Floyd Mayweather Jr. enters his Sept. 14 fight with an undefeated record, and it appears that he really wants to keep it that way by the most recent reports from his training sessions in Las Vegas. The light middleweight title will be on the line against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in just 18 days, prompting Mayweather to engage in intense sparring sessions in preparation, according to the Associated Press.
On Monday, the 36-year-old was his typical chatty self against two sparring partners, but his fists were doing a lot of talking too, with AP reporting that he was “banging away with left hooks and right hands,” as well as later having “turned up the heat even more.”
"I got back into it so quick that I'm still sharp," said Mayweather, who reportedly sent an opponent stumbling across the ring. "I feel good, real good."
The 17-year veteran is already at the 152-pound catch weight, and there are no signs of Mayweather slowing down after defeating Roberto Guerrero in May, and after nearly a full year without a prior bout. He has gone the distance with unanimous-decision victories in four of his last five fights, with the lone exception being the rather contentious fourth-round knockout over Victor Ortiz in September 2012.
Such conditioning may not bode well for Alvarez, but the 23-year-old is certainly no pushover. Alvarez is undefeated in 43 fights, and in his most recent bout defeated Austin Trout in a unanimous decision in April. The Mexican star has also fought 10 times as a light middleweight in the past three years, so he is experienced in the weight class.
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Alvarez (42-0-1) has an excellent jab, and he's proficient at landing his combination. In order for Alvarez to utilize his weapons, he will need to be in peak condition and be able to maintain his focus for what most expect to be a 12-round fight. That is, provided, that he can even connect against Mayweather.
Mayweather (44-0) is arguably the best defensive boxer of his generation, and one of the greatest defensive tacticians in history. He is capable of making disciplined punchers look foolish by dodging their blows with shoulder rolls, bobbing and weaving, and full and half guards. He is also a stronger puncher than many give him credit for.
How Alvarez approaches a title fight against a well-conditioned and experienced boxer like Mayweather will be the top storyline on fight night. The consensus opinion is that Alvarez is a superior boxer to Guerrero, but that doesn’t mean he won’t meet the same fate.
Most experts have predicted a Mayweather victory in a 12-round decision. With Mayweather appearing to be in top form, it’s possible they may even be underestimating the champion.