By Rudy Mondragon
On September 14, 2013 Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) took on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1, 30 KOs) in a match titled “The One.” It was the main event on a card that I believed would not be as fun and exciting as the undercard fight that included Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia. I was wrong. The match between Canelo and Mayweather was a chess match. It was professor versus student. Canelo came in with a game plan, but quickly realized the speed of Mayweather was superior to any previous opponent he has faced. At times, you could see Mayweather thinking in the ring.
The first two rounds were fought as expected. Mayweather was reading, studying and processing in his mind the necessary adjustments need to apply against Canelo. Mayweather started more aggressive that past fights, appearing to make a statement and let Canelo know Mayweather would control the fight. He used his jab and Canelo’s stationary head was an easy target. Canelo was trying to impose his size and power, as he appeared the (way) bigger fighter. The window of opportunity to make something happen in the first two rounds as Mayweather studied you came and went. Canelo was not successful, with the exception of a couple of body shots that electrified everyone except Mayweather.
In rounds 3-5 both fighters started to warm up. Mayweather was staying in the pocket and exchanging short counters and connecting. Canelo was looking for the body but was having little success as Mayweather would use the entire ring to create space between him and Canelo.
Canelo’s corner urged him to pick up the speed and attack more. At this point, Floyd was up on the cards and in control of the fight. However, the window of opportunity for Canelo was still alive. If Canelo could connect a solid hook on Mayweather, it could have changed the fights momentum to favor Saul. That window also came and went as Canelo was throwing and missing and getting countered. All the rights landed by Mayweather resulted in a cut and bruising underneath the left eye of Canelo.
Before the championship rounds, Canelo manifested his young age. Although a mature 23 year old, Canelo began to fatigue mentally as he had a Victor Ortiz moment. Frustrated by the signature Mayweather elbows and holding, Canelo engaged in a clench with Money and lifted his shoulder in an attempt to hit Mayweather’s jaw. The veteran referee Kenny Bayless caught it and warned Canelo.
With mental and physical fatigue setting in, Canelo was still searching for openings and gaps where he could catch Mayweather. The championship rounds showed a determined Canelo who refused to give up. Mayweather, meanwhile, used the entire ring to move away from Canelo, throw counter shots, and basically secure the win.
The fight went to the score cards and it was announced that it was a majority decision. This was very problematic as Mayweather clearly dominated at least 7 of the 12 rounds. He was clearly in control and Canelo was not successful in establishing any kind of offense, let alone dominance. CJ Ross, who also called the Bradley/Pacquiao fight in favor of Bradley scored last nights fight 114-114. Not sure what fight CJ was watching, but that was straight ridiculous. The other two scores were legit though:
“I’m a little shocked at whoever (CJ Ross) had him on the cards. Everything is a learning experience. I want to thank everyone who came out to support me and support Canelo. Canelo is a young strong champion. Mexico has produced some great champions. He can take a loss and bounce back,” Mayweather said after the fight.
“Simply I couldn’t catch him. He’s a very elusive and intelligent fighter and I couldn’t find him. Yes, he’s a smart fighter. He has a lot of experience and elusive. I simply didn’t know how to get him, ” said Saul after the fight.
Where was the blueprint? Oscar De La Hoya’s claim to have the formula, pulled out of the vault, was non-existent tonight. As I mentioned in my prediction, it was important for Canelo to fully ignore any piece of advice Oscar De La Hoya gave Canelo. I don’t think Canelo took any of it, but I do think it confused the hell out of Canelo. Canelo is a great champion, but the reality is that he was 1, 2, 3 years too early in fighting Mayweather. It was not his time and it was not wise to take on Mayweather straight after fighting against Austin Trout. Canelo needed a tune-up fight to apply what he learned in that fight and then challenge Mayweather.
So what is next? I can see Mayweather and Danny Garcia getting it on at a 147lbs. Danny did very well against Lucas Matthysse and showed a little bit of technique and skill. It is no where near Mayweather, but it would be another good fight where Mayweather can out-do a young champion. There is also the possibility of Mayweather fighting A Khan. Khan just needs to win in December and make it exciting to be able to promote a fight against Money.
Canelo will need to have a tune-up fight to regain any confidence lost from last nights fight. He is a young man and has a lot of time to shine. He does have a lot to work on, though, if he ever wants to face Andre Ward.