The Catch Weight Blame Game, Much To Do About Nothing?

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“You wanted the catch weight; no you wanted the catch weight.”  OK. I know we’re just one week away from the biggest fight in boxing in a long time and when the catch weight was first mentioned of 152, I, myself was happy that the fight was taking place and didn’t mind the catch weight, However, some weren’t.  It wasn’t too long ago when Mayweather-Pacquiao was the fight in the sport, that the Mayweather camp would take shots at the ‘little guy’ regarding the catch weights. Mayweather himself would say that Pacquiao drained Cotto and he fought him at his comfortable weight in 2012.

Fast forward to 2013 and the same camp that stated that they like to fight fighters at their comfortable weight are making Canelo Alvarez fight 2 lbs below the 154 limit for Canelo Alvarez’ WBC and Ring Magazine Jr. Middleweight titles. Canelo on a video interview with ThaBoxingVoice clearly stated that it was the Mayweather camp who suggested a catch weight but feels it won’t have an effect on him.  I know, we are one week away and you’re probably wondering why is this is still an issue? Well both camps made it an issue.

On episode 2 of All Access Mayweather-Canelo, a scene narrated by Barry Pepper explained, “That some fights are won at the bargaining table, and some fighters with enough clout can dictate certain aspects of negotiations like weight.” Pepper then went onto explain the weight of 152 lbs for the fight and then the scene cuts to the CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellebre.

“His management put out something on boxing scène that they would be willing to fight at a catch weight. Because his management is inept, we take advantage of those kinds of things. Why would we go in a different direction, they suggested it, why would say no or something different? They put him at a disadvantage,” Ellerbe stated on the episode.

Winning at the negotiating table has gone on forever so that is in the Mayweather’s Team right to get whatever advantage they could. But one could say Manny Pacquiao was just doing the same when the criticism from many (The Mayweather Camp included) calling him the catch weight king. Ellerbe then went on to explain that Mayweather never asked for the catch weight.

“It wasn’t that Floyd Mayweather asked for a catch weight. That absolutely did not happen. Floyd would have fought him regardless but you have an idiot manager and that’s what it is. Canelo is an excellent young fighter but he’s in over his head. Come September 14th, Canelo’s got a problem.”

Now I don’t know if regardless means that Mayweather would have fought him at 154 but it surely looked like that’s what he meant. According to Ellerbe, if Canelo is in over his head without the catch weight, how deep in water is Canelo now with the catch weight? I’m not sure.

But in the preview of All Access Episode 3, Canelo and his team seemingly took offense to what Ellerbe said; emphasizing again that it was the Mayweather camp that insisted on the catch weight.

“That’s a complete lie. They wanted me to drop weight. They were the ones crying about the weight. It makes us laugh, it’s just pure talk.  They know well, they were the ones that wanted the fight at that weight,” explained Canelo.

Of course, there are three sides to every story, your side, their side, and the truth. Of course, we may never know who was the one to really push for the catch weight, but one thing is for sure, Mayweather fought Miguel Cotto and Oscar De la Hoya at 154 lbs. Many will say because both men weren’t in their primes while the 23 year old Canelo is. Another thing is for sure, Canelo and his team agreed to the terms just like Miguel Cotto agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao at 145 lbs for Cotto’s title. Just like Chad Dawson went down 7 lbs to fight Andre Ward for Ward’s titles, he agreed to the terms. It’s simple and it’s not. You can choose to accept the terms and not get paid on a premium fight network or you can choose to decline the terms and look for other fights with more favorable terms with the possibility of not finding one and sitting out.

 “Fights at 152 but it’s really not the weight, it’s about the skills,” explained Mayweather on the same All Access Show. That may be true but how will this fight be remembered?  Let’s say Mayweather schools the young lion, how much credit will he be given for it?  It’s fair to bet that some people will say that Canelo was drained for the fight and the win won’t be as big as a feather in Mayweather’s camp as some might think it should, especially after Ellebre insinuating that they would have taken the fight at 154 lbs.

Canelo has said numerous times that drop in weight won’t affect him, but talking to guys in the industry and interviewing boxers many of times, it’s a consensus that the hardest pounds to lose are the last 1 or 2.  How that will affect Canelo fight now is going to be displayed in a few days. How Floyd’s legacy will be affected will also be displayed in a few days after the fight. Then again, had Floyd fought Canelo at 154 and dominated, there would probably have been some detractors that will say Canelo was too green anyways.

So maybe it’s much to do about nothing. As I type this paragraph, I’m saying to myself that I haven’t given Canelo much of a chance and that’s wrong of me. It’s almost like I’ve been pre-conditioned to say Mayweather by decision because that’s how it’s always been and that’s what many are predicting. But what if Canelo shocks the world? Then this whole catch weight mumbo jumbo would have been all for not because like Alvarez stated, “Don’t underestimate your enemies because no one is invincible.”  We shall see next Saturday in Las Vegas when the eyes of the world will be focused on The MGM Grand to see who is The One.