Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr (left) and rival Saul Alvarez face off during the official weigh-in for their bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fighters will meet in a WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at the same venue.
LOS ANGELES: Floyd Mayweather, who is fighting twice in the same calendar year for the first time since 2007, weighed in at 1.5 pounds lighter than Mexican star Saul Alvarez on Friday.
The boisterous crowd of about 12,000 that squeezed into the MGM arena cheered loudly when Alvarez tipped the scales right on the catch weight of 152 pounds (68.9 kilograms) one day ahead of their 12-round world championship bout for the 154-pound title held by the Mexican boxer.
The world’s highest paid athlete Mayweather will put his perfect record on the line when he squares off against Alvarez in a showdown between the two undefeated boxers.
“My job is to go out there and keep my composure and be the same Floyd Mayweather,” he said at the weigh in. “I can’t wait to get out there and go to work.”
The 36-year-old Mayweather weighed in at 150.5 pounds -- just under the mutually decided catch weight of 152 pounds.
Alvarez (42-0-1) hasn’t weighed 152 or less for a fight since 2011, while Mayweather has fought above 147 just twice -- for the Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto wins.
Alvarez said on Wednesday he was sparring at 155 pounds but feels comfortable moving down in weight to fight Mayweather.
Saturday night’s fight has generated huge interest, especially in Mexico where the 23-year-old Alvarez is considered one of their biggest sporting heroes.
The fight with Alvarez is the second in Mayweather’s six-bout, 30-month contract with American cable network Showtime that could pay him more than $200m.
After Mayweather beat Robert Guerrero in May, he said he wanted to fight again in September.
Mayweather’s guaranteed purse for the Alvarez fight is reported to be a record $41m, which would surpass the previous record of $32m he received for fighting Guerrero.
Organisers are also hoping that this fight will eclipse two million pay-per-view sales. Mayweather will also get a cut of the pay-per-view money on top of his purse.
The last time Mayweather stopped an opponent inside the distance was two years ago, when Victor Ortiz lowered both his hands and was looking at the referee. Mayweather seized the moment and hit Ortiz with a combination of fight-ending punches.
Also on Friday, Mayweather said his undefeated record has been partly built on the backs of handpicked opponents who didn’t always provide the toughest fights but did help him become the world’s best paid athlete.
“Sometimes they say, ‘Well, Floyd Mayweather’s opponents was handpicked.’ That’s a good thing,” Mayweather said
“I commend my team ... when I sit back and I think about my career, I say ‘you know what? I had a cool career. I didn’t take any punishment’.
“If they say these guys were handpicked, they was handpicked to make $40 and $50 and $60 million, then you know what? Keep handpicking them. If they’re going to keep paying, keep handpicking them.”
Mayweather, who Forbes magazine lists as the world’s highest paid athlete, has been criticised for dodging a potential mega fight with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.
The two have tried several times over the past few years to get the deal done for what would likely be the most lucrative fight in boxing history. But each time negotiations broke down when they couldn’t come to terms on a variety of issues, including drug testing and share of the revenue and purses.
Pacquiao’s camp blames Mayweather for the holdup, saying even when they agreed to all his demands -- including drug testing -- the American would come up with new increased demands to scuttle the blockbuster fight.
“Floyd’s statement speaks for itself. Now we know why he won’t give the fans the fight they want most,” Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said on Tuesday.