Can Alvarez end Mayweather’s dominance of Mexican fighters?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a history of dominance over fighters of Mexican heritage.
With his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., in his corner, in his last fight in May, Mayweather scored a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero.
Mayweather Sr.’s presence against Guerrero marked his first time guiding Mayweather Jr. since a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Gregorio Vargas in March of 2000 after having worked his corner when he won his first world title with an eighth-round knockout of Genaro Hernandez in October of 1998.
Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) has since twice out-pointed Jose Luis Castillo, routed four-division titlewiinner Juan Manuel Marquez over 12 rounds, earned a split-decision over Oscar De La Hoya, and knocked out Jesus Chavez and the late Diego Corrales, the latter of whom was the American-born son of a Colombian father and a Mexican mother.
On Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime, Mayweather, 36, will rise into the junior middleweight division for only the third time when he faces another Mexican in Canelo Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs), a 23-year-old RING and WBC champion who will meet Mayweather at a catchweight of 152 pounds.
“That’s why I’m very motivated. It would be a great win,” said Alvarez. “If I win this, on Sept. 14, and when I win it, it’s going to be a great win. Of course it can change history.”
Can Alvarez end Mayweather’s run against Mexican fighters?
De La Hoya believes that he can, having even predicted that Mayweather will be stopped in less than eight rounds.
“For one thing, youth is on his side,” said De La Hoya, who provided RingTV.com with five reasons he believes Alvarez will defeat Mayweather. “But the real advantage will be the intelligence. People will also be surprised with his speed.”
In May of last year, Alvarez unanimously decisionoed ex-titleholder Sugar Shane Mosley, overcoming a fourth-round cut over his left eye which bled profusely throughout what was largely a toe-to-toe battle to end Mosley’s streak of 21 wins over opponents of Mexican decent.
Mosley’s run had included two each over De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas and another over Antonio Margarito. Mosley knocked out Vargas twice, and also stopped Margarito.
“I’m very young, but I’m experienced as well. I’ve been learning the last couple of years. The position that I’m in right now, Mayweather was once in,” said Alvarez, who owns stoppage wins over former welterweight titleholders Kermit Cintron and Carlos Baldomir.
“Floyd is a different kind of fighter and this is a different kind of fight. For every fight there’s a game plan. But that game plan can go out the window in the first round. So you have to have a Plan B and a Plan C. And that is what we’ll work on…I’m fighting the best. This is my chance to beat the best. It’s a chance to go down in history as the first guy to beat Floyd Mayweather.”
A victory by Alvarez over Mayweather, said De La Hoya, would “rank among the top two or three” best of all time for Mexican boxers.
“Mexico has produced a lot of great champions and a lot of great fights,” said De La Hoya, in response to a question by Mark Ortega of RingTV.com. “But this fight in particular, especially in the last 15 years, will be one of the most important victories for all of Mexico.”
Photo by Stephanie Trapp, Showtime
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]