Canelo vs. Mayweather: BloodMoneyBoxing Expert Picks

To the Blood Money Boxing family, thank you for your ongoing support of our blog and following us. The big weekend is here! Whether you see this as a mega fight or mega card, this weekend is no doubt an indication to all the boxing critics who say boxing is dead. From revolutionizing the way fights are promoted to fans camping out of the MGM Grand to see today’s weight in, boxing is more alive than ever.

Rudy Mondragon Prediction

A great fight on an even better fight card, Floyd Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) will face Saul Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) on September 14, 2013 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This is a huge stage that Alvarez is not used to being in. 40,000 fans in Texas is much different than 16,000 plus fans in Las Vegas. Although it is a smaller number, the amount of pressure and the quality of the opponent that Saul will face is all new. Mayweathers resume speaks for itself, he has been here before, he knows the culture of preparation that it takes to win. Canelo’s biggest test was Austin Trout and that was his last fight. Canelo has had zero time to process and PRACTICE what he learned against Trout. To apply what he learned from his biggest challenge to date against an even bigger challenge in Mayweather was not smart on the part of Canelo’s team to take this fight. In my opinion, Canelo needed one extra fight to develop as a fighter and use what he learned to apply it in tomorrow’s fight. Floyed on the other hand, had a good tune up fight against Guerrero and will be fresh and ready to fight. Here are the keys to victory for both fighters:

Keys to victor for Canelo:

  1. Start early and start aggressive. It is known that Floyd is a professor of the game and needs the first 2 rounds to study his opponents. Canelo needs to recognize that this window of opportunity is small and will need to start aggressive to set the tone of the fight in his favor. Mosley started well, but took his foot off the gas and Mayweather made him pay.
  2. Attack the body. Floyd moves his head great, but his midsection stays in place. Canelo needs to attack the body in order to break down Floyd and set up dangerous headshots.
  3. Ignore everything Oscar De La Hoya told you. I don’t believe Oscar is the best teacher and does not recognize development of a young fighter’s mind. Canelo needs to have a mindset that he is the challenger, that he is in the ring against the best boxer around today, that he needs to win ever round of this fight, that he needs to stay relaxed, that he needs to follow the game plan and not get frustrated. He basically needs to throw away that “blueprint” that Oscar shared with him

Keys to victor for Mayweather:

  1. Be Floyd Mayweather. Study Canelo in the first two rounds and adapt to what Canelo brings to the ring. Exploit the weaknesses identified and capitalize on the mistakes that young Canelo will eventually make.
  2. DEFENSE and MOVEMENT: Canelo will try to go to the body, so Mayweather will need to use the ring and move. Movement and his signature defense will need to be in beautiful harmony because that will create his offense.
  3. Use the ropes to draw Canelo in and counter him, but don’t stay there too long. This will help in the later rounds as it will set up Canelo for a trap. If Mayweather does this right, he can set Canelo up to walk into a hard left, similar to how Hatton was put away.

In the end, I strongly believe that the 2 pounds that Canelo had to drop will for this fight will make a huge difference. Yes the extra weight that Canelo has will help his power punches, but I don’t see him connecting many of them. Having little success will morally fatigue Canelo, which will be new to Canelo. The extra weight that he had to shed will also fatigue him physically and he will begin to fade by the 8th round (we saw this in his fight against Mosley and Trout). As long as Mayweather does not hurt his right hand, I see Mayweather finishing off Canelo in the 10th or 11th round via TKO. Remember how the veteran, Juan M Marquez beat up the young Juan Diaz? Yeah, I can see that happening here tonight. Master beats up on the student.

Floyd Mayweather will win via 10th or 11th round stoppage.

Jarrett Bato Prediction

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

I’ve been watching Showtime’s All Access highlighting the journey from training to the fight night between Canelo and Floyd, and there’s no doubt that all the drama attempting to dissect a fight yet to happen is present in this documentary, executive produced by “Money” himself.

Canelo is portrayed as a young, hungry, and mentally matured fighter benefiting from the gradual but methodical rise through the ranks as he grew to the professional fighter we see today. Still surrounded by the same team, his preparation in training is convincing, even boring. Edison Reynoso might be inexperienced in the large sense of the boxing world, but he certainly has done his homework, forcing Canelo to train in conditions matching and exceeding Mayweather’s previous opponents. Strength and conditioning is there, and Canelo looks fantastic after the 3rd episode of All Access running up to the fight on Sept. 14th.

Mayweather, however, seems effortless in portraying how he basically has nothing new to share to fans in All Access. His preparation, according to Arthur Ashe, must be equivalent to that unseen mass of iceberg underneath the ocean, showing only the tip of that iceberg in his cars, ever-expanding “Money” family, and massive self-confidence. To me, it seems that Floyd is now underemphasizing the preparation aspect of his game. Canelo was half-right in saying “he talks that much because he knows the fight will be hard”. What he’s probably missing is that Floyd has probably doubled-down on his preparation to fight twice a year, repair fully from injury, and the mental games that he wants to play with his opponent.

Like Showtime says, Floyd’s home is MGM Grand, Canelo is fighting in his house, catchweight or not. Floyd’s tunnel vision/focus on his opponent has been refined and sharpened for over 20 years. Canelo would be naive to think that this Vegas superfight circus is something Floyd does for himself/the public, but it’s actually all for his opponent, such that all aspects of the game are in Money’s favor even before the bell rings. It’s disconcerting that Canelo’s attention is towards what Floyd is saying despite his camp being “distraction-less”. Canelo might show Floyd something new, but to the Mayweather team, it still won’t obscure the vision of truth to winning the night.

I predict a 12 round unanimous decision for Mayweather with some dramatic 4th and 12th rounds

Mateo Banegas Prediction

Finally, the bout boxing fans have been waiting to see: the pound-for-pound kingvs. the young champion. Alvarez showed maturity and development in his last bout against Trout, demonstrating improved quickness, punching combos and abilityto limit his opponents’ movement in the ring. Size and power favor Canelo, giving him great offense potential. If Canelo can use his quickness and land combinations to the body, this may slow down Mayweather, giving Canelo a chance in later rounds to land that knockdown punch that we all know his is capable of doing. But Mayweather is unlike any other. The veteran’s incredible ring knowledge, defense and technical skills are levels above any other fighter in the division (and probably the sport). Plus, Floyd’s championship bout experience is a huge advantage, since he has been able to adjust his game plan against many different opponents, time and time again, so that he gets the win. In the end, while Canelo may cause Mayweather some trouble during the middle rounds, Mayweather will remain the undisputed p4p champ, outpointing the young Alvarez.

Mayweather will remain the undisputed p4p champ, outpointing the young Alvarez.

Luke Givens Prediction

Don’t get your hopes up.  Anyone expecting heavy fireworks in this bout is in for a huge disappointment.  What you will see is an incredibly technical, incredibly one-sided victory for Mayweather.  Canelo is young, strong, and smart but against a crafty, quick, veteran like Mayweather he has little to no chance.  He moves well and is incredibly patient for a fighter his age but I haven’t seen the kind of one-punch power in any of his previous fights to give me the impression he’ll be able to stop Mayweather cold.  Which means that (just as in all his other fights), he’ll need to rely on good footwork and solid body shots to soften Mayweather up in an effort to finish him in the mid-late rounds.  Yeah…good luck with that.

Keys to Victory Alvarez:

  • Start Strong- Mayweather is a notoriously slow starter.  Take this opportunity to win rounds early.
  • Headhunt- He won’t KO him but he’ll look busy and score points for aggression.
  • Cut Off the Ring –  As great as Mayweather is fighting in the pocket, he’s even better in the open ring.  By forcing him into the corners you limit his angles and shoulder movement while scoring points for ring generalship.
  • Protect yourself at all time- Victor Ortiz! No seriously, Floyd’s sneaky just look at the Ricky Hatton fight. If you drop your guard for a second…

Keys to Victory Mayweather:

  • Weather the Storm- Everyone knows Mayweather starts slow then makes adjustments in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. So does Canelo.
  • Robin Hood Offense- Limit the exchanges to small quick flurries then retreat. By forcing Alvarez to give chase he increases his chances of catching him with clean shots coming in.
  • Avoid the Corners- The open ring is where Mayweather is at his best.  He’s incredible at using the open space to force his opponents to miss.

Jose Hernandez Prediction

Mayweather vs. Canelo has been hyped as a bonafide “mega fight”, “super-mega fight”?  Hmmm, let’s see if it passes the “mega fight” classification litmus test.  On paper this fight is promising:

Record: The 23yr old Canelo has a very impressive 42-0 record; Mayweather is of course 44-0

Record indication: Super Mega fight

Promotion: Golden Boy in partnership with TMT and their Daddies up in CBS have delivered a very palatable product.  If the fighters fought in the universe that is All Access, Canelo would win a close fight against Money.  (Shane and Oscar are well convinced of this false reality)

Promotional Indication: Super Mega Fight x 100 (as expected)

Drama: A lot has been made about the 152 lb. catch weight and Canelo’s apparent weight advantage(disadvantage).  Will he be drained, will he hydrate to 170?  How will Money fare with fighting someone so big?

Drama indication: DUD, Canelo will hydrate to whatever he wants on fight night, and Money will handle his “massive” opponent just fine.  It is a non-issue, remember Castillo?  I believe Castillo had a healthy weight advantage come fight night, that didn’t really help Castillo.  Boxing is not about brute force it’s an art, Mayweather is the Michelangelo of boxing.

Quality of opponent behind their record:  This one can be tricky, both fighters share notable votaries over some big names (Mosley, Baldomir, Oscar*) to name a few.  With one big difference, Money took on these opponents when these fighters were in their PRIME.  To compare fighters across the same opponents is just not possible in boxing; it’s a complete false equivalence (even when they fight them at their respective primes).  To define quality of opponent you must rely on the context and significance to the fighter’s careers as well as the respective place in boxing each fighter has coming into the fight.  Money had Corrales, both 23 at the time, hungry and ready to take on center stage.  Canelo had…Josesito Lopez?…Trout?  If I give him Trout, I actually didn’t have Canelo winning that fight, it was a Draw at best and appropriate for the Texas judging committee.  Josesito Lopez, kid had heart, but had no business being in that ring.  Shoot, I guess this is it, his defining moment!

Quality of opponent indication: DUD.  You know how dads tend to live their youth (as soccer players, baseball players, et.) vicariously through their kids, even far beyond their kid abilities and their kids actual interest in said sport?  This is what Oscar is doing with Canelo; Canelo loves boxing, but he has not reached his prime yet.  Dare I say, he doesn’t deserve to fight Money, that’s right I said it.  He needs a Corrales and then some to be put side to side to someone like Money.

Money takes care of things in 11.  Corner waves white towel

Mayweather To Fight Canelo

SaulMay

Not quite in the official sense, but boxing fans can always dream for match ups like this. With Floyd Mayweather Jr. working on honoring his 6 fight contract in 30 months with Showtime, fans eagerly await for Money May to announce his next opponent. Off a recent victory against Roberto “The Ghost” Guerrero, Floyd has 5 fights left and has already informed the public that he intends to fight in September. Two fights in the same year? He hasn’t done that since he fought De La Hoya and Hatton in 2007!

So who is next? Who will Floyd’s next five opponents be? Here is what our boxing experts had to say:

Jose Hernandez’s Picks

A lot has been said about who Money Mays next opponent will be.  It seems that there is a consensus between the media around the stats, and all have fallen in love with the idea of “El Canelo” Alvarez having the next fight.  In the next few paragraphs I will make the case for Money May’s next opponent and beyond.  Instead of mere speculation, I will rely on statistics and Money May’s careful opponent selection.

Money remains as the sport’s most efficient fighter, in terms of plus/minus overall punching connects (+24%).  This means that he not only punishes his opponents with over 40% efficiency, but he also has an air tight defense that limits his opponents offence to a mere 17% efficiency (33% average in pro boxing).  Of Mayweather’s last eight opponents only 2 had a plus/minus statistic above (+10%), Oscar de la Hoya (+11%) and Shane Mosley [in his PRIME] (+13%).  The last three opponents had a plus/minus statistic of (-1% Guerrero, +1% Cotto, 3% Ortiz)  all three, solid professional fighters, but for as much punishment as they were accustomed to inflict in victory, they were accustomed to taking a beating themselves  (good choice Money).

His next opponent will not be someone in the top of this list:

Top four in the plus/minus category [Source Compubox, minimum 5 fights]:

1. Money +24%

2. Canelo +18%

3. Santa Cruz +16%

4. Ward +14%

Canelo’s efficiency benefits from his opponent selection aka inflation.  The latest being the most efficient (Trout +7%) and he gave him his toughest fight yet (some even have Trout as the winner).  However, his weight (walks around at 170 at least) and his seemingly good skill level leave him a long shot to get the next crack at Money. It’s too risky for Money to fight Canelo next, he has five pay-per-view bouts; this will happen in fight 5 or 6.

His next opponent will come from this list (Plus/minus):

1. Amir Khan 

Would make an exciting fight.  Khan’s athleticism would make the fight challenging enough, but Money would be too much.

2. Danny Garcia 

Young and ambitious, but not at this class yet.

3. Sergio Martinez

He looked old and frankly his body is falling apart on him in the ring.  Money likes to prey on these type of fading stars (see Mosley).  This might be closer than we think, especially if he saw the Murray fight.  Weight might be an issue, but Martinez is under-sized at 160 lbs. I can see this at a catch weight or even 154.

4. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Has the fan base and would make a hell of a fight. [He needs at least another good fight with a “good” fighter]

5. Manny Pacquiao 

(if he bounces back against Brandon Rios) – If Manny has two solid return fights, we are all back in line for the mega-fight. 

Wild Card Picks

Adrien Broner

Like my dad always says (Translated from Spanish: With money you can make the dog dance). 

Timothy Bradley 

He will be in the running for a fight with Mayweather if he fares well with Marquez

5 Picks:

1. Amir Khan
2. Danny Garcia
3. Sergio Martinez
4. Saul Alvarez
5. Manny Paquiao

Jarret Bato’s Picks

What we know:

Mayweather has 5 fights left, fighting at an unusual (for him) 2 fights a year. To me, that constrains the level of choice that matchmakers can make, and maybe Mayweather’s schedule is really a matter of putting a master stroke on his retirement come 2015. It’s in Mayweather Promotions’ best interest to maintain Floyd’s value while sustaining interest in the next 5 fights.
I believe he has to fight Canelo Alvarez next, while the second fight is a toss up depending on the activity of the has-beens: Ortiz, or Khan. I think it’s also a possibility to see Alvarado win the second fight bid. Alvarado looked very impressive against Rios, and could put himself in a very good position come 2014. Danny Garcia is another one who I put up in there to look very good against Floyd in 2014. I think by that time, he’s going to be comfortable at a higher weight. In 2015, I think the game will have changed. Floyd will have changed, and so will the landscape of prospective opponents. By 2015 I think it would be nice to see Floyd fight Maidana, and then lastly Pacquiao. I put Manny in there because I really believe that he’ll get smarter about the people around him, and get rid of Arum, if I can truly feel what’s in his heart. So here’s my list:
5 Picks:
1. Saul Alvarez
2. Amir Khan
3. Mike Alvarado
4. Danny Garcia
5. Manny Pacquiao
Rudy Mondragon’s PIcks 
There are a couple of things I would like to point out before I share my picks. Some of the things we learned from the last fight was that Floyd did not put on his usual promoter hat. He was relaxed and calm and did little trash talking. This could be a sign of maturity as well as being content because of his mega contract with Showtime. I do believe that Showtime will put some pressure on Mayweather (which has already started from external sources). From the lack of PPV sales to the difficulties of selling out the MGM for his recent fight with The Ghost, Showtime expectations will be high for Mayweather.  What he will have to is select a PPV, fan favorite fighter to fight next. I’m not saying that he needs to fight Canelo next, but Floyd needs to fight someone who will be a huge draw during Mexican Independence weekend. Having said that, here is how I see it unfolding:
1. Amir Khan
Since Amir is coming off two wins after his defeat to Danny Garcia, he finds himself in a decent moment in his career. He fights under the Golden Boy Promotions banner and draws a large UK fan base. This can definitely sell domestic and international PPV sales as well as bring in many fans to Las Vegas.
2. Danny Garcia
Danny is coming off a win against Zab Judah. Danny had to dig deep in this one to beat the veteran Judah and therefore I can see him taking a tune up fight next. Look for Danny to take on a beatable opponent late in the fall to set up a May 2014 showdown with Floyd.
3. Lucas Matthysse
If Lucas can beat Lamont Peterson and one other worthy opponent, he will earn a fight against Floyd. He is making a name for himself as a dangerous fighter who many are avoiding. Once Floyd pinpoints Matthysse’s weaknesses and Lucas wins his next two fights, Showtime will have no troubles promoting this one.
4. Manny Pacquiao
The possibilities of this fight happening will be alive as long as both of these fighters are still standing. Look for a Pacquiao win against Brandon Rios, a 2014 year of tune up fights for Pacquiao and we will see Floyd’s penultimate fight against the veteran in May/summer 2015.
5. Saul Alvarez 
Fast forward to September 19th, 2015, Mexican Independence weekend. Floyd Mayweather’s final career fight against the future star of boxing. The stage will be set, PPV sells will be through the roof, the MGM won’t be sold out because this fight will take place on Las Vegas Blvd (yes, Las Vegas Blvd, TMT & Golden Boy Promos will steal Top Rank’s original idea to make a fight on the strip). This fight is a huge risk for Mayweather and waiting out this long will maintain Floyd’s stock value and undefeated record. This will be the biggest risk Mayweather will take in honoring his 6 fight contract with Showtime. He will go out with a bang as retirement for Money May will be official in 12 rounds or less…
Wild Card: Paulie Malignaggi
This one is just for fun, but there is a possibility of Paulie landing a fight with Mayweather. Paulie fights at the welterweight limit and his next opponent is Floyd’s little brother, Adrien Broner. If Paulie can win in June, I can see a fight between Money and Paulie taking place for three reasons: 1) To avenge his little brothers defeat 2) Paulie is a “worthy” opponent coming off 6 wins in a row 3) Both fighters can sell the fight with their promotion skills.
5 Picks:
1. Amir Khan
2. Danny Garcia
3. Lucas Matthysse
4. Manny Pacquiao
5. Saul Alvarez 
Blood Money Boxing fans, who do you think Floyd Mayweather will fight next?