By Allan Fox: ESPN’s Dan Rafael is going with the smart picks for tonight’s mega fight card on Showtime pay-per-view by selecting Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KO’s) to top Mexico’s No.1 boxing star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KO’s), and Argentinian Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KO’s) over WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KO’s) by knockout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rafael summed up his thoughts on the Mayweather-Canelo fight by saying this to ESPN “He’s [Mayweather] facing a slower, less experienced, somewhat one-dimensional opponent. Alvarez is bigger and stronger, but made to order for Mayweather.”
Canelo isn’t that one-dimensional. In fact, he does a lot of things and can adapt to a ton of different fighting styles. Canelo’s problem is he’s kind of flat-footed, he only fights in short bursts, and he takes a lot of rest breaks. He doesn’t appear to have the kind of stamina to fight hard enough give Mayweather a lot of problems.
If Canelo had the work rate of a young Antonio Margarito, then Mayweather would be having a lot of problems tonight. But Canelo is the exact opposite of Margarito. Instead of throwing 100 punches per round like Margarito used to do, Canelo throws between 30-40 punches. He doesn’t seem capable of throwing many shots without gassing badly.
Given the huge amount of weight that Canelo had to take off just to get to the 152 lb. catch-weight on Friday, I wouldn’t expect his stamina to be any better than it was for his last fight against Austin Trout last April. Canelo looked faded by the 4th round in that fight, and it wasn’t a pretty picture to see him fighting sparingly with his back against the ropes for the entire second half of the fight.
Canelo has a problem in that he’s so heavy and he’s facing a much faster fighter. If Canelo fights at 170+, he’s going to be a lot slower than the 150 lb. Mayweather. That’s to be expected. If you take a light heavyweight and put him in against a welterweight, he’s not going to be as fast. The only thing Canelo can do is to try and take advantage of his big weight and power advantage against Mayweather, because that’s the only things that Canelo has a clear advantage over him.
Rafael is dead on correct in picking Lucas Matthysse to stop Danny Garcia. Rafael says “He [Garcia] gets hit a bit too cleanly, and nobody at 140 can take Matthysse’s clean shots for long.”
This is definitely true. Garcia gets hit a lot and that’s probably not going to change tonight with him facing Matthysse. Garcia’s nose tends to swell up, break and bleed when he gets hit hard, and Matthysse will very likely rearrange his nose tonight, making it difficult for him to breath out of it. Fighting with his mouth open, Garcia isn’t going to last long against Matthysse’s big shots, and we could see Garcia stopped by the 7th round.