Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:16

Mayweather vs Canelo: 'The One' Man Behind the Men

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Fight week is upon us and the boxing world is abuzz in anticipation of Floyd Mayweather (44-0) vs. Saul "El Canelo" Alvarez, slated for September 14th at the MGM Grand.
Opinions differ as to how Mayweather vs Canelo will play out, but there is little debate as to the star power of these two combatants.

Mayweather has been atop pound-for-pound lists for the better part of a decade, and Alvarez is, apparently, Mexico's biggest drawing card.

Tickets to "The One" are fetching thousands on the secondary market and some predict that pay-per-view purchases will near, if not exceed the record set in 2007.

In summary, this fight is a big deal because these guys are a big deal.


That said, how much do we really know about Canelo?

We know that he has a gargantuan Mexican following, as evidenced by television ratings and sold out venues. We know that he has distinctive red hair. We know that he is a mere 23 years of age, but has had 43 professional fights and has captured two world titles. We also know that Oscar De La Hoya's company promotes him.

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If we add it up, Canelo Alvarez is a young, popular Mexican champion with an unmistakable look.

Sound familiar?


There are certainly a few similarities between present-day Canelo and a young De La Hoya, but their respective careers are far from mirror images. When he turned professional, and with an Olympic pedigree, De La Hoya was transparently marketed for his Hollywood-esque look more so than his devastating left hook. As a result, Oscar was maligned by many Mexican boxing fans who are renowned for their belief in the warrior mentality.

In fairness, Canelo has had a tougher road to stardom, growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico and turning professional at 16.

And Floyd? We take for granted that he is the sport's biggest star, but how did this happen?

Again, the connection to Oscar De La Hoya is relevant. Like De La Hoya, who won a gold medal in 1992, Mayweather was an Olympian in 1996 and was awarded a bronze medal. Like De La Hoya, Floyd was promoted by Bob Arum's Top Rank, Inc. for many years. Unlike De La Hoya, Floyd was not a marketable, revenue-generating fighter early in his career.

During the years when both Mayweather and De La Hoya fought under the Top Rank banner, Floyd was often frustrated that Oscar was the promoter's main focus.


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"The Golden Boy" was the proverbial cash cow and Floyd was embittered by his inability to gain recognition.

In 2002, De La Hoya would leave Top Rank to establish his own promotional entity, Golden Boy Promotions. Mayweather would follow suit, four years later when his Top Rank contract expired, and would also establish himself as independently promoted.

Again, courtesy of his arch-nemesis, Floyd would get his big break in 2007 when he and Oscar would meet in the ring. The heavily promoted contest sold a record, 2.5 million pay-per-views and would render Mayweather a household name thereafter.


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Floyd Mayweather, whose net worth is $170 is purportedly close to $170 Million USD, is very open about his disdain for Oscar, despite the latter playing a major role in the rise of "Money Mayweather."


Canelo and Floyd have one thing in common – to some degree, both are offshoots of Oscar De La Hoya's popularity and marketing.

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Lost in all of his "hard work and dedication" bluster, is the fact that Floyd has become "The One" with a little help from his friends.........or from his enemies as he would have the public believe.


So, as he enters rehabilitation this week, we should not forget that Oscar De La Hoya is the force behind "The One" and has been one of boxing's preeminent power brokers for many years. Boxing fans owe him a debt of gratitude for, among other things, taking the risk in making expensive fights such as this one.

De La Hoya will not be at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, but let there be no doubt that this meg-event was of his doing.
 
Mike Nashed

I am 35 years old and was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.  I studied journalism at Boston University, but eventually graduated with a degree in the sciences.  

Presently, I work in biotechnology and am also an entrepreneur with a business that specializes in sports entertainment.

I particularly enjoy boxing because, of all major sports, it offers the most poignant moments of truth – “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

I presently write for multiple online publications, including BoxRec News, and am typically in attendance for most major US boxing events and believe that my strongest area of understanding is of the business side of boxing.

Increasingly, in recent years, networks and promoters have directed the sport.  This aspect is sometimes overlooked, however, I believe that one must have a grasp of the various business relationships/rifts in order to truly understand boxing.

Though complicated, it’s a great sport.

I can be reached at mike@bostonboxoffice.com. Also, follow me on Twitter at @mikenashed.