Photo: Mayweather v Alvarez
Mexico is getting ready to share one of its beloved sports figures with the world tonight when Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fights Floyd Mayweather, Jr for the junior middleweight championship.
While Mayweather, 36, maybe the more well known of the two fighters and the odds on favorite to win, in Mexico and for Latino’s ‘El Canelo’ is a god.
The 23-year-old boxer was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, the youngest of eight. The family, which includes 7 boys and 1 girl, counts four boxing champions amongst them.
After El Tri, which is not doing so well, Canelo (“Cinnamon”) is Mexico’s next favorite sports brand. His television draw for his boxing events almost mirror those of Mexico’s national soccer team. Turning pro at the age of 15 he became a teenage heart throb with interest in his career sky-rocketing soon after. At just 20 Canelo became the youngest 154-pound World Champion.
Alvarez is under contract with Golden Boy Promotions owned by Oscar de la Hoya. He holds a 42-0-1 record with another decade of fights ahead many say. What many don’t know is if he is ready for such a high-profile fight. Mexico says yes.
Alvarez is also good for business, a minority audience is expected to be the majority of pay-per-viewers paying between $65-75 to watch tonight. And of those watching many will be Mexican and Mexican-Americans cheering on their hero.
$20.03 million in MGM Grand Arena tickets were sold in one hour, which is a U.S. boxing record. The take from the pay-per-view audience is also expected to set records, expected to surpass the $137 million made with the Mayweather v Oscar de la Hoya 2007 bout. Yesterday’s weigh-in at the MGM Grand Arena even set a record number with 12,200 in attendance and many others being turned away.
Tonight’s fight will not only crown a champion but will take Canelo out of Mexico’s orb into super-stardom especially if he is victorious.