Canelo Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo are both looking to rebound from difficult losses when they enter the ring on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
Making things even more interesting, the two fighters hold no love for one another as Mexico's biggest boxing stars. Alvarez recently told Douglass Fischer of The Ring Magazine, "I know he [Angulo] doesn't like me, so there's no reason I should like him."
The action should be fast-paced. These pugelists are both known for their offensive prowess rather than for being defensive-minded geniuses like Money May.
That said, though their approaches are similar, Alvarez and Angulo are not the same guy in the ring.
With that in mind, here's a look at what both fighters must do to win the bout.
It's easy to forget how much hype Alvarez had going for him before Mayweather took him to task last September. As he does to everyone he faces, Money had little trouble exploiting every weakness in Alvarez's game to hand the Mexican star the first loss of his stellar career.
This upcoming battle will be a different sort of test.
Angulo isn't a defensive guru like Mayweather, and he'll look to press the attack from the get-go in Round 1, as Alvarez detailed recently, via Santos A. Perez of the Miami Herald:
Obviously, he’s a fighter that comes forward, that hits hard, that can take a punch, and that’s what’s going to make the fight live up, and that’s what the people want to see. They want to see action, and that’s what they will see [Saturday], a lot of action.
With this in mind, Alvarez must show up in phenomenal shape. His conditioning will be a huge factor in whether or not he wins the fight, because his offensive efforts must outclass those of Angulo's.
This isn't exactly a sure thing, either, as pointed out by TheSweetScience:
Canelo fights in spurts. His conditioning is suspect. He's never fought a swarmer like Angulo. #Boxing— TheSweetScience (@SweetScienc) March 6, 2014
Alvarez must press the attack, and he must be sharp.
If he loses steam midway through the fight, then the red-headed youngster will lose his second bout in a row.
Angulo nearly defeated Erislandy Lara, knocking him down twice before Lara broke his eye socket and forced the ref to call the fight in the 10th round. He's not impressed with Alvarez's one-loss record and won't be intimidated one bit when they step into the ring.
"I think that he is a boxer that has had his career handed to him," Angulo said, via Fischer. "Canelo hasn't fought anyone aside from Mayweather. I've earned my respect through my fights."
He'll have a chance to prove he's Mexico's greatest fighter on Saturday night, but it won't be easy.
The plan is simple, however, according to trainer Virgil Hunter, via Fischer:
Accomplishing the plan will take something more than just Angulo's warrior's heart, however. EastSideBoxing.com elaborates:
Canelo is clearly the better pure boxer of the two, so in order to stay a step ahead or at the very least keep up, Angulo will need to use great intelligence to mix his shot selection and refrain from becoming predictable.
If Angulo charges in headfirst and doesn't utilize some sweet science, then Alvarez will be able to counter effectively and hand him a loss.
Both fighters are desperate for a win, but only one will emerge victorious.
Which figher will prevail?
Many have dismissed Alvarez as an overhyped would-be star after he was pummeled without mercy by Mayweather. But that's what Money does to all his opponents, and the 23-year-old fighter will surely have learned from his humiliating loss.
Angulo is like a tornado in the ring, and he's certainly dangerous. However, Alvarez brings more polish and skill to the fight, and ultimately, he will prevail.