Left-Hook Lounge Mailbag: Mayweather/Canelo “All Access” Ep.2, Garcia/Matthysse, & Canelo Weight: Penalty or Remedy?
Kerri I. (Cincinnati, OH): Last week, you pointed out a few things from the first episode of Mayweather/Canelo “ALL ACCESS” that you felt gave insight on how the bout may end. What did you take from this weeks Episode 2?
Vivek W. (ESB): I’ve watched the initial two installments of “All Access” probably 6 or 7 times now. There were certain things that stood out in the first episode. But in this second episode there was one piece that continued to resonate with me well after it finished each time…..almost as a prelude of what’s surely destined to come. In a funny irony, leading into the Mayweather vs Ortiz showdown, I remember stating that of all the things I heard Mayweather say, the words “If you make a mistake, you have to pay” rang loud and clear, more so than any others. On fight night, it was those very words that embodied the final storyline and all subsequent headlines that went to press the next morning all over the globe!
In the initial two episodes I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric between the two men at the helm, but thus far, one statement – (also made by Mayweather) – seems to yet again embody a moment of destiny waiting to unfold. I’ve said from day one that this is a nail-biter fight for Mayweather, and despite his amazing skill-set, I think the stars have aligned for a very difficult and potentially shocking night ahead. When I think of Canelo’s youth, style, strength, and vastly underrated mental execution, I really think a few dangerous moments are inevitable for Floyd. That being said, the resounding quote to note here came in the final 2 minutes of the episode when he stated:
“When you go to war, you’re gonna get hit….(but) it’s just how you react after you get hit. Do you fold?…..Do you run for cover?….Do you waive the white flag?…..Or do you keep fighting”? And in an almost theater-esque moment of perspective, as the musical score abruptly stopped in a perfect crescendo and silence took center stage, Mayweather answered his own rhetorical question by quickly stating: “I keep fighting”! To me, that moment was absolutely magic! And in many ways, I think if Mayweather is able to seize victory, his effort will be the proverbial “seed” to grow from that very statement. A battle where he will be tested to the brink, only to prove to many once again that it’s not quite what they think!
I expect a battle of epic proportions that night and I have no doubt that the man who gets the nod will have earned it. When the smoke clears, I think it’s safe to say that Mayweather realizes he will get no favors. If Oscar Dela Hoya fought him to a split decision despite being out-landed thoroughly, I have no doubt Canelo can eek out a decision in the minds of a few questionable judges when you consider that as a combination thrower, he can potentially land at a rate of 3 to 1. It was those same flurries that made Oscar’s effort appear closer than they actually were. When you view things from that angle, yes, Mayweather will have to work every second of every round. And that will mean more engagement than typical.
Cotto used this approach. It was a tough fight, and Mayweather was forced to throw more punches than he’s used to in order to compensate. That left him in harms way, evidenced by the bloody nose in the aftermath. He will need to step on an even weaker branch this time and prove he can fly. Or…….fall victim to a gravitational pull of negative detractors very eager to see him at a low place, starting out on the canvas. Gonna be a great night of action! Personally, I can’t wait to see it all unfold! Stay tuned…..
Marcus B. (San Diego, CA): I’ve listened to your assessment of the Matthysse/Garcia fight via FaceBook and on your weekly radio show, and I think you raised an interesting point about their fights against Judah. In your assessment Garcia’s best chance to win comes late; but I don’t see how he survives that far. Can you elaborate on that point?
Vivek W. (ESB): Breaking down their respective fights with Zab Judah, my recognition was that Matthysse fought his way to a decision that could have gone either way, as it was filled with ebbs and flows throughout the duration. In the case of Garcia vs Judah, I think we saw an even better Judah, yet the decision for Garcia was actually more decisive. I really think Garcia proved that he could handle a skilled boxer. There lies the question for Matthysse. Will he attempt to outbox Garcia? (Which isn’t his best suit). Or will he take the same aggressive approach he did with Judah and many others and simply let his hands go, increasing the odds of landing a homerun shot, while also increasing the odds of being picked apart by a more composed opponent?
This is where the plot thickens for Matthysse. I don’t think any of us question whether or not he can pull the curtains on Garcia by landing something wicked. His power is as pure as it gets, and he can do damage with both hands. But what happens when he consistently fails to land? That’s where things change a bit. And from what I’ve seen, I really think that Garcia has the ability to outbox him, and subsequently land something wicked that Matthysse isn’t totally prepared to handle as well. It’s a really interesting fight to breakdown, and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who feels the first man who lands flush could set an indelible tone, sending the other one home!
Initially, my position was that these men both have huge hearts and the only certainty I had was that we’d see both get off the canvas at some point. After further review, when I analyze these two men, I’m not so sure we’ll see that. I really think the stakes are so high at this level that Garcia will be in a very cautious mode, avoiding the brute power of somewhat reckless Matthysse. And in the end, that position is what I think will potentially get him the nod. Matthysse only knows one mode: that’s forward march! He doesn’t box with deep strategy, and he doesn’t attempt to diversify his core strategy too much. He simply aims to conquer his opponent by chopping him down bit by bit, and in some cases quick!
This is the basis of my argument, here. If Matthysse isn’t able to land anything wicked early and end the fight, the later it gets, the more frustrated he will become (as proven against Judah and Alexander); which places him in position to take many shots as well. I think Matthysse’s best window of opportunity will come between the first 8 rounds. If he doesn’t get it done there, all bets are off! Particularly if Garcia is well conditioned. I could be wrong, but that’s the way I see it all playing out. The old adage has it that, “8 is enough”! In this case, I think 8 is too much! If we reach that point, it probably means Garcia is doing a great job rendering Matthysse’s best weapons ineffective. What does that spell? A long night for Matthysse. And history proves those long nights don’t end too well for him.
Mike N. (Atlanta, GA): A few years ago, Mayweather tipped the scale at a weight higher than the contract stipulated when he faced Marquez. In that case, he gladly paid the penalty and the fight went on. Who’s to say Canelo won’t do that to Mayweather? And if he does try such a thing, are there any measures in place to address such a thing?
Vivek W. (ESB): For starters, in the situation with Marquez, from all accounts I’ve gathered, both on and off the record, it was stipulated that Mayweather had that option to execute from the beginning. So rather than squeezing down to a weight he hadn’t squeezed to in a quite some time, he decided to remain comfortable and simply pay the fine he agreed to to begin with. Although it was stipulated that way behind the scenes, to the fight public, at the weigh-in it was considered to be news, but there was already a protocol in place to address it. It was simply a question of whether Mayweather would go down in weight that far or not. His decision was “NOT”.
Relative to this particular scenario, it should be duly noted that Canelo has proven to be professional and although this is lower than he has had to get in weight in a very long time, it’s only a pound lower than his weigh-in weight for the Trout showdown where he tipped the scale at 153lbs. And besides that, it was his team who initially requested that weight as leverage to get the fight. So I think he will honor it. But in case he doesn’t, a recent off-the-record conversation with a source that doesn’t wish to be identified shed a little light on the topic and made me walk away realizing that “The Money Team” may act silly in front of the cams, but when the cams stop rolling, they mean all business.
What was confirmed to me is that in the unlikely event that Canelo arrives at a weight ANYWHERE above that which was stipulated in the contracts, he would be given additional time to make the goal weight of 152lbs, but no cancellation would happen, and no concessions would be made. When asked to explain deeper, the source went on to say “if he takes until that night (Sept. 13th) or even the morning of the fight to hit weight, who does it hurt the most? It hurts him the most, because now he would be trying to rehydrate up to the mid 170’s (better than 20lbs) in less than 12-14hrs, as opposed to the typical 30-33 hrs or so fighters normally get between weigh-in and fight time”. So apparently, from what I’m told, the designated weight is what it is and will remain as such. When and how Canelo decides to hit that weight would be his cross to bear come fight night!
Mayweather is obviously the A-side of the promotion and much of what was contractually stipulated beyond the initial weight would fall into the realm of what he would consider most beneficial. A plan this elaborate that allows the fight to remain intact and the designated weight to remain intact with it is brilliant! It literally puts the burden on Team Canelo and effectively puts them in a situation where they would have no choice but to comply, as anything opposite only impacts them in the end. I don’t see it panning out this way, as Canelo has been nothing short of professional. But it’s intriguing to know what the flipside could entail if we find ourselves off track in the 11th hour.
(Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be heard every Monday night at 9ET/6PT on “Left-Hook Lounge Radio”. Also, he can be reached at 954.300.5692, FaceBook, Twitter (@vivekwallace747), and Instagram (ViveksView).