So continues our marathon coverage of one of the biggest fights of 2013, Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez on Showtime pay-per-view on Sept. 14. Previously: the meaning of Mayweather-Alvarez; a special edition of TQBR Radio. Next: keys to the fight.
Wladimir Klitschko isn’t fighting this week (there are rather more important fights on), but how could I not post this picture? Not to mention the follow-up from Arnold.
The aforementioned important fight might end up being the biggest of all time, monetarily speaking. It is, of course, Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez. We’re taking a look at the undercard today, excluding Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse, which deserves its own post (and will get it later in the week). And the rest of the week’s boxing schedule is in there too, for good measure. Unfortunately the cruiserweight rematch between Firat Arslan and Marco Huck in Germany was cancelled earlier in the week due to elbow troubles, which is sad because the first one was a rather good brawl. There’s lots of other things going on, though, as you’d expect.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez Undercard
Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina. This isn’t a bad fight, in terms of importance. Oh no -- Smith and Molina are both legitimate top 10 junior middleweights (#6 and #8, respectively), according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. And it’s good to see two good fighters with a few losses getting a decent payday and some exposure. It’s just that neither guy is consistently entertaining -- Smith (25-5, 11 KO) has a less than ideal punch output and seems to do as little as he can get away with to win, while Molina (21-5-2, 6 KO) is a mauler of the worst kind. That’s not a good recipe for a crowd pleasing fight. I mean, if Molina managed to stink out a bout with James Kirkland, one of the most entertaining fighters on the planet, imagine what he’ll do with Smith. As for an actual prediction; Molina by unanimous decision.
Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Ashley Theophane. This junior welterweight fight doesn’t register so high on the importance-o-meter, but it’ll be fun. Cano (26-3-1, 20 KO) always is. And in Theophane (26-3-1, 20 KO), the ponderous Mexican brawler will be facing a fighter who isn’t quite good enough to avoid a rumble. Don’t get me wrong, the Brit is way faster and perhaps more technically sound than Cano, but he’s also shorter and eminently bully-able. I can see Theophane taking the early rounds by hunting and pecking while circling around Cano, who will come on later in the fight (despite some stamina problems in the past). In the end, it’ll be up to the judges to balance the beginning and end of the fight and I can see a close decision going either way.
Promotional stuff. Ermagherd, so much promotional stuff, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with episode four of Showtime’s All Access documentary/infomercial, which premieres Wednesday night. Then there are the fight week events (the hotel arrivals on Tuesday, the presser on Wednesday, the undercard presser on Thursday, the weigh-in on Friday and the pre-fight show) all of which will be livestreamed here and here. The pressers and weigh-in will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. There are an insane number of “classic” (old) Mayweather and Canelo fights airing on Showtime, Showtime Extreme and CBS Sports Network; you can find the schedule for those here. ESPN will be jumping on the bandwagon as well, with a bunch of pre-fight stuff including press conference coverage, fighter interviews, promoter interviews, digital coverage and panel shows on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes. ESPN also have an issue of their magazine devoted to the fight, which has been discussed around these parts already. There’s also the chance some of the non-PPV undercard fights will be broadcast on Showtime Extreme, and if we get an update on that we’ll update this post.
The Rest Of The Weekend’s Boxing Schedule
Shawn Porter vs. Julio Diaz, Thursday, Fox Sports 2, Las Vegas. There are always lots of fights scheduled in the week of big PPV events, which is kind of strange but perhaps makes sense considering the increased number of eyeballs on boxing generally. This welterweight rematch is hardly going to set anyone’s world on fire, but it’s not a bad fight. First time out Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KO) managed to earn a draw with Porter (21-0-1, 14 KO), who was (is?) a highly fancied prospect. From Porter’s point of view that fight was a huge disappointment and it led to a lot of talk about Porter being “exposed”. That’s probably a bit harsh, but it certainly revealed that Porter doesn’t really have an identity as a fighter, can be flustered and isn’t all that powerful. Diaz, though, was better than expected and underlined the fact that he’s not done with boxing by going on to fight quite competitively with Amir Khan. I suspect this will be one of those rematches like Mike Jones vs. Jesus Soto Karass II, in which the up-and-comer wins relatively easily by sticking to a rigid gameplan -- in this case a combination of sticking and moving and flurrying inside. The undercard bout between super middleweights Badou Jack (15-0, 10 KO) and Marco Antonio Periban (20-1, 13 KO) has the potential to be very, very entertaining. It’s gutsy matchmaking for Periban, who’s coming off a punishing loss to veteran hardcase Sakio Bika. What I like about this fight is that these guys are tall, straight, hard punchers with a bit of boxing skill. I thought Bika was going to murder Periban, but the Mexican showed astonishing toughness. Jack, coming off a non-committal win win against a non-committal Farah Ennis, will be forced to commit to something here. Periban isn’t the type to be pushed around the ring, and I think his grit and power will win it, possibly by late stoppage.
The Rest. Wednesday brings a card from Japan, with TBRB #6 junior flyweight Kazuto Ioka and #5 strawweight Ryo Miyazaki both fighting… In what you would think might be a losing proposition business-wise, awesomely named British junior featherweights Kid Galahad (14-0, 7 KO) is fighting James Dickens (16-0, 5 KO) for the British title the same day as Mayweather fights Canelo… Fighting pre-med student and junior welterweight Chris Algieri (17-0, 7 KO) is fighting off TV in New York the same night, with the amazing disappearing Ghanaian, Joshua Clottey, on the undercard.