Next Saturday night, Canelo Alvarez will take on pound-for-pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather in a Jr. Middleweight championship bout. While much fanfare is being made about the fight, the question has to be asked: Does Canelo have a chance to pull off the upset?
Anytime you have a fighter with legitimate one-punch knockout power, they've got a shot to pull off the victory. Canelo has shown throughout his career that he can get any fighter out of there at any time. Three years ago, a 20-year-old Alvarez scored a phenomenal one-punch KO over the iron chinned Carlos Baldomir.
He was the first man ever to knock down Austin Trout, and he showed tremendous combination power punching last year against Josesito Lopez.
So clearly, he's got the power. Can he connect on Mayweather?
Although he didn't show it all that much against Trout, Canelo, as previously mentioned, is an outstanding combination puncher. Canelo unleashes eight-punch combinations with vicious fury and bad intentions.
This will be absolutely critical. Mayweather's defensive ability stifles his opponents offense, often leading them to severely reduce their punch output. Canelo can't fall into this trap. Canelo has to force himself on Mayweather to keep his output up and keep that jab pumping.
If Canelo is reduced to throwing 30 to 35 punches a round, which is entirely possible, he'll have no chance in this fight. If he is only throwing one punch at a time, Mayweather will just pick him apart and potshot his way to an easy victory.
Canelo needs to be throwing hard combinations to the body to try and wear Mayweather down. If he can do this, he'll have a shot.
Worth the Weight?
Forgive the bad pun that you've probably seen a million times about this fight, but as we all know, Canelo has to get down to 152 pounds at the Sept. 13 weigh-in. Canelo weighed in at 153.5 for his last fight against Trout, so he only needs to drop 1.5 pounds more.
Personally, I don't think it's a problem. Yes, Canelo is big for the 154-pound weight class and is probably going to be a middleweight sooner rather than later, but getting down to 152 isn't going to make any difference in this fight.
With the nutritionists that fighters have nowadays, cutting weight is more of a science than it used to be, and Canelo will be able to make weight and then bulk back up to 170-plus pounds.
The Bottom Line
What it all comes down to in this fight is if Canelo can keep the pressure on Floyd and deliver powerful combinations and keep his work rate up, as well as using his strength and size.
One more small thing. Everyone who fights Mayweather tries to knock him out by hitting him on the chin.
It's not going to work.
Canelo needs to aim higher on Mayweather's head, not at his chin. No one seems to have understood that and fighters keep trying to hit his chin and wind up hitting his shoulder instead due to his shoulder roll defense.
Hopefully for Canelo fans, he and his team will realize this and make the adjustment. After he throws the jab, he needs to come over the top with a right hand aimed for the temple, not the chin. If he does this, he might just pull off the upset.