Mayweather, Alvarez go face to face

Updated: September 13, 2013, 7:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mexican star Canelo Alvarez came in at 152 pounds at the official pre-fight weigh-in Friday, delighting a rabid crowd of about 12,000 that packed the MGM Arena in Las Vegas to watch. Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather weighed in at 150½.

"They wanted me to go to 147,'' Alvarez said earlier this week when he said he was already down to 154 pounds. "I said that was physically impossible. Then they wanted 150 and then 151. I wanted to make the fight, so I agreed to 152. Then they forced me to be quiet about it.''

Weight is always a big deal in fights, and it is center stage again in one of the biggest showdowns in recent years. Saturday night's megafight is officially for a version of the 154-pound title held by Alvarez, but will be fought at a catch weight of 152 pounds that was harder for Alvarez to make than it was for Mayweather.

"They're the ones who said they would fight at a lower weight," said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's manager. "We can't help it Alvarez has idiots for managers, but we're going to take every advantage they give us."

Alvarez has been a full-fledged junior middleweight for more than three years now. He's physically bigger at 5-foot-9 than Mayweather and has had to lose good amounts of weight in the final days in some of his recent fights just to get to the 154-pound class limit.

Getting an advantage is nothing new to Mayweather. He does it in the ring with his tremendous skills to adapt, and he does it outside the ring by playing with his opponent's mind. For Mayweather, making Alvarez think constantly in training about making 152 pounds may have been more important than the actual weight itself.

"There's a thousand different ways I can beat a guy," Mayweather said.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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