This weekend, Las Vegas and the world will watch Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez challenge current boxing pound for pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr in what is the biggest match of the year. The numbers alone are staggering, as Mayweather is set to make at least $42 million for the fight, and Alvarez is certainly looking at making a cool 8 figures. The odds at 5DIMES have Mayweather as a (-275) favorite, with the comeback on Alvarez sitting at (+235). Don’t look for any drastic spikes before Saturday’s fight time, as the line has been hovering in the same spot for several weeks now. Bettors that have decided they are going to go in on Mayweather are seeing that he will pay back more than he has in years, as (-275) is better than his odds have been recently in terms of payback. The Alvarez contingent sees his youth and momentum, and likewise are jumping at the chance to get ‘Canelo’ as an underdog, as it has been a while since ‘Canelo’ has not been favored in a fight. The fight has a lot of similarities to the UFC’s recent dethroning of long time Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Like Mayweather, Silva had been reaching for mythical status as the untouchable champion, and also like Mayweather, Silva found himself going into a fight against a young gun on the plus side of 35 years old. Silva and Mayweather had another parallel, and that is that until these fights, they seem to have evaded the effects of time and seemed to be very sharp. Silva went into the fight with a strategy that relied heavily on staying ahead of his opponent on the defensive end, and he finally was off by a half step and was flattened. The same scenario could happen in the ‘Canelo’ fight. Mayweather is coming up in weight, and ‘Canelo’ is naturally a little bit bigger and stronger. Add to that ‘Canelo’s youth and the natural speed and precision that comes from a well honed 23 year old, and Mayweather is going to have to be near perfect to stay ahead on defense. If Mayweather comes out too aggressive on offense, he assuredly runs the risk of having ‘Canelo’ walk through his punches, and he will be easier to hit. This could lead to a strategy very similar to the one Silva used in the UFC against Chris Weidman and that is play defense and evade. ‘Canelo’ is enough of a puncher that all he has to do is land one fight altering shot and he could win this thing. Alvarez’ camp endured some adversity on fight week as promoter and mentor Oscar De La Hoya will not be at Alvarez’ side as he has checked into drug rehab. Though this is a strong blow that could lead some to not bet on Alvarez since this type of adversity on fight week can only really have a negative effect, but it is also a chance for Alvarez to show the mettle and mental sharpness to overcome adversity. Alvarez has to react to it that way, and then he has to play his game and land a shot on Mayweather. The fight will come down to can Mayweather hurt the bigger Alvarez, or will he be forced to go the 12 rounds and out flash the kid on the scorecards? For Mayweather, 36 minutes is going to be a long time in there against a younger, faster, stronger opponent, and all it takes is 1 slip up to be the next Anderson SIlva, and that is, a thing of the past.
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