Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Canelo Alvarez are set to square off in a fight tabbed "The One" on Saturday in Las Vegas, and the oddsmakers unsurprisingly have Money May as the prohibitive favorite.
The most likely outcome, according to the latest lines from Bovada, has the 44-0 Mayweather winning in a decision. Those odds are set at 10-19, while the same result in Alvarez's favor is slated at 5-1.
That isn't perceived as the 23-year-old's best shot at victory, though.
Mayweather is going to be the lighter fighter in this bout, and the odds suggest that Alvarez has a better chance to come out on top by using his size to his advantage in going for the knockout.
Below are the projected scenarios and consequences of the likeliest outcomes of the fight at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, based on the current odds listings.
Note: Odds are courtesy of Bovada and are current as of 1 p.m. on Sept. 12.
Mayweather by Decision (10-19)
It's difficult to envision the fight playing out any differently, which is why this is the most preferred outcome. Mayweather has worn down all 44 of his opponents eventually, but only two of his past nine wins have come by any sort of knockout.
Although Alvarez doesn't have the best defensive skills, he does pack a superior punch to Mayweather's, so Money May has to be careful not to be too overzealous.
There is plenty for both fighters to prove in this showdown, but the common thinking is that Mayweather will prevail.
That's likely due to his legendary defense and counterpunching—something Alvarez must be extremely cognizant of especially in the early stages. Twelve rounds is a long time to endure with Mayweather, and it's a feat no one has been able to accomplish and come out on top.
Alvarez by KO, TKO or DQ (4-1)
Apparently this is Canelo's best chance, but considering no one has done it before, it stands to reason that he might have a better shot toughing it out and making his move late, if at all possible.
Having said that, the odds are this way for a reason. Even without reference to them, B/R's own boxing guru Brian Mazique believes Alvarez must get to Mayweather early and often and go for the KO as soon as humanly possible.
It makes sense, because as mentioned before, Alvarez will have the weight advantage, as he's likely to be around 164 pounds when the action gets underway.
That's 12 pounds above the catchweight, which according to Alvarez was initiated even lower at first by Mayweather's team, per Bob Velin of the USA Today.
Alvarez needs to attack Mayweather's body rather than trying to hit him in the face early and hopefully capitalize on the slightest letdown from Money May in the first five rounds or so. However, if he doesn't get the knockout in that span, he might be gassed well before 12 rounds expire.
Alvarez by Decision (5-1)
Just getting through the entire fight with Mayweather would win Alvarez a lot of respect in the boxing industry, but if he's able to make it tough on judges to pick a winner, then all the better.
For Alvarez to be effective enough to win this fight by decision, he must use Mayweather's strength of defense against him. Getting to 42-0-1 at this early stage in his career means Alvarez has a ton of experience, though not against nearly the competition that Mayweather presents.
Knocking out Mayweather would obviously be ideal, but it's something that Alvarez should not push for. His stamina simply isn't good enough to expend that type of energy too early.
Going for the kill in the middle-to-late rounds is the best option. If it doesn't work, Alvarez can continue pounding away at Mayweather's core, remain physical and tie him up if he gets into trouble.
Mayweather by KO, TKO or DQ (11-2)
This result would confirm that Mayweather is indeed still at the top of his game and likely clinch the fact that he'd end his illustrious career with a perfect record in tow.
Unless, of course, Alvarez wants another shot at him. That opportunity likely wouldn't be granted, though.
Mayweather hasn't managed to knock many foes out in recent years, but it's certainly in the realm of possibility if Alvarez is too aggressive in the early going and burns out.
The defensive capabilities of Alvarez will wear down—exponentially so if the knockout attempt fails. That will open the door for Mayweather to throw devastating combinations at a desperate, heavy-handed Alvarez.
If his Mexican counterpart deploys the strategy of going for the knockout himself, which oddsmakers suggest is his best chance to win, Mayweather will be able to knock him to the canvas roughly between Rounds 7 and 9.