Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez stared each other down for nearly a minute in New York on Monday. The cheers from the fans packed into Times Square grew louder by the second. This is the matchup they have been waiting for: four titles, two undefeated favourites and a fight billed as "The One." The boxers began an 11-city tour to officially announce and promote their title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 14.
The tour includes stops in cities such as Washington, Chicago, Miami and Mexico City, and is jumpstarting the hype ahead of one of the most anticipated bouts in recent memory.
Mayweather, 36, is unbeaten in 44 fights. In his most recent bout, in May, he beat Robert Guerrero on points to retain his welterweight title. Alvarez, a 22-year-old from Mexico, is 42-0-1 and unified the light-middleweight titles in April with a unanimous victory over Austin Trout.
There remains some dispute over who set the 152 catch-weight. Mayweather's camp say Alvarez's people brought it up first. Alvarez, however, insisted it was Mayweather who decided on 152 instead of 154-pounds.
"It wasn't me," Alvarez told reporters. "I don't want to fight 2 pounds below my weight. I've visualised this fight for years, and I feel I'm going to win. I want to go down in history as the guy who beat the guy people considered the best."
"I'm younger and bigger, which are very important keys, but you must remember that Floyd is a very intelligent fighter, but I'm going to have the right game plan. Obviously, this is my biggest fight, but I've visualized it and I've prepared my mind for it for a while. I appreciate all the fans for all of their incredible support. I always have. I'm very gratified to be here today, to see this turnout and to have so many fans supporting for me. I'll be ready on September 14 and give them all what they want to see.''