to anything Mayweather and Pacquiao could have produced. That means people will be willing to pay in order to see them lock horns once again.
The matchup was far closer than many anticipated. While most onlookers would agree Mayweather put his command of the ring on display throughout the night, it was obvious that Alvarez has the potential to become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
As ESPN's Kevin Van Valkenburg indicates, judge CJ Ross was among those who thought Alvarez came out on top in a number of rounds:
CJ Ross believes Alvarez won six rounds. SIX. Boxing.— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) September 15, 2013
A rematch would give Alvarez another crack at a pound-for-pound legend. A win would launch him into superstardom, while a loss wouldn't derail his long-term aspirations.
The final pay-per-view numbers for Saturday night's bout have yet to be released, but it's safe to say that they were astronomical.
According to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, Mayweather's camp expected the fight to challenge the 2.5 million buys that Mayweather and Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya generated in 2007. While that may or may not have happened, there's a very good chance that the pay-per-view revenue record of $132 million was surpassed at the very least.
Badenhausen also reported that Mayweather vs. Alvarez smashed the record for largest fight gate at $19.9 million as the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas sold out in less than a day once tickets went on sale. Perhaps anticipation for a rematch won't quite reach that same level, but it figures to be very close.
From Alvarez's perspective, there is nowhere to go but up.
The loss was obviously disappointing as beating Mayweather would have made him the world's best pound-for-pound fighter at the age of 23, but it allowed him to gain a great deal of exposure. On top of that, there is no doubt that he'd love to get another crack at Mayweather.
The best-case scenario for him is that he fights Mayweather again, beats him, cashes in on another huge payday and sets up a potential third fight, which would undoubtedly be one of the biggest events in boxing over the past two decades. The downside is awfully attractive as well because he would still get paid a huge amount of money even if he loses the rematch; he could move on to other endeavors after that.
According to the, Mayweather handpicks his opponents and sets the conditions of his fights. He also had a rematch clause worked into the contract for his bout with Robert Guerrero that would have guaranteed him a rematch in the event of a loss.
Mayweather didn't need to exercise that clause as he thoroughly outclassed The Ghost, and he won't need it this time either, but it's certainly possible that Alvarez's camp was able to negotiate a rematch clause for their client.
Some observers have accused Mayweather of ducking fights over the years, with Pacquiao serving as their prime example, but accepting a fight against an upstart like Alvarez proved that Mayweather values a huge payday over an easy opponent.
Although he beat Alvarez, Mayweather may come to realize that a rematch is the best option on the table. Aside from Pacquiao, who is unlikely to ever fight Mayweather at this point, there isn't a bigger draw out there than Alvarez. Once Mayweather sees the money that this fight generated, he may not be able to resist another.
Mayweather is a businessman above all else, and Mayweather vs. Alvarez 2 is clearly good business for both men involved as well as the sport of boxing.
It has been a while since there was truly a great series of fights between two boxers. Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fought each other on four occasions, but if Saturday's contest is any indication, Alvarez and Mayweather will blow that quartet of fights out of the water whether they meet twice or even three times.
Boxing fans need something to get excited about, and they certainly seemed to respond to Mayweather vs. Alvarez, so it would be wise to go back to the well. It's ultimately up to the two fighters involved whether or not they want to go toe to toe again, but it makes so much sense for them to make it happen.
Mayweather would be taking a calculated risk in terms of putting himself in danger of suffering the first loss of his career against a motivated Alvarez; however, the financial reward is far too great.
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