By Rick Reeno
Virgil Hunter, the trainer of Andre Ward, Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo and several others, spoke to BoxingScene.com about the upcoming mega-match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26KOs) and Saul "Canelo' Alvarez (42-0-1, 30KOs), which takes place on September 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The biggest issue that immediately concerns Hunter is Canelo' stamina. In Canelo's last fight, against Austin Trout, Hunter saw that Canelo was losing steam in the late rounds. He also believes Canelo is fully aware of his stamina issue and properly paces himself by fighting in spurts. He doesn't reject the fact that Canelo is hard worker in the gym, and feels the Mexican star's physical dimensions are a contributing factor to the problem.
If the kid can't show better stamina, then he's in trouble. He's a good fighter, but he's going to find out quick that [Mayweather] is on another level. In most of fights that I've seen him in he fights in spurts and he might always have that problem [with stamina] because of the way he's built, that stocky build that he has and the short arms, and the short limbs. It exists in the animal world, if you're familiar with different working dogs and things like that. He has that really stocky build so the blood in his arms and shoulders fill up pretty quick. Once that happens, he just carries all of that extra armor around," Hunter told BoxingScene.com.
The fight is taking place at a catch-weight of 152-pounds, which Hunter doesn't expect to be a factor in the fight. However, if Canelo blows up to 170 or 172-pounds like he has in the past, then that could be a problem, says Hunter.
"If he blows up over 165 he's going to be in trouble, because he's just carrying that extra armor around and Floyd will fatigue him," Hunter said.
"It's not the weight that you hit the scale with. It's the top weigh that matters. Nobody has a fist fight on the scale, they have it the next night in the ring, so to me the top weight matters, but at the same time a fighter really needs to know what his top weight really is. Just because you are 15-pounds heavier than him doesn't mean that's an effective 15-pounds. It could be a 15-pounds that's very detrimental to you, especially if you get tired and have to lug it around."
Hunter is not in agreement that Canelo, 22-years-old, is simply chasing a big payday. Unlike other Mayweather opponents, Canelo makes millions of dollars in every ring appearance and he draws thousands of fans to his events in Mexico and the United States.
"It's either one or two things. He's looking for the payday, which I find hard to believe because he's doing pretty well, he's an icon in Mexico and he does pretty well over here too. Or he really thinks that he can beat Mayweather,' Hunter said.