Mayweather vs. Canelo: “Head to Head”
“The One: Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Canelo Alvarez” is an event that seems to have captured the imagination of the mainstream sports fan. It’s a match-up in which the architects and combatants deserve much credit and praise.
Both competing fighters are answering their own respective critics with a resounding “Take That” by participating in this super-pairing.
For years Floyd Jr. has been chastised by his detractors for seemingly avoiding the best fighters of his respective weight divisions and their respective primes. After defeating Austin “No Doubt” Trout on April 20th, there became a consensus among fight fans for Money May to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez; a fighter who had also been criticized for being a product of creative match-making as well.
Canelo was consistently ridiculed by die-hard fight fans for evading the best fighters in the talent enriched Junior Middleweight division, prior to taking on his September 17th assignment…which coincidently is the best fighter in boxing.
That’s what makes “The One” so captivating to most ringside observers.
Let’s take a look at the “Tale of the Tape”!!
“Tale of the Tape”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KOs) – The “Money Man” of boxing stands 5’8´and possesses a 72 inch reach. Floyd fights out of an orthodox stance and boasts a perfect resume of 44 victories, no defeats, and 26 wins by way of knock-out.
The 36 year old fighter is a 17 year ring professional who has graced the canvas with many champions throughout his entire career: Oscar De la Hoya, Sugar Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti, Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez, Demarcus Corley, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Juan Manuel Marquez, Genaro Hernandez, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, and Robert Guerrero.
Mayweather is an eight time world champion in five different weight divisions, ranging from 130 to 154 pounds.
Floyd’s athletic gifts are second to none. With blinding hand speed, accurate punching, cat-like reflexes, and nimble footwork, Mayweather’s opponents quickly find themselves at a distinct disadvantage once the initial bell rings.
The pound for pound king has great balance and hand eye coordination with a rapier wit in the squared circle. His ability to adapt in the ring is only rivaled currently by a handful of fighters: Andre Ward, Sergio Martinez, and Vitali Klitschko.
The Grand Rapids native utilizes the famous “Michigan defensive strategy” against his adversaries; a defensive tactic in which he rolls away from his opponents’ offensive attack while staying in position to land a perfect right hand counter. It’s a very difficult strategy to master and implement proficiently because it relies so heavily on reflexes, balance, and upper body and head movement. But when practiced to perfection, it becomes impervious to any opponent’s offense.
One of the reasons why most fighters don’t even try the Michigan shell is because they don’t possess the unique athletic gifts of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. Along with possessing the highest ring IQ in boxing; Floyd’s lightning fast reflexes continue to be his greatest advantage over his opposition.
Floyd seems to have deceptive power because of his ability to catch his opposition with punches they don’t anticipate and see coming. Although the pound for pound fighter has suffered from chronic hand problems throughout the great majority of his professional career, he can still hurt his opponents with his primary weapons…the straight right hand and the check left hook.
His physical endurance and mental toughness is extremely underrated, and rivaled by very few fighters throughout boxing’s rich history. His will to win and his uncanny ability to adapt in the ring make Floyd Mayweather Jr. an almost impossible combatant to defeat in a twelve round contest.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) – This “Wunderkind” initially captured the imagination of his home country of Mexico by becoming a world champion at the tender age of 20. “The Cinnamon Kid” stands 5’9” tall and possesses a reach of 71 ½”.
Canelo has shown an unusually high level of mental and physical toughness at age 23, and has seemingly become more poised and confident with each ring victory. As a result, he has turned a lot of heads within the boxing community.
The Guadalajara, Jalisco born fighter isn’t your typical face first Mexican pugilist. Canelo likes to fight his opponents at angles and utilizes a great amount of patience with a very impressive punch economy. He doesn’t waste a lot of energy in the ring and throws very creative combinations to the body and head with speed and power that are extremely hard to anticipate.
The crafty Mexican fighter mixes up his punches extremely well, which creates a serious problem for his opponents when trying to time and counter the young Mexican effectively. Alvarez uses a good consistent jab and builds his arsenal of punches from it. He possesses great power in both hands and explodes with every shot. Although he has a wide arsenal of punches, Canelo’s primary weapons are his left hook to the body and straight right hand to the jaw.
What’s so impressive about the current WBC and WBA Junior Middleweight Champion is his technical ability and unflappable demeanor in the ring. Most fighters his age are merely scratching the surface of their professional career, but Canelo seems destined for glory. Because of his age most of his detractors don’t realize how talented this fighter truly is.
His understanding of distance and range is very impressive. The talented young fighter has the ability to hit his opponents from various ranges while mixing his combinations to the body and head, coming from different angles.
Canelo possesses a very good defense as well as having one of the most potent offenses in boxing. He makes up for his lack of mobility in the ring by using good upper body and head movement, which ultimately makes his head a much more elusive target for his opposition.
His only weakness in the ring seems to be his punch output and tendency to tire in the mid to late rounds of a fight. Because Canelo combines speed with power, he sacrifices punch volume and physical endurance in the ring. This could be a crucial factor in his match-up with Floyd Mayweather Jr, who excels at both clean, accurate punching and physical endurance for all twelve rounds.
Canelo’s greatest asset in the ring his confidence and iron will to win. There is a reason why Canelo remains an undefeated fighter…but will he be “The One” to hand Mayweather his first professional loss?
Let’s take a look at the “Keys to Victory” for both fighters!!
“Keys to Victory”
Floyd Mayweather Jr – For the pound for pound king of boxing to be successful against a young, strong, confident fighter like Canelo Alvarez, Floyd simply has to be Floyd in the ring.
He has to dictate the pace of the fight by keeping Canelo at a safe distance, using good footwork and fighting him at angles from long range. He must win the war of the jab by mixing feints, touch jabs, and forceful jabs in sporadic intervals.
If Canelo stays in the center of the ring to begin the contest, Floyd must turn this bout into an amateur contest…merely winning the early rounds on activity and clean, effective punching. He must be careful not to give the explosive counterpuncher a big sample to work with and must throw one punch at a time, while anticipating the counter left hook or straight right hand every time he throws a jab or straight right hand.
If Canelo starts the contest aggressively, Floyd must do everything he can do discourage his efforts by using the entire ring effectively while setting traps for the young fighter to walk into. Because the young fighter isn’t very proficient at cutting off the ring, Canelo’s aggression shouldn’t be a big problem for Floyd.
If Floyd fights a very disciplined fight and doesn’t get too anxious in the ring, letting his hands go at an unusually high work rate, the pound for pound king should be able to keep his undefeated resume intact and get that 45 victory on his record.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez – For Canelo to be successful against one of the greatest defensive fighters in the history of the sport, he must not allow Floyd to dictate the pace of the fight. He has to mix strategies throughout the course of the entire bout and continuously keep Floyd guessing. He must occasionally cut off the ring while being the aggressor in spots, and occasionally stay in the center of the ring while frustrating Floyd with good upper body and head movement in a passive-aggressive manner as well.
He must utilize the jab while setting up the left hook to the body and straight right hand to the jaw. If he’s not successful landing the jab to start the contest, he must not abandon it and keep Floyd’s mind occupied with the hard left hand to the body and head.
Because Canelo usually depends on being flat footed to explode with his offense, expect Floyd to use the ring quite often and keep Canelo moving. Canelo must not get frustrated and try to punch through the target every time he decides to let his hands go throughout this bout. He must exercise a great deal of patience and self-control, just as he did against Austin Trout on April 20th earlier this year. When fighting a very smart pugilist like Floyd Mayweather, Canelo has to keep his punch selection different and throw his shots in sporadic intervals, making his offense difficult to anticipate.
If he picks and chooses his shots wisely while not wasting energy and merely chasing Floyd around the ring, he could make the fight close enough to win a unanimous or split decision, due to having the edge in power. Because Floyd has the best reflexes in boxing, he must try to punch at the target while mixing his wide assortment of punches from various angles, and not load up on everything he throws.
Before this fight was made, I didn’t see this match-up being a competitive one. But after seeing what a mentally strong fighter Canelo Alvarez has become, I can’t see this fight not being competitive.
Floyd will have problems in the outset of the bout because of the obvious dangers of facing a big puncher like Canelo Alvarez. But once Floyd adjusts to the timing and rhythm of his opponent in the early to mid rounds, expect a dominant performance by Mayweather, with the pound for pound king jumping in and out of harm’s way, landing one clean punch at a time.
Floyd Mayweather will win a majority decision over Canelo Alvarez; with two of the three judges scoring the bout 116-112…CJ Ross will score the bout 114-114.
Mayweather MD12 over Alvarez