It has long been understood that if you are a Mexican superstar fighter, you will be fighting on Cinco de Mayo weekend, which has traditionally become the date and stage for boxing’s biggest mega-events. Thanks to precocious 21-year-old WBC SuperWelterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez, it’s clear that this fistic holidaytradition will continue well into the future.
In that vein, Canelowill be defending his title against Six-Time and Three-Division World Champion Sugar Shane Mosley as the co-main event of “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto,”on Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. whichwill be produced and distributed live byHBO Pay-Per-View®.
Canelo will be making his second Cinco de Mayo appearance, with his first beingon May 1, 2010, when he defeated Jose Miguel Cotto on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s win over Mosley. This year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration will also mark the 150thanniversary of the famous Mexican military victory over the French in 1862.
Along with Cinco de Mayo weekend, Mexico’s Independence Day weekend has also long been a traditional weekendfor Mexico’s most celebratedfighters to step into the ring. Canelo has been in the spotlight for three straight Mexican Independence Day weekends, knocking out Carlos Herrera in Puebla, Mexico on Sept. 15, 2009, knocking out Carlos Baldomir on Sept. 18, 2010 in Los Angelesat STAPLES Center and stopping Alfonso Gomez on Sept. 17 of last year, also in Los Angeles at STAPLES Center.
Canelo’s ascent to holiday headliner is something that’s been importantto his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, and its president, Oscarde la Hoya, who long fought on these holidays himself.
“It has become a rite of passage, as well as a sign of greatness, when a Mexican or Mexican-American fighter is given the opportunity to fight on either Cinco de Mayo weekend or Mexican Independence Day weekend,” said De La Hoya. “Those weekends mean a great deal to our Hispanic fans. It also means that a fighter is a tremendous boxoffice draw. Canelo is heir to the throne. His popularity and appeal among sports fans, both Hispanic and non-Hispanics, has led him to his prominent place on the May 5 card.”
Canelo’s fight with Mosley is the biggest of his career. A win over the future Hall of Famerwilllaunch the undefeated Canelo (39-0-1, 29 KO’s)to an even higher level of stardom.He could take ownership of these nights, joining the ranks of other popular Mexican fighters who have participated inCinco de Mayo weekend and Mexican Independence Day weekend events.
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. took on Terrance Alli and Frankie Randall on Cinco de Mayo weekends in 1993 and 1994 respectively. He also went to battle on five consecutive Mexican Independence Day weekends in the early 1990s, defeating Lonnie Smith and Hector Camacho Sr., drawing with Pernell Whitaker and beating Meldrick Taylor and David Kamau. He passed the holiday torch to De La Hoya on Sept. 18, 1998, and his last bout before retiring was on Sept. 17, 2005.
De La Hoya headlined Cinco de Mayo events in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008, knocking out Yory Boy Campas and Ricardo Mayorga, losing to Mayweather and defeating Steve Forbes respectively. The Golden Boy was also a familiar face on Mexican Independence Day weekend, facing Camacho Sr. in 1997, Chavez Sr. in 1998, Felix Trinidad in 1999, Fernando Vargas in 2002, Mosley in 2003 and Bernard Hopkins in 2004.
Theepicbattle between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo took place on May 7, 2005.On that undercard was Juan Manuel Marquez, no stranger himself to fighting on the Mexican holiday weekends with his first bout againstManny Pacquiaocomingon May 8, 2004 and havingfought on Mexican Independence Day weekend cards in 2004, 2008 and 2009 against Orlando Salido, Joel Casamayor and Mayweather.
Marquez’s compatriots, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, both fought on several occasions around Independence Day with Barrera defeating Robbie Peden in 2005 and Rocky Juarez in 2006, and Morales beating Junior Jones in 1998 and Pablo Cesar Cano last year.
These two holiday weekends and the legendary fighterswho have fought on them have given Mexicans and Mexican-Americans many reasons to celebrate. Canelo Alvarez has the talent and charisma to give them one more reason for several more years to come.
“Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto,” a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBA Super Welterweight World Championship and the vacant WBC Super Welterweight Diamond belt, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. Also featured will be Canelo Alvarez vs. Sugar Shane Mosley, a 12-round fight for Canelo’s WBC Super Welterweight World Championship which is presented in association with Canelo Promotions and Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions and a 10-round welterweight fight featuring undefeated rising star Jessie Vargas and former World Champion Steve Forbes. Opening the pay-per-view broadcast will be a 10-round bout between super welterweight contender DeAndre Latimore and former World Champion Carlos Quintana which is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment. The mega event is sponsored by Corona, Hatfields & McCoys on HISTORY™, DeWalt Tools, AT&T, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Puebla – Cinco De Mayo and will take place Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Limited tickets for “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” are still available, with a total ticket limit of ten (10) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Three Las Vegas MGM Resorts, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo and The Mirage, will host live closed circuit telecasts of “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto.” Advanced purchased tickets for the closed circuit telecasts are priced at $75, not including handling fees. All seats are general admission and are on sale now at each individual property’s box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at (866) 799-7711.
Episodethree of HBO’s all-access reality series 24/7 MAYWEATHER/COTTO debuts on Saturday, April 28 (9:45 p.m. ET/PT), with the finale debuting Friday, May 4 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT), the night before the high-stakes super welterweight title bout. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.
NCM Fathom will broadcast “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” in high definition LIVE to more than 440 movie theaters nationwide. Tickets to see the fight on the big screen are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.