Floyd Mayweather's Legacy Can Only Suffer in Fight Against Canelo Alvarez

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Floyd Mayweather's Legacy Can Only Suffer in Fight Against Canelo Alvarez
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather is carrying a larger burden than the Greek god Atlas, entering his match against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez with little to gain but everything to lose in terms of his reputation.

Regardless of who exits Las Vegas with their first career defeat, Mayweather will have more money than any human being should know how to spend. The gifted promoter is slated to earn a whopping $41.5 million for the fight, according to Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen.

Financially, Mayweather could trip over his own feet during the first round, break his leg and still be more than fine as he glides through snow angels made of cash. But if the $41.5 million dollar man loses to Alvarez, his legacy takes a nasty tumble.

Mayweather currently is sitting on top of the world. He's not just boxing's biggest draw; no other athlete in the country can match his worth. For one night's work he'll earn as much as All-Pro NFL quarterback Tom Brady will make through the next three years.

That leaves him nowhere to go but down.

If Mayweather wins, his record receives another notch in the win column. He basks in the glory for a few weeks and lands another gigantic payday down the line. All great stuff, but will his few critics leave him alone after defeating an untested 23-year-old? Is that enough to seal his legacy as a legend?

It's hard to impress the public when they all expect you to win anyway. ESPN's First Take conducted a Twitter poll, with the overwhelming majority picking Mayweather to emerge victorious.

A win means Mayweather did his job. They're not paying him $41.5 million to lose, right? A loss concludes his undefeated reign and shatters his swag that portrays an immortal man that cannot be touched.

Alvarez, on the other hand, could enhance his image even in defeat by pushing Mayweather to the edge. Thirteen years his opponent's junior, being the guy who almost took down Mayweather would propel the 23-year-old to an illustrious career with many more lucrative bouts.

The pressure is ramped up to 10, as evidenced by the fact that fans are willing to stand in a line larger than the wait for Space Mountain just to obtain the honor of residing in the same room as Mayweather and Alvarez. Taking a break from his crusade to kill the individual pitcher win in Major League Baseball, Brian Kenny posted a photo on Friday morning of a sea of supporters waiting in the MGM Grand lobby for the 6 p.m. weigh-in.

And that's to watch them step on a scale.

Mayweather has projected an aura of calmness and confidence leading up to the big fight, not fazed by all the colossal hype and expectations. He's already accomplished more than enough to establish himself as an all-time great, but sports fans harp on the most recent happenings. Talks of his legend will transform to concerns over his age.

Alvarez, who according to CompuBox has connected on 52 percent of his power punches, represents fierce competition. But he has not broken the same stratosphere as Mayweather as a draw. How many people say they're purchasing the Canelo fight this Saturday?

After years of building an empire, one fatal punch could send it crumbling down for Mayweather.

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