In one month Floyd “Money” Mayweather will enter the ring for the second time in 2013 in a high-profile match against the rising Mexican boxing star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, where the two will square off on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas.
This is one of the biggest fights in years in boxing, with Mayweather the hands down pound-for-pound king and Alvarez garnering acclaim with each fight. Tickets to the light-middleweight fight sold out in a matter of minutes, tickets to a sport that most consider is dying.
The sold-out event is likely to be one of the highest grossing fights in history. It may even approach the record set in a previous Mayweather fight, which featured the trash talking defensive counter puncher against the Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Unlike in 2007, Mayweather is now the older fighter in the ring at 36 years old. Alvarez is just a pup though at only 23 years of age, but he has an impressive resume with a plethora of fights and a sterling 42-0-1 record.
Don’t let Canelo’s record fool you though. Sure, he hasn’t lost a fight, like Mayweather, but he hasn’t exactly fought the stiffest of completion either.
During Mayweather’s illustrious career he has beaten hall-of-famers like De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley (though he was way past his prime), Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, and Zab Judah on his way to a perfect 44-0 record in which he has never even come close to losing a fight.
Alvarez, on the other hand, beat Cotto’s brother, Hatton’s brother, and an even older Mosley. Though Alvarez is unbeaten and is an impressive fighter, but compared to Mayweather he is like the JV football team playing on Thursday afternoon while Mayweather is the state champion that plays under the lights on Friday nights.
Does that mean that Alvarez doesn’t stand a chance? Not at all. Especially not in a sport where a single punch can change the fortunes for a pugilist. If you’ve never seen Alvarez fight, there are three reasons why he has a chance.
Bodywork. Canelo, like a lot of Mexican fighters, puts in work to the body with left hooks that dig into the ribcage and slow opponents down as the fight wears on.
A great chin. Canelo can withstand punches and rarely gets staggered, which means that lead left hooks and straight right hands from Mayweather aren’t likely to faze him.
Punches in bunches. Canelo often stalks his opponents and throws a barrage of punches over the course of a fight.
The only problem for Canelo, which is Spanish for cinnamon, an appropriate nickname for the Mexican fighter that looks more like he’s Irish, is that no matter how many punches he throws, chances are he won’t be able to land anything to the head or body against possibly the greatest defensive boxer of all time. When Mayweather fights, his opponents typically land the smallest percentage of punches in their careers.
Though he doesn’t knock everyone out, Mayweather is usually satisfied by boxing rather than brawling and easily winning fights on points. Mayweather’s exceptional hand speed allows him to land punches accurately and his footwork keeps him out of danger. He’s too fast to hit, and he has an unbelievable shoulder roll that no other fighter has been able to emulate that allows him to block punches off of his shoulders and keep his face clear of punches.
I think Mayweather wins the fight in a unanimous decision. But it should be entertaining as millions of Americans will tune in hoping to see the cocky Mayweather eat leather and sleep on the canvas. Mayweather is the boxing king primarily because so many people tune in hoping to see him lose. He won’t lose this fight though.
Unfortunately, like all Mayweather fights, this fight will be on pay-per-view and the majority of the Tooele Transcript readers won’t see the fight. I’ll be watching though, at a theater, on the big screen. It will be my birthday party this year, watching boxing, a sport that I love but so few others even know about.
It’s not Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, but Mayweather vs. Alvarez will do.