Skip to main content

'Legend' Floyd Mayweather: Canelo Alvarez fight will be 'unbelievable'

updated 5:30 PM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013
Floyd Mayweather, left, puts his unblemished 44-0 record on the line when he fights Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather, left, puts his unblemished 44-0 record on the line when he fights Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Floyd Mayweather faces Canelo Alvarez on Saturday in a battle of undefeated fighters
  • Mayweather is 44-0 with 26 knockouts and Alvarez is 42-0-1 with 30 knockouts
  • Mayweather is guaranteed to earn $41.5 million, the biggest payday in the sport's history
  • Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez's promoter, will be absent in Las Vegas as he entered rehab

(CNN) -- "Unbelievable" and an "explosion" is how Floyd Mayweather is selling his tangle with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in Las Vegas.

Whether Mayweather's ambitious billing of the bout will transpire remains to be seen, but what is not in doubt is the fight will generate the biggest purse in boxing history -- $41.5 million for Mayweather, already one of the world's highest-paid athletes.

The man regularly described as the best pound-for-pound fighter will earn even more cash Saturday in the sport's showbiz home by claiming a share of pay-per-view takings.

"This fight is truly unbelievable," Mayweather, who briefly unseated Tiger Woods as Forbes' best-paid athlete, in 2012, told CNN. "Man, this is all excitement. Canelo is young, strong, dedicated to his craft. I'm a legend in the sport.

"Canelo wants that No. 1 spot. Myself, I want to remain at the top. So it'll be an explosion."

Childhood teaches Mayweather about life

Alvarez, promoted by one of Mayweather's past arch-rivals, Oscar De La Hoya, is the latest challenger to attempt to end the 36-year-old's unblemished record.

De La Hoya won't be at the MGM Grand supporting his charge, though, having entered rehab this week.

Following Mayweather's defeat of Robert Guerrero in May -- the former's first fight after spending two months in jail in connection with an incident of domestic violence -- he improved to 44-0.

Read: Mayweather sentenced to three months

De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti and Miguel Cotto are among those who have been unable to down the technically proficient American, while a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao blockbuster has yet to materialize.

But Alvarez comes in undefeated, too, compiling a record of 42 victories and a draw.

The 23-year-old has registered more knockouts than Mayweather, 30 to 26, although the Mexican's foes are generally considered inferior.

I'm not coming to make a good fight, I'm coming to win
Canelo Alvarez

"Canelo is a good boxer," Mayweather said. "He's strong, he's a good puncher. He's done things right to be undefeated at such a young age.

"But I think it's going to be very, very difficult for him come Saturday."

Alvarez isn't fazed, even if he is expected to weigh in at 152 pounds, a fraction lighter than usual.

"I don't care about his record," Alvarez was quoted as saying by Britain's Guardian newspaper. "I'm not coming to make a good fight, I'm coming to win.

"When you fight Floyd you have to be ready for every aspect of the fight. You have to be able to adjust mentally as well as physically.

"I have to be very smart and ready to change my plan at any time. You'll see how I do it. You'll see how I beat him. I'm calm and I'm just ready to fight."

Read: Mayweather praises once estranged father

If things go as planned, Mayweather will keep on winning. He is a 1/3 favorite with British bookmaker William Hill.

When asked what his place in boxing history was, the five-division world champion wasn't about to turn humble.

"Right now they call me 'TBE.' That's 'the best ever,'" he said. "The only thing I have to keep on doing is beating these young lions, keep beating the fighters they put in front of me and hopefully I'll go down as the best."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:37 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Photography can really pack a punch. Catch up with all the best shots from around the world with our weekly sports gallery.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 11:13 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
San Francisco 49ers owner and co-chairman John York speaks to CNN about Michael Sam and the upcoming NFL Draft.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
updated 9:45 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
updated 10:07 AM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is running to be president of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed August 7, 2013
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
updated 12:28 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
A competitor crosses the erg Znaigui during the second stage of the 26rd edition of the 'Marathon des Sables', on April 4, 2011, some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The marathon is considered one of the hardest in the world, with 900 participants having to walk 250 kms (150 miles) for seven days in the Moroccan Sahara.
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
ADVERTISEMENT