What is a victory over 'Money' worth?
Calculating the impact of a potential Canelo Alvarez win for his legacy and beyond
From thinking he could be among the 10 best boxers in Mexican history to thinking a victory would be just the first stone in a historical legacy, the opinions are split over just how important a win over Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 14 would be for Canelo Alvarez.
ESPNDeportes.com recently sought the expertise of those closely associated with boxing in Mexico to help articulate the impact of a potential Alvarez win in this eagerly awaited junior middleweight title unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
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"I think that [Alvarez] would be at least close to entering into an elite class of fighter, as not many people can say that they beat the best fighter at the time, and this is worth a lot," former bantamweight champion Carlos Zarate said. "This would definitely be a giant step in his career and full credit would have to be given to him."
According to Hall of fame trainer Nacho Beristain, not only would Alvarez be put into the class of the elite with an upset of Mayweather, he would also be among the most popular in the world after demonstrating already he is a boxer with a strong following.
"I would put him among the best in the world [with a win]," Beristain said. "He deserves all the credit and everything else, and consequently he would be put among the Mexican boxing elite. I hope this victory makes him a better person, as he could be the next idol.
"Mayweather is a fighter of the very highest level, and Canelo has shown himself to be getting better little by little. If we add to this that he fills stadiums, that people really love him, I believe that it will go well for him if he wins."
For others like Juan Manuel Marquez, an Alvarez triumph over Mayweather would confirm he is a good fighter and that his future could be more than brilliant, although he still wouldn't have achieved enough to be considered among the elite.
"It would be something historic, without a doubt, but we have to go slowly," Marquez said. "Those who we consider among the Mexican boxing elite are not there because of a single victory, but for a series of important victories. But without a doubt it would be very important, and additionally it would be great for Mexican boxing, because it would mean that we would have one more Mexican in the top 10 of the best, pound for pound."
Erik Morales agrees with Marquez's claim.
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"Everything depends on how things go, [but] I think there is a chance to be able to beat Mayweather," Morales said. "Because of the difference in age and weight, they can make the difference, but it would be just one big victory for him and better things would surely come. But you have to go slowly. Let's not put a name on something that is just taking off."
One thing Morales is sure of is that a victory for Alvarez would be shared by many.
"The real winners in the event of a Canelo victory would be Mexican boxers everywhere and the fans," Morales said. "Victories are always important and one of this magnitude would be sensational."
Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran also assured that while the level of recognition from a victory of this magnitude depends on the opponent, how it happens is also important, and he prefers to wait and see what happens on Sept. 14.
"It is an interesting fight, with an older fighter who has fought in the super welterweight class, but it remains to be seen what [Mayweather] is like now," Beltran said. "You have to give him credit for what he does.
"If [Alvarez] wins spectacularly, like Marquez did with [Manny] Pacquiao, he will have to be given the great recognition that has been given to Juan Manuel. But without a doubt, a victory would be very important for his career and for Mexican boxing."