By Elflaco | Guest boxing blogger
It’s been an excellent year of boxing. A year that will feature even more quality match-ups right through until Christmas, but this weekend, without doubt, is the jewel in the crown. An evening so exciting I’m hyperventilating into a paper bag as I type.
Floyd Mayweather, the sport’s pound-for-pound king, puts his unbeaten record and his WBC light-middleweight belt on the line against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The young fighter, charged with putting boxing on his back and leading us into the Floyd-less future. However, defeating Mayweather has become a challenge akin to removing the sword from the stone and Canelo will likely never experience anything more difficult.
For Canelo to prosper in Las Vegas on Saturday night, he needs to use the performance of Miguel Cotto, 16 months ago, as his foundation and then utilise his own strengths to try to complete the job that Cotto couldn’t. Cotto continually backed Mayweather against the ropes and gave himself the sort of target that few enjoy against Mayweather.
If Canelo can close the gap, he should look to target Mayweather’s body to sap his opponent of his stamina and agility. While Mayweather will often turn side-on to reduce the target area, the body is the one part that stays relatively still and with Canelo’s excellent accuracy, combinations and vicious, low left-hook he can put himself in a position to set up some momentum-changing shots. As it’s very unlikely we will see Canelo out-box Mayweather for at least 7 of the 12 rounds, he will need to look for knock-downs or a knock-out.
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) September 11, 2013
Canelo may be young, but he isn’t as nimble as Miguel Cotto. Mayweather should therefore find it easier to slide out of range, meaning Canelo could end up looking like Frankenstein’s Monster chasing a £5 note in a hurricane. So, any chance Canelo gets to unload, he has to take full advantage of. He needs to treat every opportunity as though it is the only one he will get.
Mayweather speaks of the knockout, but in truth that’s unlikely – he has a low KO percentage against bigger men and fragile hands. Not one for standing and trading, Mayweather would be bonkers to take that approach now. There will be plenty of respect for Canelo’s power and size (probably a 20lbs+ weight difference on the night) so Mayweather will box and move, finding a balance between economy and effectiveness, to give him the edge on the scorecards.
If Mayweather were to put on a dominant performance, that would be an impressive statement.
If Canelo can topple the king, the boxing landscape will change instantly.
As if that fight wasn’t enough, Danny Garcia will defend his two titles against “The Machine”, Lucas Matthysse, in a fight that could steal the show. Expect carnage as Garcia throws explosive left-hooks in an attempt to ward off the tectonic plate-shifting punches of Matthysse. My heart says Matthysse windmill-punches his way to victory inside 6…and my man crush continues…
I’m off now to see about renting a defibrillator, in case I blow a fuse amidst all this excitement.