If you want good heel vs. babyface booking, tonight is your night.
In what could be the biggest PPV event of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. defends his super welterweight championships against rising star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, tonight in Las Vegas. The fight has become the buzz of Vegas and the sports world largely because everybody wants to see Mayweather lose.
It’s time — way past time. The thing about Mayweather is that he’s a great boxer, but not a great fighter. In fact, unless he’s hitting you dirty when the other fighter’s not ready (Victor Ortiz), he doesn’t really knock people out.
The Big Show at WrestleMania doesn’t count. Neither does the mother of his children, whom he was convicted of punching after telling her “I’m going to kill you and the man you are messing around with,” according to a police report. Mayweather spent three months in jail in 2011 for the assault.
He’s really only knocked out two guys in the last six years, but has skated by in close decisions in about half of those other fights he won. He probably lost to Oscar de la Hoya in 2007, a fight Mayweather technically won by split decision.
Mayweather is fast and super hard to hit, but he’s not a fighter anybody on the street would fear. He fights like a Chris Paul might play keep-away with an six-year-old. In the good old days of the welter and super welterweight divisions, you knew if Tommy “Hitman” Hearns hit you with a right hand, you were a dead man walking (go Google Hearns vs. Roberto Duran).
Marvelous Marvin Hagler could knock you out his with his big, bald head. Sugar Ray Leonard was fast and super hard to hit like Mayweather, but Leonard also had power in his punches, at least before the first retirement.
The boxing world is really tired of Mayweather sashing about like he’s Kanye West, with a much less pretty girlfriend. Mayweather epitomizes everything we hate about excess in our culture. He wears too much man jewelry, lets everyone know how much money he has in his bank account and walks around with a huge entourage. He’s like P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs, or whatever he calls himself these days, with better genetics.
Mayweather, of course, has fighting in his blood. His father and uncle were fighters and Uncle Roger used to be openly called “The Mexican Assassin“, until the great Julio Cesar Chavez turned the tables on the “Black Mamba” and knocked him out in the 11th round at the Great Western Forum in 1989.
Tonight, we’ll find out if Mayweather has one more great defensive battle left in him. He’s fighter a younger, hungrier, more determined fighter, if not one who is slower and more prone to cuts. Like headliners De la Hoya and Chavez before him, “Canelo” or “Cinnamon” has the Mexican people behind him.
If 1.7 million people order the PPV tonight, expect at least twice as many people to actually watch the fight, because this is bigger than the Super Bowl in the Hispanic community.
Alvarez will most likely come up short. He’s probably not ready yet. But you never know. Every dog has his day and tonight, the good guy is getting his big title push against the heel who has held the title for just too long.