By Jake Donovan
Aside from winning the fights, you can always count on two things whenever Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring: he will always have the full backing of Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, while Oscar de la Hoya will always pick him to lose, no matter the opponent.
Such has been the case for every one of Mayweather’s fights dating back to when Golden Boy became the lead promoter for his events, dating back to his explosive 10th round knockout win over Ricky Hatton in Dec. ’07. Since then, de la Hoya has been publicly let down by the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto and most recently Robert Guerrero.
This time around, however, de la Hoya swears he’s backing the right horse. The former six-division titlist, now a full time promoter, not only insists that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will be the one to come aces on ‘The One’ when he faces Mayweather on September 14 in Las Vegas, but knows why this is the case rather than just throwing up hollow predicitions.
“He hasn’t even (yet) shown his full potential,” de la Hoya insists of his 23-year old prodigy, who faces Mayweather at a catchweight of 152 lb in their super welterweight championship. “We will see the very best of Canelo Alvarez on September 14.”
The Showtime pay-per-view event is regarded as the biggest possible fight that boxing can realistically offer today. Such energy has already translated into the largest live gate in boxing history, selling more than $19 million worth of tickets at the long-ago sold-out MGM Grand.
All eyes are now on whether or not the show can break the all-time pay-per-view record, set in May ’07 when Mayweather outpointed de la Hoya in a fight that drew more than 2.4 million buys.
While de la Hoya is on board with those who believe this will be the all-time best seller, he’s more convinced that his fighter will win and by knockout to boot.
Mayweather is unbeaten through 17 years as a professional, and with only one official knockdown in his career. That moment came only to steady himself after he himself threw a punch but hurt his hand in his May ’01 fight with Carlos ‘Famoso’ Hernandez. The closest he’s since come to being dropped was a blown call in his April ’06 win over Zab Judah and being rocked in the early rounds of an otherwise landslide win over Mosley in May ’10.
Still, de la Hoya believes Alvarez – who is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Austin Trout this past April – will win by knockout in a fight where Mayweather won’t see round nine.
“It’s my personal feeling how the fight will pan out,” de la Hoya says of his bold knockout prediction. “In boxing, anything can happen. Any punch can land and knock you out. My personal take is that Canelo has the strength and the talent to land that perfect punch.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.