The Big Showdown: Mayweather Vs Alvarez Were Both Boxing Prodigies

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[BoxingGlove Notes]     

Just like the historic “Kentucky Derby”, these two pugilists are about to reach the finish line of their training, as  the magic date of Saturday, September 14, 2013 is fast approaching. Only 2 weeks to go of the mega fight between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez.

It's being referred to as “The One”.

Indeed it will result in one man standing due to the great competitiveness of these 2 ring warriors with excellent fight records.

This fight has taken an identity all it’s own, sometimes labeled a Crusade of Good over Evil, a celebration of Mexican Independence, or the possibility of the young upstart-Alvarez- handing the super confident boisterous veteran-Mayweather- his first ring defeat.

Which is the accurate label? Well, your guess is as good as mine, so let’s pause and reflect.

From the very first press conference in Times Square in New York City to the last publicity tour in Los Angeles, absorbing most if not all that was said by the media, the general fight fans, and the fighters themselves, I found myself obligated to read, and research further in an in depth view every film clip about these 2 gladiators.

The more I researched and read, the more “fascinated”- if that is the proper word- I became of this mega fight that has become a “global” attraction and as explosive as an a volcanic eruption.

On film much to my surprise and delight I saw Floyd and Canelo, as young boys, exposed to the craft of a boxing life. Floyd being hoisted on his father’s-Floyd, Sr.’s shoulders as he attempted hit the speed bag, and Canelo the youngest of 7 boys, accompanying his siblings to the gym also.

I am willing to bet that Floyd, Jr.’s first sneakers were boxing shoes, and his first teething ring was a mouth-piece; while Canelo’s first pampers were boxing trunks, and his first pair of gloves were “Everlast”.  They both never really enjoyed a “normal” childhood having been thrust into an athletic world, but only boxing.

Floyd Sr. was a professional fighter who at one time in his career fought the legendary former world champ Sugar Ray Leonard and uncle Roger Mayweather was a former 140 pound world champion known as the “Black Mamba” and was sometimes called the “The Mexican Assassin” because of his high volume of victories over Mexican fighters; with knockouts.

Floyd, Sr. and Roger became and still are Floyd Jr.’s trainers, which was a blessing.

On the other side in Guadalajara, Mexico, Canelo following his brothers to the gym also began to emulate them punching the bags and shadow boxing just like them while at the same time trying to jump rope. Because he was very light-skinned, red haired, and freckled, he was teased by his classmates and got into many fights in school.

He was unlike his brothers who are dark-haired and slightly darker-skinned; but still biological brothers. He still went to school and was monitored but the family soon realized that his interest was the same as his brothers, Boxing.

Being very poor Canelo and his brothers helped their father sell fruits and other consumable goods to make ends meet as he continued his boxing career through the national boxing tournaments winning amateur titles and then at 15 years of age followed his brother Rigoberto into the pro ranks.

Rigoberto Alvarez who also now trains Canelo with chief trainer, Eddie “Chepo” Reynoso, was a former 154 pound world champ who lost his crown to Austin “No Doubt” Trout; which Canelo Alvarez took back by a unanimous decision recently.

In Mexico a fighter can become a professional boxer at 15 years of age. That is why this young Canelo Alvarez at just 22 years of age and a world champ already has a professional fight record of 42-0-1, 30 knockouts, while Floyd Mayweather has a perfect fight record of 44-0, 26 k.o.’s; but, it took Floyd 17 years to achieve the record.

So you see how their lives are somehow parallel.

Young Floyd, Jr. was also very poor growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as he learned his boxing skills, and sometimes as he mentioned in an interview, had to walk to the gym miles away in very cold weather and snow because he did not have the carfare to take public transportation.

Their determination at such a young age perhaps explains their success today which will take them directly to the biggest stage of the boxing world for the biggest fight of their careers, MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

I was amazed to see on film a very young Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fighting and winning many amateur boxing titles, and also making his pro debut fighting in the same boxing style that we see him utilize today. His father and uncle really taught Floyd, Jr. well, making him a well-polished defensive fighter and a superior counter-puncher with a lot of speed. I remember an analysis at ringside stating that his-Floyd, Jr.’s- fighting style was, “the shoulder roll, elbow defense”, very difficult to penetrate, and through the years of fighting that same way successfully it would be difficult for any opponent to solve today.

Is that the up-hill puzzle that Canelo Alvarez has to solve?

Alvarez did state in an interview that he had been “studying” some of Mayweather’s fight films especially the fights with, Jose Luis Castillo, Oscar De La Hoya, and Miguel Cotto. He further said that he felt that De La Hoya, and Castillo beat Mayweather although very closely. As for Cotto, he fought Mayweather correctly, but was not consistent, he gave him too many “breaks” allowing Floyd to counter-punch effectively, and that is why Cotto lost, but he was not going to “give” Mayweather any breaks.

From all of my readings and viewings I got the impression that maybe Canelo is playing “catch-up”. In other words trying to figure out what Floyd will bring to the “table”-ring-, when, in reality Mayweather repeatedly stating, “been there, done that”, is not in the least bit concerned about what Canelo is doing or how he is preparing. Floyd, Jr. did state to me many years ago when he was preparing to fight Argentine Welterweight Champ, Carlos Baldimir, “ I don’t study fight films of any of my opponents, I just see what he does in the first couple of rounds and I adjust to it”. He must be right because 44 tried and 44 failed, in a 17 year career, and perhaps the 45th. will be “no different!”

The positive similarity of these 2 young men is that they are very wealthy in their own right-millionaires- Canelo owns many businesses, especially a vintage top breed horse ranch, plus his own promotion company, while Floyd is President of T.M.T. Promotions, which includes a stable of professional fighters some of whom are already world champs like Ishe Smith, 154 pound I.B.F. Champ.

Reputedly, Floyd”Money” Mayweather, Jr. is already worth $500 million and drives around in a $1.5 million Bogati luxury car.

If predictions are accurate the revenues from this fight will be in the hundreds of millions perhaps breaking the pay-per-view record of 2.4 million buys which resulted in a financial bonanza of $120 million dollars set by Oscar De La Hoya and who else, but Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in their “World Awaits” fight a few years ago.

So who is going to win the battle between these super rich ring giants? Everyone is speculating as the time gets closer with less than 2 weeks while they-Canelo and Floyd-are still at their respective camps going through final preparations. While talking to my “street” people, avid fight fans, I am reminded of 2 fights long ago that captured the interest of people in a worldwide fashion like this one and they were when the great “Brown Bomber’, Joe Louis fought Max Schmeilling the second time and when Joe Frazier fought Mohammed Ali, the self-proclaimed, “The Greatest”, the first time at Madison Square Garden, New York City.

Canelo keeps saying that he has seen weaknesses in Floyd Mayweather that he is going to exploit and be victorious, while Mayweather states, “Canelo has never been in this big stage as I have been many times, and defeating 10 world champs, while he had trouble beating Matthew Hatton, Ricky Hatton’s older brother. What makes him think he could beat me even at 36 years of age? I am old enough to be his father.” Mayweather further stated that Miguel Cotto was smarter, hit harder, and was actually tougher than Canelo would hope to be, and that these training rumors at Big Bear that Canelo was injuring his sparring partners and sending them home with injuries is all, “hype” to “intimidate me”.

In the final analysis even though Floyd Mayweather is still the overwhelming favorite to win, in a recent survey conducted by the media many fans -maybe Canelo fans-said that Alvarez has a 53% chance to knockout Mayweather, 15% chance to win by decision, and a 32%  chance to lose to Floyd Mayweather.

Taking those percentages in consideration I don’t think there will a knockout, I feel that it will be a 60% Mayweather victory as opposed to a 40% Alvarez victory.  Admiring them both as I sincerely do it really is a genuine pity that one of them has to lose. On an honest note I would like to see Floyd Mayweather, Jr. retire undefeated duplicating Rocky Marciano’s unbroken 49-0 record, or maybe retire at 50-0, but it is not up to me, Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez will have the answer Saturday, September 14, 2013, at around midnight.

Most fights especially those involving Floyd Mayweather are mental chess games with the advantage going to Floyd since he has been “practicing” this process almost from “infancy” because of his very strong mind. All of his opponents including Alvarez will always be at a disadvantage when they fight Floyd. It’s all in the mind.

As per Canelo Alvarez it will be his physical strength against Floyd Mayweather’s mental strength.

That does not seem to be a big confidence boost for the Canelo camp even though Oscar De La Hoya, C.E.O. of Golden Boy Promotions, stated with total confidence that Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez will knockout Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. in the 8th round.

So now we will just have to sit and wait.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock....

 

 

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