The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 25, 2013

Mayweather, Alvarez kick off 11-city tour

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

The bout, expected to be a monstrous draw on pay-per-view for Showtime, also just might satisfy many fans who had been wishing during the last several years for Mayweather to take on Manny Pacquiao.

“In every sport, there are certain rare occasions when you have the best fighting the best,” said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. “The Super Bowl, Final Four, the college football national championship. Sept. 14 will be one of those occasions — the two biggest stars in the sport, the two biggest fan bases.

“We have America’s No. 1 fighter versus Mexico’s No. 1 fighter. We have the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport versus the No. 1 new star in the sport.”

There remains some dispute over who set the 152-pound catch weight, with Mayweather’s camp saying Alvarez’s people brought it up first. Alvarez, however, insisted it was Mayweather who decided on having both fight at 152 pounds instead of 154.

“It wasn’t me,” Alvarez told reporters before the news conference. “I don’t want to fight 2 pounds below my weight class.”

There was also some contention between the two because Alvarez chose to headline his own fight card against Trout rather than be included on the undercard of Mayweather-Guerrero card. But both fighters agreed that this is a matchup that needed to happen.

“I’ve visualized this fight for years,” Alvarez said, “and I feel I’m going to win.”

The fighters each announced on Twitter last month that they would face each other, exciting boxing fans around the world. Monday’s event marked perhaps the sport’s most ambitious promotional tour since Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya also stopped in 11 cities before their 2007 bout — won by Mayweather. Alvarez has been picking De La Hoya’s brain about fighting Mayweather, and the former champion believes the young star has a few advantages — including youth — he didn’t have.

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