Top Rank chief – and bitter rival to both Golden Boy Promotions and Floyd Mayweather – Bob Arum once spoke about the need to let fights “marinate.” The theory is that you don’t want to pit two good fighters against each other before the economy is ready for it, wasting a potential classic on a few diehards watching ShoBox: The Next Generation.
That is essentially what’s going on between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Rumors that Canelo might be Mayweather’s next opponent for his fight on September 14th began before Mayweather dismantled Robert Guerrero; when Canelo told Mayweather he would only fight on his undercard if he would guarantee they would meet in their next fight. Mayweather balked, not wanting to kill his upcoming fight, which was already struggling (by Money May’s standards, anyway) to drum up interest since Guerrero was virtually unknown to the public. It'’s also the fight that the boxing world wants, as it’s the best possible matchup.
But any thought of the two meeting in September is wishful thinking.
Dan Rafael’s reporting for ESPN.com has some believing otherwise. Really, it’s more a case of a beat writer doing his job and Richard Schaefer speaking in generalities.
“I am working on the fight,” Schaefer said. “I’m crunching the numbers. You should see my calculator – it’s red-hot. I am working on a lot of fights, but this is my No. 1 priority.”
“This is something I am pursuing and I am having conversations with both sides,” Schaefer said. “Canelo wants the fight and Floyd has never turned down an opponent.”
All of these things are true – especially if he has a solar-powered calculator – but Schaefer doesn’t say anything about when this might happen. And Floyd doesn’t turn down anyone; Leonard Ellerbe and Al Haymon – the two guys he shouts out as often as possible – do it for him.
They both know the interest in this fight is sustainable. So the longer they wait to fight, the louder the chorus of people asking when they are going to fight. This keeps their names in the public (especially Alvarez), reaching more people, and hopefully, making more money.
They also know that Canelo is one of the few names that resonate with the public, and Mayweather still has five more fights on his contract. It’s going to be tough to carry the pay-per-view numbers by himself for all of them. By stalling, they build Canelo’s reputation to boost numbers, and allow for things like press conference crashing, ring crashing, YouTube videos or Twitter taunts. That’s the seasoning.
So yes, the fight will happen. It’s just not done cooking, yet. Fans just have to hope boxing doesn’t let it burn.