LOS ANGELES: The world’s highest paid athlete Floyd Mayweather puts his perfect record on the line when he squares off against Mexican dynamo Saul Alvarez in a showdown between two undefeated boxers on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The 12-round showdown at the MGM Grand hotel will be contested at 152 pounds with Alvarez’s World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super welterweight titles on the line. Alvarez (42-0-1) is a 154-pound champion and Mayweather usually fights at 147 pounds.
Mayweather, who will make at least $41 million for this fight, surprisingly told ESPN on Thursday that he is still waiting to hear what game plan his trainer/father Floyd Sr. has in store for him.
“Training camp went well. I am pretty sure my father has a brilliant game plan,” Mayweather told ESPN.
Asked by the commentator to explain why, with just two days to go before the fight, he didn’t know what his father’s tactics were going to be, Mayweather gave a rambling answer.
“I am talking about what my father has in store. You don’t have a game plan eight weeks into the fight,” said Mayweather, who is undefeated in 44 fights. “Because right before I go into the ring my dad is going to say ‘this is what I want you to work on’. So I go out there and do it.
“It is all about the skills.”
Former pro boxer Floyd Mayweather Sr. taught his son to fight and was his trainer early in Floyd Jr.’s career.
They had a falling out and the uncle, Roger Mayweather, took over as Floyd Jr.’s trainer. Then earlier this year Floyd Jr. made up with his father and this marks the second straight bout Floyd Sr. will be running the show.
“I am happy my dad is back with team and we are working hand to hand,” Mayweather said at Wednesday’s news conference. “If the game plan is to keep pressure I know how to handle it. If the game plan is to box, can’t nobody outbox me.”
Last week Mayweather said his team has handpicked many of his opponents which not only helped him avoid getting hurt but meant he received million dollar paydays for little work.
“Keep handpicking them. If they are going to keep paying, keep handpicking them,” Mayweather said.
The bigger and stronger Alvarez, who goes by the nickname “Canelo” said Wednesday he is sparring at 155 pounds but is comfortable moving down in weight and doesn’t see any problem making the limit for Friday’s weigh-in.
“I want to be the best,” said Alvarez. “He is considered the best and I want to beat him.
“It is going to be a difficult fight. A chess match.”
Saturday’s fight has generated huge interest, especially in Mexcio where the 23-year-old Alvarez is considered one of their biggest sporting heroes.
Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao tried several times to get Mayweather in the ring but each time the American scuttled those negotiations with new demands.
Mayweather told ESPN that Pacquiao, who is also a politician in his native Philippines, is no longer on his radar.
“Pacquiao is not even fighting in the US anymore,” Mayweather said. “I am fighting one of the top guys in the sport.”
The fight with Alvarez is the second in Mayweather’s six-bout, 30-month contract with American cable network Showtime that could pay him more than $200 million.
After Mayweather beat Robert Guerrero in May, he said he wanted to fight again in September – marking the first time since 2007 he will be in the ring twice in a calendar year.
Mayweather’s guaranteed purse for the Alvarez fight is reported to be a record $41 million which would surpass the previous record of $32 million he received for fighting Guerrero.
Organizers are also hoping that this fight will eclipse two million pay-per-view sales. Mayweather will also get a cut of the pay-per-view money on top of his guaranteed purse.
Mayweather says he will take nothing for granted when he faces WBA and WBC champ Alvarez.
The last time Mayweather stopped an opponent inside the distance was two years ago and that came when Victor Ortiz lowered both his hands and was looking at the referee. Mayweather seized the moment and hit Ortiz with a combination of fight-ending punches.