Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez: Expert Predictions for Main Event

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterSeptember 12, 2013

Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez: Expert Predictions for Main Event

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    It's the calm before the storm in Las Vegas, as the world awaits what may well be the biggest event in modern boxing history. Everything that can be said has been said, especially by the loquacious Floyd Mayweather, who often did the talking for the two as Saul "Canelo" Alvarez looked on blankly.

    The time for talk, however, is over. All that remains is the meeting of two men in the ring.

    “Its fight time, what else can I say? If the game plan is to keep pressure, I can handle it. If the game plan is to out-box me, nobody can out box me," Mayweather told the media at the final press conference. "You have to be able to out match me mentally, and I’m the strongest mental fighter in the sport of boxing... I've been here before so I know what it takes. He’s 42-0, but he hasn’t faced 42 Floyd Mayweathers because he’d be 0-42. I’m at the pinnacle. I’m the face of boxing and I’m dedicated to my craft."

    Boxing is among the most pure of all professional sports, answering an age-old question: Who's the toughest guy around?

    If you weigh under 160 pounds, the clear answer to that question, for the last decade at least, has been Floyd Mayweather. He's entered the ring on 44 occasions and walked away 44 times with his hand raised.

    But time isn't always forgiving to a fighter. Now 36 years old, Mayweather is nearing the end of a Hall of Fame career. Is he ripe for an upset? Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero thought so, and both were easily dispatched.

    Now it's Canelo's turn to test the master.

    “I’ve studied him. I know his style and I know what he’s going to do," Alvarez told the media in his final appearance before the fight. “I’m confident I will win because I know everything about him. I’ve prepared for everything... It’s important from the opening bell to fight smart and not fall into his game plan. I need to stick to my plan, not fall into his."

    Will the young Mexican star succeed where others have failed? Will he replace Oscar De La Hoya as the sport's baby-faced overlord?

    We checked in with our staff of boxing experts to find out. Canelo or Floyd? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Lyle Fitzsimmons

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    Who Wins the Fight? When and How?  

    Canelo is a big, strong kid who can hit hard and sell tickets. And I'm sure Oscar De La Hoya would like nothing better than to see him beat Mayweather into a fine dust.

    But I just don't see it.

    The kid barely got past Austin Trout (I had Trout winning by a point), and he'll find out fairly quickly that Mayweather is by no means Austin Trout. The old man is just too quick, too skilled and too smart, and the precise punishment he dishes out each round will ultimately require a humane referee/corner intervention.  

    Mayweather, TKO, Round 10.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember the Most Is...?

    When Mayweather refers to De La Hoya in his post-fight interview with something along the lines of, "It's too bad his mentor wasn't here to see it." 

     

    Who Will Be with Floyd During His Entrance?

    I've been wondering about this one all week. I'll go with Bruno Mars.  

     

    Whom Will Floyd Fight Next? When and Where?

    If it's not a rematch, it'll be the winner of the Garcia-Matthysse undercard bout, back at the MGM Grand in February.  

     

    Whom Will Canelo Fight Next? When and Where?

    I have a hunch the Golden Boy Promotions folks will want Canelo back in the belted class as soon as possible. Maybe the winner of the Ishe Smith/Carlos Molina bout for the IBF title at 154.

Kevin McRae

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    Who Wins the Fight? When and How?    

    Canelo is the biggest, strongest and most physically imposing opponent of Mayweather’s career, but there is nobody better than Floyd at finding a weakness and exploiting it. The fight will be close at the halfway mark, and there might be some dicey moments for Mayweather early in the fight, but he will rally to dominate a fading Canelo down the stretch.

    Mayweather, unanimous decision.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember the Most Is...?    

    Mayweather is so seldom hit cleanly, much less hurt, that whenever Canelo connects the fans will hold their breath. At some point in the fight, most likely early, Canelo will connect with something clean that staggers the pound-for-pound king. He won’t be able to close the show, but it will be shocking to those in the arena and watching on television.    

     

    Who Will Be with Floyd During His Entrance?     

    At some point, they’ll add this to the things you can bet on in Vegas during fight week. It’s a shame that Johnny Football plays during the day, or he’d be my pick. Instead, I’ll go with Tim Tebow, Triple H and one of the MGM Grand’s lions.    

     

    Whom Will Floyd Fight Next? When and Where?    

    Mayweather will drop back down to welterweight, and he’ll face the winner of the co-featured bout between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse. The Argentine knockout machine should win that fight, and he’d present a compelling challenge for Floyd’s next fight.

    Matthysse might be one-dimensional, but who wouldn’t want to see how Mayweather handles that type of power? It’ll take place on May 3, 2014 at the MGM Grand.    

     

    Whom Will Canelo Fight Next? When and Where?    

    Canelo will need a win over a big-name opponent that helps reestablish his brand. Miguel Cotto has been mentioned previously, and while he is currently working with Golden Boy rival Top Rank, there is no long-term commitment between the two.

    If Cotto is impressive in dispatching Delvin Rodriguez in October and GBP decides he’s worth the money, we could see this match finally become a reality. I say it happens in March at the Staples Center.

Robert Contreras

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    Who Wins the Fight? When and How?   

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. is undefeated for a reason. He is a defensive genius with one of the most complete offensive skill sets since Ray Leonard.  

    With that being said, I’m going with the underdog here. I believe it’s his time.

    Canelo’s size and deceiving speed will be huge factors, and angles will be the name of the game. When Mayweather starts to back up in straight lines, Alvarez will run him right into the ropes and close off every angle to escape. 

    It won’t be easy, but look for Alvarez to rough up Mayweather and land clean shots on his slick opponent more often than anyone thought possible. I see him cutting the ring off—like few boxers, if any, do better—and outworking him in close quarters, forcing Mayweather to succumb in the eighth or ninth round. 

    That's how upsets work. James “Buster” Douglas was never going to sweat out a close, dull decision against Mike Tyson in 1990—it was going to be by way of spectacular knockout. So when Alvarez does pull off the upset, it won’t be the slightest bit lackluster.  

    Canelo, TKO, Round 8 or 9.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember the Most Is...?  

    Should Alvarez pull off the upset of this young century, the waning moments of the historical finish will be remembered forever. Mayweather—the walking, breathing definition of impenetrability—being struck over and over until the referee waves his hands to end the bout will be all but seared into our memory banks.    

     

    Who Will Be with Floyd During His Entrance?  

    To the dismay of many, Vine sensation Terio will not be “killin’ it” with Mayweather come Sept. 14. I’m sure that's for the greater good. In reality, I can’t imagine Mayweather walking out with anyone other than recording artist Lil Wayne.

    But maybe, just maybe, they’ll manage to spice things up with a certain Disney star-turned-twerking specialist. Floyd, I dare you.  

     

    Whom Will Floyd Fight Next? When and Where?  

    Win or lose, Mayweather won’t be fighting in the junior middleweight division immediately after his showdown with Alvarez. And seeing as how he hasn’t fought outside of Las Vegas in almost eight years, he’ll be right back at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in nine months against any welterweight in the world not named Manny Pacquiao.

     

    Whom Will Canelo Fight Next? When and Where? 

    With a win, expect a hero’s welcome in Mexico or California for Alvarez, most likely to take place in about seven months against either WBC No. 1 contender Sergey Rabchenko or WBA No. 1 contender Erislandy Lara. 

    With a loss, Canelo will be matched up carefully. It will probably be with Ishe Smith if he loses to Carlos Molina this weekend, or Miguel Cotto if he doesn’t look too good against Delvin Rodriguez in October.  Alvarez’s camp has shown a lot of interest in Cotto in the past.

Jonathan Snowden

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    Who Wins the Fight? When and How?

    In a battle between age and youth, in boxing at least, age rarely comes out looking good. Fighting is a young man's game, and Floyd Mayweather is 36 years old.

    But then again, he's Floyd Mayweather. He's the best fighter of his generation, a genius in the ring who has made better fighters than Canelo Alvarez look incredibly foolish in the ring.

    He's got this one in the bag.

    Mayweather, unanimous decision.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember the Most Is...?

    Mayweather makes good fighters look bad. At some point in the fight, Alvarez is going to miss a lunging punch. Badly. It will be fun to see the air go out of the partisan crowd in that moment.

     

    Who Will Be with Floyd During His Entrance?

    Edward Snowden in a wig and fake nose? Kanye and Kim with their baby? The first public appearance of a Sasquatch? Nothing is off the table with Floyd.

     

    Whom Will Floyd Fight Next? When and Where?

    No one predicted Floyd would be fighting Canelo, so throw your expectations out the window. Floyd is fighting for his legacy. And the fight that matters most, no matter what happens with Brandon Rios, is Manny Pacquiao next summer at the MGM Grand.

     

    Whom Will Canelo Fight Next? When and Where?

    I say throw Canelo right back in with the wolves, but Golden Boy will see it differently. If Ishe Smith wins, I expect to see him sacrificed at the cinnamon altar in Mexico come January. 

Briggs Seekins

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    Who Wins the Fight? When and How?

    Alvarez is a better boxer than some people are giving him credit for, and the 20-pound weight advantage he'll probably have Saturday night will make it so Mayweather can't rope-a-dope like he has in a lot of recent fights. But I don't think Canelo is going to be able to land enough solid shots to the body to slow his opponent down.

    Mayweather, unanimous decision.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember the Most Is...?

    Between Rounds 7 and 9, Canelo will force Mayweather into some of the most furious exchanges of his recent career. One of those three rounds will end with the crowd on its feet and Canelo pushing hard to force the upset. 

     

    Who Will Be with Floyd During His Entrance?

    Floyd is going to have Miley Cyrus with him during the ring entrance, but I don't think she'll be twerking.

     

    Whom Will Floyd Fight Next? When and Where?

    I expect Lucas Matthysse to win an exciting fight with Danny Garcia. After that, the enthusiasm for Matthysse-Mayweather will be at a fever pitch. If I'm wrong and Garcia wins, he will be one of the hottest fighters in the sport, and I think he'll get Mayweather.

    I don't see anybody currently at welterweight who would generate the same buzz as the winner of that fight. So it will be Matthysse, or perhaps Garcia, and naturally the fight will happen in Vegas.

     

    Whom Will Canelo Fight Next? When and Where?

    I think Canelo's next fight will be a rematch with Austin Trout. I'd like to see Canelo go back to Mexico and put on a huge fight for the fans there. If he manages to beat Mayweather, his next fight will be a rematch with Mayweather, once again in Vegas.

Kelsey McCarson

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    Who Wins the Fight? When and How?

    Canelo Alvarez will shock the world Saturday night by defeating Floyd Mayweather by majority decision. He's bigger, stronger and entering the prime of his career. Mayweather, 36, is underestimating Canelo's ability, and he'll pay the price for it.

    Canelo, majority decision.

     

    The Moment We’ll Remember the Most Is...?

    Alvarez will score a knockdown in the fight with a straight left hand, making Floyd go straight back on his butt—looking old, frail and fragile for the very first time.

     

    Who Will Be with Floyd During His Entrance?

    Father Time. Oh, don't get me wrong, Mayweather will also have some mildly interesting celebrity with him, but the most important person there will be the one he should've noticed beforehand: old age.

     

    Whom Will Floyd Fight Next? When and Where?

    Mayweather will exercise his rematch clause and take on Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas once again. 

     

    Whom Will Canelo Fight Next? When and Where?

    Alvarez will fight Mayweather again in Las Vegas, making tons more money and winning even more convincingly this time around. 

     

    Quotes obtained first-hand via press conference transcript, unless otherwise noted.