Friday, March 7, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Saturday’s pay-per-view boxing match between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo is even bigger than anticipated — in terms of weight.
Alvarez and Angulo both tipped the scales at more than the 154-pound light middleweight limit Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Angulo registered at 154.5 pounds, while Alvarez was 155.
The slightly heavier weights were no issue after the two fighters agreed to an extra pound allowance earlier in the day. The contract modification reportedly came because Alvarez was having a tough time reaching the limit, but both fighters showed signs of a grueling weight cut in front of the approximately 1,000 fans that showed up for the final pre-fight event.
An emaciated Angulo walked delicately to the stage after he was the first fighter introduced. Alvarez was livelier in front of the fans, but quickly gulped down liquid in between weighing in and commenting in his final interview.
“Whenever you have a Mexican in the ring, it’s going to be a great fight,” Canelo said. “And this time you have two so it’s guaranteed to be a great fight.”
The weigh-in certainly had the fiesta feel usually reserved for fights on Mexican Independence weekend or Cinco de Mayo. Ranchero music blared in the background as Alvarez and Angulo peered into each other’s eyes during their staredown.
Fans of the two fighters took turns drowning each other out chanting “Canelo” and “El Perro.” The split nature of the crowd made it so neither Alvarez nor Angulo was the fighter with the most positive reception.
That unofficial title would fall to undefeated WBC super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, who meets Cristian Mijares, another fellow Mexican, in the second-highest billed fight Saturday.
“We’ve got to try to steal the show,” Santa Cruz said, “because Canelo and Perro are going to be a great show.”
The potential for the main event to deliver Fight of the Year-caliber entertainment is a recurring theme. Fans can only hope the possible weight problems won’t have a negative effect.
Angulo kept curt in his final pre-fight address, but stayed consistent with the same message he’s shared all week.
“I’m ready for toe to toe or ready for Canelo to box,” Angulo said. “I’m prepared for any fight. I’m prepared for anything.”