Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has been eyeing a showdown with boxing's pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather, for quite some time. It may seem too ambitious, after all, Canelo is only 22 years old and, until knocking off Austin Trout Saturday night in a highly competitive bout, lacked any top tier wins.
But the Mexican superstar is not lacking for confidence and has wanted the biggest fight in the world for more than a year, including pushing to try to secure the Cinco de Mayo weekend date that Mayweather ended up booking against Robert Guerrero. Canelo was supposed to face Trout on the undercard of the Mayweather/Guerrero bout but Floyd wouldn't guarantee a fight between the two in September, so Canelo took his bout and set up his own date with Trout.
On the date change, Canelo said, "I have no need for Mayweather to impose conditions ... I can have my own fans, my own event and my own history. I'm tired of being accessible to fight him, since he never was real in what he was talking. The truth is he does not want to fight me. I will continue doing my own history."
Floyd had a predictable reaction to the move, throwing his "I'm a bigger star than you are" barbs. "Let's see if he's going to do his own pay-per-view show. I bet he don't. Man, his red-head, freckle-faced ass better just sit back and wait in line. If I feel like choosing him, I'll choose him. If you get a lottery ticket, then you step up to the plate and you get your payday. Right now, Guerrero has his lottery ticket."
It wasn't a pay-per-view, but Canelo vs. Trout drew almost 40,000 people to the Alamodome -- entirely Alvarez's doing -- once again establishing that, if Floyd wants to admit it or not, he is a massive draw and will have a strong place at the bargaining table with Floyd for an eventual showdown between the two.
HBO recently made the decision that they were out of the business of airing Golden Boy Promotions fights, meaning that Canelo is 100 percent a Showtime fighter. Mayweather recently also inked a mega-deal with Showtime, one that is apparently the richest individual athlete deal in sports. Mayweather isn't really a "Golden Boy" fighter, but his fights have been promoted by Golden Boy since his showdown with Oscar De La Hoya. When you have two fighters locked in to the same network, in the same weight class, promoted by the same people and both are huge draws, it seems like a no-brainer.
Boxing finds incredible ways to drop the ball on no-brainer situations sometimes though.
De La Hoya claims that their commitment to Canelo is strong, before the Trout fight stating, "He is Mexican, it is Mexico's Independence Day, where a Mexican fights on that date. Like Julio Cesar Chavez did. Like I did. Even though I was born in the U.S., I've got Mexican heritage. So Canelo wants to fight in September, and I will deliver the promise I made."
Along with Cinco De Mayo weekend, Mexican Independence Day weekend is one of the biggest dates on the boxing calendar. It's the kind of spotlight that Mayweather loves and a weekend that has seen him fight Victor Ortiz (2011) and Juan Manuel Marquez (2009) in previous years. In fact, his four fights have come on either Cinco De Mayo or Mexican Independence Day weekend, with the Guerrero fight extending that run to five. In fact, Floyd hasn't fought outside of those dates since December of 2007.
It's hard to imagine Mayweather allowing someone else to have that golden September date to themselves, especially the kind of Mexican star he has taken on in September's past.
Oscar says September is Canelo's. Showtime is completely dependent on Golden Boy. Floyd almost certainly wants that date as well.
It just makes too much sense doesn't it?