Seaching for Canelo’s offensive strategy

By joey1320 - 09/15/2013 - Comments

canelo978by J.R. Leon: As the boxing world watched on September 14th, 2013, Floyd Mayweather’s victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was no real surprise. Floyd Mayweather was expected to win the fight against the younger opponent, and the Las Vegas’ betting lines, plus all the boxing experts(besides Teddy Atlas) had Floyd winning the fight by either a unanimous decision (which I had it by) or by a late stoppage. Floyd won the fight via a majority decision, which was ridiculous, but the simple truth is that he won.

The general consensus was that Floyd’s speed, defense and ring experience would prove to be too much for the up and coming Mexican superstar to handle, and that’s exactly how the fight unfolded. Floyd’s impeccable performance over Alvarez and his complete dominance of Robert Guerrero on May 4, 2013 should solidify him as Ring Magazine’s “Fighter of the Year”, the same award he won in 2007 after defeating Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

But this article is not about Floyd Mayweather Jr. or the awards he should or shouldn’t win. This article is about Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and more importantly, my personal opinion on his total lack of a fighting strategy against Floyd.

As expected, Canelo stepped into the ring weighing over 15lbs. more than Floyd and the boxing community anticipated him to bully the smaller opponent into the ropes and use the same strategy Jose Luis Castillo used against Floyd in 2002, in the only questionable fight(win) Floyd has ever had. Castillo was able to negate Floyd’s best attributes by using the ropes as a blocking barrier and went to the body constantly. This should have been Canelo’s strategy considering, and this is my personal opinion, that his best punch happens to be the left hook to the body.

After Floyd tweeted the news about the signing of the fight, I went about learning as much as possible about Canelo and after repeated views of some of his most recent fights against Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez and Kermit Cintron, I was under the impression that he would attack Floyd’s body in order to land his strong body punches. This of course is not an easy task, but it was the best strategy I could come up with. We all know it’s almost impossible to land clean head punches against Floyd; we have all seen the many fighters who have tried and miserably fail. Also, by Canelo being such a great body puncher it seemed like a perfect strategy. In my opinion, he should had committed to throwing a least ten left hooks to the body per round. Didn’t matter if they all landed or not, it was all about having a plan of attack.

Then the fight happened… It was unreal.

I understand the first round is all about figuring each other out and getting acclimated to the opponents’ movement and speed. And I expected Floyd to win the round by landing a few jabs and making Canelo miss some of his “warm-up” punches. I was fine with this. What I didn’t expect was the lack of a strategy for the following rounds. Did Canelo and his training crew expect Floyd to somehow, after all these years, change his defensive style and leave his head out in the open for Canelo to land his straight right? What in the world was their offensive plan, go out there and figure it out on the fly? Did they even have an offensive strategy? Is this a case of a talented fighter being short-changed by his unqualified trainers?

If you are Canelo, how can you forget or decide not to throw your best punch, which by the way happens to be the one punch that could actually land with the highest efficiency and cause some actual damage? Was it a lack of proper training or Floyd’s ring leadership that caused Canelo to look like an amateur, even after looking so dominant against his previous opponents? If you are Canelo, what’s next for you? Stay at 154lbs. and hope you can continue to drastically make weight or move up to the more competitive 160lbs. class?

One thing is certain and Canelo said it after losing the fight – this was a valuable learning experience for the young fighter. Maybe the next time he steps into the ring he has a proper plan of execution, as opposed to the horrible, if not amateurish performance he had in the biggest fight of his career.

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