Canelo Alvarez: Identifying What Makes Him a Great Boxer

By Ricardo A. Hazell
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The fight of the year is right around the corner and the bets are in. 23-year-old Canelo Alvarez will bring his belts and a 42-0-1 record to the ring as he seeks to do what many say cannot be done: defeat Floyd “Money” Mayweather.

Though the odds-on favorite remains Mayweather, no man is unbeatable. The current WBC,WBA and Ring Magazine Light Middleweight Champion will need to force Mayweather to fight the type of fight that is favorable to him. But that is something easier said that done with such a slick counter puncher and defender as Money.

Alvarez is a power puncher who will need to throw his jab consistently to get in close, at which point he can throw his right hook or left upper cut.

He will need to keep throwing the jab with purpose and not just have it out there just for show like some pugilist’s hood ornament. The jab needs to be thrown with bad intentions. Mayweather is one of the best defensive fighters ever and loves to make fighters pay for their mistakes. Canelo will need to remain patient and not get goaded into swinging wildly at the constantly moving target Mayweather presents.

In addition to Canelo’s advantage as a power puncher, Alvarez also has a pretty solid chin to boot. Even in a worse case scenario in which Alvarez is bombarded by punches from Money, the former’s beard is stiff enough to take more punishment than some of Floyd’s soup can opponents from years’ past can, and get in close to land his power shots. Mayweather can’t hurt Alvarez with single punches.

The best scenario for Canelo Alvarez is for him to throw punches in bunches and be wary of Floyd’s counter punches, but not to the point where he becomes afraid to retaliate. While Canelo is fast in his own right, his hand speed is not to the level of Money’s. So, Alvarez would do well to soften up Mayweather’s midsection when ever he can. Then, when the time is right, go upstairs, and repeat.

But Alvarez must remember to stay aggressive. Money wants this fight to drag on and pounce once Canelo shows signs of tiring.

Ricardo Hazell is a freelance sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google.

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