Could Canelo at his prime have beaten prime Mayweather?
When it comes to boxing, few athletes have the notoriety and following that Canelo Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather Jr. generate in their sport. Originally, Floyd was recognized as the best boxer in the world- the pound for pound champion. But over time, his skills waned and he found himself competing in exhibition matches against YouTube personalities. Meanwhile, Alvarez has progressively improved his reputation by competing against boxers with more competitive records. After years of hype, these two finally faced off against each other on September 14th 2017.
In September 2017, Canelo Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather Jr. faced off in the boxing ring. In a fight that was billed as an epic battle between two of the brightest stars in the sport, it quickly became apparent that this would not be the case. Having been expecting a technical, strategic boxing match from these veterans of the squared circle, what we ended up seeing instead was a series of cautious approaches and slips-sliding away from one another before returning to their respective corners at the end of each round.
You have to give Mayweather a lot of credit- he knows how to matchmake! Not only does he have his own impressive resume, but he has the uncanny ability to know when fighters are past their prime and can be defeated. This ability is not only good for business, because it allows him to make the most out of every fight, but also for fans who enjoy watching those last few wins from an all time great fighter.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is one of the most brilliant fighters to ever live, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. There are few things that Floyd loves more than money, and he knows how to make some serious bank. With the right timing, Floyd can bet on an aging fighter who is still a huge name even if they’re past their prime. Over the course of his career you’ll see him take on Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto – all of these fighters were still big names at the time despite being well beyond their best…..
In boxing, it is often the case that a boxer will take on an inexperienced opponent not to win, but rather to gain experience. In the case of Floyd Mayweather Jr., he would often take on younger opponents because he knew they were too green for his shoulder rolls and pot-shotting footwork. His strategy was different when he fought Canelo Alvarez, because by this point in his career, he could only find willing opponents with a big name and talent – being going up against a 23-year-old was expected.
In boxing, the “younger and hungrier” often prevails over the “older and wiser.” Floyd Mayweather has been in boxing for a long time and knows this all too well. He wanted to fight Canelo, but he also wanted to fight the younger and less experienced version of Canelo. The older and wiser Canelo has grown tremendously since his first match with Floyd back in 2013.
I’ve been a boxing fan for a long time. Particularly Floyd Mayweather. I’m going to be honest with you, no one has ever put him on the ground and outpointed him. So what does that mean? To beat Floyd, you have to fight him at his own game or prepare for a knockout. You can’t just box him, you have to strike first and strike hard.
In his second fight with Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez’s aging and increased maturity was visible. He picked his shots better, he had more endurance, and he was stronger than ever before. More importantly, he stayed on the outside and fought with a lot of jabs and straights. One could make the argument that this is because his natural fighting style is not as aggressive as Maidana’s, but I think it has more to do with him picking his spots better.
If Canelo is going to beat Mayweather, he will need to force himself to be the bully. He needs to hit Floyd when they’re looking for him, repeat the shot when they want to counter, and at all times make sure that Floyd doesn’t get a chance to breathe. Much of the time when he would need to “rest” in the fight, he can lean on Floyd by throwing combinations of punches.
One of the best things about a fight between these two champions is that they will be much more even in their physicality. Floyd has slowed down a bit from his prime, but he’s still the undisputed king of boxing. Canelo may be in better shape now than he was at 23, but he would not have enough to take down a fighter as experienced and polished as Floyd. If he wanted to win this fight, he would need to force himself to step outside of his comfort zone and become the aggressor. He would have to bully Floyd, pushing him back and making him fight for his life. If Can…..
Some people question whether Floyd would even entertain the idea of a fight with Canelo, who was just recently promoted to “The Chosen One” by many Mexican boxing fans. There’s no doubting that at age 27, Alvarez is probably the best opponent that Mayweather could ever face in his prime. He’s constantly improving and will undoubtedly face Floyd as a much more experienced fighter than he was the first time around.