On Saturday, Sept. 14, the boxing world will shift its attention to the pound-for-pound king, as Floyd Mayweather battles Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Mayweather will be defending the WBA (Super) Light Middleweight title, while Canelo puts up the WBC and The Ring Light Middleweight belts.
In the end, it will be Mayweather's defense that results in a decision win.
Much has been made about the biggest fight of the year, and rightfully so. Mayweather remains undefeated at 44-0, while Alvarez is the fastest rising star in the sport, owning a record of 42-0-1 at the age of 23.
The numbers don't lie—this is a clash between boxing superstars.
Thirteen years Alvarez's elder, Mayweather will now attempt to move to 45-0 with yet another high-profile victory. While his character has been attacked, no one in their right mind could question what he's done in the ring, defining a generation with wins over some of the biggest names in boxing.
Defeating fighters in the past doesn't guarantee success against Alvarez, but it's an encouraging sign to follow.
What Mayweather may lack in power, he makes up for in his impenetrable and downright legendary defense. From his impeccable footwork to some of the quickest gloves in boxing history, Mayweather is the ultimate counterpuncher.
In the end, that'll be enough for him to clinch a decision victory.
Can't Be Touched
No, I'm not referencing an underrated rap song by fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.
When Mayweather enters the ring, it's all but a foregone conclusion that he's close to untouchable. For evidence, CompuBox reports that Mayweather landed 41 percent of total punches and 60 percent of power punches thrown against Robert Guerrero on May 4, 2013.
By comparison, Guerrero landed 19 percent of his total attempts and 28 percent of power punches, per CompuBox.
Canelo may be a superior fighter to Guerrero, but like Ghost, the level of competition he's faced is nowhere near what Mayweather brings to the table. Not only is Money dangerous with his own fists, but he's the best defensive fighter of our time.
It really isn't even close.
According to CompuBox, Mayweather has the greatest differential between percentage of punches landed and percentage of opponent attempts connected at plus-24. What may be encouraging is the fact that Alvarez ranks No. 2 behind Mayweather at plus-18—just don't forget how gigantic a margin of six percent is.
It's also important to note that Mayweather has allowed 17 percent of his opponent's punches to land to Alvarez's 24 percent, per CompuBox. Alvarez, known for his offensive skills, is also just one percent higher than Mayweather in attempts converted at 42 percent to 41, per CompuBox.
With ESPN Stats & Info reporting that Mayweather's reach is 1.5 inches longer than Alvarez's, the conditions are ripe for a defensive clinic.
If there's one thing that defines Alvarez's game, it's the undeniable power that he possesses in every punch. If there's one thing to define Mayweather's approach, it's his ability to adapt mid-fight.
Unless Alvarez knocks Mayweather out early—good luck with that—expect this one to fall under the category of, "by Money's design."
Mayweather knows how to keep a fight at a reasonable distance, even when a fighter opts to be aggressive. Whether he's defending himself against the ropes, blocking off shots that would land against any other opponent or using head fakes to avoid blows, Money is a tactician.
For that reason, Alvarez's power may work to his detriment.
If Alvarez is able to rattle Mayweather early, connecting with a stiff blow, it will send the champion into defense-mode. Mayweather is not one of the headstrong fighters who wants to test his might by fighting his opponent's style, but one who stays true to his own.
For that reason, it's senseless to assume that Mayweather will move away from what's worked 44 times before.
Mayweather will counter Alvarez's power with precision and poise, blocking punches and countering with combinations. In turn, the judges will not be able to side with the aggressor, as Alvarez's power may excite the fans, but Mayweather's speed and accuracy will win on the scorecards.
In the end, it'll be yet another decision victory for "Pretty Boy" Floyd.