By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and Showtime - are finalizing the details of the massive press tour to promote the fall junior middleweight mega-match between pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26KOs) and WBC/WBA champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-0-1, 30KOs). Both Golden Boy and Showtime confirm that Mayweather-Canelo will have the biggest pre-fight promotion in the history of either company.
"It's the biggest fight for any network since De La Hoya-Mayweather," said Stephen Espinoza, Vice President of Showtime Sports, to BoxingScene.com. "Unquestionably its the biggest fight that can be made. The two most popular fighters, as far as being at the top of the sport. People are obviously very excited."
The press tour is going to begin on June 24th in New York City, and eleven to twelve cities will be involved. Some of tour stops being discussed include Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Mexico City, Chicago, Miami, Texas, and several others.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer tells BoxingScene.com that his company is planning a pre-fight promotional strategy that will blow away everything they did in 2007 for Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya, which holds the pay-per-view record with nearly 2.5 million buys.
"We are going to be starting it on Monday, the 24th of June, in New York. It's going to be the biggest press tour that we ever had...probably going to be eleven or twelve cities. It's going to be exciting because its just not going to be the cities, but also the places and how we are going to do it for the public to embrace this fight. This is really a fight that fight fans wanted and both fighters are doing it for the fans, and during this tour the fighters are going to be close to the fight fans - where fight fans can meet them, get autographs...its really going to be a press tour for the fans," Schaefer said to BoxingScene.com.
"Everything that we've done for Mayweather and De La Hoya, which was the record-breaker - it's going to be bigger than that, including the press tour."
The pay-per-view record for De La Hoya-Mayweather is something that may never be broken - even by Mayweather-Canelo, admits Espinoza.
With today's technology, internet piracy and illegal streams are widespread - a situation that wasn't that big of a factor in 2007. And, viewers are getting their viewing fix in many different ways - by watching programs and events on their phones, tablets, computers and laptops.
"De La Hoya-Mayweather was the perfect storm. Oscar was still at his peak. You had the creation of a brand new show to promote, 24/7. You had Floyd really beginning to hit his peak. There are a lot of factors combined that made that such a huge event. You never know if that can be replicated. It would be really tough to replicate that. Floyd is obviously bigger than he was at that point, no question there. But Canelo is not near Oscar's popularity and visibility that he had back there for that fight," Espinoza said.
"Technology plays a but part in it, obviously with piracy and more so the way people consume television. And its one of the things that we as television reps take into account. It was a simpler technological universe back at that point. Back then, there was really only one way to watch television and now there is a much more divided attention span out there in terms of the audience."