After Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeated Miguel Cotto by a clear, unanimous decision on Saturday, Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be next up for the newly anointed boxing superstar — if Mayweather could be lured out if his self-imposed retirement. Mayweather inflicted the only loss of Canelo’s career on the 25-year-old Mexican’s, who now has 48 fights under his belt — also including an early draw — since he first stepped in a professional ring at age 15.
The possibility of a Mayweather vs. Alvarez rematch was raised by Canelo’s promoter, Oscar de La Hoya, following Saturday’s fight at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Vegas, Nevada. According to the Los Angeles Times, De La Hoya declared Alvarez “THE man now,” and said that the young Mexican was now “open” to a rematch with the 49-0, 38-year-old Mayweather.
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 22, 2015
Mayweather and Alvarez first fought on September 14, 2013, with the tough, skilled, and experienced young Mexican star billed as the toughest challenge to Mayweather’s undefeated record that the champion had ever faced.
Things didn’t work out that way, as Mayweather dominated Alvarez over the full 12 rounds, never allowing the upstart challenger even a moment to shine and ultimately winning a clear majority decision — marred only by the inexplicable scorecard of one judge who saw the fight as a draw.
Highlights of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight in 2013 can be viewed in the video above, on this page.
Given the one-sided nature of the first fight, there would seem to be little reason for a Mayweather vs. Alvarez rematch, at least from a boxing perspective.
But from a financial perspective, there may be plenty of reason for the rematch to happen. Until Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao almost two years later, his fight against Alvarez was the largest-grossing boxing match of all time, with a reported $150 million earned from 2.2 million pay-per-view sales — easily topping the previous mark set by Mayweather’s 2007 fight against De La Hoya, which earned a reported $136 million, though it generated more pay-per-view purchases, with 2.48 million.
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The prospect of a more seasoned Canelo Alvarez, with a signature win over Cotto now on his resumé, facing Mayweather, who would be coming out of “retirement” in search of a record-breaking 50th win without a defeat, appears to spell money in the bank for a possible rematch.
Other than Mayweather’s willingness to end his self-imposed exile from the ring — his fourth “retirement” since 2006 — the main obstacle to making the rematch happen could be the pay-per-view performance of Saturday’s Alvarez vs. Cotto fight. Despite significant hype leading up the November 21 showdown, the fight had reportedly sold only about 75 percent of the available tickets to the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Arena by Saturday morning.
While no pay-per-view figures have been released, De La Hoya’s pre-fight claim that the fight would draw 1.5 million buys was looked on as exaggerated by most boxing experts, who projected about 1.2 million buys.
If Mayweather does not see Alvaraez as an opponent capable of generating significant pay-per-view numbers, he may not see the incentive to come out “retirement” yet again. The final fight of Mayweather’s career before his latest retirement, an easy win over Andre Berto on September 12, scraped together only an estimated 550,000 buys — an estimate considered “generous” by some experts — the lowest total for a Mayweather fight since 2006.
The business-oriented Mayweather likely will not want a second-straight pay-per-view debacle as his legacy.
Of course, another obstacle to a Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez rematch may be middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, the mandatory challenger for Alvarez’s new World Boxing Council middleweight belt — who has knocked out the last 21 opponents he has faced, and 31 of 35 overall in his undefeated career.
[Photo By John Locher/Associated Press]