September 15, 2013 by a contributing writer
It’s fight week, and the biggest fight of the year is about to take place this weekend. This is the rare time of the year when everyone, all of a sudden, becomes an expert on boxing. Next week, it will be all football, all the time. This week, however, sports freaks everywhere won’t be able to resist the urge to stick cigars in their mouths and get their Bert Sugar on as the clock counts down to Saturday night.
What I have provided you with here is a cheat sheet for Saturday night, so that you can strut into your fight party and confidently talk boxing with the best posers in the room. Trust me, you will look like Thomas Hauser to these people by the end of the night (Note: Thomas Hauser is a boxing writer. He knows Muhammad Ali, which means he’s a big deal. That’s all you need to know.)
(“OK” answer) Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez are fighting.
(“Impressive” answer) Boxing’s #1 Pound-for-Pound ranked fighter (Mayweather) and its hotting up-and-coming attraction (Canelo) are fighting.
(“Damn!” answer) Two undefeated guys are fighting. One (Mayweather) is 44-0. The other (Canelo) is 42-0, with 1 draw. Floyd has only fought once more than Canelo, despite being 13 years older than him.
(Just for fun) “Canelo” means “cinnamon” in Spanish. Saul Alvarez’s natural hair is the color of cinnamon.
What’s at stake?
(“OK” answer) The Junior Middleweight Championship
(“Impressive” answer) The unification of Floyd’s World Boxing Association (WBA) title and Canelo’s World Boxing Council (WBC} title, resulting in an “Undisputed” Junior Middleweight Champion. This is despite the fact that the International Boxing Federation (IBF, one of the other two major sanctioning bodies) junior middleweight champion is Ishe Smith, who is actually fighting on the same card earlier that night. Smith is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, though, so he won’t have to worry about Mayweather coming for his title.
(“Damn!” answer) The WBA actually has three different champions: “Super Champion” Floyd Mayweather, “Regular Champion” Saul Alvarez, and “Interim Champion” Erislandy Lara; so, technically, Alvarez is fighting for a title that he already has.
(Just for fun) The junior middleweight weight limit is 154lbs, but this fight is being fought at 152lbs. Why? The answer depends on which one of them you ask, since they’ve been arguing all week about whose idea it originally was.
Anything else I should know?
- The undercard fight between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthyse will be, by far, the best fight of the night. Make sure you tell this to everyone at the party ahead of time, so that they can all look at you when it happens and you can give them a super-smug, I-told-you-so look in return.
- Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is the co-promoter for this fight, which is on Showtime Pay-Per-View. The current head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza, helped De La Hoya start Golden Boy Promotions. Now, virtually all of the boxing matches on Showtime are promoted by Golden Boy.
- De La Hoya won’t be in attendance for the event. He checked back into rehab facility on Tuesday after a substance abuse relapse. He’s been battling this off-and-on issue for quite a while now, which is actually pretty common for superstar boxers once their days under the ring lights are over.
- It’s almost a guarantee that Mayweather will hurt his hand at some point in the fight. If you can get good odds on this bet, take it.