Canelo vs. Mayweather 2013: Breaking Down Keys to Success for Money

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 14, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 13:  CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe (C) looks on as boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) tries to get boxer Canelo Alvarez (R) to hold a WBC belt as they pose during the official weigh-in for their bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 13, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fighters will meet in a WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight on September 14 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Tonight, the man who is arguably the most dominant boxer to ever set foot in a ring will take the next step in his quest to finish his career undefeated, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. gets set to take on Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas. 

And by the end of the night, one of these two fighters will almost certainly leave the ring having lost for the first time as a professional. 

That's why this is one of the most highly anticipated showdowns in recent memory, as the 45-0 Mayweather should be getting one of his most difficult challenges to date in the powerful 23-year-old, at least on paper. 

While the Mexican challenger enters the fight with a sparkling 42-0-1 mark, there's no reason why Money can't orchestrate yet another impressive win, but it won't be a one-sided affair. 

Heading into the bout, here's a look at what Mayweather needs to do in order to claim a 46th consecutive victory at the MGM Grand tonight. 


Let Canelo tire himself out

One of Mayweather's greatest strengths is his ability to outwit his opponents, because as we know well by now, he won't be able to overpower them most of the time

But despite landing just one knockout in his last five contests, Money manages to outlast each and every challenger by allowing his opponents to throw punch after punch, because he's just so good defensively that only a handful actually end up connecting. 

Against Robert Guerrero, Mayweather attempted over 100 less punches than his opponent did, but it didn't matter. By the time the final round came about, Money had seized control of the fight. 

Canelo's power is certainly a concern for Mayweather, but if his strategy is more or less similar to what we've seen from Money recently, he'll wait until the later rounds to deliver the decisive blows. 


Remain solid defensively

As stated above, Mayweather relies heavily on his incredibly stingy defense to keep his opponents at bay, and that will be very important against Canelo. 

With extremely impressive power and nearly equally dangerous accuracy to go along with it, Alvarez presents Money with a rather unique challenge, but as we've seen many times before, it would take a very special fighter to break through Money's unpredictable and shifty defense. 

If the outcome of this fight was going to come down to who could hit each other harder, Canelo would easily win. But as the Mexican challenger will likely see tonight, actually landing a punch on Mayweather is far easier said than done.

Unless Canelo can somehow become the first fighter to consistently land heavy blows against Money, the five-division champ will outlast Alvarez. 


Capitalize on opportunities 

Another reason why Mayweather generally doesn't need to land nearly as many punches as his opponents in order to win is his ability to do damage on significantly less attempts. 

The far quicker of the two fighters, Money's offense revolves around him pouncing on his opportunities when they arise, which, in many cases, are created by forcing his opponents into vulnerable positions, especially as fights wear on. 

Yes, the undefeated Alvarez is capable of delivering a decisive blow early, but if Money keeps things close, he'll use his lightning-quick reactions to put the outcome out of reach and force Canelo to take overly optimistic shots during the later rounds of the bout.