Floyd Mayweather is facing his toughest challenge in years Saturday night, but the man they call “Money” will still counterpunch his way to a victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Mayweather was masterful in his last outing, when he dissected Robert Guerrero with surgical precision. Mayweather destroyed Guerrero throughout the fight, bloodying his face and displaying the elusive defense that has propelled him to his 44-0 record.
He failed to register the knockout, but Mayweather dominated on his way to a unanimous-decision win. Each judge scored the fight, 117-111, in favor of Mayweather, and the bout seemed even more lopsided than that.
I’m expecting a very similar result Saturday night, even if the road there will be tougher for Floyd.
Like Mayweather, Alvarez boasts an unbeaten record (42-0-1, 30 KOs). Unlike Mayweather, he’s only 23 years old, and his youthful exuberance will be one of his main advantages. The other will be his strength, as the bigger Alvarez dropped down a weight class to challenge Mayweather.
Despite the few things working in Alvarez’s favor, he won’t be able to present anything knew to Mayweather. At this point in his career, Mayweather has seen it all. He’s easily handled big, talented fighters before (see: Miguel Cotto), and his speed will more than make up for his age.
Although he is 36 years old, Mayweather’s quickness is as impressive as ever. And following a relatively short turnaround after the Guerrero fight, his conditioning should be at its highest level since he knocked out Ricky Hatton in 2007.
Alvarez will give Mayweather some problems, especially if he can prevent Floyd from controlling the tempo. When the final bell tolls, however, it will be Mayweather who is victorious.
Prediction: Mayweather wins via unanimous decision