And still champion...
It was here, and now it's gone.
This past Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather once again proved why he is the best fighter on the planet and boxing's biggest draw with a convincing victory over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in Las Vegas.
While the result wasn't shocking, the mastery with which Floyd dominated the contest from start to finish has many buzzing about the implications of the fight.
Even with the lopsided contest, it was a big weekend for boxing, and it's no surprise that the fallout will dominate the headlines in the week ahead.
"The One" has come and gone.
As boxing fans, we spent the entire summer holding our collective breaths in anticipation of this past Saturday night’s clash between Floyd Maywaether and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Now that the fight is in the rearview mirror—and failed to live up to its massive hype—we must ponder the inevitable question: What do we do now?
It’s not just that “The One” was hyped for so long that boxing fans were left to salivate at the possibilities. It was also hyped really well and took advantage of one of the most broadly targeted marketing plans in sports history.
So when Floyd and Canelo stepped through the ropes at the MGM Grand, everyone in the arena and watching at home had the sense that they were part of something special.
That feeling doesn’t come around often in boxing anymore—with all its feuding promoters and networks—and there is sure to be a hangover effect.
Canelo's face tells the whole story.
Lets start with the good news.
Canelo Alvarez is still just 23 years old, he has an exciting fighting style and the potential to be a massive star in the sport for years to come.
Now, onto the bad news.
He was absolutely outclassed in every facet of the fight on Saturday night. Floyd Mayweather was able to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and Canelo had no answers.
Worse yet, as the fight wore on, he began to wear his disappointment on his sleeves and seemed to be looking for a way out. That's a troubling sign for a fighter who was brimming with confidence throughout the entire promotion.
At the post-fight presser, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer expressed a desire to get Canelo right back into the championship picture, but indicated it was ultimately the fighter’s decision on when to return.
It might be better for him to get right back on the horse. There’s no benefit to letting a defeat like that linger, and Canelo still has plenty of room to improve.
And for his next act...
It was supposed to be the toughest fight of his career, against the biggest man he’s ever faced and with an opponent who was carefully crafted for this exact moment.
There was a real sense—for the first time in his career—that this would be the guy who could solve the riddle, who could knock him off the mountain and take his elusive zero.
What it turned out to be was nothing short of a masterpiece. In a career filled with virtuoso performances, what Floyd Mayweather did to Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night might just be the best of them all.
It was a good fighter quickly finding out he wasn’t great, and finding out that his opponent isn’t just great—he’s a fighter for the ages.
The problem for Mayweather, is that winning in such dominant fashion has left him with few viable options for his next fight.
He said at the post-fight presser that he intends to fight in May and September of next year, but he’s going to have a helluva time finding compelling opponents.
There isn’t a single guy between 140-160 pounds that you wouldn’t make him an overwhelming favorite against, and he’s going to have a hard time selling that to the public.
Garcia went to war and survived.
It’s stunning that so many knowledgeable boxing observers—yours truly included—were willing to simply dismiss Danny Garcia’s chances of retaining his junior welterweight championship against Lucas Matthysse.
Garcia, even as the champion, entered the ring as a substantial underdog, and was expected to cede his belts to the Argentine knockout machine, most likely, inside the distance.
But Garcia turned in the performance of his young life. He wasn’t timid, and showed no signs of fearing his opponent’s substantial punching power.
It was a close, competitive bout, but Garcia closed the show with an 11th round knockdown—what were the odds of that going into the fight—to win a clear unanimous decision.
Garcia’s stock has never been higher, and he’s rightfully emerged as one of the brightest young stars in boxing. You see where this is going, don’t you?
Almost immediately after the pay-per-view went off the air, speculation ran rampant throughout the MGM Grand that Garcia would have to be the next logical opponent for Floyd Mayweather.
For both of their parts, neither guy seemed willing to speculate, but heads up, this is something we’re going to be hearing about for a while.
Did Floyd and Canelo do enough to surpass the all-time buys record? Time will tell.
Given the larger number of homes with access to cable and satellite, and the increased price for ordering the fight ($64.95 in regular definition and $74.95 for HD), it’s all but inevitable that “The One” will break the all-time pay-per-view gross revenue record.
To do that, it won’t need to even come close to the approximate 2.4 million buys that Floyd Mayweather generated in his 2007 bout with Oscar De La Hoya.
But that record remains the Holy Grail of records when it comes to the business of boxing.
Even with all the hype surrounding the event, it would be somewhat surprising if the record is eclipsed. Times are tough economically, and $75 bucks is a lot to shell out for a luxury item such as a fight.
The smart money here says we’ll see something in the 2 million buy range, and while we won’t know likely until later in the week, it’ll be something interesting to find out.