By Rich Mancuso
Showtime the subsidiary of CBS, and Golden Boy Promotions are rightfully so on top of the boxing world. Why? They have Floyd Mayweather Jr. as their commodity, and boxing by every claim is associated with the Mayweather name.
Saturday evening on Showtime Pay-Per-View, the mega-fight with Canelo Alvarez is projected to equal or top an all-time PPV record. Why? Associate the name of Mayweather and that is the face of boxing. The sport is no longer identified with eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao.
Or for that matter, the Klitschko brothers, who hold most of the major titles in the heavyweight division, are not as recognizable to be associated as the faces of boxing. At one time though, the heavyweight champion was the face of boxing and icons such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson made headlines.
As we approach the most anticipated fight in a long time, Showtime/CBS and Golden Boy know what they have in Mayweather. Even if it cost them in excess of $32 million or more, for this six-fight deal that began on May 4th, with a dominant win over Robert Guerrero, Mayweather brings money to the table.
The boxing world is asked, who wins Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas? The prevailing choice is Mayweather, and of course it would be. Alvarez tabbed as the number one Mexican fighter in the world, undefeated in 43 pro bouts, is not in the class of eight-time and five-division, Mayweather.
The perspective of who will win the mega fight will come here tomorrow. The discussion does not matter to those who hardly follow the sport. When they hear the name of Mayweather, to them, Canelo Alvarez has no chance. They know nothing about Alvarez who has had a majority of his fights outside the United States.
But, quickly Alvarez has become an interest in the boxing world. Had it been differently, Mayweather would have chosen an opponent of less value. With so few having the pay-per-view marketability, Alvarez was the opponent with his rising popularity.
And he does create a following among the 32 percent of Hispanic level in sports, the percentage number who follow boxing. That statistic as reported by Scarborough Sports Marketing in a market study that was released last year. The study was used by Showtime/CBS and Golden Boy to further state how huge a fight this is.
Regardless of the outcome the fight becomes a bonanza at the box office. Golden Boy on Thursday announced that the bout has earned $20,003,150 in live tickets at the MGM Grand. It is a record and the highest gate receipt for a boxing event.
And the pay-per-view revenue is expected to make this the highest grossing boxing event despite the hefty price to order.
With the interest because of Mayweather, can boxing be back in the spotlight, or at least a comeback? It does say something for the sport to have a superstar draw the interest that Mayweather commands. After him a name is lacking that draws the interest, with the exception now of Alvarez who is being built as the next superstar of the sport.
Canelo has a lot to prove to get to Mayweather status. It can begin Saturday night with a win, and boxing could benefit if these two have a trilogy which is not ruled out of the question.
In the meantime, let the receipts get counted. Mayweather, like him or not, is the one who can continue giving boxing exposure, after all he is the face of the sport.
My outlook and analysis of how I see the outcome of this mega fight on these pages tomorrow.
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