Canelo vs. Duran
If you've seen the movie "Savages", then you know who the bad guy was. Brilliantly played by Benicio Del Toro with a cool and calculated menace, he was every bit the ring equivalent of the savage ring titan, Roberto Duran.
On the 16th of June in 1983, Duran was considered a proverbial "has been" among pundits and followers of the sport. Celebrating his birthday, and turning 32, he glared across the ring at WBA Super welterweight champion Davey Moore. He had heard all of the reports about his demise, and was considered cannon-fodder for the brash and powerful Moore. Duran was less than a year removed from a lackluster performance against Kirkland Lang (Uh.. no relation to Clubber, I don't think). Sure he won 2 fights after that abysmal showing, one of them being a 5th round stoppage of a faded Pipino Cuevas, but the consensus was- he was done.
As for Moore, his arrogance knew no bounds, as he taunted the Panamanian right up to the opening bell. It would turn out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
Duran damn near killed him.
Fighting as if he were possessed by the devil, he unleashed a merciless and relentless attack on Moore; punishing him with abandon, particularly to his body. He looked like the guy "Rocky" must've studied pounding huge slabs of beef, with a bottle of Jack Daniels on the floor at that. I've never seen another world champion so thoroughly abused and hammered into submission. I'm putting Canelo in there with this version of Duran.
A budding legend and legendary street gang badass in all of Mexico (its real), Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has been ruthless in the ring. His cold-blooded and punishing nature is eerily similar to the best Miguel Cotto you've ever seen, but in an icier way. He is young, stout, and has a skill set that just keeps improving. This is what I expect will be in front of Floyd Mayweather in less than a month. Could this Alvarez deal with a June 83' edition of the all-time great Roberto Duran?
Duran's tenacity, volume, precision shot placement and overall ring acumen would set Alvarez up for a seismic beating. Not that Canelo wouldn't hold his own- he would. He would occassionally get off a few of those Baldomir-sleep inducing left hooks, and crippling right hands over the top, but they would be too far in between what Duran was doing.
He would not be facing a fighter primarily concerned with not getting hit. Unt-uh. This master boxer knows all of the subtleties, ways to foul, and move his head and chin just enough to ride with Canelo's shots. He would measure, put him together and take him apart in the process, as the fight would turn into a virtual whitewash of punishment.
Duran would drag Canelo into the Pacific Ocean and drown him, but revive him just in time to hear the judges announce a very wide UD win.
Mayweather vs. Ward
In the early spring of this year, an irritated Andre Ward challenged Floyd Mayweather, when "Money" made fun of his nickname, his stature in the sport, earning potential, and a whole lot more. Ward issued an edict to Floyd, and offered to melt down to 160lbs for a megafight, knowing that Floyd routinely spars with middleweights. After the smoke had cleared, Floyd turned him down, owing to other fish to fry such as the colossal one on September 14th.
But in the process of doing so, Floyd has at least seemed right about Ward, who's stuck in traffic with no cars in front of him. (Glancing at the clock...) Go!
I don't know what the hell is going on, but we don't want Ward getting all comfortable in that blazer next to Kellerman, and its time for him to fight. Which leads me to wonder...
What if Floyd was dealing with an Andre Ward after the Chad Dawson disecration?
Mayweather will probably be a solid super welterwight on fight night, adding never-before-seen density to his torso in anticipation for a war with Canelo. I think he'll weigh something like 158lbs on fight night. I'm putting this version of Floyd Mayweather in there with a rehydrated Ward of 175lbs.
The two are the most supreme talents in the sport, with Mayweather being a little more talented, and the respective weights would affect them both, but in different ways. Ward, interestingly enough, actually had some things to say about fighting as a weight drained fighter today (click here for that). But they are also of supreme intelligence, and would employ whatever method they could to ensure maximum effectiveness come fight night.
They are both extremely methodical, and this approach serves them well when training.
All of Floyd's psychological banter would be useless on Andre, for he is the sports' most mentally toughest competitor, and I think this would bother Mayweather. Then there's the problem of skills and natural ability, which Andre matches in virtually all areas.
Accustomed to controlling space, distance and the ring itself, Floyd would all of a sudden be dealing with someone who is his equal in ring generalship and is more aggressive than he is.
Both of them are thinkers, but the more "savage" warrior exists in Ward. He would be stronger than Mayweather, understand Floyd, and use knowledge of both of these things to great effect. This would actually be chess on a scale we've not seen before, until Andre started turning it into a game of checkers. He would strike the smaller Mayweather with more accuracy and with more intensity as the fight progressed, and eventually mute what little offense Floyd decided to produce.
And for the first time in his life- he would render him defenseless, on the way to a calculated and conclusive 10th rd knockout.