By Keith Idec
One of the two common opponents Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have boxed believes Alvarez has a better chance to pull off an upset Saturday night than most people think.
Shane Mosley, one of the few foes to hurt the undefeated Mayweather in any of his 44 professional fights, was impressed and surprised by Alvarez’s diversity during their one-sided fight in May 2012.
“You can underestimate Canelo, you know, by his baby face, thinking, ‘OK, this guy can’t be on the same level [as me],’ ” Mosley said during the fourth and final episode of Showtime’s “All Access: Mayweather Vs. Canelo,” which debuted Wednesday night. “And then he can fool you. His punches felt pretty strong. One body shot he threw was very painful. … You would think that he’s just a power puncher, but then he can also box and counter, too.
“He does have a lot of speed and power that I think Mayweather hasn’t seen in a long time. And he’s more knowledgeable than what you would think a 23-year-old would be. It’s going to be an interesting fight. Is Mayweather’s age catching up with him? He was, in a couple of his fights, kind of going down a little bit. Canelo has been getting better. Do they reach the plateau that it’s both 50-50? Who’s going to take that extra step? Who’s going to have that half [a step on the other]? We’ll see.”
The 42-year-old Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KOs, 1 NC) was 40 and well past his prime when Alvarez dominated him on the Mayweather-Miguel Cotto undercard 16 months ago at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) won their WBC junior middleweight title fight by big margins on all three scorecards (119-109, 119-109, 118-110).
Two years earlier, Mosley hurt Mayweather twice with right hands in the second round of their welterweight fight at MGM Grand. Mayweather recovered and went on to out-point Mosley easily in their 12-rounder (119-109, 119-109, 118-110).
“I started off very good, where I hit him with some very good shots,” said Mosley, who allowed Alvarez to use his gym in Big Bear Lake, Calif., to train for the Mayweather fight. “Then I hit him with a big shot. He was rocked and he was trying to recover, and I caught him with another good shot. That almost ended things.”
Mosley then added, “Floyd, he’s a great fighter. He throws a lot of speed to get you off your game plan. He might cheap-shot you one time to try to get you off your game mentally. He does all things necessary to win the fight. Mayweather has the master mind, but Canelo’s better than what he thinks.”
Mosley, a former partner in the Oscar De La Hoya-owned promotional company that represents Alvarez, has told Alvarez that he’ll be ringside Saturday night to support him at MGM Grand (Showtime-Pay-Per-View; $74.95 in HD; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Five weeks later, Mosley is scheduled to face Australia’s Anthony Mundine (44-5, 26 KOs) in a 12-round, 154-pound fight Oct. 23 in Sydney.
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.