(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) The ambitious Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 kO’s) says he wants to take away Floyd Mayweather Jr’s fight dates in May and September, as he sees them as his “Mexican dates,” given that they both are on Mexican National holidays. But for Canelo to be able to have any kind of luck of kicking Mayweather off of his established dates of May and September of every year, Canelo, 23, is going to need to first beat Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KOs) this Saturday night in their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And he’s going to need to be able to beat him in an impressive manner that doesn’t see the highly popular Canelo being given a gift decision based on his popularity rather than his talent.
“I want to retake those dates and bring them back,” Alvarez said via ESPN. “Those dates are Mexican dates. They’re Mexican independence dates, and yes, for next year I will be fighting, I want to be fighting on those dates.”
Canelo doesn’t plan on challenging Mayweather for his September date this year, as he’s not expected to return to the ring until November or December after his fight against Lara this Saturday night. But starting in 2015, Canelo plans on being scheduled on the Mexican holidays in May and September whether Mayweather is on those dates or not.
Again, this works if Canelo beats Lara soundly on Saturday night, because a win over him will increase Canelo’s popularity among the boxing public in the United States, and it also will help make a fight between him and WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto a much bigger, and more important fight. That’s the opponent that Canelo wants to fight next May.
If Canelo beats Lara, he’s going to be in a position of power to command the bigger pay-per-view buys next May for the Cotto fight. If Mayweather wants to risk fate, he’ll stay on the May 2nd date, which is on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. But Mayweather will likely do the smart thing by ceding the date to Canelo byn virtue of him having the bigger fight.
The only way that Mayweather can compete with Canelo for the May date is if he fights someone like Manny Pacquiao or Gennady Golovin, neither of which we’ll likely be seeing Mayweather ever fighting during what’s left of his career. Bob Arum of Top Rank, the promoter for Pacquiao, said that no one from Mayweather’s management team has contracted him about a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. As such, you can probably scratch Pacquiao’s name off the list of potential opponents for Mayweather in May.
If Mayweather doesn’t fight Pacquiao or Golovkin, then he’s not going to do well fighting Amir Khan or one of the top welterweight contenders like Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman. None of the have a big enough fan base to bring Mayweather the type of PPV buys he’s going to need to push Canelo off of the March and September fight dates in 2015.