Boxing: Canelo Alvarez

Sergio vs. Cotto in April at MSG?

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
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Could we see Sergio Martinez, the Argentina-born hitter who holds the WBC middleweight crown, fight his next scrap in Madison Square Garden against Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto?

We will if the suits at MSG get their way.

On Wednesday, during a media presser to hype the Saturday card at MSG -- which is topped by a Gennady Golovkin WBA middleweight title defense against Curtis Stevens -- MSG executive Joel Fisher checked in and said hello to Martinez’s adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz. Lewkowicz handles a heavyweight, Magomed Abdusalamov (18-0 with 18 KOs), who tussles on the Saturday undercard, against Mike Perez (19-0 with 12 KOs).

It would be great to have the 51-2-2 Sergio fighting Cotto, 33, in a sold out Madison Square Garden, Fisher told Lewkowiz. Sampson nodded, yes, it would, but noted that Sergio is a wanted man. He drew 50,000 fans at a stadium in Argentina in his last outing, a 12-round unanimous decision win over Martin Murray on April 27. That’s great, Fischer answered, but there’s nothing like the vibe that is summoned when about 20,000 fight fans roar in MSG. Lewkowicz nodded in agreement.

Martinez, who turns 39 years old in February, beat Matthew Macklin in The Theater in March 2012. And Cotto (38-4), of course, sees MSG as a home base. He is 9-1 in MSG.

Lewkowicz told me in the best-case scenario, he’d like Martinez, getting back to full strength after suffering some injuries in the Murray bout, fighting in April, against Cotto. But Cotto has other suitors; promoter Golden Boy would like to snag him and pair him with Mexican heartthrob Canelo Alvarez, and that would mean Martinez would settle on a Plan B. Plan B would take place on June 7, when HBO has a date.

“There are two or three possibilities,” said Lewkowicz, who will be huddling and burning up the phone with Martinez' promoter, Lou DiBella, to nail down particulars, fairly soon.

Talking options for Mayweather’s next fight

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
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We have a long time out to Floyd Mayweather's next bout, but after "Money" elevated himself into a new realm of celebrity with his Sept. 14 win over Canelo Alvarez, it's never too early to obsess over who the 36-year-old pugilist-specialist will tangle with on May 3, his next slated date.

I queried Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy promotions, at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on Wednesday to see if he'd part with at least a hint about Floyd's next opponent.

"We're having some conversations as we always do, talking about what's next," he told me. "I'd expect before the end of the holidays we should know which direction Floyd would like to go."

And is Amir Khan option A, as many have supposed?

"There are a lot of different options," he said. "It served me and Floyd very well not to discuss what options there are, and take people by surprise like we did with Canelo. I don't want to speculate on options A, B and C. It doesn't do anybody any good."

What about a Floyd Mayweather-Bernard Hopkins fight? Is that an absurd notion or is there something to it?

"I wouldn't say it's absurd but there's not something to it either," Schaefer said. "I had no conversations with anybody on the Mayweather team about Floyd moving up in weight. He is a welterweight who once in a while does a fight or so at super welterweight. He's not a super welterweight, let alone a middleweight. I really don't see that happening."

But since the 45-0 Mayweather is having his way with all comers between 147 and 154 pounds, isn't there an argument to be made that we should widen the scope in our search for someone to test him?

"Ultimately it's going to be Mayweather to go through all the names, and he likes to challenge himself," Schaefer continued. "There were many who thought he'd never agree to fight Canelo, a young, undefeated, strong junior middleweight, and Floyd took everyone by surprise. We know he likes to take challenges; let's see what happens Saturday, then have conversations with Floyd and his team."

De La Hoya 'doing fine' in rehab

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
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Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya made news Sept. 10, during the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight week, when he announced he would enter rehab after a substance-abuse slip.

The 40-year-old, six-division champion who hung up the gloves after his Dec. 6, 2008, loss to Manny Pacquiao, put out a release that said, in part, "I will not be at the fight to cheer Canelo to victory since I have voluntarily admitted myself into a treatment facility."

That statement was distributed four days before the 36-year-old Mayweather showed young gun Alvarez, age 23, that his mastery of the sport wasn't to be trifled with.

De La Hoya's battle with substance abuse first reared its head in May 2011, when news hit that he'd entered Promises, a Malibu, Calif., rehab facility. He then admitted publicly in August that he'd struggled with alcohol and cocaine usage, and said at that time he'd been in "rehabs" previously.

Wednesday afternoon, I asked Richard Schaefer, who runs the day-to-day operations of Golden Boy Promotions, the outfit headed up by the boxer now beset by personal demons, for an update on "The Golden Boy."

"He is good," said Schaefer, days out from the Saturday Golden Boy event in Atlantic City, N.J., topped by a Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat main event. "He's still in rehab. He extended his time there a bit. He knows it's important he's focusing on what he needs to focus on, himself and his family. I talked to him, went to see him as well. He's doing fine."

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Miguel Cotto demolishes Delvin Rodriguez

October, 6, 2013
10/06/13
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Cynics -- and I dare say that is most of the folks who have been covering boxing for any length of time -- took it with two grains of salt when Miguel Cotto and new trainer Freddie Roach both said that they were working on bringing back the "old" Cotto, a left hook-happy hitter who sought and got KOs.

Darned if the trainer and boxer weren't on message, and Cotto, who turns 33 on Oct. 29, on Saturday night looked like a 10-years-younger version of himself who hadn't absorbed back-to-back losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout.

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Who would you most want to see Miguel Cotto face in his next fight?

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    57%
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Discuss (Total votes: 14,095)

Granted, Cotto (38-4) took on just a solid journeyman in Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-3) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. But he made Rodriguez look like a C-grade boxer as he imposed his will and skills, and a rib-battering left hook on the Connecticut-based brawler. In Round 3, two left hooks and a right sent Rodriguez to the mat, and the ref didn't even need to count, calling for a TKO.

The Puerto Rican boxer's stock jumped considerably, and social media buzz on whom he might face next percolated quickly. Maybe a jump to 160, from 154, to fight middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, in favorite old stomping ground Madison Square Garden next spring? Maybe a P.R.-versus-Mexico rumble against Canelo Alvarez, who looked worse against Mayweather on Sept. 14 than Cotto did when he met "Money" in May 2012?

So I'll throw the question to you, readers: Whom do you want to see Cotto fight next?

Yormark pitches Mayweather-to-Brooklyn

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
11:35
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The "boxing is dead" bunch got a kick in the groin on Sept. 14, when Floyd Mayweather took on Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand and more than 2.2 million households ponied up to watch the 12-round Mayweather master class unfold on pay-per-view.

If we're measuring the vitality of a business with a dollars and sense metric, and we usually do, the Mayweather-Canelo tussle was a Powerball home run, as it set a new mark as the highest-grossing PPV ever, generating $150 million plus.

The naysayers will counter that Mayweather is the "last star" and the sport will fall off a cliff and turn to a skeleton in a graveyard next to horse racing when he exits the scene. They'll stick to their rigid stance of negatavism, showing their ignorance of the time-honored tradition of the birthing of new megastars to replace the old ones. I semi-respectfully disagree with their reasoning, which is myopic at best. Sounds to me like the CEO of Barclays Center and the Nets, Brett Yormark, is in my camp. Yormark chatted with NYFightblog on Monday morning, and sounded beyond upbeat about the state of the sport, especially within the sphere of the five boroughs.

You'll recall that Yormark flew to Vegas to begin setting the table for a pitch to bring the next Floyd Mayweather fight to Barclays, so I asked him for an update on that junket.

"I'm a big-event guy," Yormark told me. "Do I want to do the Super Bowl of boxing here? Darn right I do. And I will work tirelessly to convince promoter Golden Boy and any other partner that a Mayweather fight could be that much bigger, in the biggest city, New York. In Vegas, I made it known my interest. His nickname is "Money," well, "Money" needs to come to the money city. Mayweather transcends boxing, everywhere I went in Vegas and on the way, people were talking about the fight, and I think people who attended will look back at the event, and say, 'I was there.' "

Yormark said he will be putting together a pitch within a month for Team Mayweather and Golden Boy which will play up the success Barclays has enjoyed, like the buzz pop (including a 66% year-over-year ratings jump) the Video Music Awards received when they unfurled at Barclays on Aug. 25.

"It's about building the story," the Barclays boss said, when asked about the critics who say that the revenue derived from the gaming upsurge a Mayweather-in-Vegas bout spurs means Floyd will never fight outside Nevada. "The money will work itself out. The overall package will excite people. We have Madison Avenue, we have the talk shows, we have the media, things Vegas doesn't have. And I love Vegas. I was there for the fight, and I want to bring the next Mayweather fight here to New York, to Brooklyn, and have it be an 'I was there' event."

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Malignaggi: Floyd Mayweather is best ever

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
11:09
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Paul Malignaggi sat ringside Sunday morning in Las Vegas, watching Floyd Mayweather turn in another virtuoso performance, rendering Canelo Alvarez -- a top-grade boxer who is a favorite probably to beat everyone other than Mayweather at 154 pounds -- an ordinary athlete. Malignaggi helped call the action on the Showtime pay-per-view offering, with Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein, and left the building mightily impressed with "Money" and his skill set.

How impressed, Paulie?

"I think Floyd beats everyone in history, and anyone who doesn't realize that by now is stubborn, blind, stupid, or all three," he told NYFightblog. "He is the best ever."

Yes, you read that right. The best ever, no one better, not Ali, Joe Louis, the Sugar Rays ...

"Me and Floyd are not friends, I don't need to say this if I truly don't believe it," continued the 32-year-old Bensonhurst-bred welterweight, who held crowns at 140 and 147 pounds. "I'm saying it because it is simply the truth. I respect the guy but I don't know him well, I don't owe him any favors, so when I say he's the best ever it's because that's truly what I feel."

And, I wondered, did he think Floyd was THE BEST all-time before doing what he did to Canelo, or did Mayweather's classic at the MGM convince him?

"I learned that way before the Canelo fight, but this kind of convinced me fully," said Malignaggi in closing.

Readers, weigh in. Is Malignaggi right? Where do you rate Mayweather all-time? Is he above Sugar Ray Robinson, who exited the ring with a 175-19 record? Or is the jury still out on Floyd's status in the pantheon of the ultra-greats?

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Yormark wants Mayweather in Brooklyn

September, 13, 2013
9/13/13
4:21
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The word out of Las Vegas, ahead of Saturday's clash between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, is that the scene is hectic and electric. Promoter Golden Boy is expecting the clash to draw the most pay-per-view revenue ever, surpassing the $132 million collected for the 2007 Mayweather fight against Oscar De La Hoya. Yes, the boxing business isn't dead, apparently; or, at the very least, the Mayweather business is flourishing. The 36-year-old will make a guaranteed $41.5 million, plus a massive bonus, depending upon how well the pay-per-view broadcast does.

Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark would like to bring some of that boxing buzz to New York for Mayweather's next bout. A source tells ESPNNewYork.com that Yormark flew to Las Vegas on Friday and will be a guest of promoter Golden Boy at the fight. "He is determined to get Mayweather's next fight for Barclays Center in Brooklyn," the source said.

Yormark will also meet with some of the Golden Boy fighters who have been showing off their skills in the arena, like welterweight Paul Malignaggi and middleweights Peter Quillin and Danny Jacobs, three New York-bred pugilists. "Yormark is not going to stop until he gets the Mayweather fight," the source said, in closing.

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What if Mayweather or Canelo don't make weight?

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
7:17
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Floyd Mayweather is nothing if not a shrewd picker when it comes to choosing his foes and hashing out terms, financial and otherwise, heading into his bouts. After 17 years as a pro, he knows all the angles inside the ring and outside, in the rooms where negotiations take place. The terms of his Saturday fight, which will be for some junior middleweight titles, include the stipulation that neither he nor his foe, Canelo Alvarez, may be more than 152 pounds at the Friday weigh in.

That should not be a problem for Floyd, who has the metabolism and work ethic to handle eating fast food burgers with regularity, and not bloat up past 160 pounds, even in between fights.

But Alvarez, still growing into a manly physique at 23, might find it harder to get to 152. That's the point, really, to give Floyd an extra edge heading into the scrap, which takes place at the MGM Grand, and on pay-per-view Saturday night.

But what if Mayweather or Alvarez don't make the contracted weight, 152 pounds or less, tomorrow? Would the show go on?

I asked the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Keith Kizer, to put on his hypothetical hat, and share what the consequences would be.

"If either guy misses the 152 pounds, there's a huge financial penalty, I don't know what it is, it's a private agreement between them," Kizer said. "Promoter Richard Schaefer tells me it's huge if either guy misses weight. If they miss weight, but they still weigh 154 or under, it's still for the title. The fight goes on. I do not expect anyone to be over 152 tomorrow."

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ESPN's Joe Tess on Mayweather-Canelo

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
3:12
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ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" is done with its season, and play-by-play man Joe Tessitore is on to other assignments, like covering the college football scene. But Tess was kind enough to offer NYFightblog his assessment of "The One," the Saturday Las Vegas mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather, the most handsomely paid man in athletics, and Canelo Alvarez, the most handsome hitter from Mexico, and, many gals have been telling me, in all of sports.

Here's Tess' take:

"Mayweather wins a comfortable unanimous decision," said the analyst, who will help call Saturday's Ole Miss at Texas college football faceoff. "That is, unless he chooses to fight more aggressive and appear crowd-pleasing. If that's the case then he wins a unanimous decision with a few moments in the early and middle rounds that give Canelo fans a thrill and fleeting hope. This fight is a calculated business decision on both sides -- the Canelo camp knows they can lose and still have their entire career and earning power ahead of them ... while Mayweather knows he likely won't lose and will still cash a huge paycheck for fighting a guy who isn't seasoned enough to handle him."

I can't poke a whole in one bit of that logic. What about you, fight fans? How do you see this bout unfolding? I think Floyd will stay smart, not open up any more than he has to in order to keep the 23-year-old honest, steer away from his promise to gun for a KO, and soldier on to a comfortable unanimous decision. What say you?

Schaefer: Mayweather bout in NY? Unlikely

July, 18, 2013
7/18/13
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I know we can't get ahead of ourselves, it wouldn't be prudent, but I admit I am curious as to what's next for Floyd Mayweather after he fights Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 14. Since I expect him to have his way with the talented and strong but still-the-slightest-bit-green Alvarez, I am looking a bit beyond that clash. I do wonder, what with the whirlwind tour of New York City that Amir Khan has been doing of late, is a Mayweather-Khan clash in the works in the near future? If so, could it occur in NYC?

I posed the question to Golden Boy Promotions' day-to-day boss Richard Schaefer.

"There are a lot of ifs in that question," he said. "Khan will be in a difficult fight against Devon Alexander in December, and so it's a question if he would win and how would he win. And also if Mayweather wins; the Canelo fight is his most dangerous. There are too many ifs. If I occupy my time with too many ifs, I wouldn't get enough done.

"The likelihood of Mayweather fighting in New York, that's slim to none. He would love to fight in New York, as he made clear at the recent Times Square press conference for the Canelo fight. It's one of the biggest media markets in the world. But not if he has to pay the state income tax, which I think is like 10 percent, which would be like 5 million bucks. He's a Las Vegas resident, not a New York resident. There's no way to offset [that tax hit]. As nice it would be for him to fight in New York, I'm not sure it's fair to ask him to pay $5 million for an hour or so of work. The tax code might have to be amended. Maybe you could have it prorated or capped. Between the legislators and the people at Madison Square Garden and Barclays, maybe they can do something. It's just difficult to bring those big fights to New York City."

Is a Mayweather fight in Khan's future?

July, 17, 2013
7/17/13
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This is Part 2 of NY FightBlog's exclusive interview with Amir Khan. Check out Part 1 here.

Old-time trainers used to meddle much more in their fighters' lives, and some portrayed romantic unions as figurative Kryptonite. Getting their charges to focus on the fighting got more complicated with a romantic partner in the mix, so the grizzled old guard would often rail against the concept of wedded bliss.

The old guard may have had a bit of a point, even if they did at times overstep their bounds. For instance, the newly minted Mrs. Amir Khan isn't a big boxing fan. Faryal hasn't attended one of Amir's fights, and I pointedly asked him if she likes the sport, and his participation in the grotesquely misnamed "sweet" science, during a recent phone chat with the former two-division champ who will resume his campaign to regain a title after the Ramadan fasting period ends.

"She doesn't enjoy the boxing, no," Khan admitted. Her arm would have to be twisted to get her to a Khan fight, he said, and she doesn't even derive satisfaction when her man draws blood from a foe. Could we see a situation where her ambivalence about Khan's chosen vocation results in a premature withdrawal for the man who won silver at the 2004 Olympics for England at age 17? Remains to be seen.

Khan says Faryal gives helpful input in diet and fitness, and is aware that he is "not gonna give it up or walk away."

The cementing of a partnership can mean upheaval regarding living arrangements. The Khans, Amir said, will live in Bolton, England, about five months a year, in the New York area about two months a year, and the rest of the time in California, where he will train with tutor Virgil Hunter. "Me and my wife will be together all the time," he said. (I can hear the ghosts of the grizzled sages growl.)

Khan said a fight in NYC, especially at Barclays Center, which has an exclusive promoter deal with Golden Boy, has been discussed. "It's an amazing venue," he said.

It looks like Khan will take on IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander, a solid and steady pugilist, in December. Golden Boy wanted Dubai as the location, seeking to open up that locale, rich with interest and funds, but it seems Alexander isn't keen to travel so far, so Vegas could be the site of the faceoff. And if Khan wins that, could a Floyd Mayweather gig come next? "Early next year, there's been a lot of talk about it, I can't confirm yes or no, but a Floyd fight has been talked about," Khan said.

Mayweather needs to get past 22-year-old Mexican heartthrob Canelo Alvarez (42-0) on Sept. 14 first. Will "Money" prevail? "Mayweather might be one step ahead of Canelo," Khan said. "Canelo's style might fall a little short."

And how could Khan beat the 44-0 Mayweather? "Two things, speed and explosiveness, would help me beat Floyd," Amir said. "My speed takes away his defense, and I can put on pressure, not many fighters have that. In Barclays Center, against Floyd Mayweather, I think it would be brilliant."

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Floyd Mayweather showed up at Barclays Center last Saturday and took in the main event, a welterweight scrap between Adrien Broner and Brooklyn's own Paul Malignaggi, and drew one of the loudest cheers of the night when his face was shown on the giant screen.

This was no given, as Mayweather's detractors often outnumber his devotees at public appearances.

[+] Enlarge Floyd Mayweather
AP Photo/Rick BowmerFloyd Mayweather Jr. is the sport's current pound-for-pound king.
A not-uncommon reaction that night: Wouldn't it make sense for Floyd, who gloves up Sept. 14 in Las Vegas against Canelo Alvarez, to do one of his fights in Brooklyn at Barclays Center?

It turns out that sentiment is shared by high-level suits at Barclays. I reached out to Barclays, and a source there told me the thunderous reaction to the sport's top draw was an immediate catalyst to explore how to get Mayweather to fight at the arena.

On fight night, Mayweather sat with Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark, and he met the man responsible for bringing the much-buzzed-about arena to Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner.

Ratner, I am told, has become much more of a fight fan since Barclays started hosting cards put together by Golden Boy last October, and could be open to helping bring "Money" to BK.

"There is certainly interest in both the ownership and the building to bring Floyd here," the Barclays source told me.

In the past, one hurdle to bringing Mayweather, the top earner last year in sports, has been the tax structure in New York state. Entertainers get a chunk taken from their earnings in New York, as opposed to in, say, Las Vegas, where they are not taxed. When you make around $30 million a fight, as Mayweather does, that becomes a consideration.

Somehow, that tax issue would likely have to be massaged, or worked around, for Mayweather to agree to hit Brooklyn for a bout.

Money aside, one could see other compelling reasons to lure Mayweather to Brooklyn. Among them: Floyd fights the second bout in a six-fight deal with Showtime in September. His foe, Alvarez, is probably the most anticipated of fighters from the opponent pool of those likely to get a shot against the mouthy 44-0 hitter. A fight with Broner would garner great buzz, and that could build into a high-demand option, but it isn't yet ... and besides that, Broner said he respects Floyd and wouldn't take the challenge even for $20 million.

So a Floyd fight in New York would add another level of buzz and hype that could serve to aid any promotion, even one featuring a "B side" that doesn't excite the majority of boxing fans.

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Floyd, Canelo were 'serious' and 'intense'

June, 21, 2013
6/21/13
11:34
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Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza presided over a Tuesday session which brought Floyd Mayweather and Mexican phenom Canelo Alvarez together for some photos in Los Angeles. I asked Espinoza what he gleaned from the meetup.

"Both guys were very serious," he said, as he waited for the Malignaggi-Broner presser to begin on Thursday at Barclays Center. "Intense. Quiet intensity, because of the language barrier." (Alvarez is still working on his English; Mayweather doesn't speak Spanish.)

Espinoza joked that it's a good bet Floyd learns a few Spanish phrases in order to better needle Canelo in the coming months, heading to their Sept. 14 scrap in Las Vegas.

Did Espinoza read anything into their body language? "Canelo didn't seem intimidated at all," he reported. "He's a really cool customer."

Floyd, Alvarez: Monday in Times Square

June, 19, 2013
6/19/13
10:21
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Showtime has pulled out all the stops for the first event in its 11-city, two-country tour to hype the Sept. 14 showdown between pound-for-pound boss Floyd Mayweather and Mexico's Canelo Alvarez.

Mayweather and Alvarez will meet and greet fans on Monday at the Pedestrian Walk in Times Square, on Broadway between 46th and 47th streets. Fans are encouraged to arrive by 2 p.m.; a news conference is set to start at 3 p.m.

"An event this big deserves a big stage -- and there's no bigger public stage in NYC than Times Square," Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza told NYFightblog.

"The symbolic hub of New York City is the perfect place to host the kick-off for the biggest boxing event of the year."

The Mayweather-Alvarez fight will take place in Las Vegas.

Here are the dates for the prefight tour:

Monday: New York
Tuesday: Washington
Wednesday, June 26: Grand Rapids, Mich., and Chicago
Thursday, June 27: Atlanta
Friday, June 28: Miami
Sunday, June 30: Mexico City
Monday, July 1: Houston and San Antonio
Tuesday, July 2: Phoenix and Los Angeles

Mayweather-Canelo set for Sept. 14

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
12:17
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All-time great boxer Floyd Mayweather is throwing it in the faces of doubters who thought he might avoid Canelo Alvarez, the 22-year-old Mexican hitter with a 42-0-1 (30 KOs) record.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday, Mayweather (44-0 with 26 KOs), the 36-year-old Las Vegas resident, took to Twitter to announce that he'd be returning to the ring on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas.

"I chose my opponent for September 14th and it's Canelo Alvarez," he tweeted. "I'm giving the fans what they want. It will be at the MGM Grand."

The fight will be the second of his six-fight deal with Showtime. Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza told NYFightblog that he sees Alvarez, who turned pro at age 15 in Mexico, as a stiff test for Mayweather.

"Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez are the two biggest stars in boxing, and Mayweather versus Canelo is by far the biggest fight possible," Espinoza said. "Boxing fans worldwide have been clamoring for it. Neither Floyd nor Canelo ever wavered in their desire to make the fight happen and to give the fans what they want. Rarely has a fight this big gotten done so quickly and painlessly."

The two junior middleweight title belts held by Canelo will be up for grabs, but the bout will be fought at a catchweight of 152 pounds or less. Mayweather has campaigned at 154, but his frame is more comfortable at 147 pounds, so this arrangement is somewhat of a compromise.

The Sept. 14 date is a bonanza for Mexican fight fans, and the promoters of A-list fight cards featuring A-grade Mexican talent, as it will fall on Mexican Independence Day weekend. Canelo exploded as a certified ticket mover with his last fight, which took place on April 20 in San Antonio against Austin Trout. Canelo knocked down Trout in the seventh round and took a unanimous victory in 12 rounds in front of 39,472 fans at the Alamodome.

This matchup, with the Mexican who has taken the matinee idol reins from Oscar De La Hoya, who now promotes him, comes as a surprise to Floyd doubters who thought Mayweather might steer a path around the sturdy and composed boxer.

Mayweather and Canelo each fought Shane Mosley. Floyd did it first, in May 2010, and after being buzzed in the second round, he coasted to a unanimous win. Canelo scored a unanimous decision over Mosley in May 2012, and Mosley hung up the gloves shortly after, though he re-entered the ring two weeks ago, with a win over Pablo Cano.

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