The tagline for the Saul "Canelo" Alvarez-Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday is "toe-to-toe." Whether the fight is indeed fought in that style remains to be seen.
Angulo is the brawler, so a slugfest is the only chance he has to win. Canelo's hand speed and boxing acumen are superior. Whether he can maintain his stamina and poise amidst Angulo's unrelenting pressure will likely be the deciding factor in the fight.
Per the Las Vegas oddsmakers, Canelo should win. According to Oddsshark.com, Canelo is the minus-1000 favorite to defeat El Perro. You may or may not agree with that prediction, but in fights—as well as other sports—there is more to bet on than the result.
The prop bets for a boxing match can change depending on the participants, their past fights and personalities. That dynamic is what makes prop bets in boxing so interesting and fun. Here's three prop bets for the Canelo-Angulo clash.
(Warning: Images of Angulo's eye injury may be difficult to look at.)
Who Will Bleed First?
Cuts are as much a part of boxing as decisions and knockouts. Sometimes they are precursors to both.
Angulo wasn't cut in his last fight, but his eye was badly swollen after Erislandy Lara connected on a punch that seemed to a fractured orbital bone. Steve Kim of Max Boxing captured an image of Angulo's injury.
Angulo turned away and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Per BoxRec.com, Angulo suffered no broken bones from the injury. The injury certainly looked more serious than it turned out to be.
Angulo discussed the injury and fight with ESPN's Bernardo Osuna:
At the time of the stoppage, Angulo was winning the fight on one judges' card and trailing by a point on the other two. It was the 10th round, Angulo had the momentum and he had dropped Lara for the second time in the round prior.
Lara respects Angulo so much, he actually picked him to defeat Canelo. Per Miguel Rivera of Boxing Scene, Lara said:
"If Angulo's eye holds up from the pounding of his last fight, I think he will knock Canelo out."
His performance in the fight against Lara helped to get him this opportunity. That said, the injury he suffered in that fight makes some sort of facial damage a major concern against Canelo.
Canelo has been cut before, but he wouldn't be described as a bleeder by those in the know. Because of the damage Angulo suffered against Lara, it would seem that he'd be the man most apt to bleed first.
But I don't believe that's the case.
His injury was swelling, not bleeding. Having watched Angulo's last five bouts, I don't recall him being cut in any of them.
Canelo was cut in his bout with Shane Mosley in 2012 after a headbutt. Because there is some history there, Canelo is the most apt to be cut in this fight.
Who Will Score the First Knockdown?
Like the last scenario, this occurrence may not even happen. But if it does, it's a good bet the man on the canvas would be Canelo.
Though he's never been down before—and only hurt one time against Jose Miguel Cotto—he usually starts a bit slow. Angulo will look to jump on him early.
If he lands flush, Angulo could drop Canelo and put him in serious peril. Angulo could also drop him with a flash knockdown. Canelo could recover from this, if he has the poise.
Though I predict Canelo will win the fight via TKO, Angulo is so tough. He may never hit the canvas.
Will the Fight go to the Scorecards?
If this bout is fought toe-to-toe, it seems impossible that the judges' cards will factor in the result. Both men have good power and the need to make a statement.
Angulo is coming off the loss to Lara and Canelo was embarrassed by Floyd "Money" Mayweather in his last bout. In addition to wanting to bounce back from a loss, there's also cultural significance.
The two proud Mexican fighters want to emerge as their country's best. Angulo told Lem Satterfield of The Ring Magazine that this fight is special because of that factor. Angulo said:
"Every fight is important, but this one is more special because all of the fans in Mexico will know that the winner of this fight is the No. 1 Mexican fighter."
With so much motivation to please and two heavy-handed fighters in the ring, chances are this one won't reach the final bell.
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