When Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) squares off against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the undefeated champion should take his opponent's unwavering confidence very seriously.
Despite the fact that Mayweather is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Alvarez has shown nothing but self-confidence thus far in his preparation for the bout.
The fear that Canelo’s assuredness inevitably causes will refresh Mayweather’s innate instinct to fight hard and protect himself. As a result, the undefeated star will revert back to the brawler that dominated the sport for the last decade.
Alvarez spoke to BoxingScene.com about his confidence that he will beat the Mayweather:
I'm ready [to sit on the throne]. I feel motivated about this challenge. If I win, I'll be in the position that he has now and I'll have to fight with the best, face opponents who are coming up and build myself over the years as well as he did. The most important thing is to win and that's what will happen. It will be a great night for us. People will not believe [the outcome]. We are going to have a good training camp, a good strategy to fight him and win; he is a complicated opponent, but we know how to fight him…I'm ready to beat Floyd Mayweather and we are going into the fight with that mentality.
Canelo’s mindset coming into this fight will likely be to attack Mayweather’s body and open up clean shots to the head as the fight wears on. With Money fighting defensively in each of his last several bouts—fighting to protect a decision win instead of aiming for a knockout—Alvarez is convinced that he will be able to solve the riddle of the undefeated champion.
Mayweather understands Canelo’s strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, he will use the fear of being abused along the ropes by the bigger and stronger opponent to change his own game plan to throw off the young fighter.
The fresh mindset will revitalize Money and force him to fight like the champion fans had seen earlier in his career when he was bringing the action to challengers like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and the other top names in the sport.
While fear has a negative connotation in the mainstream media, in the sport of boxing, fear is a form of respect. Mayweather must fear the power of Alvarez to realize how important it is to avoid it.
Ultimately, fear can be Money's friend as long as he can harness it and use the emotion for his benefit. Based on his decorated resume, there's a good chance he will do just that.