BILL DWYRE

Is Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez a super fight? Don Chargin knows

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"Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake La Motta fought six times," Chargin says. "La Motta only won once, and when he did, they fought again three weeks later."

Attendance was a big issue. In the days of no TV and radio only, major fights drew crowds of 75,000 in Yankee Stadium. Now, the real measure of a fight's popularity has become pay-per-view buys.

Still, fannies in seats matter.

"A real turning point for Canelo," Chargin says, "was when, in his last fight, he drew 40,000 people in San Antonio's Alamodome. That probably got him this main bout with Mayweather."

In the end, it probably boils down to the same thing everything does in sports. Money. The more at stake, the more the buzz.

Ali-Frazier No. 1 in '71 created a huge buzz because each fighter got an unheard-of $2.5 million. Three years later, Ali and George Foreman each got $5 million. Boxing inflation was on a roll.

"Gene Tunney was the first to earn a $1 million purse by beating Jack Dempsey in 1927," Chargin says. "Those were the days. After taxes, Tunney kept $991,000."

Mayweather's nickname is "Money." It wasn't given to him. No sportswriter came up with it as a clever creation. He just took it. He will make about $40 million in the Alvarez fight.

Great? Super? Well, $40 million is a nice start.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com.

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