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MMA Boxing

Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez: 12 Aspects That Could Affect the Outcome

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12 Aspects That Will Affect the Mayweather-Canelo Fight

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest boxing match of 2013 will take place on Saturday night between Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Analysts and boxing fans expect the fight to be a historic one. And the match is already breaking records for its sales, according to The Ring Magazine.

Current betting odds from Sportsbook favor Mayweather -260 to Canelo’s +200. That's unsurprising. Ring Magazine rates Mayweather, with his famously perfect record of 44-0, the no. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Until the announcement of this bout, Canelo was relatively unknown to the public.

Yet boxing experts admit that Canelo’s chances of an upset are better than Las Vegas betting odds assume. IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Bernard Hopkins even tells BoxingInsider that the fight is 50/50. After all, Canelo, although his record is not perfect (he has a draw that he got from his fight against Jorge Juarez back in 2006), is also undefeated. And he impressed a lot of people in his bout against Austin Trout, during which he knocked Trout down for the first time in Trout's career.

No matter what anyone predicts, only after the opening bell rings can Mayweather and Canelo find out how they match up against each other.

The French philosopher Roland Barthes described boxing as a story that unfolds before our very eyes. That’s because a boxing match is dynamic and inconstant. In other words, fights are guided not by a fighter's skills or character, but rather by how a fighter's skills and character changes once they're toe-to-toe.

Saturday's fight will be about more than Mayweather's speed and Canelo's power.

Lucas Rubio is a columnist for RantSports.com and author of the Playerz League Sports Blog.Follow him on Twitter @PlayerzLeague.

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12. Patience

Canelo vs. Mosley
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report's Maxwell Ogden tells Canelo to stay patient if he wants to win. That’s wrong. Canelo needs to be more aggressive than patient. Mayweather is the one who should stay patient and avoid going toe-to-toe with Canelo.

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11. Activity

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Canelo and Mayweather need to be active to win the fight. Especially Canelo. Because of Mayweather’s speed and impeccable defense, Canelo will have to get hit (a lot, maybe) in order to land some shots.

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10. Conditioning

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather always shows up to a fight in top shape. Canelo, on the other hand, seemed to tire in the later rounds of his bout against Trout. Both Mayweather and Canelo need to try and control the pace of the fight, and their conditioning will prove essential to their ability to do so.

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9. Size

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The fight is contested at 152 pounds — two pounds lighter than Canelo’s past fights. That kind of difference in weight is not insignificant for a fighter. But ESPN thinks Canelo can maybe beef up by as much as 20 pounds over that weight by the time he steps into the ring. Mayweather’s used to fighting bigger fighters, but none as accurate a puncher as Canelo.

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8. Experience

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Will Canelo enjoy the bright MGM Grand lights, or will the pressure of the biggest crowd in his career hurt his concentration?

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7. Defense

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather’s a masterful defender, and Canelo’s better than boxing analysts give him credit for. But Mayweather needs to avoid relying on his defense. Otherwise, he risks not only upsetting fans by putting on a boring fight, but also missing out on scoring offensive points. As for Canelo, because of Mayweather’s speed, he has to defend even better than he did against Trout.

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6. Comfort

Mayweather
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather’s known for being a relaxed fighter inside the ring. So far, it has worked in his advantage. But it may be hard for him to stay relaxed when confronted with Canelo’s power.

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5. Intelligence vs. Youth

Mayweather
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Canelo’s 23. Mayweather’s 36.

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4. Timing

Mayweather
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather has masterful timing and anticipation. This could help him defend against Canelo’s accuracy.

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3. Outside vs. Inside Boxing

Canelo
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Mayweather will want to box Canelo. To do that, he’ll have to keep him on the outside. But Canelo will want to get on the inside to land power shots.

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2. Footwork

Mayweather
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pay attention to both Canelo’s and Mayweather’s footwork on Saturday — it will be one of the most important determinants of the fight. The pace, aggression, inside/outside boxing, control and even ability to execute strategy all depend on how a fighter moves on his feet.

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1. Fame

Mayweather
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As the long reigning, money-flaunting, tabloid-making champ, most of the pressure's on Mayweather to win. Could Canelo's status as the underdog work in Canelo's favor, or does Mayweather thrive in the spotlight?