Canelo Alvarez’s Keys to Victory vs. Floyd Mayweather


By Gino Garcia

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1) is awaiting the passing of the guards. The preparation for his September 14, 2013 showdown against Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0) is in close range. It is on this night that Alvarez strives to be crowned the new king of the boxing world.

The stakes are high and Alvarez seems to be focused. Has he truly figured out how to overcome what 44 others have attempted and failed? While analyzing Alvarez, some key factors have surfaced regarding the logistics to his success.


Ring Orientation

Alvarez must focus on controlling the ring. It is apparent through film study that Alvarez is known to bull his opponent toward the ropes. He has been very successful in the past doing this, however in this particular fight cutting the ring off would be more beneficial.

Mayweather has shown to be vulnerable at times while against the ropes. Mayweather in return has also drawn many opponents to defeat by luring them in this same direction. It is with this same thought that Alvarez will need to be very cautious in accomplishing this task.

Alvarez would benefit most by trapping Mayweather from his right side. By doing this, he will avoid being side stepped and hit with a straight right. This is a common and cleaver trick which Mayweather uses frequently, however is very avoidable if countered correctly.

It is not so much the knock out that Alvarez should fear, rather the power shot which will give Mayweather the advantage on the judges score cards. One may argue that Alvarez will need to mentally prepare for 12 full rounds of action and place less focus on the desired knock out.


Angles of Punching

Alvarez—who is known for having brute power—will need to adjust his angles to connect. The infamous inward rotation, which Alvarez delivers to the body, is a quality trait. Alvarez will need to expose Mayweather’s face in order to reach his body.

A prime example of this tactic is something that Victor Ortiz was able to achieve for a short period of time. While fighting Mayweather against the ropes, Ortiz found his target. Ortiz was able to throw combinations above and around Mayweather’s elbows, clearly exposing the body.

If Alvarez can execute this same strategy, it will force Mayweather’s hands to guard in a non-traditional way—exposing his kidneys and liver to raw punishment.
Despite Alvarez’s majestic ability to throw combinations, it will be of no success unless he is able to infiltrate Mayweather’s famous “shoulder role”.

It is without a doubt that Mayweather’s historical record proves that as the fight goes into later rounds, he becomes more efficient. With this said, Alvarez will need to attack early. It can be argued that Mayweather is most vulnerable in the first 4 rounds of a fight.

An early attack is ideal and probably expected by the Mayweather camp, therefore Alvarez should explode in segments. Assuming that this fight goes the distance, Alvarez will need to capture the judge’s attention in at least nine of the twelve rounds to maintain a competitive edge on the score cards.

Many would agree that the keys to success for defeating Mayweather are beating him at his own game. Clean punching, and ring control- with segments of dynamic combinations is bound to keep judges on the edge of their seats.

Alvarez will enter the ring for a battle against a caliber of opponent with a style that he has never been exposed to.
Boxing is a frame by frame art. With all that Mayweather has proven thus far, it will be Alvarez’s biggest challenge to maintain a patient and discipline plan of attack.

If Alvarez can manipulate the organizational tempo of the fight by dictating the style in which the boxing match is fought, he will increase his opportunity to open up Mayweather as a target.
As these final weeks of preparation come closing in toward the main event, the anticipation has become indescribable for most.

Does Alvarez truly understand his opponent, and has he cracked the code to defeat “the one” who many say is unbeatable?

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