September 9, 2013 by a contributing writer
Ok, let me explain: I don’t think that boxing itself is a joke. I love boxing. I don’t think that Floyd Mayweather is a joke. I respect his skills. What I DO think, however, is that this multimillion dollar superfight between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is a complete farce that will rob boxing fans (including myself) of their hard-earned money.
This is why
The Mayweather-Alvarez fight will be the main event of the fall 2013 boxing season (Boxing is year-round, but there are certain seasons in the year where the sport is more active.) The only real reason for this is that there are literally NO other fights in boxing that can be put together that will generate this much interest and revenue at this time. This is not a good thing at all. In fact, it is another piece of evidence which suggests that the “Money” era is actually bad for boxing overall, but I will get to that in a bit.
Saul Alvarez is a good boxer-puncher. He has power, a good chin, decent speed, and a solid jab. He is fundamentally sound in the sweet science of boxing, but he is NOT a fighter near the level of Floyd Mayweather. I’m sorry, but he just simply does not measure up. Mayweather, even in his mid-thirties, has superior hand speed, conditioning, leg movement, upper-body movement, defense, ring IQ, and experience. He has a style that Alvarez has shown NO evidence that he can master at this point. Also, he shares none of the attributes of the fighters that have actually given Mayweather trouble, except maybe for Jose Luis Castillo’s head movement (and I am being generous).
What you should expect
This is going to be an ass whoopin. Not the kind of severely painful ass-whoopin that leads to a brutal knockout, since Mayweather doesn’t have the power in his hands to deliver that to a fighter as strong as Canelo. What it will be, however, is an embarrassing display of boxing superiority by Mayweather. Canelo won’t be able to touch him, since Mayweather will moving too much. Canelo won’t be able to corner him, because he doesn’t move well enough. All that’s going to happen is that Canelo will try to land big shots that hurt Mayweather and these shots are going to miss terribly. Then, Mayweather will counter with shots that make it look like he’s fighting a child instead of a world-class junior middleweight.
There should be no anticipation of a competitive matchup, since this fight will not be competitive. All Canelo has is a “puncher’s chance”, which means that he can only win if he gets lucky and lands one of his power punches and it results in a KO. That, however, is not likely, since Mayweather has perhaps the best defense in boxing right now.
Why we are being sold this fight
Long story short, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions want the money. They have no other real options at this time, and really they have no other options in the near future either, so they have to take this money while they can. Oscar De La Hoya (Founder of Golden Boy Promotions) has done and incredibly good job of selling Canelo Alvarez as the man who may potentially end Floyd’s undefeated streak and take his spot atop the pound-for-pound rankings. He has done this by capitalizing on Canelo’s fan base and their willingness to overlook Alvarez’s obvious shortcomings. Also, he has exploited the rest of the boxing fan base’s overwhelming anticipation of Floyd’s eventual defeat (most fight fans do not like Floyd, so they can’t wait for him to lose). It is an exceedingly smart business move on Oscar’s part, and it means nothing but Mo’ Money for Mayweather.
Why it’s bad for boxing
Although it is nice to see a fighter work his way to the top and then enjoy humongous paydays as a reward, the sport of boxing is not exactly in the most economically stable of positions right now. It simply cannot afford to pay Mayweather 60 million dollars per fight without neglecting the rest of the athletes that sustain the sport whenever Mayweather is not fighting, yet that is exactly what is happening at the moment. Every casual sports fan tunes in to boxing and pretends to be a pundit (cough… ESPN First Take… cough) when Mayweather fights, but the rest of the year they completely ignore the sport altogether, so now every fighter who is working hard and developing themselves into an elite contender has to figure out how they are going to politically position themselves to become one of the three fighters who will actually make a successful living as a prizefighter. Otherwise, they should expect to pretty much live a middle-class life while doing something that no other middle-class person is able to do.
Why I will still watch
Because I love boxing, I have no choice but to watch. That’s what happens when you love something. Also, De La Hoya was smart enough to put Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthyse on the undercard (This fight will be MUCH better than the main event, just so you know). Us fight fans are stuck in a quagmire of politics and selfish deal making that poses as the sport of boxing. We really have no choice but to go along with it, since no one has come up with anything better, and we can’t just say no to the sport we love. For the rest of you, however, spend your money as you see fit, just make sure you know that you have been briefed.