This weekend may be UFC-free but a much bigger combat sports event is upon us. It seems to be a popular talking point that boxing is dead and MMA has taken its place but don't get it twisted. Boxing is alive and as Floyd Mayweather walks to the ring this Saturday around midnight, he will be one half of what might be the best selling pay per view in history.
Everyone should watch this fight. Period. Non football fans watch the Superbowl because regardless of sport, people like to watch masters of craft at the peak of their game. Giving someone the tag of "greatest living practitioner" adds interest to whatever the activity may be. When Floyd Mayweather steps in the ring this Saturday, he will do so as the number one boxer on the planet and it's not debatable. You can hate him. You can think he is a classless degenerate and you can root against him every time. What you can not do is debate his efficiency and ability at which he executes his craft.
The magnitude of tonight's fight does not solely rest on Floyd's shoulders. If you're not familiar with Alvarez, The best way to describe him is the following. A popular theme in boxing is for for people to say "If Mayweather only fought (Fighter A), He would get his ass kicked. He needs to stop choosing opponents" Well Canelo is Fighter A. Canelo Alvarez is the guy you should want Mayweather to fight if you want him to lose ( I still want to see a Manny Pac fight but I think I'm alone in that one.)
Its funny to think at the beginning of his career Floyd was considered to be a bad PPV draw. Then known as "Pretty Boy Floyd", Floyd was kind of boring and his moniker never caught on. Floyd is a smart guy however and decided a persona re-evaluation was in order. Introducing "Floyd Money Mayweather", a brash, arrogant, millionaire meant to rally people in support or disgust. In the world of combat sports, being hated is better than irrelevant.
Defensive mastery. - Taking the blueprint from his father, Floyd is hard to hit and harder to hurt. One of the few current practitioners of the "shoulder roll", Floyd rolls with punches to throw his own.
-Ring experience/fight I.Q. - Floyd's ring I.Q. is perhaps his most dangerous weapon. HE WILL NOT LET YOU GET AWAY WITH MISTAKES. look at his fight with Victor Ortiz. Ortiz comes over to again apologize for an illegal blow and Floyd knocks him out. Is it sportsman like? not even close. But it also is not illegal. The fight had been re-instated and Floyd is not going to let an opponent walk at him with his hands down regardless of their intention.
- Floyd's ability to adapt. If you are getting the better of Floyd, don't count on it lasting. Floyd will adapt mid-fight and take away whatever tool you were using.
Power - Floyd has had numerous surgeries to fix his often broken hands. If Floyd hurts his hand, He will need to alter is game plan to account for it.
Alvarez is coming off a win over a hyped Austin Trout in a fight that left me with a big frown. I wanted Austin to win that fight and I thought he did good until Canelo clobbered him somewhere near the end. Canelo has had some legit wins over guys like Shane Mosley and Cotto, but he is still a very young fighter and this is quite the step up in competition. In my opinion Shane was past his prime and Cotto may have been as well.
-Size/Power/Strength/Youth - Canelo is huge. A big strong guy who knows how to use it. he will try and bully Money May around the ring doing damage against the ropes.
-Its not a glaring problem but I don't think he capitalizes on all the openings he gets from his defense. Canelo will block a shot or slip a punch and not throw back where a more experienced fighter would.
So whats going to happen?
I expect Canelo to win a few rounds early and then lose as he fails to adjust to whatever adjustments Floyd makes. Floyd takes the decision.
X Factor - The Crowd. Apparently Vegas is overrun by Canelo fans at the moment and they will be showing up in full force come fight time. If this fight goes the distance, hold you breath during the decision. I'm not saying a robbery is possible.. yes I am. Someone could get robbed here.
Also on the card is Lucas Mattesse vs. Danny Garcia. DO NOT MISS THIS FIGHT. Lucas is one of the hardest punchers in the sport today and he knows it. Hes a good boxer with absurd power and will look to drop a bomb on Garcia if Danny decides to trade shots, which he will not shy away from.
When Lucas Mattesse hits you, you stay hit.