Final Countdown

By Christian Giudice on August 21, 2013
Final Countdown
Canelo has stayed balanced. He won't let outside influences distract him from the fight.

Chalk it up to network pressure or simply ego, Mayweather has chosen a fighter with a unique blend of speed and power…

Deep down every fighter knows if he has done enough in the sport to warrant being considered an all-time great. Occasionally, those same fighters inflate their own worth or refuse to acknowledge the mistakes they made along the way. When the discussion turns to Floyd Mayweather Jr., whether one likes him or despises him, it would be unfair not to recognize his greatness.

Critics can point to all of the reasons as to why Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) has been dominant for so long. It isn’t because he cautiously chooses his opponents, or refuses to fight established fighters in their prime, and it definitely has nothing to do with luck or any gift decisions he has received. Think of all the great fighters of the last 25 years; how many of them never let their fans down or had an off night? When it comes to sustained talent and longevity, there is not another professional athlete who compares with Mayweather. He’s been that good—and stayed undefeated—for that long. There have been so many great fighters who were set to replace him. None of them could accomplish it.

Until now.

Every great fighter also miscalculates at some point in his career, and Mayweather has made the biggest mistake of his career. Chalk it up to network pressure or simply ego, Mayweather has chosen a fighter with a unique blend of speed and power. More importantly, he has chosen a fighter with the physical tools to beat him. On September 14 in Las Vegas, 23-year-old Canelo Alvarez (42-0-1 30 KOs) will finally get the opportunity of a lifetime—to fight a legend.


Canelo is going into this fight with the same inscrutable demeanor that he has entered other big fights. He has already eclipsed some of the classic Mexican legends in terms of popularity. Yet, he doesn’t appear overwhelmed; at least, not yet. Canelo has exhibited a level of maturity that helps shield him from giving in to any provocations from Mayweather or showing him too much respect in the process. When Sugar Ray Leonard fought Roberto Duran in Montreal, he underestimated the intense pressure of the bout and was unable to detach himself from the personal anger he held for Duran.

During this publicity tour, Canelo knew better than to jaw with and provoke Floyd as Victor Ortiz did, and he hasn’t conceded too much respect to Mayweather (as Marvin Hagler did when he fought Duran). He’s balanced and clear about what he’s going to do in a month. Translation: Emotionally, Canelo has stayed balanced, and he won’t let any outside influences distract him from the fight.

Weight issue

Regarding the upcoming matchup, manager/promoter Don Chargin added, “It doesn’t matter who’s the bigger man, unless that fighter knows how to benefit from the excess weight.” The mandated 30-day weight report means nothing. If Canelo (168) hadn’t been training well and he had 14 pounds to lose, then the issue becomes a problem. Canelo’s too intelligent for that to happen. The big question is, will he fight like the bigger, stronger man? Too often Floyd is anointed the smaller fighter and then controls the fight either with his speed on the outside or strength while fighting on the inside.  Nevertheless, if Canelo can use his strength and weight advantage to trap Mayweather along the ropes and land short hooks and uppercuts, then he has accomplished more than any of the previous six opponents. Canelo loves throwing that right cross and following it up with a left hook to the body, but he won’t have that same success against Mayweather, whose shoulder roll leaves his opponent nothing to hit. Does that mean Canelo has no chance? No, it just means he will have to be constantly be adapting to what Mayweather is presenting him. Translation: He can’t come in with a single gameplan and blindly stick to it.


Nobody in the sport is as judicious with his punches as Mayweather is. He never wastes punches and is constantly assessing his opponent throughout the fight to figure out what does and doesn’t work. It’s no secret that most of his opponents are so demoralized by the mid-to-late rounds that the only recourse they turn to is a lucky knockout punch. “Lucky” doesn’t work against Mayweather. He has an efficient jab when he needs it and the straight right is nearly impossible to neutralize.

At his worst, Canelo has rounds where he hardly throws a jab, and misses a majority of his punches. Against Austin Trout he missed ordinary punches because he was not in great shape and often out of position, but still found a way to win. Remember, Trout was the same guy who comfortably fought at 160, and recently battered Miguel Cotto. At his best, Canelo has paralyzed opponents with that left hook to the body followed by the right uppercut. Sure, he misses a lot of punches, but he also throws a lot of punches. The accumulation factor is key to Canelo’s success, as he systematically breaks opponents down with a consistent attack each round. Translation: For the first time in a long time, there is fear that if Canelo connects, Mayweather is in serious trouble. No one would admit they had the same fear with Ortiz, Guerrero, or Marquez.

Chin and Defense

It is hard to argue against Mayweather in this category. He has set a standard for his defensive skills. Movement, reflexes, and ring intelligence are his main attributes, and everything he does is for a reason. Unlike a lot of defensive geniuses (Wilfred Benitez), Mayweather’s defense always leads to putting himself in position to attack his opponent. As for his chin, Mayweather has been tested on several occasions by Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto to name a few, but always comes out on top. Rarely, does Mayweather get hit with a solid punch, and when he does, he freezes, holds, recovers quickly, and then settles down. Defensively, Canelo has improved considerably with his feints and head movement, and he has shown no ill effects from fights where he has absorbed significant punishment. Translation: Mayweather is on another level defensively, and can go fights without being in any significant danger.


No fighter will win this battle against Mayweather. It may be true that he is one of the hardest working athletes of all time. How do you justify the fact that he’s still at his best late in his thirties in such a brutal sport? You’re just not going to outwork him. Since Canelo has been involved in so many early stoppages, we have to look at the Trout fight for reference. Whether he merely miscalculated in his training or wasn’t as intense as he needed to be, the stamina wasn’t evident in that fight. Persevering, yet clearly winded through the late rounds, the 23-year-old fighter should have been energized as he closed out that fight. Translation: If Canelo’s not in superb condition on Sept. 14, he has absolutely no chance of winning. Mayweather will eat him alive. Conversely, I think he will learn and come ready to fight 12 rounds easily.


Both fighters hit hard; there’s no denying that fact. Once Mayweather has his opponent in a vulnerable position, he’s relentless in different ways than Canelo. Not a typical one-punch KO artist, Mayweather exploits an opponent’s weakness and has a keen sense when to take over. When he does dominate, he lands 60 percent of his power shots as he did against Robert Guerrero. Most of those power shots were compliments of his vaunted right hand—a shotgun blast. Occasionally, he will utilize a quick, hard jab to set up his right hand as he did against Mosley. In a similar vein, Sugar Ray Leonard employed a vicious right hand that he used to club down on opponents.

Surprisingly, it is not just the straight right, but the hook that Canelo must beware of. Mayweather’s check hook demolished an off-balance Ricky Hatton, and the same left hook hurt the smaller version of Juan Manuel Marquez. Similarly, Canelo dismantled the smaller Josesito Lopez with body shots and a punishing right cross.

When it comes to pure, consistent power shots, Canelo relies on devastating combinations, often punctuated by doubling up the left hook. Yet, Canelo knocked down Trout with the straight right and hurt him on a couple occasions with the uppercut. For Canelo to be successful, he has to be on the offensive, but not reckless. He is big enough to bully Mayweather, and he needs to set the pace of the fight. Fighters who tend to rush Mayweather without establishing a jab play into his gameplan. Unlike Mayweather, Canelo can’t fight in retreat mode, and he shouldn’t. Translation: Both fighters punch hard, but Canelo is perceived as more of a power puncher and needs to adopt that mentality on September 14.


There are only a few guys in the past 25-30 years who exhibited similar hand speed to Mayweather. In his prime, Hector Camacho had lightning fast hands as did Roy Jones Jr. Philadelphia welterweight Meldrick Taylor and Leonard also had exceptionally quick hands. It’s fair to say that at 36 years old, Mayweather has been able to maintain his speed unlike those fighters. His speed helps him make up for any lapses in other areas. However, he will need to keep Canelo at a distance, and that may not be possible. That being said, Canelo has decent speed, and throws beautiful combinations in the process. As quick as Mayweather is, he can’t do to Canelo what he accomplished against Guerrero. Translation: Mayweather may have the edge in speed, but it won’t determine the outcome of the fight.

Christian Giudice is the author of Beloved Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello and Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Ricky Hatton

Canelo vs Trout

Floyd Mayweather vs Robert Guerrero (Full Fight)

Canelo vs Lopez

Meet Canelo - SHOWTIME Boxing

Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Canelo Alvarez (GP Promo)

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  1. Rick 11:59am, 08/25/2013

    I don’t understand what the fascination with fat chicks is. Any girl can be fat and sloppy. It’s rare to find a girl with nice legs, stomach, face, chest, and rear end. That corona chick on the right is disgusting. Anyway, I find it comical that he said floyd doesn’t dodge challenges. That’s how he made his career.

  2. Darrell 11:25pm, 08/24/2013

    Bodyshots at 9:34

    I too wanted to see those booties!

  3. Theump 07:31pm, 08/24/2013

    Why has Floyd been dominant for so long?  The author claims “It isn’t because he cautiously chooses his opponents, or refuses to fight established fighters in their prime….”

    Really?  Then why didn’t Floyd face Mosley at some point before Shane was a grandfather?  Why didn’t he fight Cotto when he was still undefeated?  And why didn’t he face Williams, Margarito, Martinez, and Manny?  And why didn’t he agree to a rematch with Oscar after an extremely close split decision?  And why, when all of the above fighters were WAITING for a fight with welterweight Floyd Mayweather, did Floyd, then a junior middleweight title-holder, decide to face JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT Ricky Hatton?  Anyone who believes Floyd isn’t guilty of “cautiously choosing his opponents” is simply refusing to observe the obvious.

  4. Ted 07:21pm, 08/24/2013

    Hmm. Whatever the case, it makes it very difficult to write about Mares and Santa Cruz.

  5. Robert Ecksel 04:35pm, 08/24/2013

    According to Ivan Goldman on, “CBS, which owns Showtime, demanded that Time Warner cable double its payments for the rights to transmit its shows.” And of course the brunt of that would land squarely on the already overextended consumer. Let’s see if we can get blood from a stone, why don’t we?

  6. Thresher 04:10pm, 08/24/2013

    CBS vs Time Warner Cable war will be resolved on or around the first day of the NFL season. If not, this will become a Monster for Showtime which is fast losing loyal watchers to HBO. Forget about Mayweather-Canelo. It won’t be on. We are f—ked.

  7. Ted 04:07pm, 08/24/2013

    The hype is now on serious overload.  If I see another photo of Canelo in his West Point Uniform, I shall puke.

  8. Jack 10:37am, 08/24/2013

    In case somebody didn’t get the Sir Mix-A- Lot reference. Enjoy!!!!

  9. Jack 10:28am, 08/24/2013

    Guys, the majority of you have this fight “dialed in”. My opinion since this fight was announced has been: The only chance Canelo has, is to apply constant pressure for 12 rds. If he is drained because he had to cut so much weight ( which he may have had to do to make the 30 day weigh-in limit even ), he has absolutely no chance of winning this fight. HE CAN NOT OUT BOX FLOYD!!!! The reality is he would be lucky to hit Floyd with a handful of rice, just like in the Marquez and Guerrero bouts. Here is a link to Canelo training, hitting the heavy bag. Check out the speed of the kid hitting the bag in the background, that will be the difference in speed between Canelo and Floyd. Granted, Canelo has more power, but if you can’t connect, it doesn’t make any difference.  copy and paste it in your browser address bar I’m from the Sir Mix-A-Lot school of thought, I like the one on the left. Oh Yeah!!!!!!

  10. Theump 06:07am, 08/24/2013

    Canelo has a classic puncher’s chance, but nothing more.  He has more power and a better chin than Floyd, but EVERYTHING ELSE in this fight favors FLOYD.  Canelo’s only shot at victory is a KO. 

    As for the author’s argument that Floyd has stayed on top by natural talent alone, between June 2007 and April 2010, Floyd intermittently held titles at junior middleweight and welterweight. During that period Floyd had an opportunity to fight a broad range of undefeated, extremely talented, and dangerous WELTERWEIGHTS THAT FLOYD HAD NEVER FOUGHT. Yet during that almost three year period, his only two opponents were JUNIOR welterweights.  That fact be an embarrassment to any club level fighter or garden variety journeyman, let alone to a boxer who claims to be one of the best in history.

  11. EyeRepNY 05:03am, 08/24/2013

    Canelo Only has a punchers chance in this fight. If the writer is eluding to that, then he is cleary doesn’t know boxing. For those who watched canelo/trout, aside from the knock down, trout outworked him. True Boxing fans acknowledge this. Check the volume of punches and connect percentage in that fight. And he did so with subpar footwork. To say that canelo won that fight convincingly is a testament that the respondent is ill informed about the sport of boxing. It s absurd to use the trout/cotto: canelo analogy to assess the outcome of the mayweather/canelo bout. Where does canelo measure against mayweather; Ring generalship, footwork, stamina and the ability to make adjustments?...Mayweather Unanimous Decision, or late round stoppage.

  12. Steven J 08:51pm, 08/22/2013

    Dranreb Datsboygym, there is no one Floyd can without being called a “ducker.” Money can fight GGG at 154 and people will say the Floyd drained him. Also, the whole Pac-man rant, nobody isn’t saying that Pac wasn’t a great fighter but his legacy is tarnished due to the fact he never got a decisive win over Marquez. Every Pac-Marquez fight has had some sort of controversy whether it be judges or PEDs. Marquez settled the score in the 4th fight and beat (KOed) Pac. Nothing wrong with losing to Marquez but you can’t be considered ATG until you undisputedly beat your greatest rival.

  13. Larry Link 05:43pm, 08/22/2013

    Here you go:

  14. Ted 05:32pm, 08/22/2013

    Is it in jeopardy where you live? If not, maybe I’ll fly down there and watch. lol

    These assholes are going to cut their nose off to spite their face (s)..

  15. Robert Ecksel 03:25pm, 08/22/2013

    I read somewhere that feverish negotiations are going on, but the anticipated broad distribution of the fight is in serious jeopardy.

  16. Ted 03:09pm, 08/22/2013

    Yes but what about PPV?

  17. Robert Ecksel 02:29pm, 08/22/2013

    I’d say it’s tit for tat. Golden Boy/Showtime decided to stiff-arm Top Rank/HBO (and its parent company Time Warner). If I was Time Warner I’d return the favor.

  18. Ted 12:58pm, 08/22/2013

    OK, here is something to ponder. CBS and Time Warner are having major issues over Showtime and some other stations. I have not been able to get Showtime for weeks and have missed good fights and Ray Donovan. I am very pissed off.

    But my biggest concern will be if this impacts the Mayweather-Canelo PPV fight. Seems to me Showtime and/or PPV would lose millions if it did.

    What say you about this?

  19. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:31am, 08/22/2013

    The Corona girls are there to remind the fighters of what they’re really fighting for….better pussy and more of it.

  20. Pete The Sneak 09:12am, 08/22/2013

    ...and yes the interesting view of the Corona girls does enhance the overall experience in the perusing of this article…Peace.

  21. Pete The Sneak 07:56am, 08/22/2013

    I’m by no means a Mayweather enthusiast. However I see FMJ winning this fight handily. Canelo is young, strong and tough. But I just don’t see him being able to walk mayweather down to inflict enough punishment on Floyd to slow him up. Floyd’s counter punching and movement will frustrate the young gun. There will be some exchanges in which Canelo may have his shot to catch FMJ flush, however those type rounds will be few and far between and I see Floyd winning in a not to exciting unanimous decision…To Dranreb Datsboygym, I’m just taking a shot in the dark here, but it sounds to me that you may be something of a Manny Pacquaio fan, correct?

  22. Ted 05:51am, 08/22/2013

    I’ll watch it to see what Mayweather as left for his next 4 fights. And I am not writing Canelo off though the risk-reward for him far outweighs that of Mayweather so the pressure will be on Mayweather in my view.

    Both guys have been bred to fight—like race horses. This is an added attraction—a rare treat. Fighting is I their blood. and blood lines.

  23. Mel 04:59am, 08/22/2013

    Jim: Point taken “The opponent is supposed to have a chance to WIN, not just give trouble.” I agree with you 100% but Canelo has been calling out Floyd for a while because he feels he can win, Canelo made Austin Trout look like an amateur, Trout fought Cotto (Worked him) and won the fight. I think you are doing yourself an injustice by not watching this particular fight, if Canelo catches Floyd…. Mayweather will go down. Don’t you think its worth to watch the fight just to see that?

  24. Jim Crue 04:48am, 08/22/2013

    Mel,  Dude, I guess we agree to disagree. Enjoy the fight. And boxing has always had handpicked opponents but they are not usually accompanied by this disgusting hype and enormous payday. You say Canelo can give Phony Floyd trouble. The opponent is supposed to have a chance to WIN, not just give trouble.
    Anyway dude, enjoy the fight

  25. Mel 04:32am, 08/22/2013

    I am always amused by the comments people say on this web site, especially after an article like this. Since the readers in this particular website ( I assume are boxing fans, why are most of the comments so hateful and negative? With the exception of comments from Bodyshots and FranklinDallas who have positively pointed out the corona girls(Nothing to argue there about).
    Jim Crue: “Hand picked” You say that as if it’s the first time in the sport of boxing that fighters hand pick their opponents. You say that as if this fight will suck because Canelo was hand picked (Dude get with the program, Canelo is a legit fighter with skills that will give Mayweather something to think about during the bout).
    Drabreb Datsboygym: “Ducker” I am pretty much wasting my time even mentioning your comments, as great of a fighter as Pac-Man is his next fight (Rios) will either concrete his legacy or show us that its his time to hand up the gloves. Please remember that Mayweather is the older fighter at 36 and Pac-Man is 34 at this stage of the game I don’t Pac-Mans record as undefeated, so your weak comments show your lack of knowledge in the sport.
    Bikermike: Your Right.
    George Thomas: That might be a good strategy if Canelo is able to catch his arms on the inside but seriously… its Money May, after his last performance you can tell that he has gotten better defensively with time.
    CG: Awesome breakdown! Although I have to agree with Steven J……. Canelo the accuracy edge, I don’t think so.
    Artbaba: “Piece of trash” please breakdown the fight for us, you didn’t give one piece of indication that you know anything about the sport.
    I wouldn’t make a bet in this particular fight however if I was forced to throw down. I would have to go for Mayweather, 12 rounds down to the scorecards. If someone is knocked out, I feel Canelo might have the advantage because of his strength only. Again the strategy for this fight cannot be “Go for a Knockout” although that would be AMAZING to see Money May Hit the canvas.

  26. jim Crue 03:49am, 08/22/2013

    another hand picked opponent. I would not watch this fight, never the less pay for it, if you paid ME

  27. Dranreb Datsboygym 02:29am, 08/22/2013

    since when the greatest DUCKER, COWARD, Cherry picker, woman beater, and most of all…Tuck in Tail of that GAYWEATHER JR zero loss become an all time great??? is it because he is undefeated? lol….lol….MANNY PACMAN PACQUIAO is the true Greatest Fighter Of All Time period…no man or alien in the History of this sport that can truly, match up with the greatness of the most Exciting and the most entertaining fighter to watch ever but only PACQUIAO!!! the only 8th wonders of the world in Boxing world wide…the real Phenomenon in boxing…a Fighter of the Decade with 8th Divisions on his waist earn by way of brutal super entertaining fights ever!!!  and how about the Ducker?  a woman beater? lol…lol…never your mud african frying fan race color can truly have courage to face the greatest fighter ever in the ring….also, never in your history that your fake fancy super boring fighter fights OUTSIDE OF HIS OWN SHIIIITTTYYYYY BACKYARD…unlike the greatest among greats PACQUIAO!!!

  28. Bodyshots 09:34pm, 08/21/2013

    Gotta admit. the primary reason I checked into this article was to get an unobstructed rear view of those Corona girls. I will now read the article.

  29. George Thomas Clark 08:43pm, 08/21/2013

    Look at that picture of the two fighters: Canelo is huge, much larger than Floyd.  But Canelo, weighing about 168 now (and in the pic), will have to lose 16 pounds.  Even with rehydration, he won’t be as strong fight night as he is right now.

  30. FrankinDallas 07:14pm, 08/21/2013

    Corona girls. Yes.

  31. artbabba 06:02pm, 08/21/2013

    The author obviously doesn’t know boxing.  This piece is a trash!

  32. Steven J 05:15pm, 08/21/2013

    Did you honestly give Canelo the edge in accuracy? There is no way Canelo is more accurate than Floyd. Also, this whole mind set thing, just because Alvarez is emotionally stable doesn’t mean Floyd isn’t ready for the fight. So what if Canelo is composed? Floyd has been on the big stage before, and to me, is more emotionally/mentally ready than Saul.

  33. bikermike 03:36pm, 08/21/2013

    ....most of you will buy this…why not ??  how many of you folks actually think Canelo has a snowballs chance in hell ??

  34. bikermike 03:31pm, 08/21/2013

    like the fifty percent who showed up to see Cassius Clay…who became Muhammad Ali…..get beat….

    pbf and his brain trust have become the bad boys of the title holders….....

    It puts the meat in the seats…at ringside…and in millions of living rooms..

    Canelo…did I spell that right ?? the next hand picked opponent by pbf…..
    ....what are the odds on this one ????  just askn’    Ali vs Spinks I..was 53 to 1…..

  35. bikermike 03:20pm, 08/21/2013

    pbf has been careful about who he fights….. has been made easier by the plethora of or minus one trip to the washroom…..a guy could be in two weight divisions in the same afternoon FFS..
    ..and each ‘weight division has four champions’......
    ...if you pick and choose…you could be a multi title holder in any number of weight divisions…and never have to fight the best in any division…

    Having said that….pbf can fight some….I have to give that to him

  36. George Thomas Clark 03:15pm, 08/21/2013

    This morning, Ascension Montellano, the father and trainer of former junior lightweight contender Gonzalo Montellano, told me that Canelo will pound Mayweather’s arms whenever the latter tries to cover up.  Since Mayweather moves so well, this may not be a factor.  But this will be part of Canelo’s attack.

  37. bikermike 03:15pm, 08/21/2013

    and the hype continues…..Tell me how many of you lads and lasses knew anything at all about Canelo before this.

    No disrespect to Canelo….just the way it works nowadays…

    pbf ain’t choosing his opponents…by drawing their names out of a hat…ffs

    pbf never fights anyone he can’t beat….‘nuff said

  38. Ted 01:54pm, 08/21/2013

    Well done CG

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