Boxing

Shane Mosley vs Saul Alvarez: Keys to Victory, Four to Explore, and Official Prediction

By Vivek Wallace: In literal form, sugar is a white substance, known to be sweet; while cinnamon is a brown substance, known to have a little spice. When we analyze 'Sugar' Shane Mosley and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, while the colors may be a bit backwards, without a doubt, the only gear these two men know is straight forward, as neither has ever been known to fight off the back foot. There lies the intrigue in this fight, and somewhere deep in the contest, there may also lie the unfortunate downfall for one of the two warriors. As we prepare for this classic showdown between the old bull and young pup, we take a look at "Keys to Victory", "Four to Explore", and an "Official Prediction":

SHANE MOSLEY - (KEYS TO VICTORY)

For Shane Mosley, many of the questions raised will be questions answered by the end of the night. At first glance, his age is the major sticking point in the mind of the average fight fan, as few think the Shane Mosley of today is capable of preventing Alvarez from being a ruler come tomorrow. Confidence will be a key component for Mosley, and you truly have to wonder how much he has considering that his last victory came in 2009. Granted, the two men to make Mosley look foolish most recently have practically done that to everyone in their past, but at 41 years old, facing an opponent who was in diapers when his career began certainly can't help! Mosley will need to press the action and keep Alvarez on his back-foot. The great thing about Mosley which is still apparent is that his chin is still made of granite. He can take a punch well, and is known to take a few to land a few of his own.

This element will be vital against Alvarez, because few have stood in the pocket toe-to-toe with him that have actually had the power to hurt him like Shane does. Shane has been known to flicker his jab in the past. Against Alvarez, it would be to his best advantage to come out with a true jab, use it effectively, and come over the top with a right hand bomb like he caught Mayweather with. If Floyd was susceptible to that punch, 'Canelo' will be....and there's no guarantee that he'll walk away from it like Mayweather did. Mosley will need to use his strong experience to set many traps and go to the body early to weaken the legs of the young pup. If Mosley takes this approach, without question he can potentially win this fight, perhaps even by late stoppage.

SAUL ALVAREZ - (KEYS TO VICTORY)

For Alvarez, the keys to victory are far tougher. On paper, considering the near 20 year age differential you'd think it'd be easy work, but as we all know......paper burns! As old as he is, it's safe to say that Mosley represents the stiffest test Alvarez has faced in his career. Definitely one of the hardest punchers! Alvarez will need to use footwork and exit strategies to land his shots and escape the barrage to follow. One major game-changer for Alvarez will come early, as within the first three rounds the landscape will be set! Both men will know whether or not the other truly came to fight within these rounds, and this is where Alvarez will have to put his stamp on the fight. Alvarez will need to man up and go straight after Mosley, but with intelligence........not recklessly.

Alvarez has shown a great deal of spirit in many of his fights, and one can expect him to bring his most spirited effort we've seen thus far. That being said, he will need to make sure he doesn't get too wild, as we still don't know how well he will handle the power of Shane. If Alvarez can come out strong early and sustain, technically, that could be enough, because we know Mosley won't have the same stamina we once saw. A lot of energy, a lot of shots, and a varied attack could be precisely what the doctor ordered for Alvarez, as Mosley's stamina almost assuredly won't hold up. If Alvarez can mount his early attack and get in Mosley's head early, I like him to easily get the nod late (via points decision).

FOUR TO EXPLORE (CRITICAL GAME CHANGERS TO WATCH FOR)

The 'Trowbridge' Factor: - Judge Glenn Trowbridge will be on the three man panel sitting around the ring with a scorecard. For those who don't seem to remember, Trowbridge was one of the ringside judges who gave Mexican loud-mouth Brandon Rios the nod over Richard Abril, and he was also bold enough to give Pacquiao a disgusting four-point margin in the most recent Marquez fight. It's clear Trowbridge has a penchant for the house fighter. With 'Canelo' waiting in the wings for a shot at Mayweather (providing he defeats Cotto), it's no question who will get his vote. What is a question is "will it actually be a fair pick this time"?

Late But (Will It Be) Worth The Wait? - The key to most fights is the Championship rounds, but when you have a 40 year old fighter who hasn't looked good in a few years, you can't help but wonder will this even be a fight (on the cards) this late in the match? Can Mosley truly stay fresh long enough to have a shot on the scorecards? Remains to be seen.

Speed Kills: When we look down the resume of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, the operative question is "who was the last man he faced with pure speed"? With a million dollars and a pair of free tickets to this showdown, my money says no one reading this piece can answer that question! Reason being: There is none! In Mosley you have age, but you also have both speed and power. Can Alvarez truly adapt to something he has never seen or tasted?

Live and Learn?: Mosley has knocked out 39 of the 46 victims who lost to him, while 'Canelo' has KO'd 29 of the 39 who suffered defeat to him. Both of these men bring great power, yet only one of them has truly demonstrated the ability to take it. Neither has been knocked out, but after seeing Alvarez hurt a few times in the past to lesser punchers, you have to wonder how well he'll hold up if Mosley does land somethin' wicked! We know Mosley will at some point....but the operative question here is: "has he learned how to stick to the gameplan if and when that big shot doesn't end the show? Against Mayweather he unraveled when it didn't work. What has he learned since then?

OFFICIAL PREDICTION (UPSET BAROMETER - RATING 1 THRU 5)

Overall, I expect fireworks when these two men enter the ring. I think there's no other way to go about it when you have two men with so much to prove in the same battle. In Alvarez, you have a young stud who wants to prove to the world that he belongs on the elite level. In Mosley, you have an old man who still feels he has a place in that same class. The eery element to this affair is the fact that it all comes in a setting that many find far too familiar. Mosley's last victory came against a man many felt was gonna be too much, and right before our eyes, Mosley walked through the fire and surprised us all by not only winning, but stopping that opponent (Margarito).

Here, not only does Mosley have the same inspiring pressure of feeling "no one thinks he will win"; but he also has a fighter entering the ring under the luminous backdrop of the proud Mexican flag. Lets be honest......Mosley is aged, but he has never lost to a Mexican fighter, and doesn't plan too now! What has made Mexican warriors of the past so great is the rugged, come straight forward style, and for the young Alvarez, this may not bode too well. The flipside of this equation is that Mosley fights the same fight, and as a result, will take a good beating himself, leaving very little in a tank that many already view to be a hairline above "E".

FINAL PREDICTION: Saul Alvarez (116-112 Across the board in a UD)

UPSET BAROMETER: (Peaks at 3 of 5, as Mosley could very well do enough to shake things up a bit.....but how he handles it from there will be the key)

(Next week tune in to view the "Keys to Victory", "Four to Explore" and "Official Prediction" on Mayweather vs Cotto)

(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at vivexemail@yahoo.com, Youtube (Vivek Wallace Boxing Channel), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing), and Facebook).

Article posted on 27.04.2012



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