Mayweather-Canelo: Who does the weight issue favor?

saul alvarez floyd mayweather jr  photoBy Mr. PenningtonL After the 30 day weigh in for the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, there has been plenty of speculation on what will happen come fight night. As a fan of the sport with no true inside knowledge of how weight can affect a fighter, I’m torn on what to think. There are many ways you can look at it, and many aspects that could favor either fighter depending on your point of view.

Alvarez weighed in at a somewhat alarming 166.8 pounds. Basically two pounds under the 30 day limit, there had been reports of Alvarez starting camp at 165; we now know that wasn’t the whole truth. But the question is, who does the weight issue favor? Both sides have clear advantages if the weight works in their favor.

Mayweather is hoping for Canelo to be exhausted, banking on him tiring down the stretch in the championship rounds. This is where Mayweather has always been able to excel, taking his opponent in deep, and then drowning them when they are tired.

Stamina not only affects your physical ability, but it’s proven that exhaustion has a great effect on your ability to think. That theory in mind, it’s no wonder that Mayweather has been regarded as one of the smarter fighters; he has better stamina resulting in tactical superiority in later rounds. Mayweather will also be coming into the fight banking on him being the much swifter fighter. Another possibility where being the heavier man can backfire; rest assured that Floyd is planning to use this to his advantage.

As for Alvarez, he has his probable advantages do to weight that he hopes plays out in his favor. We assume Alvarez knows what advantages Floyd will try to exploit, so I believe he will try to make those weaknesses a strength. Alvarez has heard the constant criticism about him gassing out after 6 rounds, so it’s safe to assume he will be working on his conditioning.

Also the notion that he is considered flat footed, we can assume he will be working on ring generalship and cutting off the ring expecting Mayweather to use every inch of it. But his true advantages are found in body and strength, Canelo will come into the fight knowing he’s the bigger man by far. We will find out early if Mayweather’ s power is enough to gain Alvarez’s respect, this aspect of the fight will be huge in my mind determining who wins. But the biggest advantage Alvarez has going is power, the ability to land one shot and put a guy down. We seen Alvarez able to hurt Austin trout with a well-timed right hand that made the jabbing Trout do a dance known in the hip hop community as the Stanky Leg. Assumed, if Canelo can land that same punch vs. a much smaller Mayweather, it could be curtains.

So what have we learned today, I would say nothing we didn’t know already. Fights are about maximizing your advantages, the faster guy uses speed, and the stronger guy uses strength. It will be who’s able to impose their style the best, and who can take the other out of their game. But if there is anything that has given me an indication of who, and how the weight can be advantageous, I do recall two things. I remember something that stood out that Freddie Roach said leading into the De La Hoya fight, “while he loses weight, we get ready to fight”. That to me is indeed an inside scoop on the thought process of the smaller fighter having an advantage. And the other happened just yesterday here on this very site. Following the twitter feeds, I stumbled across a Fernando Vargas tweet, I get the impression he’s still attempting to fight but I haven’t followed closely enough to be certain. Fernando gave a quote that made an impression on me in regards to his career. “My only regret was staying at 154, when fighters knew I couldn’t make that weight anymore”. Fernando expressed times being in the sauna trying to cut weight eventually passing out having to be dragged out. Then going into the fight, knowing he was not able to fight at his normal level after three rounds. “I told my corner I don’t have it, I’m going to have to box”.

Alvarez came in his last fight weighing 153 pounds; now only ask to weigh a pound less, in context Mayweather wouldn’t seem to be asking for much. But the question in my mind has always been “ is a fighter better of fighting at a comfortable weight, or a weight they may struggle to make, but once rehydrated they have a huge size advantage”. In Vargas’s case it seems there was a lack of guidance from his advisory staff in my opinion. Why fight a fighter at a weight that doesn’t allow him to maximize his abilities, or is the advantage of size worth the risk? In three weeks we will see how this conundrum unfolds, does speed kill? Or does size matter? September 14th we will see who “The One” is.


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