When Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Josesito Lopez meet in the ring, it will all come down to who can execute his game plan the best.
Alvarez will put his undefeated record and WBC Light Middleweight title on the line against Lopez as a heavy favorite, but that doesn't mean this fight isn't dangerous. Lopez was not given a chance to beat Victor Ortiz when he stepped up and took a fight with him on short notice, but Lopez pulled off the upset in that fight, breaking Ortiz's jaw in the ninth round.
Will Alvarez continue his dominance as champion? Can Lopez pull off yet another stunning upset? Here's what each fighter will need to do if he wants things to go his way tonight.
Keys for Alvarez
Alvarez is the heavy favorite in this fight (-2500 according to Bovada) so he needs to make sure that he doesn't put himself into dangerous positions with Lopez in order to ensure victory.
Lopez isn't the most technical boxer but what he does have is heart. Alvarez can't discount Lopez and allow him to dictate the fight. Alvarez will need to utilize his jab and consistently leverage his accuracy to outpoint the more free-swinging Lopez.
Alvarez doesn't possess the fastest hands, but the good news is Lopez doesn't either. What Alvarez does have is much better defense than Lopez. If Alvarez is able to box from the outside, use his jab and consistently make Lopez miss he'll have an easy night picking Lopez apart and perhaps finish the fight by the middle rounds.
Keys for Lopez
For Lopez to win this one, he must have a plan and stick to it.
He's a huge underdog (+1000 according to Bovada) and there's a reason for that—Alvarez is the much bigger and more accomplished combatant. However, Lopez wouldn't even be in this situation had he not risen above the odds once already when he beat Ortiz.
Lopez must be honest with himself in that his only chance of winning is to land some power shots as he did against Ortiz, but he must pick his spots.
If Lopez comes out swinging wildly, early and often, he'll not only gas himself out against a larger opponent, but he'll open himself up to get tagged by Alvarez's powerful counters. Lopez must protect his body and wait patiently for the right opening to come.
If Lopez can be patient and time up some big shots, he could wind up pulling off another improbable upset, if not, expect him to get outboxed for the duration of the fight.