Lem’s latest: Mayweather calls Alvarez ‘just another opponent’
LAS VEGAS — During his turn at the podium for Wednesday’s final press conference, Floyd Mayweather Jr. declared himself to be “at the pinnacle,” while calling Saturday night’s Showtime Pay Per View rival, Canelo Alvarez, “just another opponent.”
A 36-year-old, five-division titlewinner who is THE RING’S No. 1-rated pound-for-pound fighter, Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts) will pursue his ninth belt against Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs), a 23-year-old Mexican star who is THE RING and WBC junior middleweight champion.
“I’ve been here before, so I know what it takes. A guy who is 42-0, he hasn’t faced 42 Floyd Mayweathers, because he’d be zero and 42. So I don’t even worry about who he has faced. Whatever any fighter can do good, I can do great. I was born to be here. I was born to be at this level,” said Mayweather, speaking before a large gathering of media members at the MGM Grand, site of his fight with Alvarez.
“I’m at the pinacle. I’m the face of boxing, and I’m dedicated to my craft. September 14, he’s just another stepping stone. He’s just another opponent to me. But he knows that he’s facing Floyd Mayweather, and I’m facing just another opponent. It’s fight time, I’m dedicated, and I’m hungry. September 14, same old thing, no matter what his game plan is. If the game plan is to keep pressure, I know how to handle it. If the game plan is to box, can’t nobody out-box me.”
Mayweather then put a finger to each temple.
“You have to be able to out-match me, mentally,” said Mayweather, “and I’m the strongest mental fighter in the sport of boxing.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER CONFIRMS MAYWEATHER-ALVAREZ REMATCH CLAUSE
Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya, who believes that Mayweather will suffer his first defeat against Alvarez, had told RingTV.com that Mayweather should then face Alvarez again.
Asked if there was a rematch clause in the contract in the event of a Mayweather loss, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said, “Yes.”
De La Hoya also maintained his belief that the matchup between Mayweather and Alvarez will surpass the record numbers drawn by his fight against Mayweather, which holds the all-time pay-per-view record with more than 2.5 million buys.
Showtime Sports boss Stephen Espinoza appears to agree.
“If there’s a fight that’s going to break the record,” said Espinoza, “this is it.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR. DOESN’T SEE ALVAREZ GOING THE DISTANCE
Floyd Mayweather Sr. worked as trainer for his son for the first time in just over 13 years, helping Mayweather Jr. to end Robert Guerrero’s 15-bout winning streak in May.
Were it not for an injured right hand suffered late in the fight against Guerrero, Mayweather Sr. believes his son would have scored the knockout.
Father feels similarly about son against Alvarez.
“I can’t just say exactly how long the fight’s going to go. I can’t tell you what round, but I personally don’t think that it’s going to go the distance. We’re going to do what we’ve got to do,” said Mayweather Sr., adding that he has little concern about Mayweather Jr.’s right hand.
“We’re definitely going to put some body work in on him. I’m just saying that Floyd’s a good body puncher. Floyd is definitely a good body worker, and we’re going to take care of it. I know what time it is when it’s time to go after him, and you will see that when Canelo gets hurt.”
MAYWEATHER UNIMPRESSED WITH ALVAREZ’S RESUME
Floyd Sr. was in Floyd Jr.’s corner when he won his first world title with an eighth-round knockout of Genaro Hernandez in October of 1998 at the age of 21.
Mayweather’s past two victories were by unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s 154-pound belt in May of last year, and Guerrero for the RING’s 147-pound championship this past May.
Alvarez was 20 in September of 2010 when he scored a sensational sixth-round stoppage win over ex-beltholder Carlos Baldomir, who had gone the distance in losses to Mayweather and Vernon Forrest, defeated titlewinners Joshua Clottey and Zab Judah by 11th-round disqualification and decision, respectively, and knocked out Arturo Gatti in the ninth round.
Since defeating Baldomir, Alvarez has won eight fights, including fifth-round knockouts of former titleholder Kermit Cintron and Josesito Lopez, as well as unanimous decisions over former beltholder Shane Mosley and previously unbeaten Austin Trout, the latter in his last bout in April.
Yet Mayweather Jr. is unimpressed by Alvarez’s resume, which also includes wins over Jose Miguel Cotto and Matthew Hatton, the brothers of Miguel and Ricky, respectively.
“I fight Ricky Hatton, I don’t fight Ricky Hatton’s brother. I fight Miguel Cotto, I don’t fight Miguel Cotto’s brother,” said Mayweather, who stopped a previously unbeaten Ricky Hatton in the 10th round in December of 2007.
“He let Lopez get off on him, crazy shots. I don’t know, people can believe what they want to believe. I already know. Is he tough like Cotto? No. Can he box like Cotto? No. Can he punch like Cotto? No. Has he faced the same opposition that Cotto’s faced? No. So am I worried? Absolutely not.”
SCHAEFER: PETER QUILLIN-GABRIEL ROSADO ‘POSSIBLE’
Schaefer said that a bout matching WBO middleweight titleholder Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin against Gabriel Rosado “is possible” for the undercard to the matchup between light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
In his past two fights at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) dropped Hassan N’Dam six times on his way to a unanimous decision for the WBO belt last October, and he scored four more knockdowns during a seventh-round stoppage of Fernando Guerrero in his first defense of that title in April.
LUCAS MATTHYSSE’S MANAGER PREDICTS SIXTH-ROUND KO OF DANNY GARCIA
Mario Arano predicts that his fighter, RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs), will dethrone THE RING’s 140-pound champ, Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs), by sixth-round stoppage in the Mayweather-Alvarez co-feature.
“I don’t see any way possible for Danny Garcia to beat Lucas Matthysse unless he lands a lucky left hook,” said Arano, through Golden Boy’s Ramiro Gonzalez. “It will not go six rounds. Lucas Matthysse will win by knockout before the sixth round.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]