Probably the most anticipated bout of 2013 is on the slate this weekend for Las Vegas, as pound for pound ‘king’ Floyd Mayweather Jr takes on Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The line currently sits with Mayweather favored at (-267) and ‘Canelo’ returning at (+228) with BETDSI, and is similar with a lot of the other books, as Mayweather has been favored by more than 2 to 1 at the books since the match was announced.
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What is at play here has been reviewed ad nauseum in the media. Mayweather is 36 years old and he is facing a talented 23 year old who is a bit bigger and stronger in stature. The question on the line is will Mayweather show the wear of time and the slight erosion in his speed and coordination that comes with age, or will he fight off father time yet again? There are parallels that can be drawn to the demise of UFC long time pound for pound #1 Anderson Silva, who was recently dethroned by a younger, hungrier Chris Weidman.
One factor has popped up fight week that may affect how people view the underdog. It will also tell us a lot about ‘Canelo’s mental toughness. The Mexican rose to crossover fame under the tutelage of Oscar De La Hoya, and views him as a mentor. De La Hoya will not be with Alvarez for the fight due to his personal problems, and the 23 year old will have to adjust to this unexpected turn of events.
For Mayweather, this type of thing would be water under the bridge. Mayweather and controversy go hand in hand and he has endured legal charges, arrest, jail time, a break up with long time running mate 50 cent and a public long term battle with his father Floyd Sr. Nothing seems to bother the guy, and for one of the first times in a long time, he enters this fight relatively baggage free, and now his opponent gets to carry a psychological load.
I would not underestimate the effects of losing De La Hoya in his corner may have on ‘Canelo’. We are going to find out about ‘Canelo’ one way or another, but this late development may be reason to hold off on that underdog bet.