By Mikhail Nenaydykh
On September 14, at 7 pm CDT, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán “El Canelo” and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will square off in the most anticipated fight of the year this weekend.
Canelo Alvarez is a rising star with plenty of successes in his young career.
Only 23 years old, he already has a record of 42-0-1, 30 KO; Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a record of 44-0, 26 KO. Many are excited about a possible upset.
Considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Floyd “Money” Mayweather has been tested and passed every test during his 17 year career. But at 36, many are wondering if age is catching up to him.
Throngs of people are flying into Las Vegas to watch a fight in which Floyd has guaranteed himself roughly $42 million (the largest purse ever for a boxer), compared to the roughly $10 million that Alvarez will make regardless of whether he wins or loses.
Canelo Alvarez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and was the youngest in a family of 8 children, all brothers.
Of his brothers 3 were former boxers and served as his inspiration for the sport. He began his professional career at 15 after winning the championship in Junior Nationals. His trainers simply could not find an amateur match for him.
Now, 43 fights later, Alvarez used his aggression and power and skills to amass several championships, most notably the WBC and WBA Light Middleweight Belts. Canelo will be defending his WBC, WBA, and The RingLight Middleweight Titles, while Floyd will be defending his WBA Super Light Middle
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the most decorated and controversial fighter in the world today. He upset some people when he refused to fight Manny Pacquiao. Floyd accused Pacquiao of using steroids and also refused to split the purse 50-50. In another situation, Floyd was unintentionally head butt by Victor Ortiz, opening a cut in Floyd’s mouth. The referee deducted a point from Ortiz for the act and separated the two to their corners. Ortiz clearly acknowledged his wrong doing by hugging Floyd. Once the referee started the fight again, Ortiz hugged Floyd again and in response Floyd sucker punched him while the referee was not looking. Ortiz looked over to the ref in a daze, and Floyd hit him again, knocking him out.
These and other events have made Floyd a target with several detractors. Regardless, Floyd’s successes are undeniable both in the ring and outside of it.
In boxing, promoters set the fights. Taking a cut from each fight and representing fighters, promoters usually acted in their own interest over the fighters they represented. Floyd recognized this and started representing himself. His bravado has made him an easy target, but with so many victories it is hard to hold anything against him.
Over the years, he has refined his style to a more defensive one, dictating the pace of each fight and accurately landing jabs to counter an opponents aggression. His style will be a great match against Canelo.
For those that are supporters of Canelo or haters of Floyd, there are several causes for optimism this Saturday. Floyd is aging and has only 2 knockouts in his last 9 fights going back to 2006. To lend credence to arguments against his legitimacy, the strongest one is that he hand selects opponents he knows he will beat.
However, people have said similar things about Canelo, remarking that he has never fought anyone in the class of Floyd. All that aside, this fight will come down to the following. Floyd’s experience, speed, accuracy, and rhythm vs. Canelo’s tenacity, power, and youthful energy.