Mayweather-Alvarez: Brain vs Brawn – is Canelo up to the job?

By Boxing News - 06/04/2013 - Comments

alvarez324By Hugh Janus: With few exceptions conventional wisdom dictates the bigger, stronger man wins. I’m simplifying, obviously, but there’s truth here too. We become aware of an impending duel and revert to school yard analysis often based primarily on a boxer’s “beast” factor – their shape, prowess and predatory nature.

There are of course other ingredients: speed, age, form over previous fights, life outside the ring, experience inside, injury, ring rust, style differences, etc, etc. The list is long! While we know all of these attributes play a significant role, we still often weigh up a potential fight based on physical stature and blind favouritism.

From what I’ve seen of both fighters, Floyd Mayweather Jnr vs. Saul Alvarez is a classic illustration of this phenomenon. There’s a lot of people saying Alvarez is the one to end the Money gravy train, but as far as I can see he has very little chance of living up to the hype.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not especially fond of Mayweather, nor anti-Saul. In fact, for many reasons I’d prefer Canelo to win. I’d like to see how Floyd handles defeat, if nothing else. However, Canelo’s only attributes that beat Floyd are age and size, both of which I believe are meaningless.

Floyd’s on the downward slope of his career, but he’s not old yet in terms of ring damage or maneuverability. He’ll look the fresher of the two if this goes twelve rounds. Plus, he doesn’t (usually) beat opponents by being the bigger, stronger man. Regardless of his competitor’s size, he out manoeuvres them and makes fluid, on-the-fly strategic adjustments to his game plan. He dictates fights with skill and poise rather than brute force.

If Canelo can’t impose his size advantage it will work against him rather than in his favour. Skill is the comparison that matters here. Can Alvarez skilfully outbox Floyd enough to make his size a meaningful factor? I have seen no evidence to suggest he’s even close. He beat Trout, just. Other than that there’s no fighter on his résumé that gives any indication he can live with the top P4P guy.

My prediction is that Floyd beats Canelo relatively easily, but it’s not one sided enough to dismiss a rematch. I think they’ll meet again before Floyd’s finished because the money will be too much for either to walk away from.

Canelo will be a better fighter after coming back from a loss. He’ll probably stand a reasonable chance of beating Floyd the next time around. Good luck to both fighters!

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