Make no mistake: Saul Alvarez vs. Floyd Mayweather features two boxers, but it is Money's show.
At 36 years old with a 44-0 record, Mayweather is receiving $41.5 million just to show up. Las Vegas is Money's home, and "The One" is but a blip on his radar.
The 23-year-old Canelo will look like a deer in headlights once the bell rings, if he doesn't already in the week leading up to the bout.
Canelo is young, hungry and has bulldozed his way to a 42-0-1 record with 30 knockouts at a young age, thanks to Mexico's lower age-restriction laws, but he has yet to face anyone near Mayweather's skill level, and he has never sniffed the media extravaganza that is a Money Mayweather fight.
Mayweather is too fast and elusive, while also more technically sound and defensive minded, than anyone Canelo has encountered.
Canelo's toughest opposition has been Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez and Shane Mosley. Trout was the most impressive of the three for Canelo as far as victories go, as Alvarez not only became the first ever to knock down Trout but also unified the WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles.
The victory over Lopez was a mismatch, with Alvarez heavily outweighing Lopez, while the victory over Mosley would have been impressive had it come five years earlier.
Once in the ring with Money, Canelo will have to make quick adjustments when he realizes he is too flat footed and robotic to compete with the speed and technical prowess Mayweather utilizes. He'll also come to the stark realization that power punches—his main weapons—which he is accustomed to landing over 50 percent of the time, will be ineffective against the defense of Mayweather, who only allows them to connect 21 percent of the time.
Mayweather allows all punches thrown his way to land just 17 percent of the time. He also expertly adapts to each opponent as a match wears on, which will force Canelo to get desperate in the mid rounds after realizing—like many before him—that a knockout is the only way to victory.
With the power strikes and devastating combos Canelo is so accustomed to relying on neutralized, Alvarez will hit a sense of panic and play right into Mayweather's strategy.
All of this goes without mentioning the stage. Canelo has fought just twice in Las Vegas on a grand stage, and even those fights against Jose Cotto and Lopez were nothing at all compared to the spectacle of a Mayweather fight.
Mayweather is "the guy." Muhammad Ali. "Sugar" Leonard. Mike Tyson. Oscar De La Hoya.
Not only is the showdown the biggest fight of the decade, but it may end up being the biggest spectacle Carnelo ever gets to partake in, as Mayweather is a once-in-a-generation boxer. Canelo has been in big bouts, especially the one against Trout, held in front of 40,000 fans at the Alamodome, but nothing can prepare him adequately for what may be the most-watched and highest-grossing fight of all time.
It's a daunting task for a young man trying to do something that greats like Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo's own trainer, have attempted and failed.
Canelo has the proverbial puncher's chance, but at the end of the day, he's too young, ill equipped in multiple aspects and inexperienced to do something that has never been done.
A fight against Mayweather will provide Canelo with some great experience, but will he emerge the winner?
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