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Mayweather, Alvarez kick off 11-city tour in NYC

By Dennis Waszak Jr.

AP Sports Writer

LAST UPDATED: 07:38 p.m. HST, Jun 24, 2013

NEW YORK >> Floyd Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez kicked off an 11-city tour today in Times Square to promote their September title fight in Las Vegas.

The undefeated fighters each announced on Twitter last month that they would face each other at the MGM Grand on Sept. 14, exciting boxing fans around the world. The lavish news conference on a steamy day in the heart of Manhattan, the first on a promotional tour that includes stops in cities such as Washington D.C., Chicago, Miami and Mexico City, was aimed at jumpstarting the hype ahead of one of boxing's most anticipated bouts in recent memory.

It's also perhaps the sport's most ambitious tour since Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya also stopped in 11 cities before their 2007 bout — won by Mayweather.

Mayweather, 36, is unbeaten in 44 fights with the last a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero on May 4 in defense of his 147-pound title. Alvarez, a 22-year-old star from Mexico, is 42-0-1 and unified the 154-pound titles in April with a unanimous victory over Austin Trout on April 20.

The 12-round fight will be contested at 152 pounds with both men's super welterweight/junior middleweight titles on the line, and just might satisfy many of those fans who had been wishing during the last several years for Mayweather to take on Manny Pacquiao.

It is the second in Mayweather's six-bout, 30-month contract with Showtime that could pay him more than $200 million. After Mayweather beat Guerrero, he said he wanted to fight again in September — marking the first time since 2007 he will be in the ring twice in a calendar year. Mayweather showed little rust while dominating Guerrero by using superior defensive skills in his first ring appearance since serving a jail term for assaulting the mother of his children.

The red-headed Alvarez is a confident and rapidly rising fighter who should provide a huge test for Mayweather. Alvarez was dominant against the previously unbeaten Trout, showing up some fans and media who speculated that perhaps he wasn't ready to face such an experienced opponent.

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