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.