Mayweather vs. Canelo Fight: Money Smart to Take Advantage of Catchweight
When Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez enter the ring on Saturday in "The One," both sides will be impacted by the controversial catchweight agreement.
To be succinct, Alvarez will shed weight and drop to 152 pounds, while the smaller Mayweather is forced to come up to meet the requirement.
The catchweight has stirred up much controversy in the week leading up to the fight, as the two camps continue to exchange verbal spats over how things went down.
Per Bob Velin of USA Today, Canelo claims he was forced by Mayweather's camp to come down in weight as the only way he could enter the blockbuster fight:
Why would I give up the weight? I'm at 154. I'm the 154-pound champion...I wouldn't do that. But when the (fight) negotiations started, they wanted me to go to 147. I said that's physically impossible. I couldn't do it. Then they inched up to 150. I said I can't do it, that's impossible...Then they went up to 151. And then finally, so we could make the fight, I said, 'If anything, I'll give up two pounds. I'll go up to 152. I agreed to that. Then they tried to force me to be quiet and not to mention anything that they came up with the weight of 152...
Mayweather's camp countered with the perfect retort:
We just took advantage of a situation. It's no different from basketball, football or baseball. You're always going to put your opposition at a disadvantage, if you can. You break 'em down and you go in for the kill...this is business at the end of the day, and we're going to hold his feet to the fire, and his manager the same way.
Sorry, Canelo, this is how it works. Want to be in the big fight with the best in the world? Accommodate the terms and conditions or Money will fight someone else. Easy.
Problem is, Canelo not only wanted this fight—he needs it. As a rising star with an impressive 42-0-1 record courtesy of Mexico's more lenient fighting age restrictions, Canelo needs a major victory to solidify his status.
Victories over Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez and an aging Shane Mosley simply are not enough. A victory over Mayweather? Legacy-defining.
It's strange that Canelo and his camp would even be bitter about the agreement. For one, that's simply how the game goes, and they have to know that. Two, Alvarez's longtime trainer Ronnie Shields claims, via ESPN The Magazine's Pablo S. Torre, that Canelo will be able to balloon back up to 164 pounds after the weigh-in a day before the fight.
2011 was the last time Canelo weighed in less than 152 pounds as he took on Matthew Hatton. Meeting weight could be an issue, but if Alvarez's trainer is to be believed, Canelo will have no problems getting back to an even heavier advantage by the time the fight gets underway.
Kudos to Mayweather and his team for taking advantage. At 36 years old as the face of boxing with a 44-0 record, Mayweather has earned the right to have leverage heading into any match, especially against an opponent that needs it more than he does.
Not only is the spectacle and magnitude of the event huge for Canelo, a guy who has fought in Las Vegas all of two times, Alvarez will also be making more money than he ever has by accommodating Mayweather's conditions for the fight.
Who does the catchweight favor?
In the ring, the name of the game for Mayweather is stamina and defense. That won't change as he comes back up to meet the requirement in a division he's won at before. Canelo is a big-hitter with 30 career knockouts, but he'll have to find a new strategy against a defense that has enabled Mayweather to only be hit by 17 percent of the punches thrown his way.
If Canelo can somehow take down Mayweather then, he will earn the right to dictate terms of fights. His holding the WBC light middleweight and WBA Super World light middleweight titles don't entitle him to that right against Money.
But right now, Mayweather and Co. were smart to put Canelo where they wanted him. It's the advantage Money has earned over the years, and it's one he'll be looking to keep by taking down Canelo.
Note: All statistics are courtesy of CompuBox.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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