There isn’t a fighter who poses a bigger threat to Mayweather in or around his normal welterweight class than Alvarez. From the moment his hand was raised after his win over Guerrero, Mayweather has pushed his team to get Alvarez’s name on a contract.

“You have to give an awful lot of credit to Floyd for what he’s done here,” said Golden Boy Promotions president Richard Schaefer, who brokered the deal. “Canelo is a young, strong, undefeated junior middleweight who can punch, who has speed and who can box.

“Floyd said, ‘Get me that guy.’ There were guys he could have fought that wouldn’t have been as dangerous as Canelo, but that’s not how he operates.”

Schaefer is a promoter and his job is to sell the fight, but he’s correct. Mayweather is the man who calls the shots, and he could have taken on someone like Amir Khan had he wanted an easy night; and no one among Golden Boy Promotions, Showtime or Al Haymon Productions would have blinked.

It would have driven the sport’s hard-core fans mad, but Mayweather would have cruised to a one-sided victory and gladly stuffed his pockets full of Showtime’s money for extremely little risk.

Rather than doing that, he sought his biggest challenge – a fight he could lose.

There aren’t a lot of guys who do such things.

For a guy as obsessed with his legacy and his place in history as Mayweather, it was almost essential he take the fight.

That he did says a lot about him, as a man and as a fighter.

By getting Alvarez to sign a deal, Mayweather once again won. This time, it was by knockout over those critics who expected him to take the easiest path. He took the hard road, and he deserves all the praise he gets for doing it.

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