By Keith Idec
Preparing properly even for foes that weren’t considered true threats to his unblemished record has been one of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s greatest strengths during his Hall-of-Fame career.
Mayweather’s history suggests that he’ll be as mentally and physically ready as possible when he steps into the ring Saturday night in Las Vegas for his heavily hyped, pay-per-view showdown with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The 36-year-old Mayweather’s opponent is, after all, 12½ years younger and naturally larger than him, undefeated and unusually experienced for a boxer who’s just 23 years old (43 professional fights).
Alvarez still believes boxing’s trash-talking pound-for-pound king isn’t quite taking him seriously as their WBA/WBC junior middleweight title fight approaches.
“I think that the way he’s talking, he’s underestimating me,” Alvarez said on a recent conference call. “But at the same time, I think that he’s worried. I think that he’s very, very worried. But he’s always been like that. He’s always been a talker. That’s the kind of person he is, but I don’t care. I don’t care what he’s saying. I don’t care what he’s thinking. What I care about is what I’m saying and what I’m thinking. And I’m controlling it, and that’s what matters to me.”
Las Vegas’ Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) is slightly more than a 2-1 favorite over Mexico’s Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) entering their scheduled 12-round fight at MGM Grand (Showtime Pay-Per-View; $74.95 in HD; 9 p.m. ET/PT).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.