And so it is, we’ve arrived at “The One”.
After taking you on what felt like a 13 episode season of fantasy fight adventure, we finally get to venture into some very real adventure- if not a real result.
As sports fans, we live for big moments from athletes, and we’ll remember where we were when they occurred, along with the general feeling that accompanied it.
Sure, all of us love the thrill of the Superbowl and its pageantry. Some may favor Game 7 in the NBA Finals, or Tiger Woods on Sunday in the hunt at “The Masters”. Hell there’s even a dude somewhere with a Budweiser- plus a confederate flag wrapped around his head, that’ll “swear” that the start of Nascar’s Daytona 500 is the most exciting thing in sports (he’s drunk though- it’s not.)
But real fans will probably concur, that the single most exciting moment in sports happens when two boxers make their way to the ring- for a superfight.
You’ll feel a surge in your heart rate when Floyd “Money” Mayweather emerges from the dressing room, with whatever outfit on and music guiding his ringwalk.
When Saul “Canelo” Alvarez appears on the screen just before beginning his trek into history, there’ll be a massive eruption of euphoria from his adoring Mexican faithful filling the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Even the thought of this can produce an adrenaline rush.
The numbers are all in, and pens are just about out of ink, as this fight has been analyzed more than the mind of Charles Manson. Most conclusions favor the ring legend and preternaturally gifted Mayweather.
And I think they’re wrong.
Mayweather vs. Canelo: The Superfight
"He's quick. He's fast. But when you put pressure on him he closes his mind."
Miguel Cotto, on Floyd in February 2008
There’s no way of getting around it, you can’t talk about the sport of Boxing without talking about Floyd Mayweather. Ask him- he’ll tell you. He’s made untold millions off of a super-sized persona and ego, that’s attached to the type of rare skills that comes along once in a generation. He is easily the best pure boxer since the great Pernell Whitaker, and his athleticism rivals that of a prime Roy Jones, even now at 36.
Because of his unusual work ethic and penchant for perfection, he is nuanced at what he does in a way that makes it difficult to imagine him in sustained peril in the ring.
But that is “exactly” what he’ll be in, beginning around midnight (EST) on Saturday night.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER’S LAST FIVE FIGHTS
Robert Guerrero W12 (May 2013)
Miguel Cotto W12 (May 2012)
Victor Ortiz KO3 (September 2011)
Shane Mosley W12 (May 2010)
Juan Manuel Marquez W12 (September 2009)
SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ’S LAST FIVE FIGHTS
Austin Trout W12 (April 2013)
Josesito Lopez KO5 (September 2012)
Shane Mosley W12 (May 2012)
Kermit Cintron TKO5 (November 2011)
Alfonso Gomez TKO (September 2011)
Do you notice something there? Alvarez has had more fights, at superwelterweight mind you, in a shorter period of time than Mayweather.
I’ll even do you one better.
If you trace back Floyd’s 5th most recent fight, his September 2009 affair at 144lbs with Juan Manuel Marquez (who he deliberately cheated on the scales by 2lbs) Alvarez has had a startling 9 more fights dating back to September 2009 after he beat Alfonso Gomez in September 2011.
This is all at super welterweight- making him clearly more battle tested.
Floyd will also be a very small super welterweight, and Alvarez will have no reason to not press the issue and the attack against Floyd. Something to bear in mind as well is the fact that both of Floyds’ forays into the super welterweight division revealed a less-than-stellar performance.
A younger Mayweather turned in a B and a B+ performance against an older De la hoya (2007) and a battle-worn Cotto (2012) respectively.
Floyd’s fight with Ortiz, frankly, looked fixed. At best, it showed he was hittable and would relent some under pressure in those 2 good rounds we saw. Alvarez would destroy Ortiz, has beaten Mosley, and would decimate Guerrero, Cotto, and Marquez.
Speaking of Mosley, no elite fighter Shane has faced over the last 5 years, was as bothered by a single punch from him as was Mayweather.
Alvarez is also going to enter this fight as a seasoned 23 year-old with a vendetta against Floyd, who couldn’t resist the urge to create bulletin board material for the former street menace.
I believe this has created a “Duran culture”, which is the type of savagery the legendary Panamanian unfurled on opponents who provoked his wrath, and that is no country for old men.
I think Mayweather is in for a merciless beating.
Of course, I could be wrong, and it wouldn’t shock me if Floyd prevailed via tense UD. He will enter the ring this weekend a very athletic and superbly conditioned hybrid of James Toney and Roy Jones Jr.
Oh yes- he will be ready.
But he’s a small super welterweight, not battle tested, is facing someone fresh off of preparation for essentially a middleweight in Austin Trout, and I believe has Roy Jones’ chin.
Again, it wouldn’t shock me if he won “The One”, but I would be very surprised.
I don’t think he has any idea just how fast and powerful Saul will be once fully rested and rehydrated.
The fight will probably play out initially with Floyd out-boxing Canelo early while under systematic pressure. But due to Canelo’s aggressive and measured nature, along with a complete lack of regard for him, Floyd will not be able to avoid the exchanges and the fight he doesn’t want to be in. Pot-shotting will not work at all in this fight, and he’ll be forced to open up his offense.
He’s still “Pretty Boy” Floyd deep down inside and that will resurface. Floyd will fight back with all of the resolve and grit of the true champion that he is. But he is going to take a beating.
As the rounds go by and the punishment mounts, particularly the assault on his arms and his body- Canelo will break him.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will score a grinding and methodical 11th round stoppage of Floyd Mayweather, in a grueling and gut-wrenching instant classic.
It’s been real. Deuces.