Floyd Mayweather to net £26million in Saul Alvarez bout
The super fight between boxing’s top pound-for-pound star Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Saúl Álvarez here on Saturday night has been dubbed ‘The One’.
It certainly will be one of the highest grossing fights of all time, and could, according to Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, set a record as the largest pay-per-view contest in history, eclipsing Mayweather’s battle with fellow American Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas in May 2007, which had 2.25 million subscribers and brought in £88 million. Mayweather won that fight on a split decision.
Boxing politics kept Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao apart for five years from what would have been a super fight for a generation.
But the Álvarez match-up with Mayweather has been received feverishly in America’s Spanish-speaking community, as well as Álvarez’s native Mexico, and many believe that Alvarez - younger, stronger and bigger - could be the man to end the unbeaten 44-fight run of Mayweather, who is set to earn at least £26 million for his night’s work.
Mayweather is a boxing and marketing genius - even if it means his brash personality polarises opinion. Many boxing fans will be watching in the hope of seeing him knocked out.
“Mayweather plays the gambler and playboy, but it’s just an image, an act,” said Hall of Fame promoter Don Chargin, who has been in the sport five decades. “The truth is that no-one in the history of boxing can say they worked harder in the gym than Floyd Mayweather.”
The contest at the MGM Grand Garden Arena sold out in 24 hours; tickets are like gold dust, and many have travelled in the hope of picking up a late bargain seat.
In 2012, Forbes magazine named Mayweather the highest-paid athlete in the world. In his last four fights, his baseline earnings are approaching £70 million, for victories over Shane Mosley (£14 million), Victor Ortiz (£16million), Miguel Cotto (£20 million) and earlier this year Robert Guerrero (£20million).
That last fight was the first in a new six-fight deal with broadcasters Showtime, Mayweather Promotions having cut ties with Home Box Office.
The appeal for this fight is whether Álvarez possesses enough experience at 23 to be able to capitalise on his physical advantages. The marketing invasion of the United States has come in the last two years.
Nicknamed El Canelo - cinnamon in Spanish - because of his flame-red hair, he looks more like he belongs in deepest Ireland, yet he has all the traits of a typical Mexican warrior: fearless, fights in the pocket, thinks his way through combat.
Thick-set at 5ft 9ins and with a square jaw and a thick neck, Álvarez joined the professional ranks at 15 after 20 amateur fights. The youngest of seven brothers who have all boxed - Ramon, Ricardo, Rigoberto, Gonzalo, Victor and Daniel - he has amassed a record of 42 victories.
In no time, the young welterweight has become the equivalent of a sporting rock star in Mexico. But he has a mighty battle on his hands against Mayweather, whose bragging reached new heights on a nine-city media tour ahead of this fight which drew over 100,000 spectators.
Nowhere was Mayweather more at home than on the Mexico leg, and just as he does with his boasts about his gambling sprees, how much he earns and his oft-repeated mantra of an unbeaten record, he fired up an entire country with his confidence and jibes.
Deep down, the stand-out reason for Mayweather’s crowing is that he can back it up in the ring. Álvarez could prove another perfect foil for the king of the ring.