Floyd Mayweather made an unexpected decision to fight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in his next fight on September 14 at the MGM Grand, if only because it's the fight everyone wants to see. That hasn't happened in boxing since Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, after missing out on Mayweather fighting Manny Pacquiao.
This is such a rarity in boxing for two reasons. The first is that the big-money contenders with undefeated records don't usually fight the best youngster on the rise. There's a lot of financial value to that "0" Mayweather cherishes so much.
And that's the second reason. Alvarez, another undefeated fighter, risks losing out fans who dismiss him as yet another Mayweather victim.
Canelo is fortunate because he already has a large legion of fans in Mexico and he had headlined several cards already. Still, this will be his introduction to American pop culture and there is only one shot at a first impression. Has anyone heard from Robert or Ruben Guerrero recently?
Many in the boxing world thought Floyd would let the fight cook a little longer, allowing Canelo to grow his fan base even further to maximize pay-per-view revenue. It's possible that Floyd and his team are thinking that this could be a two or three fight series because Golden Boy has limited options around the welterweight division.
Whatever the motivation, boxing fans will get the fight they want to see. The two bring a familiar clash of styles. While Mayweather has returned to his defensive style, making Guerrero look foolish back in May, Canelo is a young, strong, aggressive fighter who will come forward and keep coming until he can't any longer.
But it's hard to see Floyd losing. Though Canelo has a lot of power, he hasn't looked great against boxers with good movement, and he'll have to find Floyd to catch him with his power.
If he can't, the biggest fight in boxing may turn out just like the last biggest fight in boxing: a dull affair that ends with Mayweather keeping the belts.