If Saul "Canelo" Alvarez hopes to make his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. as competitive as possible, he will need to actually play into Money May's hands by deploying a conservative strategy.
Alvarez boasts a 42-0-1, undefeated record entering the Sept. 14 showdown at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. However, he can't be too eager to attack early on against the perfect, 44-0 Mayweather.
The technical prowess of Mayweather is second to none in modern boxing. In his previous bout with Robert Guerrero, he simply outfoxed him and wore him down, then proceeded to strike effectively in the latter part of the fight. The eighth-round shots to the face caused his counterpart's knees to buckle and essentially cemented a win, as ESPN's Dan Rafael reported.
That is a nice juncture to shoot for in Alvarez's case with regard to being the aggressor, but it hinges upon him keeping his composure until then.
Mayweather's razor-sharp tongue is just as lethal as his determined focus in the ring, and Alvarez must make sure he doesn't get rattled to the point of going on the all-out offensive prematurely.
As the video above indicates, this is the fight everyone wants to see. According to Mayweather when he broke the news, that is a big part of the reason he agreed to do it in the first place:
I chose my opponent for September 14th and it's Canelo Alvarez. I'm giving the fans what they want. It will be at the MGM Grand.— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) May 30, 2013
For what it's worth, though, Alvarez did showcase some of that patience and ability to thrive with a more methodical pace in his last fight against Austin Trout, which he won by unanimous decision in 12 rounds.
Trout was surprised at the way Alvarez elected to defeat him, as his opponent opted not to come out swinging early and often, and Trout could never get a feel to mount a legitimate comeback:
[Alvarez] shocked us, I was prepared for a different fighter. I tried to pressure the action and change things up, but he kept changing...He caught me with a good shot...There is nothing else I can say.
In Round 8, Alvarez crushed Trout on the chin, which is the shot he is referring to. It sent the American to the canvas, and ultimately turned the tide insurmountably in Alvarez's favor.
What is Alvarez's biggest asset against Mayweather?
The good news about that fight is that the 22-year-old explosive Mexican fighter expended a lot of emotion in avenging Trout's victory over his brother, Rigoberto. That is what won Trout the WBA welterweight title in the Guadalajara—Alvarez's hometown.
Inherent advantages reside in Alvarez due to his naturally bigger frame and youth, with Mayweather being 14 years his senior.
Alvarez tends to pack on additional weight after the initial weigh-in. While Money May's skills don't look to be diminishing, it's apparent that Alvarez will have the muscular edge at the catchweight of 152 pounds.
But it all comes down to the mental aspect, and to allude to the great Ernest Hemingway, Alvarez must be courageous by displaying grace under pressure.
There has been no bigger fight in the young Alvarez's career, and although a respectable loss to the legendary Mayweather will still be respected in the boxing community, still at stake is his undefeated mark.
That is enough on the line, along with the unified title belts, for Alvarez to not fight as if he has nothing to lose.