In less than twenty-fours, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will meet in the center of the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fighters will enter the ring with a combined record of 86-0-1.
Mayweather’s payday will exceed forty million dollars. His unblemished record speaks for itself. He’s universally referred to as "the best fighter in the world."
Heck, should Alvarez even bother to show up?
Some say no, I say yes.
Alvarez, 23, has improved steadily over the past few years.
His victory over Austin Trout in his last bout was proof that the youngster has some game.
Before his bout with Robert Guerrero, many felt that Mayweather, 36, was slipping.
In 2012, Miguel Cotto clipped Mayweather with a variety of punches and bloodied his nose.
Was “Money” Mayweather turning into “Grandpa” Mayweather?
The Mayweather who fought Guerrero last May turned out to be the old Mayweather,not in erosion, but skill. He baffled Guerrero all night with lateral movement and snappy combinations.
His lead right hand almost never missed.
Alvarez is more aggressive, bigger, and hits a lot harder than Guerrero.
As Mayweather likes to point out, there’s no blueprint on how to defeat him. He’ll have a substantial advantage in speed. Former-fighter-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya has been advising Alvarez to use his jab. With his strength advantage, maybe a bull rush like a modern day Rocky Marciano could find success.
It seems unlikely.
Charging Mayweather is the equivalent of walking into a razor. He’ll slice and dice whenever he feels like it. Maybe do something that Mayweather doesn’t expect - wait and try to counter. Alvarez does have a tendency to punch in bunches. Making Mayweather take the lead could leave him susceptible to some heavy counter hooks.
Alvarez is the most dangerous opponent Mayweather has faced in years. He’s younger, stronger, and very determined.
It’s reasonable to expect that Mayweather will feel moments of unease during the bout. While Alvarez can crack, he’s not known for his one-punch power. He’ll have to land a combination or two to hurt the fleet-footed Mayweather.
Can he do it?
Probably not, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if he did.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org