To get Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. to faint, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will have to feint. In boxing that means the aggressor has to make a quick movement to trick his clever opponent. When fighting someone who is usually not there when you punch, it’s a good idea to make him commit. In other words, get him to make his defensive move, and then initiate your attack. The idea is to get freeze him, so you are not as likely to miss with your punches. Of course, the objective of the clever fighter is to keep his opponent constantly resetting.
If the clever fight fails to accomplish that task, then chances are better he will be more stationary, and the aggressor has a better chance of hitting the illusive technician. We all know that If a victim throws one punch, or even two, at a time, Money will make the guy look foolish all night long. That’s Money’s goal. He knows he can easily deal with that kind of attack, and counter it effectively and the guy a part. His plan is to make his opponent constantly reset. Tonight, as always, he wants to frustrate Canelo so the young strong Mexican strength is nullified.
The problem is that kind of slower paced fight is usually one-sided and boring. That’s not what most fans want to see at the MGM Grand tonight. That’s not what Showtime wants either, and that’s why many think the contest between Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia will steal the show. Anticipation for that fight has fans chopping at the bit. Chances are good there will be a different kind of “freezing the other guy” kind of thing going on in that fight. Freezing in that fight will be of the chin variety causing the other kind of faint or knockout. They will both be throwing bombs, and one or more of those bombs is sure to detonate on the other guy’s chin. With that fight, fans know it’s not going the distance, and they will sit on the edge of their chairs in excited anticipation. Fans love it when they know the end can come at any time.
With Money vs Canelo, there’s a real danger the fight might not live up to the hype. He claims his plan for tonight is to go for the knockout. Unless he successfully potshots Canelo to the point of his is no longer a threat, then Money will be content with winning rounds and the decision. Often times that’s the case with big fights, especially Mayweather’s. Some times it’s a combination on fight night when one or both of the fighters don’t do what they say they promise.
While it sounds easy to say feinting is the key to beating Money, it’s much harder to carry it out. In order to initiate an effective feint, it’s has to be believable. In other words, your opponent must think you are going to do something, and as a result he makes a defensive move. However, he’s not going to believe it, or react to it, if you haven’t established some kind of reality, and there in lies the “rub” as one of Shakespeare’s character so aptly put. A novice fighter, who is afraid and not wanting to be hit will react to any feint. But, a great technician, like Money, will not be tricked into thinking you’re throwing a particular punch, unless you already have thrown and landed it. If that is the case, then your feint will get the desired result.
The sixty four thousand dollar question is, can Canelo do it? Polls of fighters, writers, and analysts think the answer is no. Oscar De La Hoya almost pulled it off, but for some unexplainable reason The Gold Boy stopped throwing his jab and lost that credibility thing. His feints were no longer believable, and Money had much less to worry about. He went on to score a split decision victory and stayed unbeaten.
For the sake of argument, let’s say Canelo is convicing enough so he momentarily freezes Money. What does he have to do then. With most fighters, you have to throw the punch the feint was supposed to set up. That can bring success, but it’s still not enough with Money. He avoids punches in so many ways. Everyone knows he relies heavily on the shoulder roll. He leans away from the punch aimed at where his chin had been. His left shoulder is high, and his left arm forms a niney degree angle protecting his side and mid-section. However, if his opponent thinks his feint has made Money commit to that position and now will be more of a stationary target, he will still be disappointed. That’s because Money can and will duck under the punch, or he move out of range, or side step it, or just plain tie his man up. If his opponent tries to bull rush him, he’s liable to be eating Money’s elbow.
What’s the answer then to beating Money. As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Well”, if Canelo is fortunate enough to make a believer out of Money with a few jabs and good body shots, then he will have to throw multiple punch combinations. He needs to throw more than two or even three punch combinations. If he gets a commitment out of Money, then he has to follow up and exhaust Money into going through the whole gammit of moves, and then land the big one. The whole while he needs to realize he will be eating some leather, so he has to do a little manuevering of his own. He definitely will need to keep his hands up and move his head. When Money misses, he will experience the same disappointment he’s usually making his opponents feel.
With each success, Canelo will eliminate one or more of those illusive moves Money makes. It will then become easier to land, and victory will follow. It all starts with trick, a quck movement. It might be a feint to the body, followed by a shot to the head. Or, he might feint with his right, hoping to draw out Money’s counter right, and then catch him coming in with a left hook. Money’s eventual conquerer will be someone capable of deceiving him, luring him into a trap. Does the twenty-three yr old Canelo possess that kind of ability. The experts say no, but Canelo’s many thousands of fans say yes!