Mexican boxing sensation Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has been on a crash course with super stardom since he burst on to the American boxing scene on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley fight 3 years ago. The red head from Guadalajara overcame a shaky start to eventually stop Jose Cotto in 9 rounds. From that point, his goal has been singular: beat Floyd Mayweather.
In order to achieve that goal, the primary obstacle is actually securing a fight with the highest paid athlete in the world. Floyd’s fights have been an annual affair, and landing one has proven challenging for many potential opponents. When Floyd decided he would fight twice in 2013, Canelo’s opportunity stared him in the face. After some deft negotiations by Golden Boy chief Richard Schaefer, the fight was consummated for September 14th at a catch weight of 152 pounds.
For this fight Canelo would leave his home country of Mexico and set up camp in Big Bear, California. The seclusion, elevation, and use of former opponent Shane Mosley’s gym allowed the young fighter to train with focus. Rumors soon swirled that sparring partners were growing hard to come by, as the hard work of Alvarez combined with his power had sent guys scrambling for the door with injuries such as broken ribs and bruised egos.
Preparation for this fight will be key. In past fights, Canelo has experienced some stamina issues. Along with the lighter contracted weight (he typically fights at the junior middleweight limit of 154) came a healthier diet for this training camp. Canelo is hoping is training in the mountains, coupled with his focus on conditioning and speed, will finally unlock the code to beating arguably the generation’s greatest boxing talent.
Another former Mayweather opponent, Oscar De La Hoya, has made his experiences and expertise available to Canelo, saying he removed the blue print from the vault and handed it to Canelo. While Oscar didn’t beat Floyd, losing a narrow split decision was the closest anyone has come to taking Floyd’s undefeated record. Will this be enough to create the total package that will give Floyd his first defeat?