When leaving Times Square this past Monday after the unveiling of “Mayweather/Canelo: The One” here in New York City, one impression kept constantly reverberating from the proceedings.
Both fighters said many of the things you’d almost expect them to say, but there was one notable exception. As both Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0, 26KO’s) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30KO’s) remained on the podium to pose for pictures, and assorted media scribes developed their game plans with ink, Alvarez appeared to have revealed his moments prior.
“I really feel I can outbox Mayweather.”
It stood out like a red sock in a dryer full of white garments. When you consider what makes these men who they are stylistically, the notion of Alvarez out-boxing Floyd Mayweather is a preposterous one.
But what he can do by boxing him- is make him fight.
“Pretty Boy” Floyd faced a boxer/puncher in Miguel Cotto last year in what proved to be a difficult fight. Cotto is a sturdy combination puncher who executes good ring generalship, while unleashing a punishing attack that’s typically punctuated by a left hook. The fact that Alvarez is all of these things- but more, bodes well for his chances.
Considering he’s younger and stronger than Cotto, who was somewhat shopworn in May 2012, makes “Canelo” a far greater threat than the Puerto Rican star. Alvarez also exhibited an elevated technical ability and defense not seen before in his last outing with Austin Trout.
He’ll need to get even better, and increase his level of punch activity.
If he stalks Floyd Mayweather he will lose. To win, he must use space while applying pressure and make Floyd punch “with him”. He absolutely cannot allow Floyd to “pot-shot” or to fight in spots, because that’s what he really wants to do.
Mayweather has many great attributes, but his conditioning might be his greatest. He’s adept at moving, tying up and disrupting an offense, before it even starts. Zab Judah was successfully “boxing” with Mayweather for about 7 rounds. If Floyd went to the left- he went to the right. Being a southpaw this was easy to do, and allowed him to stay directly in front of Mayweather. He matched Floyd in hand and foot speed, had good power and should have been credited for a knockdown.
That was 2006, and beyond Cotto, it was the last time someone caused him any sustained peril.
With a shock absorber of a neck, a dense frame and thick legs, special combination punching power and a killer’s instinct- Alvarez, unlike Judah, has all of the intangibles to beat Mayweather. Judah was also deficient in stamina and mentally weak at the elite level.
Alvarez is neither. Against Trout, some observers pointed out that he fatigued late in the fight. But the criminal element of open scoring enabled Alvarez to know he was winning, so he eased up on the gas against Trout.
He better floor it against Floyd.