By Robert Morales
We could be one step away from a big pay-per-view showdown between junior middleweight champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. The two fighters are slated to return on the same date, May 4th, but in separate fights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather's return on the MGM card has been confirmed, likely against frontrunner Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, and the details of Canelo's return are still being worked out.
This is where it gets interesting. It would not be the first time two stars like Mayweather and Alvarez fought different opponents on the same card. If they win their upcoming fights, there is a strong chance they could face each other on September 14th - Mexican Independence Day Weekend.
With a bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao now in the trash can after Pacquiao was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last month, a Mayweather-Alvarez bout would definitely be the next best thing.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes Canelo and works with Mayweather, discussed whether the fight could break records the way everyone figured Mayweather-Pacquiao would have had it not gone up in smoke.
"I think that potential fight between Mayweather and Alvarez is getting bigger with each passing month or each passing fight," Schaefer said. "I do think if that fight eventually does happen, that it can definitely be a record-breaker. I sort of look what we have done with Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, where we are holding the all-time record of pay-per-view buys, a little over 2.5 million (for Mayweather's split-decision win over De La Hoya in 2007).
"Do I think that Floyd Mayweather is substantially bigger today than when he fought Oscar De La Hoya? Absolutely. Do I think that `Canelo' is yet as big as Oscar? No, I don't think so, but I think he's getting there. ... Do I think this could be a record-breaker?
For now, it's all conjecture. But we would love to see Mayweather-Alvarez. The feeling here is it would definitely do at least 2 million pay-per-view buys.
Of course, Guerrero could beat Mayweather and ruin the whole thing. Alvarez could lose his next fight, too. Stuff happens. Just ask Pacquiao.
Robert Morales covers boxing for the LA Daily News and BoxingScene.com.