SAUL “CANELO” ALVAREZ was being groomed by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions as the new star of the game. Who better to test the Mexican’s burgeoning skills than the best of them all? On September 14, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – Mayweather’s home ground – the two came together in a light-middleweight showdown, entitled ‘The One’. Even the weigh-in was keenly attended as 12,000 fans watched the pair strip down to their underwear and step on the scales.
Floyd had been criticised for taking on inferior or ageing opponents but there could be no faulting his latest choice. Alvarez was unbeaten in 43 bouts and, Manny Pacquiao aside, was considered “Money’s” biggest rival. The fight generated gate receipts of more than $20m, $2m from closed circuit, and over $2m from Pay-Per-View revenue.
The bout itself was completely one-sided, though. Mayweather – earning a whopping $41.5m – turned in a spotless showing, laced with true greatness, as he gave the younger man a boxing lesson and barely took a punch. At the close of 12 sessions all that was left was award Mayweather victory, his 45th without loss, before judge CJ Ross’ mind-boggling score of 114-114 landed her in eternal infamy. The other judges’ scores (117-111, 116-112) were also too close but thankfully favoured the right man.
At the age of 36, Mayweather had proved yet again that he was ‘The One’.