Fight Night! Underdog Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 23, and Floyd Mayweather, 36, are set to square off in what some are hailing as the biggest fight since Mayweather went head-to-head with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Mayweather, the WBA junior middleweight champion, will be defending his title against young Canelo at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The fight will air on Showtime PPV at 9 p.m. ET ($64.95) and is being shown in 547 movie theaters nationwide.
Mayweather is Sports Illustrated’s current No. 1 pick in pound-for-pound ratings. He has been the world champion in several different weight classes: 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 lbs. He returned to the ring last May after a two-month hiatus in which he was serving a prison sentence for domestic violence.
Canelo, a rising star from Mexico known for his stocky build, went pro at just 15-years-old, and signed with Golden Boy Promotions in 2010. His last fight, against unsurpassed Austin Trout, brought nearly 40,000 spectators to San Antonio; against his promoter’s advice, Canelo accepted the challenge to fight, and ended up winning by judge’s decision.
Tickets for the Mayweather-Canelo fight went on sale in June, and sold out in less than an hour; more than 16,500 people are expected to pack the MGM tonight to watch the sold-out fight.
Mayweather, known for only fighting once per year, is now in his second fight in just five months, as part of a 6-fight, 30-month contract he signed with Showtime. The contract was estimated to be for a sum over $200 million; Mayweather is guaranteed a $41 million pay day from his fight tonight, but depending on the outcome and how many viewers purchase the event PPV, he could walk away with close to $90 million.
Experts say that tonight’s fight will generate more than $100 million for the local economy.
Mayweather is Saturday night’s favorite, with 5/14 odds; Canelo is the underdog at 11/5.
Image courtesy @FloydMayweather via Twitter.