On Saturday, Sept. 14, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will look to make history by ending Floyd Mayweather's 44-fight undefeated streak. The two stars will be fighting to unify the light middleweight titles and, in turn, earn supremacy in the division.
Win, lose or draw, Mayweather will remain the face of boxing.
This is not to take away from Alvarez, nor is it to sell short the impact that Mayweather's potential defeat would have on the boxing world. Instead, it's an acknowledgement that one fight would not eliminate the unparalleled value that Mayweather has to boxing.
Just check the numbers.
Boxing's Top Draw
Like it or not, no boxer garners as much attention from fans, celebrities, fellow athletes and ex-fighters as Mayweather does. Whether detractors want to see him lose or supporters look to marvel over his legendary abilities, "Money" will be a superstar until the day he retires.
The proof is in the stats.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, Mayweather will receive a boxing record $41.5 million purse for his fight against Alvarez. You can chalk that up to Alvarez's star power, but Rafael reports that Mayweather also earned a record-tying guarantee of $32 million against Robert Guerrero.
The previous record belonged to Mayweather, as well, from his fight against Miguel Cotto—are you beginning to notice a trend?
There's reason to speculate that Mayweather's star power would take a hit if he were to lose to Alvarez—or any fighter, for that matter. With that being said, Money is boxing's biggest draw for more than what he could lose.
Just as many people pay to see Mayweather tactically tear his opponent apart as they do to pray for his downfall.
For all of the animosity that he draws, "Pretty Boy" Floyd is a genuine legend in the sport of professional boxing. He dances around the ring with defensive brilliance, picking his opponents apart with precise punches.
Win, lose or draw, that greatness won't be damaged.
According to CompuBox, Mayweather leads all active fighters with a plus-minus of 24 percent. For those unfamiliar, that is a measure of percentage of punches landed against percentage of opponents punches landed.
In second place is Alvarez at a very distant 18 percent, per CompuBox.
At a glance, 24 and 18 may appear to be numbers that are close to each other, but when talking about percentages, "close" is generous. Mayweather is so far ahead of the competition that it takes a few minutes for you to find someone in the class below him.
The numbers don't lie on that.
Even if Alvarez is to defeat Mayweather, Canelo would be the only fighter who has ever done it before. More importantly, Money has dismantled each of the qualified contenders to his throne and has thus earned the label of the pound-for-pound king.
As a result, he's complemented becoming the biggest draw in sports with living up to the billing from a statistical perspective.
36 Years Old
Much like when Anderson Silva lost to Chris Weidman, Mayweather isn't a fighter in the prime of his career looking to defend a title against a rising star. Instead, Money is a fighter who should've slowed down years ago.
Where does Floyd Mayweather rank all-time?
At 36, losing a fight to the most statistically dominant fighter south of Mayweather is far from legacy-deflating.
Mayweather is still a 44-0 fighter who has defeated some of the greatest athletes of his generation in dominant fashion. No matter who he's faced, Mayweather has remained at the top of his craft and made himself and his opponent more money than any could've dreamed of.
Don't expect one loss to change that truth.
Mayweather's legacy is solidified, and he truly is one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up a pair of gloves. With a more favorable personality, Mayweather likely would be considered for his ability to fight above all else.
No matter how badly detractors may want to see him falter, however, even the most passionate viewers can't deny the facts: Mayweather is the best fighter of his generation, and losing at 36 won't change that.