Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Mayweather's Easy Win Makes Showtime’s Job Tougher

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

When are 2 million pay-per-view buys and the largest-grossing fight in history a bad thing?

Well, OK, they’re never a bad thing.

But just because Showtime’s hottest boxing property took another step on Sept. 14 toward the ladder rungs occupied by names like Hagler, Hearns, Leonard and Duran, doesn’t mean it’s a similarly slam-dunk windfall every time he appears from this day forward.

True, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is just two fights into the deal that’s in no small way responsible for a perception switch that’s moved the perpetual little brother to the head of the premium cable table more often occupied by its “Network of Champions” nemesis.

Nonetheless, the ease with which a 36-year-old “Money” dispatched Mexican heartthrob Saul “Canelo” Alvarez – who entered the ring 13 years younger, and 15 pounds heavier – may have done far more harm than good when it comes to marketing the Mayweather product.

If nothing else, the decisive win made the final four fights more of a task to sell to a progressively more jaded customer base – which necessitates the folks in the executive wing getting a little creative.

Whether the match with Mayweather came too soon on Alvarez’s career arc – or whether it would have mattered a year later – is up for debate. But what’s not in dispute is that the redhead was far and away the most lucrative of the practically possible opponents.

The kid drew headline attention when fighting on the champ’s undercard as a teenager and proved his crowd-appeal chops by drawing nearly 40,000 to San Antonio’s Alamodome for a nice attraction – but hardly a transcendent matchup – against Austin Trout.

The enthusiasm shown to him by fans on the summertime press tour – dubbed “Canelo Mania” by Richard Schaefer – went a long way toward boosting PPV hits past the 2 million mark. And it’s hardly a secret that promotional and TV execs were pulling for a compelling, competitive contest that would warrant a rematch – and possibly even better numbers – in six months’ time.

In the aftermath, no one outside of CJ Ross can make a case for wanting to see the same thing again in the spring, which takes away the most-desired option for contract fight No. 3.

Though Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza rattled off several names when asked about future foes in the summer, none of the fighters he suggested has the gravitas Canelo possessed.

Nor would any necessitate a similar 10-city hyperbole tour under any circumstance.

Argentine Lucas Matthysse was Espinoza’s first choice for the next fight with an eye on the “Can anyone stop Lucas Matthysse?” angle, but his surprise loss to Danny Garcia removed all intrigue from what could have been an intriguing bull vs. matador confrontation.

Countryman Marcos Maidana is a popular TV product, but only his blindest-faith supporters could concoct a scenario in which he’d give Mayweather anything beyond mild annoyance.

Elsewhere, former 147-pound champ Victor Ortiz turned heads in a Money shot two years ago, but a broken-jaw loss and 15 months on the shelf have reduced him from headliner to “whatever happened to.” If he were to return and defeat Alvarez himself, the perception could change. But until then, the folks clamoring for a repeat of the cheek-kiss/cold-cock sequence are more likely few and far between.

Still, beyond the Matthysse, Maidana, Ortiz ilk lie some intriguing possibilities, given the right tweaks.

Garcia earned a spot in the pecking order with the handling of Matthysse, though his positives would be best accentuated closer to the East Coast, where Garcia is more of a known product.

It’s easy to envision the youngster’s Philly connections helping sell a date at Madison Square Garden or Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, or perhaps even Citizens Bank Park in his own backyard.

While it wouldn’t make the fight more competitive, a backyard locale could add juice to the run-up and maximize the endless blowhard potential of Garcia’s talkative father and trainer, Angel.

A similar road trip could make a match with former 140-pound king Amir Khan worthwhile, too, especially in Wembley Stadium or another venue in the gifted but flawed Englishman’s backyard.

Beyond fellow welters or rising lighter men, the most interesting quarry for Mayweather lies another division past Alvarez.

WBC middleweight champ Sergio Martinez was the last of the names suggested by Espinoza – he dismissed Gennady Golovkin and Andre Ward as too big – and the former 154-pound titleholder has expressed past interest in a Mayweather match, perhaps even at a midpoint catchweight.

Sergio’s promoter, Lou DiBella, was in Vegas for the Alvarez match, but he refused comment when asked after the fight if he’d had any discussions regarding Martinez and Mayweather.

Meanwhile, any mention of foes for Mayweather in the last several years has included a passing mention of a certain multi-division champion from the Philippines.

Conflicts between Mayweather and ex-ally Bob Arum have been a sticking point, and Pacquiao’s KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez removed a great deal of the relevance the bout might have had years earlier.

Those issues will keep the fight on “could have been” lists for foreseeable days, though perception since Marquez indicates Pacquiao may be more amenable to purse splits and drug tests initially labeled deal-breakers.

Should Manny return impressively against Brandon Rios, drums will start beating again.

And, given latent interest that still exists, don’t be surprised if the suits do ultimately find a way to get it signed before the rivals get their matching plaques in Canastota.

It says here they will, sometime between here and 49-0.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

SATURDAY
WBC light heavyweight title – Montreal, Canada
Adonis Stevenson (champion) vs. Tavoris Cloud (No. 9 contender) 
Stevenson (21-1, 18 KO): First title defense; Eleven straight wins by KO/TKO (46 total rounds)
Cloud (24-1, 19 KO): Seventh title fight (5-1); Held IBF title (2009-13, four defenses)
Fitzbitz says: “Neither are finished products by any stretch, but Cloud has struggled more on top level and seemed to regress in loss to Hopkins. Score one for momentum.” Stevenson in 9

Last week's picks: 0-0
2013 picks record: 53-31 (63.1 percent)
Overall picks record: 516-183 (73.8 percent)

NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full- fledged title-holder -- no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA "world championships" are only included if no "super champion" exists in the weight class.

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by hitking on 09-25-2013

[QUOTE=twosweethooks;13781923]Does NASA have a problem hahahahh IT don't take that LONG to answer with just a NAME ! your answer defines YOU where are yall at ?[/QUOTE] Some of us aren't able to live in mommy's basement in our Wapakman…

Comment by twosweethooks on 09-25-2013

Yall have a great day, got to go, :D:D

Comment by twosweethooks on 09-25-2013

NO , wrong mang, I am not afraid to point out the PRIMA DONNA for who he is. He has conned and robbed the Public by not facing threats over the past 10 years but has wormed his way thru…

Comment by KeepItObjective on 09-25-2013

lmaoo... y'all need to calm down

Comment by Fetta on 09-25-2013

[QUOTE=twosweethooks;13781923]Does NASA have a problem hahahahh IT don't take that LONG to answer with just a NAME ! your answer defines YOU where are yall at ?[/QUOTE] Your hate is on another level. Go get a massage or something man.…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (129)
Top Headlines Bellew: McGegor Just Wants UFC Shares, Mayweather Drills Him Video: Thomas Dulorme on Sparring Mayweather, Joining TMT McGregor: If Mayweather Runs, I Have Other Boxing Targets! Denis Lebedev-Murat Gassiev: Pre-Fight Report Card Video: Ellerbe Talks McGregor, Mayweather, Pedraza-Davis, More Abraham Lopez Decisions Sergio Lopez at LA Fight Club Jose Ramirez Stops Issouf Kinda in Six Rounds Dana White Baffled By McGregor's Move: He's Under Contract To Me Ashley Theophane Bounces Back, Decisions Yakubu Amidu Lebedev's Manager Explains Why NO WBA Title Shot For Gassiev Tevin Farmer Dominates Dardan Zenunaj in Showcase Conor McGregor on Malignaggi: Who The F*** is That Guy? Wilder Cleared To Train; Says He'll Fight "In February Or March" Ceferino Rodriguez Beats Mousaoui For EBU Belt, Malignaggi Next? Commey: I Clearly Won, Look at How Banged Up Shafikov Is! HBO, Showtime To Televise Shows Simultaneously on January 28 Tevin Farmer Thrilled With Getting Fourth Fight In 2016 Marquez: Andre Ward Adjusted, Fought Well - Kovalev Also Faded Joseph Adorno Pumped After Signing Deal With Top Rank Photos: Jorge Paez, Johnny Navarrete Ready For Los Mochis Scrap Photos: Mario Barrios Putting in Work For Ring Return Charles Conwell, 2016 United States Olympian, Turns Pro Roach: Gassiev is Dangerous Early - We'll Take Him Deep, Stop Him David Rodriguez Autobiography Generating Positive Press Deontay Wilder: Joshua vs. Molina Winner Will Eventually See Me Denis Shafikov Edges Richard Commey In Title Eliminator Tevin Farmer: I Can Compete With Anyone at 130, Beat Them Too Amanda Serrano-Yazmin Rivas Top SHO Extreme Bill on Jan. 14 Oscar De La Hoya: Canelo Alvarez "Will Beat Conor McGregor's Ass" Photos: Saunders, With Tyson Fury By His Side, Ready For Akavov Photos: Denis Lebedev, Murat Gassiev Ready For Moscow War Allen: Luis Ortiz is an Old Man, I'm Smack Him Bang on The Chin Francisco Vargas vs. Miguel Berchelt Set For January 28, HBO Photos: Kubrat Pulev, Samuel Peter Ready For Battle Jose Ramirez: It's Time To Show I'm A Next-Level Type of Fighter Team Joe Smith: Many Doors Open With Win Over Bernard Hopkins BBBofC Hopes For Nick Blackwell Talks Second Day Weights: Farmer 137.7, Zenunaj 137.4 Jessie Vargas Tabs Danny Garcia To Beat Keith Thurman Jackson: If Kovalev Is In Better Shape, He'll KO Ward In Rematch
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement