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June 12, 2013

By Doveed Linder

The readers break down Mayweather-Alvarez

It is amazing how hardly anybody is giving Saul "Canelo" Alvarez the benefit of the doubt against Floyd Mayweather. First, it is obvious that Mayweather was forced to take this fight by Showtime. Second, Mayweather is going to be in the ring with a huge, young and strong puncher in his prime that knows how to throw combinations and has decent hand speed. Third, Mayweather is beatable. Just watch the first fight with Jose Luis Castillo [a win for Mayweather that most felt was undeserved].
In my eyes Mayweather is not an undefeated fighter. We might see Mayweather once again pot-shotting and slapping his way into a boring decision win but I sincerely expect that it is going to be a tough fight.

Linderís Response: What makes this match-up intriguing is that itís a real fight. Alvarez has a realistic chance of winning, where most people felt that all of Mayweatherís opponents since 2009 stood no chance at all. That being said, itís hard to favor Alvarez in this scenario. Heís going up against an all-time great fighter who looked sensational his last time out. Alvarez is pretty damn good and he poses a physical threat, but heís going to have to show us something that he hasnít shown us in previous fights in order to pull this off. His ring IQ has improved, but heís a little complacent, if not slightly arrogant. He also has some stamina issues that he has to reckon with. He fights from a comfort zone, but heís going to have to leave the comfort zone in order to have success. I agree that Mayweather took this fight because he had to and I agree that heís beatable. All fighters are beatable. Even Ray Robinson lost fights. I also agree that Mayweather lost to Castillo the first time around. I donít view him as undefeated either, but I respect him as a great fighter.

Whilst I do agree stylistically [a prime] Cory Spinks gives Floyd Mayweather some problems, I donít think Spinks would win (not saying you think that either...) and I think Mayweather would stop him a little similar to how Zab Judah stopped Spinks later in their 2005 rematch [Spinks won the first meeting by decision]. I have always thought the biggest threat to Mayweather would have been a prime Winky Wright or a Vernon Forrest when heís switched on. I think tall, big, rangy pure boxers with solid jabs would give Floyd the most trouble. People keep saying theyíre going to apply a lot of pressure and pressure is the key but thatís just not how you beat Floyd, it isnít the blueprint. Because weíve never seen Floyd in with a big pure boxer weíll never see it done (cant say Diego Corrales who was big but was basically a brawler). Floyd was also given hell for 4-5 rounds by Judah and if Zab had the gas that night he would have beaten Mayweather Ė Floyd couldnít deal with Zab's speed and took solid lefts and was put down (but not scored as official knockdown). As of right now, though there are no big pure boxers around and in another form no one else with Zab's (prime) type of speed. Guess what Iím trying to say is there isnít anyone around that can beat Mayweather presently. Alvarez is going to put pressure on and I donít think heíll be smart enough to get Floyd to walk into anything. Iím going for a long term prediction here and itís going to be that Danny Garcia will be the one to take the zero in around 18 months time. Mayweather will be further into decline and I think Danny is smart the way he times and punches with his opponent Ė I think he could capitalise on a Mayweather mistake and if Garcia handles Lucas Matthysse well, which I think he will do, then it will make the fight bigger again.-- All the best from the UK, James

Linderís Response: Cory Spinks never reached his full potential, but the Cory of 2003-04 would be a problem for Floyd. He might even win. Some people think Iím crazy for thinking that, but itís what I feel. I agree that Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest would have posed a threat to Floyd, no question. Thereís not one way to beat someone like Mayweather. Itís conceivable that he could be beaten with pressure, as well as ring savvy. But it would take someone very special to do it. Zab Judah was and still is a very gifted fighter. Itís unfortunate that he too never reached his potential, but he made me very proud the way he fought Danny Garcia. I donít see anyone right now who can beat Mayweather either. Alvarez has a shot, but I have to go with Floyd for their Septmebr fight. If Amir Khan somehow turned things around and came into his own stylistically, he would have a shot as well. I just donít see Danny Garcia beating Floyd unless Floyd really slips. Danny has done some great things the past couple of years, but he stands in front of his opponents and takes a beating. He canít last in this game with that approach.

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is linear and likes to fight in straight lines, he needs for things to be tidy and orderly. Thatís why they never put him in against awkward guys like Carlos Molina or Erislandy Lara. James Kirkland is also an Ďall over the placeí fighter. Floyd is the ultimate Ďall over the placeí non-linear fighter that will give Canelo lots of problems. Austin Trout figured in his mind that he was superior to Canelo and he was going to show everybody by fighting right in front of Canelo, instead of awkwardly like he always does. Canelo did one very important thing against Trout and that was to fight in my home state of Texas where there would be open scoring [Actually that is a WBC rule, not a Texas rule, but Texas accepted the WBC rule]. Trout being inexperienced in this regard, had to accept the fight being there. This gave Canelo all of the advantages to pace himself, lay back and counter Trout, not engaging him as Trout expected and trained for. Trout was out-thought plain and simple. Losing that two extra pounds [to make 152 for Mayweather] will be hell for Canelo, but he will play it off well until fight night. Canelo will run out of gas because he has to lose so much weight, which affects him during middle to late rounds of the fight.

Linderís Response: I agree with your assessment of Alvarez. Alfonzo Gomez out-boxed Alvarez for the first few rounds. Instead of trying to solve the puzzle in front of him, Alvarez just waited until he had an opening and caught him. Trout may have fought the wrong fight, but you have to give Alvarez credit for the victory. Trout is a good fighter and by beating him, Alvarez separated himself from the other junior middleweights. But like I said in a previous post, and like you just alluded to, Alvarez fights from a comfort zone. He seems to like for things to be neat and tidy. Itís almost like heís not willing to take the initiative. He waits for the game to come to him. Thatís what I think will be his undoing against Mayweather. I donít know what Alvarez goes through to make 154, but my initial thoughts were that the two pounds wonít be a big deal.

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