Boxing: Mayweather and Alvarez prove money and lust rule the ring

Anand Datla
Modified 16 Sep 2013, 14:28 IST
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and Canelo Alvarez (R) pose during the official weigh-in for their bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and Canelo Alvarez (R) pose during the official weigh-in for their bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena

They call him Money. Yes, the name of this proliferating religion is also now the name of a man. Floyd Mayweather, the boxer with the 44-0 (26 KO) record has an array of even more impressive records with the cash register. No man has ever made it ring harder and he is all set to get it ringing again tonight when he slugs it out against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the MGM Grand. The charade of civilization that cloaks our grand species comes apart at the seams strained by a lusty blow. Estimates abound, but promoters of the fight between the two men expect that the short joust between the two men shall yield a handsome $200 million payout.

There are some that believe boxing doesn’t deserve to be a sport. But it is a philosophical leaning that stands not a chance of standing up to the moneyed might of the bloody ring. The alluring sight of two fully grown men knocking each other out of their senses with only the padded gloves for protection underlines the lust for ghoulish gore that excites a vast majority.

To his credit, Mayweather hasn’t lost in the ring in 17 long years. That in itself takes plenty of pluck and talent. In boxing, that translates to foot speed, agility, focus and brute power. The sculpted muscles of Mayweather and his ability to retain hunger and shape for long unlike the biggest stars before him have enabled the American to script a tale that might last beyond the man himself. Besides, he is known for his uncanny ability to use his defensive skills to avoid being struck any inconvenient blows.

If there could be such a thing as a purist in a decadent pursuit, he would agree that the world has seen far superior talent. But the beastly men before Mayweather had neither the sophisticated ability of Floyd to create a legend nor access to a growing market of eyeballs that thirst for a bloodied mess. It is a sizeable market too – MGM sold out inside the first 24 hours after putting the tickets on sale.

The last big fight, between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, earned gate receipts of $18.4 million. The event tonight is billed “The One”. Do not ask them why, but it is already living up to the billing. MGM has banked $19.9 million in quick time, breaking the 2007 record with effortless ease.

Ever since the venue sold out, the promoters – Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime – have been racking up the miles, going about town luring multiplexes, eager to pay pay-per-view audiences, spending in excess of $2 million to hype the bout.

The power of money bared its fangs when the Alvarez camp finally spilled the beans over the long rumoured issue of weight. The Mexican is already a big star in his land, having shown the promise and exploits to work his way into the minds of a large mass of Latino followers. However, he has been practising his craft in the Junior Middleweight call (154 – 160lb).

In contrast, Mayweather has fought consistently at 147lb, firmly in the Welterweight class. The boxer with rock star appeal is a world champion over five categories. When he takes on Alvarez, there will be three different versions of the World Light Middleweight titles on the line. But most importantly, one of the two men will walk out with the bitterness of his first loss lingering at the top of his mouth.


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Published 14 Sep 2013, 13:20 IST
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