Turn on your TVs or set your DVRs or VCRs (anyone still have one of those?) for 10:15 p.m. ET or 7:15 PT on HBO this Saturday. If you're a boxing fan, you don't want to miss this.
Five days after returning from Las Vegas, where I witnessed two great fights, I fully recognize and appreciate that four of the great fighters of our day gave it all they had in that ring at the MGM Grand Garden last Saturday. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez over Sugar Shane Mosley in the full 12 rounds, and Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto going the distance (12) in Mayweather's unanimous decision victory.
Twenty-four rounds of some amazing work in the ring and perhaps even more than that, the courage and heart shown by the underdogs in making the winners, Alvarez and Mayweather, work hard for their wins.
You can see both fights on HBO, replayed from pay-per-view last week, this weekend.
I've seen Canelo on TV and he's made a lot of his wins look easy. Mosely made him work, though, and I think that was good for Alvarez. Mosley looked past his prime and is definitely about ready to hang up his gloves and retire after a Hall-of-Fame career, but he taught Canelo a few things.
Mosley grabbed and held and accidentally head-butted Alvarez, causing a cut near one eye. So Alvarez had to fight through that for nine rounds.
Mosley hit Canelo a few times, and didn't allow Canelo to unleash a huge blow that could have ended the fight. Alvarez needs to learn how to finish a fighter of that caliber when he sees he is in control of the fight.
Alvarez was never in danger of getting hit badly and he simply landed punch after punch and racked up round after round. It was good for him to have to win that way.
Alvarez showed respect for Mosley after that fight but also said he'd love a shot at Mayweather or Cotto. And we the boxing public would love to see it.
Alvarez might need another big fight before he's ready for Mayweather, who is in a class by himself right now although Cotto hurt him and showed that Mayweather has a couple of holes in his game as he ages. But one thing is clear - Alvarez is Golden Boy Boxing's next golden ticket and huge draw, and he's not far from being the star in the U.S. that he already is in Mexico.
Alvarez likes to attack and his punches have power. He sets the tone in fights and is always well prepared and fit. He doesn't say much, isn't flamboyant and just comes to work when the bell rings.
He's been cut and he's bled. Mexican fans want to see that their fighters are human, too, so that they can better connect with them.
Alvarez appears to have the perfect temperament and approach to winning over Mexican fans everywhere. He's got Oscar de la Hoya's backing and influence, and he's full of confidence. He's also beaten a lot of quality fighters like Carlos Baldomir, Alfonso Gomez, Kermit Cintron and Matthew Hatton.
When you watch on Saturday, you'll see everything on display. Alvarez, at 21 years old, looks like he will be on the scene for years to come, and his time as the holder of more major championship belts is coming soon.