Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez are set to clash on at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on September 14.
While there is still roughly three-and-a-half months before this epic showdown will take place, the hype is already sky high, which justifies this early of a look at how the fight will play out.
The deliberate, methodical approach typically deployed by Mayweather is likely to be his strategy against the innately larger Alvarez. Canelo's trend of packing on additional pounds after the weigh-in, which Rafael alludes to in his report, will likely doom an overly aggressive approach by Money May.
At just 22 years old, Alvarez fights more maturely than many of his precocious peers, which has allowed him to maintain a 42-0-1 record. Mayweather is a perfect 44-0 himself, and he boasts an extremely impressive resume.
All that is missing in many outsiders' eyes is a fight with Manny Pacquiao, and a plethora of Mayweather detractors seem to think he's been ducking Pac-Man for years. In fact, it appears that Mayweather was the one who initiated the possibility of facing Pacquiao back in 2009. Now that Pacquiao has lost two consecutive times, the stakes aren't quite as high.
In electing to fight Alvarez, this is an ideal way for Mayweather to thwart critics, at least somewhat. He indicated on Twitter that he's giving fans what they want in choosing to take on an opponent who is 14 years younger than him and presents a formidable challenge:
Juan Manuel Marquez, who recently knocked out Pacquiao but was dismantled by Mayweather back in 2009, told BoxingScene.com's Ryan Burton that Alvarez isn't ready for Money May but is in a win-win scenario:
A fight against Mayweather would be very difficult for Canelo Alvarez because of Mayweather’s style...If Canelo wins, it is a great triumph for Canelo and for all of Mexico. If he loses, he still wins because of the experience he gains from the fight.
Alvarez's undefeated mark proves that he can't exactly fight like he has nothing to lose, yet it does alleviate some of the pressure.
In that context, it's likely that Alvarez will not attack Mayweather right away, opting to actually go at the pace that his perceptibly superior opponent dictates. The first few rounds should be tight and unpredictable, but at some point, it will be up to Alvarez to take the initiative and be the instigator.
When Alvarez defeated Austin Trout in the Alamodome over a month ago, Trout was surprised at how well Alvarez was able to change things up and patiently bide his time. The two got tied up only once, and Alvarez struck with a devastating smash to Trout's chin in Round 7, which sparked him to victory.
A similar outcome could be in store, because even when Mayweather makes a charge, the counter-punching ability that Alvarez possesses makes him extremely dangerous.
Ultimately, though, Mayweather's outstanding stamina and knack for avoiding devastating punishment should allow him to maintain a slight edge over Alvarez throughout.
The final tally may be close across the panel of judges, but it will still result in a unanimous decision in favor of Mayweather despite a relatively quick turnaround from the Guerrero fight.