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Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez agree to Sept. 14 bout

May 29, 2013|By Lance Pugmire
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, not pictured, have agreed to a fight on Sept. 14 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, not pictured,… (Al Bello / Getty Images )

Unbeatens Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez agreed Tuesday to fight each other Sept. 14 in a pay-per-view bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“He’s a very good fighter with great speed and strategy, but I believe I can get my hands on him,” Alvarez told The Times in a telephone interview from his promoter Golden Boy Promotions’ office in Los Angeles.

The fight will be for Alvarez’s World Boxing Council super-welterweight belt, at a catch-weight of 152 pounds, officials said.

Mayweather Jr. announced the bout on his Twitter account.

The 22-year-old Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 knockouts) drew nearly 40,000 to the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in April, defeating previously unbeaten Austin Trout by unanimous decision, and Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) earned a guaranteed $32 million in his unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero earlier this month.  

Mayweather Jr. advisor Leonard Ellerbe and Alvarez promoter Richard Schaefer both assessed the bout as “the biggest in boxing.”

Alvarez, who’ll turn 23 in July, said he had goosebumps when agreeing to the deal Tuesday. He said he agreed to “everything!” at the session, declining to specify terms.

“They were very difficult negotiations,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “This is a big fight. The most important thing is we got the deal done.

“Now, I’ve just got to work hard in the gym because I know I’ll win this fight.”

Mayweather Jr., 36, hasn’t fought with such a brief layoff since 2001. He emerged mostly unmarked with the exception of a swollen finger in beating Guerrero.

“What Floyd made perfectly clear was that he wanted to fight this kid,” Ellerbe said. “He wants to fight the biggest and best fights possible. This is no surprise. He’s been doing this whole career, from the time he was 23 and fighting Diego Corrales. It hasn’t changed.”

Asked if the experience advantage was the major motivator in agreeing to the bout -- Mayweather Jr. also declined to discuss terms -- Ellerbe said, “We don’t make fights thinking we’re not going to win. He’s the best. Some naysayers didn’t believe that he’d fight this guy so soon, but he’s been proving people wrong his entire career.”

The bout will be televised by Showtime pay-per-view, the second bout in Mayweather’s 30-month deal with the network. Mayweather was recently ranked as the highest-earning pro athlete in U.S. sports.  

“He’s transcended the sport and changed the way boxing has become a business,” Ellerbe said. “He’s the face of the sport and continues to elevate the sport with this fight.”

Alvarez said he was mildly surprised Mayweather Jr. agreed to the bout. Alvarez said he resumed training in Mexico one week after beating Trout and will return to training in Santa Monica two months before the bout.

Mayweather’s father and trainer, Floyd Sr., told reporters last month he’d advise his son to take the Alvarez bout now before the powerful puncher becomes more skilled.

“It’s a flattering comment, but I am ready now,” Alvarez said.

“This is the biggest fight you can make, the fight everyone was hoping for,” Schaefer said. “These guys delivered it.”

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