Photo: Reuters Through 44 fights, Floyd Mayweather has remained untouchable. On Saturday, the undefeated boxer will face one of the toughest challenges of his career. The online betting Web site Bovada has Alvarez as a plus underdog, giving him a realistic chance to pull off the upset. Will Alvarez be able to do what no boxer has been able to accomplish? Can Alvarez be patient against a defensive specialist?
Sep 13, Getty Images So, in case you haven't heard, there is a fight tomorrow.
The kid from Grand Rapids against the redheaded Mexican they call Canelo. That's Spanish for cinnamon. It is the biggest boxing event of the year, maybe the biggest in almost a decade.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, 23, is the most popular boxer in boxing-mad Mexico, and his innocence, toughness, and good looks make him an attractive opponent in the personality-hungry boxing game. While he hasn't fought anyone of much note, he does have a record.
Fights need personalities, but mostly they need doubt to create interest. Can the redhead beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. I have followed the redhead for a while, and I have watched him train.
He is a diligent worker who practices body punches relentlessly and with a precision that is a lost art in the modern boxing era. If he can get inside and punish Mayweather with body blows, wear down Mayweather, and knock him out, then the very face of boxing will change on Saturday night.
And so you are now making the calculation: Should you bother to gather your buddies around the TV on Saturday?
Is it worth spending the money yet again, and then spending the next several months watching Mayweather comically flaunt his wealth? It would be good for the sport if Mayweather loses. His outrageous antics are just part of boxing's sub-culture.
But in the ring, Mayweather's fights are boring. We watch in the hope he will lose, but he simply frustrates his opponents — and us — for 12 rounds of tedium.
An Alvarez win would release us from this boxing purgatory.
But it won't happen. The delusion, and hope, that Alvarez can win will get more than a million households to buy the fight. I was at that fight, too, and I have covered many Mayweather fights since. People plead with me: Can he lose?
Is he slowing down? Yes, he did a stint in jail, which is never good for anyone, and he has taken a few more blows of late as his year-old hips lose their elasticity, but in recent memory the only punch that I have seen wobble him happened on May 1, , Second Round, against Shane Mosley.
Mayweather rebounded and dominated the rest of that fight. A few years ago, Manny Pacquiao threatened to become the one man who could take down Mayweather. Pacquiao was a popular fighter because of his speed and offensive style.
For a time, many boxing people considered Pacquiao to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He was definitely the most exciting. That fight would have brought boxing into the mainstream again, at least for a few months. It didn't happen. In reality, Pacquiao couldn't have bested Mayweather anyway.
To keep padding his bankroll and not risk a loss, Mayweather simply decided not to fight the man from the Philippines, and the modern boxing era was defined by a non-fight. It was a smart financial strategy for the kid from Grand Rapids: Pacquiao has lost his last two fights, including getting KTFO earlier this year.
And Money Mayweather just continues to choose his opponents well, and win-win-win. So if you tune in on Saturday, don't just do it hoping Mayweather loses.
Mayweather fought Robert Guerrero in May.
Mayweather's complete dominance worried the promoters of Saturday's fight because many fans were angry that they yet again spent money to watch such a one-sided affair.
So the promoters made sure to create a super-compelling undercard fight. Mayweather-Alvarez will be the event of the year, but make sure to check out Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse, junior welterweights. Garcia is unbeaten, Matthysse is a power-puncher.
Garcia's father-trainer Angel Garcia has said he would cut off his own head if his son lost to Matthysse. Garcia-Matthysse might just be the fight of the year. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below.