AS THE eagerly anticipated showdown of undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and unbeaten Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez draws near, the World Boxing Council is confident the fight will be a media blockbuster and could be compared to one of the great battles between legendary Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez and Hector “Macho” Camacho some 21 years ago.
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman, who told the Manila Standard that he sincerely wants the winner of this Saturday’s title fight to face Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao, said the Mayweather-Alvarez clash “May not be the best fight in history, but it certainly is the fight of the year and one of the greatest and most anticipated fights beside Chávez-Camacho or Márquez-Pacquiao.”
A specially crafted solid gold belt will be awarded to the winner, which is an added incentive for the two fighters.
“Mayweather is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, one of the Top 10 in history and the best fighter in the last decade. Beating him would mean the greatest achievement in boxing in recent times,” Sulaiman said.
According to research from the Mexican Tourism Board, the fight will be seen by at least 80 million people in Mexico. The fight will be telecast in the Philippines by GMA7.
Meantime, Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya, who dropped a somewhat controversial split decision to Mayweather in 2007 after which Mayweather avoided a rematch, said the reason the fight, titled “The One,” has become the richest fight in history, is because people want to see Mayweather finally get beaten.
De La Hoya is rooting for Alvarez and was quoted by boxingscene.com as saying he knows why the fight is catching fire.
“People have hope and people strongly feel that Mayweather is going to get beaten,” De La Hoya said. “You have a young guy in Saul, who is like a seasoned veteran. He knows what he’s doing . He’s a fighter that has a game plan and is in the best shape of his life.”
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