There are quite a few boxing observers who believe Canelo Alvarez has a good chance to defeat Floyd Mayweather when the two meet up on September 14 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
But one prominent trainer does not count himself among those people.
Freddie Roach, who trains Manny Pacquiao and a number of other ring stars, doesn’t really see Alvarez as a major threat to stop Mayweather’s undefeated streak.
He characterized the fight as “a great boxing match,” meaning that Mayweather, who he describes as “a beautiful boxer,” will be able to put his skills on display. But he doesn’t think the fight is going to be an appealing one for the fans who will be watching.
He told an assemblage of reporters, “I think a boxing fan will really like that fight but some people at home that like action might fall asleep. But it’s a great boxing match.”
He is, in effect, looking for a one-sided fight on that evening, with Alvarez trying in vain to connect solidly with any difference-making blows.
Perhaps there is a little gamesmanship at work here, in that Roach’s man, Pacquiao, is a direct competitor for the hearts and minds of fans, as well as their pocketbooks. Although the possibility of a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao is very remote, there is still a point of contention between the two as to who is the bigger star and the bigger draw.
On the other hand, if Mayweather boxes as he did when he turned back Robert Guerrero in May, it could turn out to be one of those fights were Alvarez, try as he might, is ineffective in launching any kind of an offensive attack. And that wouldn’t excite fans any more than the Guerrero bout, which was panned universally, albeit after the fact.
Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Brandon Rios on November 23 in Macau, and Roach is embarking on an extensive media tour with his man in order to promote the bout. Pacquiao’s last fight was none too successful, as he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round last December. Mayweather was coming off 21 months of inactivity when he easily handled Marquez in a near-shutout decision back in September 2009.
Alvarez, who comes into this fight with a 42-0-1, 30 KO’s record, is a talented boxer-puncher who may only be 23 years of age, but possesses ring wisdom far beyond his years. Still, that isn’t going to be enough to deal with the kind of ring savvy he is about to face when he encounters the man who has been through 44 consecutive fights without a loss, according to Roach.
“Well you know, he (meaning Alvarez) is a pretty good puncher and a tough guy,” he says, “but does he have a chance at beating Mayweather? I don’t think so.”
He does add that he likes Alvarez and hopes that he does well.
Alvarez is the champion coming into the fight, as he holds the WBC title at 154 pounds. He also annexed the WBA “Super” championship in the light middleweight class with his April 20 victory over Austin Trout. For this fight, Alvarez has made a concession in coming down a couple of pounds to meet Mayweather, who has won the WBA and WBC belts in the past at this weight but has never been heavier than the 151 he tipped the scales at when he defeated Miguel Cotto in May of last year.
Roach, incidentally, has agreed to train Cotto, who, coming off consecutive defeats against Mayweather and Trout, is planning on making a ring return against Delvin Rodriguez on October 5 in Orlando.