By Frank Warren
HOW many boxers could concentrate on the biggest fight of their lives knowing that they will be banged up for three months afterwards?
Win, lose or draw against Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand tonight, on June 1 the world’s number one fighter Floyd Mayweather goes to Clark County Detention Center in Nevada to do time for domestic violence.
Tonight’s fight is the biggest of the year so far and is live on BoxNation in the UK and HBO PPV in the States.
Richard Schaeffer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, is confident that it will generate at least the second-highest ever pay-per-view buys behind Mayweather’s blockbuster with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Pretty Boy’s last three bouts have totalled 3.65million pay-per-view buys and £127m in PPV revenue in the US.
This time it’s $69.95 (£43) a pop rather than $50, but that’s unlikely to hurt sales for a fight this size.
In January, Mayweather’s lawyers successfully argued to a judge that cancelling the fight against Cotto would cost the Las Vegas economy a desperately-needed 100m dollars (£62m), so punishment was delayed and he got a licence to fight on the big Mexican Cinco de Mayo celebration weekend.
Mayweather has been very respectful towards Cotto in the build-up without the usual trash-talking and taunting of opponents outside the ring.
He said: “Miguel is a true warrior, a tough champion, and to go down in the Hall of Fame as one of the best, you have to face real champions.”
Puerto Rican Cotto says that Mayweather has been a gentleman, adding: “You get paid to fight in the ring, not outside the ring.”
Mayweather’s speed and accurate counter-punching will be pitted against Cotto’s relentless body-punching and all-out attacking style — an intriguing fight.
Cotto, who holds the WBA Super World Light-Middleweight crown, came back from his 2009 final-round stoppage against Manny Pacquiao with three impressive KOs over Yuri Foreman, Ricardo Mayorga and his only other conqueror, Antonio Margarito.
Mayweather has won eight world titles in five weight classes and is stepping up to lightmiddleweight for the second time since beating De La Hoya.
Although Mayweather will spend only 90 days inside — he could get out in 60 days for good behaviour — at 35 he admits that he’s coming to the end of his career.
So it’s a large chunk of valuable time to lose if he is going to fight again.
Cotto is the bigger man, but I see a tough fight with Mayweather winning on points.
Then, for the boxer known as ‘Money’, there will be drastic changes from his current extravagant lifestyle at his ‘Big Boy’ mansion.
The super-fight will be live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546). To subscribe, visit www.boxnation.com
All the age
THIRTY seems to be the new 20 in light of some great results recently.
Last week, 31-year-old Paul Malignaggi pulled off a massive shock, beating Vyacheslav Senchenko to win the WBA welterweight title.
Johnny Gonzales, 30, defended his WBC title against Elio Rojas and WBO middleweight Dimitry Pirog, 31, beat Nobuhiro Ishida.
Saul on fire
MEXICAN hotshot Saul Alvarez could break through as a real star if he beats Shane Mosley tonight in Las Vegas.
Flame-haired Alvarez, still only 21, defends his WBC light-middleweight title against Mosley, a pound-for-pound king in the 90s. Victory would put the youngster among the best.