Outside of a lone score card that defied reality, Floyd Mayweather completely and totally out-classed Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday night. That much we can’t dispute. All the talk of Alvarez not being ready for the fight, which was a valid concern, proved to be true as Floyd was simply too much for the young Mexican champion.
At any age a fight against Floyd is a tough proposition. He’s the best pound for pound fighter on the planet right now and there isn’t anyone remotely close to him, talent wise, to make his next fighter seem close. Alvarez was the latest in a long line of “great hopes” that all wound up on the losing side of a Mayweather fight. He took it earlier in his career than he should have, perhaps, and showed the world that he belonged in the same ring.
It’s a testament to the greatness of Mayweather, not the admittedly almost over-hyped Alvarez, that the fight was a rout. Mayweather is on a plane of greatness no one has gotten on yet … but Alvarez showed just enough to show us he’ll get a rematch with Floyd sooner than we think.
Alvarez gutted through the fight when a lot of others would’ve quit midway through. He never gave up and pushed Floyd harder than he has in years. If it’s hard to look good in a profoundly one sided loss Alvarez did so; he may have lost at least eight rounds against Floyd but he didn’t lose them by significant amounts. And that’s the takeaway that’ll console him until he builds himself back into the mix to face Floyd again: he looked like he belonged.
“The One” was a massive success on all fronts going in but the thing about it that everyone questioned was how competitive it would be. Alvarez was an elite talent but he hadn’t had the seasoning of the last several Floyd opponents and won a close fight against Austin Trout, who was a similar fighter to Floyd but less talented. The evidence that Floyd would win, and probably dominantly, was there for us beforehand and in retrospect the Trout fight should’ve figured more prominently.
The Alvarez who showed up against Mayweather, however, would’ve blown the doors off Austin Trout.
He came into the fight looking the best he’s ever looked at a weigh in and this was the first fight in years that Floyd wasn’t winning rounds easily. Alvarez made him fight for every inch and every round, making Floyd work harder than he has to win a fight in years. Only the most ardent Mayweather supporter could walk away from that fight thinking Alvarez didn’t deserve to be in the ring with him that night.
Alvarez looked like a Top 5 P4P fighter that night, taking everything Floyd had and then some. Floyd had to earn that win; he may have accrued rounds at will but they weren’t dominant rounds by any stretch of the imagination. Alvarez was a punch slow in almost every exchange, and Floyd’s footwork was amazing, but Alvarez’s loss wasn’t due to his not being ready to fight Floyd. He showed he was game enough to face the multi-division champ and the reason behind the loss wasn’t him being at a point in his career where Floyd was an epic mismatch.
It was due to him not being ready to beat Floyd. And there’s a difference.
“Canelo” showed he has the talent and ability to beat Floyd. This was easily the best thing that could happen to his career as now he can fix the holes in his game that Floyd exposed. Alvarez proved Saturday night he deserves to be mentioned with the best in the boxing world; he just didn’t have a final gear right now to turn on for Floyd. At 23 he still has the ability to improve and progress into the type of fighter capable of being the best in the world. We saw a glimpse of his ceiling and he hasn’t reached it. Not yet … and not for a while.
Sooner than we think, “Canelo” will be back in a ring with Floyd. And he’ll win.
Tags: Boxing, Saul Alvarez