The only advantage Canelo Alvarez has over Floyd Mayweather heading into their fight is his power. Mayweather has never faced a boxer that packs this kind of punch, but with superiority in almost every other aspect, it’s hard to see it being the thing that gives him his first ever loss.
Different athletes reach their peak at different ages. Some will never be as good as they are at 21, others might be getting there in their 30’s. It’s also a matter of how long does that peak last. Mayweather might not be as good as he was in 2007, but he’s still good enough to beat any challenge thrown his way.
Miguel Cotto had power, but that was way before the poundings he took against Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. When he faced Mayweather in 2012, he was a changed fighter. At 154 his punch isn’t as powerful, and after getting his revenge on Margarito, it seems there isn’t too much for him to fight for anymore.
Mosley had a strong punch, but when the two met in 2010 Mosley was 39, with quite a few losses to his name by then. He is one of the few to get a very good clean shot through the Mayweather defense, but it didn’t do much but rock Floyd back and forth before he went into lockdown mode and used his speed to win the fight on points.
They key for Mayweather over the years – whether he was semi-retired or between fights, has been his incredible training regime and staying in shape. The man is a boxer, first and foremost, and even if taking two fights in four months at 36 isn’t the easiest thing in the world, Mayweather has been staying in shape to make sure the sudden increase in intensity on his calendar won’t have any effect. After that, he gets a few months to rest.
Canelo might be bringing a combination of speed and power Mayweather hasn’t faced before. Victor Ortiz had power, but he has no ring IQ, and made a fool of himself by headbutting Mayweather and then letting his guard down (cheap shot from Mayweather, but completely legal). He’s a natural at 154, and looked quite good against Austin Trout. Vulnerable, but good enough to make some think about his chances to give Mayweather more trouble than he’s been in for a very long time.
Conclusion? Canelo might be the strongest Mayweather has faced, but it’s hard to look past Floyd’s defense and speed when trying to find a winner for this fight. He’s never been knocked down, let alone knocked out. Canelo has a shot to win this if it doesn’t come to points, but can he do what no one else ever could?