De La Hoya Blueprint: Canelo's Loss Shows There's No Formula to Beat Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather walked into the ring for what was supposed to become one of his toughest challenges to date. Instead, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez provided little resistance despite having the Oscar De La Hoya blueprint at his disposal.
The De La Hoya blueprint is something "Money" has been hearing about ever since his narrow split-decision victory over the "Golden Boy" in 2007. It's a game plan supposedly perfectly crafted to limit the five-division world champion's dominance.
During the buildup to Saturday night's marquee fight, the blueprint was once again at the forefront. Sharon Scrima of Boxing 101 recapped part of the "All Access" show in which De La Hoya said he was providing Alvarez with the tools he needed to pull off the upset.
De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez with Golden Boy Promotions, said he took that fight "out of the archives" and has given it to Canelo in preparation for the biggest fight of the young Mexican's career.
The plan, which is based mostly on getting Mayweather out of his comfort zone with a combination of body shots, almost worked for De La Hoya. Those who have tried to replicate it over the past six years haven't had as much success, though.
It certainly didn't do much to help Alvarez. Any time it seemed like the 23-year-old Mexican was starting to make some progress, and even those moments were rare, Mayweather would overwhelm him with a flurry of efficient shots.
The result was another victory for the unbeaten American, who's now 45-0 in his storied career. The only surprise was the fact that one judge scored it a draw, meaning it will only go down as a majority decision instead of a unanimous decision.
Nevertheless, it was a clear-cut Mayweather triumph. Like so many times in the past, he made it look relatively simple, outclassing his much younger challenger with precision like few boxers the sport has ever witnessed.
The impressive win proves there's no blueprint for ending his undefeated run.
Yes, De La Hoya pushed him to the limit in 2007, but Mayweather still won. And a fighter can't maintain an unblemished record as long as "Money" has without learning from his mistakes and getting better over time.
Mayweather and his camp knew the De La Hoya fight was a close call, but over time they have crafted a game plan of their own to conquer anybody using the supposed blueprint. Alvarez found that out the hard way en route to his first defeat.
Is the De La Hoya blueprint still a good strategy?
Already sporting elite quickness and terrific defensive skills, Mayweather has added more aggressiveness to his approach since that De La Hoya fight. He's willing to get engaged more quickly when the fight calls for it, giving his opponent less time to find a comfort zone.
That's what great champions do. They adapt over time to make sure any weakness is eliminated, or at least minimized to the point where it's easy to overcome. What worked for the "Golden Boy" in 2007 is no longer the path to success.
That doesn't mean Mayweather will remain undefeated forever. Perhaps one day a fighter will finally put together the perfect performance necessary to hand him the first loss of his professional career.
They just can't rely on the De La Hoya blueprint to make it happen.
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