Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


Alvarez takes round one with Mayweather snub



LAS VEGAS — After weighing in on Friday — Floyd Mayweather Jr. at 150.5 pounds and Canelo Alvarez at 152, the two boxers stood in front of each other for the face off.

Mayweather was yakking at Alvarez, who stood unblinking like a statue. Mayweather then tried to get Alvarez to hold the special solid gold WBC belt that was crafted for the winner of the match.

First, Mayweather briefly touched his left hand against the right arm of a Alvarez, interrupting the Mexican star’s double-biceps pose. But Alvarez pulled away, instead, focusing his glare on the weigh-in record 12,200 boisterous fans.

Mayweather again tried to get Alvarez’s attention with a couple of quick taps of the back of his hand against the right side of Alvarez’s chest, but to no avail.

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer was within inches of the drama and offered his interpretation.

“Canelo was like, ‘I’m not going to do what he’s telling me to do.’ I was right there, and Canelo told me that himself,” said Schaefer. “Floyd was like, ‘What’s with him? He doesn’t want to hold the belt?’ I was like, ‘What do you want me to do? He doesn’t want to hold the belt.'”

Schaefer remains impressed with the calm demeanor of Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 knockouts), a 23-year-old RING and WBC junior middleweight champion who will be in his first-ever Showtime Pay Per View headliner when he meets RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pound fighter Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) on Saturday at the MGM Grand.

“I was born ready,” the Mexican star told Showtime’s Jim Gray, in a rare moment where he spoke clear English.

“There is a calmness in him. When he walked out, he had a smile on his face and was looking around like, ‘Hey, this is my night.’ You see a guy who is determined to make history on Saturday night,” said Schaefer.

“I mean, you saw that, right on the dot, he weighed 152. And he didn’t look like he had to lose a lot of weight. He had really a great camp. I think that the way that he lost the extra pound didn’t hurt. He’s not getting carried away by the magnitude of the event or the opponent.”

Schaefer called Mayweather’s attempt to control Alvarez “a Bernard Hopkins move,” owing to the record-setting 48-year-old champions’ chicanery that often leads to his manipulation of rivals.

“I was in New York at the Garcia fight against Zab, and at the weigh-in, Adonis Stevenson was there. And he was wearing glasses. And Hopkins was like, ‘Hey, let’s take a picture,’ and Hopkins said, ‘Come over here.’ So Hopkins said, ‘Hey, take off your glasses,’ and Stevenson took off his glasses,” said Schaefer.

“So then afterward, Hopkins tells me, ‘See, he’s already doing what I’m telling him to do.’ So today, I told Hopkins that, and he said ‘You see, with Alvarez, that was a veteran move.’ He’s not going to let Mayweather tell him what to do. So when Mayweather tells him to hold the belt, he says, ‘F__k you, I’m not going to hold the belt.'”

Alvarez has been guaranteed a $5 million purse that could reach “well over $10 million” with an upside from pay per view, according to Schaefer. Mayweather’s record guarantee of $41.5 million and stands to pocket “$70 or $80 million.”

Photo by Ethan Miller-Gettyimages

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]