Jerry Glick reporting: Times Square will never be the same. Golden Boy had a huge presence in New York over the last few days. Saturday night they promoted the Paul Malignaggi vs Adrien Broner WBA Welterweight title fight, and followed that up with the first of eleven scheduled press conferences leading up to the Floyd Mayweather-Saul Alvarez on September 14th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas
On Monday Mayweather and Alvarez took turns at the W Hotel on 47th Street in Manhattan to talk to the media before moving to the center of Times Square to address the fans.
The fight dubbed “The One” marks the first time in a while that Floyd Mayweather has fought so often. He fought and beat Robert Guerrero in May, and now a scant four months later will face the young Mexican for the WBC, WBA Super, WBA and Ring Magazine Super Welterweight titles. Mayweather has, up until now, been very inactive having fought only once per year, every year since 2005, but now he wants to stay active.
“It has always been my ultimate goal to get to the pinnacle of the sport,” said Floyd. “I want to push myself to the limit by facing the best. He’s a young champion; I feel that I have a lot more experience and it’s obvious that he has done something thus far to get to this point.”
With all the talk about him fighting Manny Pacquiao now a dead issue, Floyd sees the youthful, fast, undefeated Alvarez as the best man he could face at this time. He is probably correct in his thinking. Regardless that they actually have similar records, it is Mayweather, 44-0 (26 KOs), who is the more experienced man even though Alvarez, 42-0-1 (30 KOs), has just two less fights under his belt.
Floyd calls himself the face of boxing and now he is the loudest voice calling for improving the sport. He said that now others, including Nonito Donaire, are asking for drug testing as though they were the first to say it. “They tried to make it seem like he was the pioneer trying to clean up the sport of boxing,” said Floyd.
There is a ring of truth in what Floyd says, It was three years ago that he said it loud and clear during those hectic Pacman negotiations. He also stated that there are too many belts, and that is true. Titles are diluted and that confuses the casual fan. Now, at the ripe old age of 36, and having achieved the stature that he now enjoys, he is a voice that people will listen to. He sounds sincere when he talks about boxing and the ways it needs to improve, but he admitted that he isn’t sure how to make it happen.
This fight will be contested at a catch weight; they have agreed to weigh in at 152 rather than the junior-middleweight limit of 154. The question was who asked for that? Floyd allowed his advisor Leonard Ellerbe field that question and he said, “I want to be very clear on this. His (Alvarez) manager, Reynoso, a couple of weeks prior, he put it out there. He was willing to take his kid and fight at a catch weight.”
Later, Canelo was asked the same question; he said he didn’t know why they had a catch weight agreement. Nevertheless, the limit will be 152, not 154.
This is a fairly new phenomenon. Way back when, fighters didn’t even consider asking for catch weights. In 1957 Carmen Basilio was the Welterweight champion and challenged Middleweight king, the great Sugar Ray Robinson who weighed 160, to Carmen’s 153 ½. Of course the smaller Upstate onion farmer won Ray’s title.
Emile Griffith did the same thing in 1966 when as the Welterweight champ he lifted Dick Tiger’s Middleweight crown. Tiger then jumped all the way to Lightheavyweight to wrest the title from Jose Torres. No mention of a catch weight.