By Matthew Hurley: Am I the only one who is not overly excited by the upcoming Floyd Mayweather, Saul Alvarez bout? The minute this fight was announced it was greeted with what seemed to be, at first, a sigh of relief and then the pounding of the drums for boxing’s next superfight. No endless Manny Pacquiao negotiations here. But is this a true superfight or is Mayweather just that good that his opponents have to be pumped up by promoters and the media just to sell the fight to the public and get them to shell out pay-per-view dollars?
Make no mistake; Alvarez is a tough, talented young fighter who has progressed in the professional ranks much like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., without the benefit of an extensive amateur background. He is to be commended for his diligence in training, learning as he moves along, and his willingness to alter his career path and go after more difficult opponents – now against the very best the sport has to offer.
Give credit where credit is due.
Does that mean he’s ready for Floyd Mayweather? Does anyone truly believe this neophyte is going to beat a fighter who brushes aside challengers like annoying gnats in the air? I just don’t see how a fighter who fought tooth and nail with Austin Trout, a bout that could have gone either way, is now ready for a fighter who has been at or near the top of the mythical pound-for-pound list for too many years to count.
Is boxing that desperate for a big event that it will gloss up an inferior product just to make money? Say it ain’t so!
The fact is most of these pay-per-views aren’t worth a nickel on the dollar. When was the last time you saw a really good undercard that warranted all the money you spent? I have to go back to Don King’s loaded cards featuring Julio Cesar Chavez or even all the way back to 1986 when Thomas Hearns, James Shuler, Gaby Canizales and Richie Sandoval fought on the undercard of the Marvelous Marvin Hagler, John Mugabi middleweight battle.
Still, when have you ever seen, from the comfort of your living room, more than a few people scattered about the arena during a pay-per-view card? Ever since pay-per-views became more commonplace than they should, promoters often water down these undercards with filigree for that very reason. Why try to showcase a young talent or potential title contender, or even a belt holder, when no one is watching?
Mayweather – Alvarez will turn into a media circus as fight night approaches and it will be fun. It will probably even prod jaded fans with dust in their wallets like me to give in at the last minute and buy the damn thing. Such is the life of a boxing junkie.
And when an aging, easier to hit Mayweather schools this kid and walks away flashing that million dollar smile, more at the gullibility of the public then from winning yet another easy prize fight, I’ll have no one to blame but myself.
Matthew Hurley is a full time member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. His first book, Ringside Reflections, can be purchased at Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.
June 27, 2013