Somebody's 'OH' Must Go? Floyd Has More To Lose Than Canelo

BY Bernard Fernandez ON September 10, 2013
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Floyd shadowboxing onstage9-10-2013aIt is a declarative statement that is uttered, and often, whenever two boxers with undefeated records square off.

“Somebody’s `oh’ must go” is the familiar refrain. And that is true in most cases, although it does not account for the possibility of a draw which would leave somebody’s “oh” at least somewhat smudged. In the case of Saturday night’s Showtime Pay-Per-View extravaganza at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, pitting pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KOs) vs. emerging superstar Canelo Alvarez 42-0-1, 30 KOs), the 23-year-old Mexican sensation already has one standoff on his professional resume (a four-round split draw with Jorge Juarez on June 17, 2006, when Alvarez was only 15) removing the veneer of total perfection.

Maybe the fight – at a mutually agreed-upon catch weight of 152 pounds, five more than the welterweight limit WBC champion Mayweather is most accustomed to and two below the junior middleweight limit at which Alvarez, the WBC/WBA titlist, usually works – will live up to the astounding hype. Alvarez’s 154-pound belts, despite the catch weight, will be on the line.

Many predict that this fight will surpass the record 2.5 million PPV buys for Mayweather’s 2007 showdown with Oscar De La Hoya, which he won on a split decision, and because of higher subscription prices – $64.95 for standard television, an even heftier $74.95 for high-definition – and the fact the bout will be shown in 500 movie theaters around the country, it almost certainly will be the highest-grossing boxing event of all time. But no matter the outcome, Mayweather is assured of a record $41.5 million payday (shattering the previous high of $33 million that Evander Holyfield received for his “Bite Fight” rematch with Mike Tyson), which could rise to $50 million if the more optimistic PPV projections are accurate. Alvarez is supposedly guaranteed a minimum $12.5 million, with that figure apt to jump significantly if the PPV buy rate meets expectations.

To hear the headliners tell it, each man has as much to win, or lose, as the other.

“I think it’s a lot of pressure (on Alvarez),” a supremely confident Mayweather said during a teleconference with the media last week. “Sometimes when there’s pressure, a guy fights better. We have to see how this fight plays out.

“This is a whole different ballgame. (Alvarez) may be predicting a knockout, but all you have to do is look at the opponents he’s faced. And we’re not just talking about `A-plus’ fighters but `D-minus’ and `C-minus’ fighters … guys that he should have knocked out in the fourth round, they were able to go into the eighth and ninth rounds even though they were caught with numerous shots.

“I don’t think Ricky Hatton’s brother (Matthew Hatton, whom Alvarez dominated over 12 rounds in winning a unanimous decision on March 5, 2011) is on the level of a Floyd Mayweather. This is chess, not checkers. These are moves you have to think about. At this level, you’ve got to get 10 steps ahead of your opponent.”

For his part, Alvarez is just as convinced that it is Mayweather who has to be feeling the most heat as he attempts to extend, at the old-for-boxing age of 36, the unblemished record which he frequently cites as proof that he really must be the greatest fighter of all time.

“If I win – when I win – it will change history,” said the red-haired, freckled, pale-skinned Alvarez, who at various times has been described as resembling Howdy Doody, Richie Cunningham and Chucky, said when the question was raised as to which fighter is under the most pressure.

“I think that the way he’s talking, he’s underestimating me. But at the same time, I think he’s worried. I think that he’s very, very worried. He’s always been like that. He’s always been a (trash) talker because that’s the way he is. But I don’t care what he’s saying and I don’t care what he’s thinking. What I care about is what I’m saying and what I’m thinking.”

Opinions will vary, of course, and the prevailing sentiment among those not swayed by emotion or personal preference (like Las Vegas oddsmakers, who have installed Mayweather as a slightly more than 2-to-1 favorite) is that enough of “Money’s” prime remains that he will school the kid as he has done so many previous befuddled opponents. This is the second fight in the 30-month, six-bout deal Mayweather signed with Showtime PPV/CBS in February. His first ring appearance on that contract – which could bring him $250 million-plus if all six fights are staged within the specified time frame -- resulted in a standard 12-round decision over an outclassed Robert Guerrero on May 4. Mayweather earned $32 million for that one, although few fireworks were set off. While many analysts applaud Mayweather’s technical artistry, especially his seemingly impenetrable defense, they also are honest in their assessment that he has never been considered a crowd-pleasing “action” fighter who engages in the sort of risk-taking that quickens the pulses of spectators.

So why is Mayweather, if he is indeed too good for his own good, as some have opined, such a box-office smash? Some say it is because of a carefully orchestrated attempt to market himself as a controversial lighting rod that everyone loves or hates, depending on their particular proclivities.

Not since Mike Tyson was offending polite society with his profligate spending and frequently outrageous behavior has any boxer been as much of a proponent of the “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” lifestyle as has Mayweather. In the most recent issue of ESPN The Magazine, he graces the cover and, in the story authored by Tim Keown, it is duly noted that on one shopping trip for even more bling-bling, Mayweather was adorned by $3 million in diamond-and-gold jewelry, including a $1.6 million necklace. He wears his boxer shorts and pricey sneakers just once before tossing them out, and his unwieldy entourage (more than 20 fulltime employees, including four husky bodyguards) are at his constant beck-and-call, even when he fights only once in a given year. And even though he shaves his head, among his team members is a personal barber.

Also reminiscent of Tyson, who owned a fleet of luxury cars despite the fact he ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in limousine rentals fees, is Mayweather’s fondness for high-end rides. He keeps identical sets of color-coded, ultra-expensive cars at his mansions in Las Vegas (they’re white) and Miami (black), as if to remind himself of where he is at any given moment.

If this is the way Mayweather chooses to roll simply because he can afford it and it suits him, that is one thing. It is quite another if it is the cultivation of an image he has crafted for the purpose of setting himself apart from other elite fighters, as if his abundance of ring skills didn’t already do that. In the spring of 2004, during a brief and ill-advised association with women’s hair-care products magnates Lewis Hendler and Neal Menaged, an attempt was made to make Mayweather more palatable to those Americans who found it difficult to relate to him.

“Our plan is not to tap into the thug image as a way to build Floyd up,” Hendler said prior to Mayweather’s bout with DeMarcus Corley. “We’d like to see him make the transition to mainstream, rather than to pin himself to a particular culture which is fairly limited in terms of marketing potential.”

That plan failed, or wasn’t allowed to succeed, depending upon your point of view. Mayweather quickly broke away from the hair-care guys, and prior to his 2005 fight with Arturo Gatti in Atlantic City, he said that “I am always the villain. That’s all right. I know how boxing works. You have to have a good guy and a bad guy. I don’t mind being the bad guy.”

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, seemingly seconded that notion in 2012 when he said, “Floyd is one of the most despised athletes in the world, but he’s also the most talented athlete in the world. What other athlete do you know who has dominated his sport for 16 years?”

Which raises a question. Is Mayweather – despite having zero endorsement deals – the highest-grossing athlete in the world (Forbes magazine had him No. 1 for 2012 with an income of $85 million, a figure he might reach or surpass this year) because of his anti-hero status, or despite it? And is his bleep-you public persona a put-on or for real? There is ample evidence to suggest that what you see, like courtroom appearances and visits to the hoosegow, is really what you get. Mayweather’s running afoul of the law includes the mandatory impulse-control counseling after he was convicted of misdemeanor battery after a confrontation with two women at a Las Vegas nightclub and, most notably, his serving of two months of a six-month sentence after pleading guilty to domestic violence against Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children, in 2011. Had it not been to a plea deal he accepted which resulted in the dropping of additional felony and misdemeanor charges, Mayweather conceivably could have been sent to prison for up to 34 years.

“He just continually gets himself into trouble and he is able to get himself out of it as well,” prosecutor Lisa Luzaich said of the legal trouble Mayweather was embroiled in as a result of the incident with Harris, who accused him of pulling her hair, punching her in the head and twisting her arm. “Essentially it is because he is who he is and is able to get away with everything.”

So here comes Alvarez, with his national-hero status in Mexico and matinee-idol good looks everywhere, an upset victory over the long-standing king of the mountain from becoming the dominant economic force in boxing. He is 23 with a career that comprises much more future than past, unlike Mayweather, who admits to looking no further ahead than the fulfillment of his current contract, and maybe one more bout beyond that if it means making it to the nice, round number of 50-0.

Good vs. evil, as well as young vs. old, are always bankable premises for selling big-time bouts and Mayweather-Alvarez fits comfortably within those parameters. But the paradigm shifts on fight night, when the paying customers expect to be as entertained by what transpires inside the ropes as they were by the compelling story lines going in.

There is the nagging belief in some quarters that the main undercard bout – in which WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) defends those titles against power-punching Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) of Argentina – could steal the show from the main-event guys. Garcia-Matthysse, because of the attacking styles of the fighters involved, almost assuredly will be exciting for however long it lasts, which might not be the case if Mayweather spends 12 more rounds as a pugilistic Bobby Fischer, grandmaster of chess, toying with a relative newcomer on the brightly lit stage trying to play checkers.

Somebody’s “oh” must go? Yeah, that is important when each participant has as much to win, or lose, as the other. An example of just such a matchup might be the Sept. 16, 1981, welterweight unification megafight between WBA champion Sugar Ray Leonard, then 25, and 22-year-old WBC ruler Thomas Hearns. Those future Hall of Famers were young, undefeated, charismatic and exciting, and Leonard’s thrilling, 14th-round stoppage of the Detroit “Hitman,” while trailing on the official scorecards, gave all that fans could have expected, and more. But while Leonard’s career got a boost from that signature victory, Hearns’ reputation was not necessarily damaged. He had established himself even more as someone the public wanted to see, as is always the case with fighters who unfailingly provide bang for the consumer’s buck.

Is Mayweather-Alvarez apt to be another Leonard-Hearns I, or is it going to be another Mayweather-De La Hoya, which did such booming business yet did not go into boxing annals among the most riveting bouts ever?

Also undetermined is the effect a Mayweather loss would have on both he and his sport. Is there an “out” clause on the part of Showtime/CBS if Mayweather is defeated and thus loses his shield of invincibility? And even if there isn’t such a clause, would he voluntarily choose to step aside if his record were to be defaced by an “L”? Hey, the ESPN the Mag story revealed that he has $123 million in his bank account, which should keep his small army of sycophants on the payroll for quite a while, should “Money” continue to live the ostentatious lifestyle of the rich and famous.

But Alvarez doesn’t need to emerge victorious to remain a viable force. Unless he is emphatically knocked out or embarrassed by Mayweather from the opening bell, he, like Hearns, can be counted on to remain among boxing’s must-see attractions. Defeat is not especially a hindrance to popularity, provided a fighter rates high on the thrill-a-meter. Hearns showed us that, as did the late Arturo Gatti.

Inquiring minds want to see how it all will turn out on Saturday night, when somebody’s “oh” has to go.

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

The O that will go will be Canelo. Unless, of course, if the Sin City cheats show up, it will still not go. These crooks will become blind ___ ___ scoring and call this whuppin' dat Money May put on Canelo a draw. Money May is going to cut Canelo up with incidental elbows, so the crooks that be may go to the scorecard. And call this thing a draw. Holla!

amayseng says:

incidental my *** haha

Radam G says:

Hehehehe! A-Seng, You are too cold. Can Money May get a break from you? Hahaha! Holla!

SouthPaul says:

I've lost interest, am distracted by the latest Zimmerman debacle . Vegas should put up a betting line on weather George kills himself, or his wife, or murder suicide or will he agains get some innocent person caught up in his passive aggressive madness?

brownsugar says:

Zimmerman's acting a serious fool....his true nature is spilling out in copious quantities all over Cyberspace....dude provokes an argument with his girl and her father. Then threatens them with a gun no one was aware he was holding...tooo much!!!

brownsugar says:

Oscar Vanishes to the rehab facility just before we get a chance to personally witness Canelo implement the blueprint that Del La Hoya surreptitiously prescribed to Canelo for the purpose of extracting his overdue revenge on the Bugatti driving Icon.
(with Canelo being the surrogate instrument of that revenge)

Wow... its all most enough to make me agree with the rest of theTSS. (That Floyd is going to humiliate Canelo.

One more day of work with 3 vacation days in a row.
And a Mayweather fight coming up.... its like prematurely going to HEAVEN!!!

Radam G says:

Big Money O is having a breakdown. After seeing Canelo in camp, he knows that "Mayweather has KNOCKED OUT Canelo Alvarez," will be the "Fightgame" scream of J-Lamp. And Showtime and GBP will not get the high ratings and PPV eyeballs watching that they desire. Their whole hyped-up promotion is on fire. Burn, babee, BURN! Ain't easy challenging HBO, The New World Order of Pugilism and Da Bobfather, they will learn.

Canelo will be jabbed and elbow stabbed, and like BMO, he'll need to be rehabbed. Hehehe! Holla!

The Shadow says:

Come on, RG! You know he already took the blueprint from The Vault -- along with The Mythical Jab ("It wasn't the night of The Jab!" And yes, I capitalize The Jab because its fictitious self has gained its own identity like the Easter Bunny) -- and handed it over to Canelo Alvarez. His fighter is gonna kick Floyd's a$$!

The saddest thing about Oscar not being present now is hearing him at the post-fight conference flip-flopping, flippin', floppin', flippin', doing a 180 - wait, 360, no, no wait - a full 720, explaining how he is FINALLY convinced that Mayweather is the greatest fighter of all time!

Isn't that the usual spiel we hear from Oscar after predicting his fighter would beat Mayweather?

This dude might as well call himself "Air Up There" the way he does 360s over and over. Oscar got that act down pat.

I hope he gets well soon, though.

brownsugar says:

Floyd's Alvarez look-alike is hilarious.
I wonder how much it cost Mayweather to hire a doppelganger ?

amayseng says:

DLH fought a pretty good fight against a prime floyd, dlh was on the decline and floyd was prime, jab or not i had floyd winning 7-5.

it is DLH's job to promote and hype the fight, floyd can feel pissy about dlh picking against him and being a bit disrespectful calling for the knockout, but its more money in the bank for floyd, you have got to expect it....

its part of the game...


Zimmerman is either a psycho or a complete moron.

innocent or guilty why isnt this guy laying low?

maybe the USA government has hired zimmerman to detract the attention of syria and the shitty economy from americans

who knows

The Shadow says:

Suge, them boys come for cheap! Haha

brownsugar says:

Apparently so....lol

brownsugar says:

Yep Amaseng......I've come to the conclusion Zimmerman is crazy and will end up like OJ.

amayseng says:

b-sug i am gonna go out and predict that zimmerman dies in a shootout with police

apparently he has already lost his head

brownsugar says:

On a lighter note I looks like Floyd gave away all of Ms Jacksons handbags to his new harem...no free publicity either...Floyd didn't mention her name one time. If Floyd doesn't like you he just cuts you off..
Well only a few days now.

brownsugar says:

b-sug i am gonna go out and predict that zimmerman dies in a shootout with police

apparently he has already lost his head


You might be right....or let Obama send him to Syria with a concealed M-16 in his pocket.

amayseng says:

You might be right....or let Obama send him to Syria with a concealed M-16 in his pocket.


ya really, i am sure he is willing

SouthPaul says:

Floyd's Alvarez look-alike is hilarious.
I wonder how much it cost Mayweather to hire a doppelganger ?



Unsure who he is but he walked around the la press conference getting all sorts of funny attention. Some people were absolutely convinced he was Canelo. I sat on the patio of ESPN zone giggling my *** off.

The Shadow says:

DLH fought a pretty good fight against a prime floyd, dlh was on the decline and floyd was prime, jab or not i had floyd winning 7-5.

it is DLH's job to promote and hype the fight, floyd can feel pissy about dlh picking against him and being a bit disrespectful calling for the knockout, but its more money in the bank for floyd, you have got to expect it....

its part of the game...


Zimmerman is either a psycho or a complete moron.

innocent or guilty why isnt this guy laying low?

maybe the USA government has hired zimmerman to detract the attention of syria and the shitty economy from americans

who knows


They're cool with each other. They laugh, hug and probably kiss all the way to the bank. It's a good storyline that never gets old.

Simply because they fought in the past and there are probably still people who bought that fight who want to see The Golden Boy's protege finally shut Floyd up.

They use this form of storytelling in pro wrestling, too. Iron Sheik beats Bob Backlund. People get pi*sed. Backlund can no longer compete. So he brings Hulk Hogan. The rest is history...

Classic story we've seen unfold over and over.

As for Z-Man, I think dude is both.

If you're coming to people's houses and have the audacity to smack up fathers-in-law, the story about being petrified of a tiny teenager armed with Skittles just doesn't hold water.

Did you hear the 9-1-1 call?

I'm surprised he's still alive, TBH.

The Shadow says:

Unsure who he is but he walked around the la press conference getting all sorts of funny attention. Some people were absolutely convinced he was Canelo. I sat on the patio of ESPN zone giggling my *** off.


There's a Pacquiao lookalike that comes around for big fights. This guy is a CARBON COPY.

I had just left the arena after the robbery vs. Bradley and I saw the guy by the MGM escalator coming out of the arena and EVERYBODY thought it was him even though Pacquiao had just left the ring only 15 minutes prior, tops.

Radam G says:

That guy that you are referring to is a born-in-Texas third cousin of mine, The Shadow. YUP! He looks like Da Manny, but speaks almost the exact Texan tone of Rev. (Big) George Foreman. He has everybody cracking up by imitating Da Manny and Da Big Rev. Holla!

louisvillelip2 says:

Like him or hate him, you gotta admit Floyd is good at what he does. And he is surrounded by a dysfunctional family that does look out for him, and they prepare him well. I find it ironic that Canelo is mentioned as being inexperienced after 42 fights. Floyd may eventually lose his "o", but it will be to a strong boxer who catches him when he's on the offensive. That does not describe Canelo, though he did put a beat down on Moseley. Pacquiao is past his prime, and lacks the drive he once had before his political career took priority in his life. Bradley won because Manny wasn't busy enough, and Floyd would pick Manny apart. Anyone who tries to hype a fight now between Money and Manny is delusional. Manny wouldn't last 6 rounds against Mayweather if they fought after Canelo is defeated. Manny can be outboxed, and who has ever outboxed Mayweather?

Radam G says:

Anybody's O may eventually go. And "Floyd" is very delusional and was thinking about fighting Da "Manny" NEVER! "Floyd" is so CLEVER. Holla!

The Shadow says:

That guy that you are referring to is a born-in-Texas third cousin of mine, The Shadow. YUP! He looks like Da Manny, but speaks almost the exact Texan tone of Rev. (Big) George Foreman. He has everybody cracking up by imitating Da Manny and Da Big Rev. Holla!


Get out of here! Are you serious?? Hahahaha that's hilarious!

Who do y'all have in the co-feature? Matthyse? Garcia? I have a hard time picking a winner.

brownbomber says:

Radam I hope all of your predictions are right!

amayseng says:

Radam I hope all of your predictions are right!


you must be throwing down some money..

go with floyd UD,

and matthysse by ko....


if im wrong dont be mad at me ha

Radam G says:

@The Shadow, holla at Official Site of Allan Rivera Manuel's -- Da Manny look-a-like. He will be at the beatdownfest of Canelo. If he sells me out, I will knock him out. Hehehe! No! JUST JIVIN!' Blood is thicker than seedy, shady-arse boxing. Holla!

Radam G says:

I'm only picking Money May to destroy Canelo. I'm betting heavily. And picking me to continue to hide in plain sight and laugh my @$$ off at all those who keep spotting me and hollering at me: "I bet that you are crazy-@$$ Radam G on "The Sweet Science site." Hahahaha!

Pretty Danny has a good chance of out boxing Matthysse, who will be over anxious for a kayo. This big fight is getting the best of Lucas are the grapevine words from my spies and dey [sic] snitches. I guess that is what happens when you spar with a mirage champion with big-arse feet -- size 13 -- on a 5-foot-4 body and a hat-size-'9 cranium. Hehehe! Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

DLH fought a pretty good fight against a prime floyd, dlh was on the decline and floyd was prime, jab or not i had floyd winning 7-5.

it is DLH's job to promote and hype the fight, floyd can feel pissy about dlh picking against him and being a bit disrespectful calling for the knockout, but its more money in the bank for floyd, you have got to expect it....

its part of the game...


Zimmerman is either a psycho or a complete moron.

innocent or guilty why isnt this guy laying low?

maybe the USA government has hired zimmerman to detract the attention of syria and the shitty economy from americans

who knows


Bingo! I think that's what it is too, Miley as well; licking hammers or w.e. in her new video. It's all a distraction for Umerica while our government starts a proxy war for corporate profit

amayseng says:

oh hell Radam, LM sparred with tim bradley? not good. totally different fighter than garcia...

the only thing is bradley has good quickness and is good at using his bicycle...

i think LM knows this is his shot, after all the years and robberies i dont see him losing...

i heard canelo is around 153-4 already this week.....if so you may haver your knockout..

he should have cut 7 lbs and rehydrated back up overnight....

Carmine Cas says:

Come on, RG! You know he already took the blueprint from The Vault -- along with The Mythical Jab ("It wasn't the night of The Jab!" And yes, I capitalize The Jab because its fictitious self has gained its own identity like the Easter Bunny) -- and handed it over to Canelo Alvarez. His fighter is gonna kick Floyd's a$$!

The saddest thing about Oscar not being present now is hearing him at the post-fight conference flip-flopping, flippin', floppin', flippin', doing a 180 - wait, 360, no, no wait - a full 720, explaining how he is FINALLY convinced that Mayweather is the greatest fighter of all time!

Isn't that the usual spiel we hear from Oscar after predicting his fighter would beat Mayweather?

This dude might as well call himself "Air Up There" the way he does 360s over and over. Oscar got that act down pat.

I hope he gets well soon, though.


The jab is alive and well, and it's hiding in the shadows waiting slip through Money's guard

Radam G says:

Next it will be the red-headed-hyped-up like Strawberry Hill Canelo going rehab gettin' from fudged up after throwing a jab. His arse Money will shoulder roll, and incidental elbow stab. And go upside dat red head with a check hook and crack right. OMFL! And put dat muthajive suckas lights. It is going to be one bad sight. And Canelo worst night.

Canelo's chance are zero and none. And in the betting line, they just kicked da holy hebejeebeez outta slim and "the theatre of the unexpected." Holla!

The Shadow says:

Hasaan, I actually think boxing Bradley is good preparation for for Garcia. Because Garcia's game plan is to use angles, box and move and pick his spots to drop bombs.

Bradley bambis well. So Matthyse is well prepared for whatever movement Danny G brings to the table.

The Shadow says:

Have Evan Fields and GOAT been spotted in Sin City yet?

Radam G says:

No! HIGH NOON tomorrow the eagle drops. Guns will be blazing, and I will be looking amazing. Eyes will be everywhere. But in plain sight, blind they will be to Radam G. Because I will be me. Hehehe! Holla!

The Shadow says:

The Shadow will find you! Just gotta look for Allan! Hehe

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