Mayweather vs Canelo Preview – “The One” Beckons
By Peter Wells
As the clock ticks down the anticipation grows, its fight week, but not just any old fight week. This Saturday 14th September the greatest fighter of his era, Floyd Mayweather incarcerates the world yet again. The pound-for-pound king risks his crown against the young Braveheart, hungry for success. Is a new chapter about to begin?
When first announced the world of boxing was nullified, dumbfounded by the sudden twist in a sport craving an era-defining match-up. Floyd Mayweather 44-0(26) is on the verge of taking one of his greatest scalps when facing Mexican’s new son, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 42-0-1(30).
While ‘Money’ Mayweather still has his 100% winning record intact, the challenge that Canelo presents is being strongly compared to the 12 hard rounds Oscar De La Hoya gave Floyd back in 2007, when Mayweather won via a split decision. The question is, can Alvarez’s youth be the deciding factor in giving him that edge that 6 years ago Oscar didn’t have?
Surprisingly this is Mayweather’s 2nd contest this year, not a trait of one of boxing’s most notorious characters. In May this year Floyd toyed with Robert Guerrero for 12 horribly one-sided rounds. The judges were extremely kind in giving 3 rounds to Guerrero who was picked off at every opportunity. It was marquee Mayweather, gliding effortlessly around the ring, swiftly flicking the right hand out without a note of hesitation. For 12 rounds he telegraphed and decrypted everything that came in his direction.
Alvarez’s last outing was not so straight forward, in fact despite his wide points victory, there was a fair share of viewers scoring in favour of his highly rated opponent, Austin Trout. While Alvarez landed the more precise punches it was Trout who had the greater work rate. All in all it was a close fight, both combatants had solid cases for why they merited the win, but in the end it was Alvarez who kept his unbeaten record unscathed. That win is what convinced Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo that he was ready for the sports elite fighter.
Although Alvarez was able to defeat another of boxing’s stars there were chinks in his armour that a boxing surgeon like Mayweather can exploit. Canelo’s low work rate will be of concern; most opponents that enter a bout with Floyd and throw very little on the way forward turn into easy prey, to stand any chance Alvarez must increase the tempo by quite a few notches.
So to score the shock of the year Alvarez must waver from standing in the pocket for more than a few seconds. If he can spot Mayweather’s shots coming before they’re thrown he can slip inside and deliver his punishment without being tagged on the way in. Too many fighters have lunged first without avoiding the inevitable counterpunch headed their way. Upping the tempo will be decisive but can Alvarez keep such a high work rate without tiring late on?
That’s a question only he can answer with actions. Yet even if he can it’s still a stretch to see Alvarez winning this contest. Mayweather has the uncanny knack of making his opponents miss then making them pay. If Alvarez avoids the straight right, then Floyd will just mix it up by throwing a short left hook before spinning out of danger. Mayweather always backs onto the ropes at the perfect angle, so when he’s in any kind of danger he is then able to spin away, turning his opponent and leaving them dumbstruck. It’s a move so hard to perfect but when perfected, it is so stunningly effective.
So while Alvarez may provide Floyd’s sternest test since that night vs De La Hoya the pick is for the applecart to stay on course. While Canelo can snatch some of the early rounds, his work rate will drop as the fight wears on, leaving more and more openings for Floyd to land shots un-replied. Mayweather won’t score a stoppage but he will take a moderately comfortable points victory. Because let’s face it, Floyd Mayweather is still ‘The One’.
In the other two events on the night (Garcia-Matthysse Preview can be found below), Carlos Molina challenges IBF Light Middleweight champion Ishe Smith. In what is expected to be a scrappy contest I pick Molina to scrape a close, probably split decision.
Elsewhere Britain’s Ashley Theophane takes on former world title challenger Pablo Cesar Cano. Theophane hasn’t shown his best form in the UK but in contests with Delvin Rodriguez and Danny Garcia abroad he was performed very well. My pick is for Theophane to keep Cano honest for most of the contest while surviving a few scary moments to win on points.
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