SAN DIEGO, September 13, 2013 – An unprecedented capacity crowd estimated between 11,000 and 12,000 boxing fans at the MGM Grand Arena witnessed today’s weigh-in for the athletes participating in “The One,” headlined by Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez.
Fans started lining up at midnight for seats; two hours prior to the event, the Arena was at capacity and fans were turned away.
The enthusiasm for the weigh-in demonstrates the excitement among the boxing community for this event. Two undefeated boxers with devoted fans meet in a catchweight contest. Floyd Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) vie for the unoffical title of best pound for pound boxer in the world.
The event gets underway at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT on Showtime PPV. The fight will also be shown in 550 movie theaters in the United States, as well as countless bars and living rooms. Communities will host a live online chat starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Mayweather is a natural welterweight (147 pounds); Alvarez a junior middleweight (154 pounds). All comments aside about who was forced into it or not, it was agreed the fighters would meet a weight limit of 152 pounds.
Both fighters made weight, Mayweather at 150.5 pounds and Alvarez right at the limit of 152 pounds. Mayweather looked to be in phenomenal shape with a few pounds to play with. Opinions on Alvarez ranged from “drained” to “ripped.” It did appear he gave up a bit of muscle mass but this could change significantly by fight time. Give Canelo a pizza.
The face off put the personalities of these fighters on display; a smiling, gum cracking Mayweather and the all business, steely eyed Alvarez. Alvarez did start to smirk a litlte before the pair broke it off. Mayweather picked up his championship belt and tried to get Alvarez to hold it with him for photos. To the pleasure of the partisan crowd, Alvarez refused. The crowd roared.
After the weigh-in, Mayweather told Showtime’s Jim Gray “This is a big event, what else can I say? The turnout was truly amazing, the biggest weigh in in the history of the sport.” Asked about Alvarez, Mayweather said, “You know how these young kids are. Tomorrow I’ll go out and tame the kid. 44 and 0; Saturday, 45 and 0.” Mayweather said he planned to spend Saturday relaxing and watching college football before the fight.
Alvarez told Gray that he had reached the weight limit Thursday at home, and was calm because he knew he would reach the weight today. He said he would pay back the support of his fans with a victory. Asked by Gray, “Are you ready?”, Alvarez, who normally conducts interviews in Spanish, answered in clear and emphatic English, “I was BORN ready!”
Preview and result predictions
Alvarez is the underdog and may not remain undefeated after Saturday, but he has nothing to lose. He’s making a huge payday for a 23 year old, $12.5 million. He gets to perform on a stage he could have only dreamed about even a year ago.
Mayweather is a defensive genius, deflecting even the best efforts of determined fighters to get to him, while patiently waiting for opportunities to pick fighters apart and do damage. His previous opponent Robert Guerrero connected on less than one in five punches. Alvarez’s average connect percentage is 42 percent. He’ll need to connect at that rate to have a chance to hurt Mayweather enough to win.
The most successful opponent to face Mayweather in recent memory was Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto. He lost to Mayweather in May 2012 but acquitted himself well, bloodying Mayweather’s nose for the first time anyone could remember. Alvarez and his camp have been studying video of the Mayweather-Cotto fight and would do well to employ some of the same tactics as Cotto by being aggressive and pushing forward. While doing so, Alvarez must shut down Mayweather’s counterpunching opportunities or he will suffer for it. Mayweather’s accuracy is one of his greatest strengths.
Alvarez needs to score on Mayweather early and do damage or at least gain his respect. The longer the fight goes, the more the odds swing in Mayweather’s favor.
Alvarez possesses one attribute that cannot be manufactured: the confidence of youth, which was on display during the weigh-in. If Alvarez firmly believes he’s the heir apparent and refuses to buy into the Mayweather myth, it will protect him from falling victim to Mayweather’s mind games, and that’s a plus for him.
While an Alvarez win would be an upset and send shock waves through the boxing world, it will be less of a shock than a defeat. No one who’s watched boxing the past 15 years can ever bet against Floyd Mayweather. He’s won 44 fights for a reason. All but one were knockouts, TKOs, or unanimous decisions. The lone split decision came against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. To win on the judges’ scorecards against a champion, you must win decisively. Alvarez will not embarrass himself. He will fight well, and fight hard. Mayweather’s face may show the effects. But his record will show another win in the end.
On the undercard, Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia both weighed in at the 140 pound limit for their junior welterweight contest. Garcia initially weighed 140.5 pounds, but his father and trainer Angel Garcia argued the scale was rocking from all of the people on stage. Fighters will often pull off their briefs to try again, but Garcia stepped on a second time and made the weight limit without having to do so.
This is a tougher fight to predict. Garcia has been the underdog in most of his fights and has proven the critics wrong. Boxing fans love the hard punching Matthyssee, but our prediction is that Garcia will beat the odds again to win.
Ishe Smith and Carlos Molina were under the junior middleweight limit with Smith at 151.1 and Molina at 153. Welterweights Pablo Cesar Cano and Ashley Theophane weighed in at 141.5 and 142. We’re going with Molina and with Cano in these bouts.
Be sure to join our Communities live chat for “The One” boxing event, starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. We have been training hard to get ready for the fight and will be ready to go the distance with the fans providing real time updates. Whether you are a hard core boxing head or new to the sport, everyone is welcome.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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