By Mateo Banegas
When this fight was announced a few months ago, I was among the many boxing fans who thought this was just the latest example of Golden Boy Promotions protecting their golden goose.
And while I haven’t changed my mind, it does make sense. First, after the schooling that Canelo received from Mayweather, I realize that a warm-up bout may be a good thing for the young star. As we have seen plenty of times in the past, this type of fight can help rebuild Canelo’s confidence and focus. You know, that “eye of the tiger” stuff from Rocky. Second, though, this fight is also a rebuilding strategy for Golden Boy Promotions, who hopes to maintain the huge fan following for Canelo and reassure fans that he is still the strong, hungry young champion and future of boxing – in other words, secure their future gains (talking dollars here folks).
Regardless, Angulo is no slouch, and has earned his respect as a powerful puncher who can bang with the best and cause trouble for even the top boxers.
All of this to say that I predict Canelo will win by TKO in the championship rounds. Angulo will pressure early, trying to rattle Canelo and earn respect with his power. By the middle rounds, Canelo will have settled in and begin to implement his plan effectively, using the ring and waiting to engage with power against Angulo at the right time. The middle rounds will be the most action-packed and we could see Canelo in trouble, during one of the moments when he chooses to go toe-to-toe with Angulo. Canelo will recover, get back into his rhythm, and catch Angulo with a powerful punch that ends the fight.
Thereafter, Canelo maintains his star power and is lined up for a follow-up bout to regain a championship belt. Angulo, still the respected fighter, gets the much-needed rematch against Erislandy Lara.