The light middleweight championship fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-0-1) and Floyd Mayweather (44-0) may still be a week away, but the excitement is palpable.
In one corner is the undisputed pound-for-pound champion of the sport in Mayweather. At 36 years old, he's been dominant for more than a decade while accruing a pool of money that would make Scrooge McDuck jealous.
In the other corner is the potential future of the sport in Alvarez. With a hard-charging, fan-friendly style and an unblemished record, he could be the most difficult opponent that Mayweather has taken on in years.
With a light welterweight title fight between Danny Garcia (26-0) and Lucas Matthysse (34-2) serving as the lead-up to the marquee main event, no fan will want to miss this fight card. Here's all the info you'll need to catch the action.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV
When: Saturday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view for $59.99 (ordering info via TheOneFight.com)
Canelo's Keys to Victory
Alvarez has the punching power (30 KOs in 43 career bouts) to make things interesting—especially early in this bout. As Miguel Cotto proved in his 2012 bout against Mayweather, "Money" can be tagged if his opponent cuts off the ring and is committed to going to the body.
Cotto's problem was that he found that recipe for success too late into the fight and allowed Mayweather to dictate the pace too often. Alvarez must go to the body early and often if he hopes to slow Mayweather down.
In addition to his power, Canelo can also claim a huge size advantage. As a natural 154-pounder, he is one of the bigger opponents that Mayweather has ever fought. The more he can clinch and force Mayweather to carry that weight, the better it will be for him.
If Canelo can steal the first few rounds while forcing Mayweather to fight off the ropes, this will be an interesting night. If he gets off to a slow start and gives the cerebral Mayweather a chance to settle in, it's going to be a long night instead.
Mayweather's Keys to Victory
Essentially, Mayweather just has to be himself to win this fight.
As good as Alvarez is, Mayweather is the much better boxer and should hold a distinct advantage in speed and technical skills. While some opponents have been able to score against Mayweather by going to the body, few have been able to penetrate his elite defense.
Money will need to get on his bicycle in the early rounds and force Alvarez to bring the fight to him. As long as he can avoid getting pinned on the ropes, he should be able to frustrate the young challenger early on.
If that happens, he will be on a good track for a unanimous-decision victory.
Main Event Prediction
There's a lot to like about Alvarez as a challenger. His combination of youth, size and power makes him a unique challenge for the pound-for-pound kingpin.
It's hard to pick against Money, though.
In every title defense he makes, we can come up with ways for the other man to have his hand raised, yet it never happens. Granted, Alvarez has yet to taste defeat either, but he hasn't fought nearly the same caliber of competition.
Expect Alvarez to have some moments and steal a few rounds, but Mayweather's experience will ultimately win out in an exciting bout.