By Marc Livitz in San Antonio, TX: The Alamo City has a rich boxing tradition and the hardcore fight fans who call it home are always more than eager to help keep the fighting tradition alive year after year. A few months ago, nearly 40,000 fans packed the Alamodome to see Mexican ring superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez take on Austin Trout. Shortly after his victory, Alvarez (42(30)-0-1) had not quite cleared the sweat resulting from twelve rounds of constant slugging from his brow when his future intentions were made quite clear. The fresh faced, red headed and unbeaten boxer from Guadalajara, MX was going for the pugilistic gold and he wanted a crack at the sport’s reigning king, the one and only Floyd "Money" Mayweather, Jr. (44(26)-0).
Unlike last April’s bout versus Trout, the fans who flocked to the historic Alamo this afternoon weren’t a kind 99 to 1 ratio in favor of Canelo. The two fighters made San Antonio stop nine of eleven as part of their multi city press tour to promote their September 14 showdown in Las Vegas.
The fight itself sold out in less than twenty four hours and is ever so quickly gaining steam and popularity as the date draws closer. Some have even predicted that the WBA and WBC light middleweight title bout could eclipse the totals reached for Mayweather’s 2007 clash with then fighter and now promoter Oscar de la Hoya.
Shortly before the press conference in San Antonio commenced, Mayweather Promotions announced that tomorrow’s scheduled appearance in Phoenix had been canceled out of respect for the nineteen firefighters who lost their lives while battling a wildfire in Arizona.
The press conference in San Antonio was originally scheduled to begin at 6pm, but each fighter was delayed on their respective flights from Houston, just 200 miles to the east. Canelo arrived around 6:30pm despite Mayweather’s plane being behind schedule. Alvarez said that he frankly didn’t care whether or not Floyd showed, as in his words, "I am here for you just as you are here for me."
At 7:30PM CST, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer informed the eager crowd that Mayweather’s plane had finally landed and that he was en route. Collectively speaking, the one thing which every single person in attendance today could smile about was the overcast skies which canceled out the usual 100 plus degree Texas sun.
Floyd finally graced the red carpet styled extended catwalk close to 8pm.
Selected quotes listed below.
Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya: "I have always considered San Antonio as my second home and the fight fans here are second to none. This is only the beginning of Canelo’s greatness and a tradition of victory. September 14 will be a great night for the sport and a great win for Canelo and the people of Mexico."
WBA and WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez:
"Thank you to everyone who came here. I feel like I am home here because I was treated so well the last time I was here. The press conference was set to start at 6pm and I am here because I respect you. I know there are fans of Mayweather here as well and I am here for both of them. Floyd thinks all fighters have to fear and respect him, but I am here for all fans of boxing."
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe: "Come September 14, we will promise you that there will be a great fight. Floyd is the number one fighter in the world and an eight time world champion in eight different weight classes."