Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley preview & prediction

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On May 5, Saul Alvarez and Shane Mosley duke it out on the Mayweather-Cotto undercard in a pivotal 154-pound title bout. The lines couldn’t have been drawn any more clearly–with Alvarez being the young and rising force and Mosley assuming the role of the old warrior grasping for one more sniff at the big-time. Alvarez is a resounding favorite, but “Sugar Shane” is by far his biggest-name opponent. Can Alvarez keep his star rising or will the wily old vet show that every legend still has one great fight left in them?

  • Date: May 5, 2012
  • Site: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Title: WBC 154-Pound Belt: 12 Rounds

Vital Stats

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Alvarez: Canelo is still only 21. At 39-0-1 (29), he has risen quickly to the top of the junior middleweight division. At 5’9” with a 71-inch reach, he has good size for the division, usually putting on significant poundage between the weigh-in and the fight. Canelo is a robust package to deal with for anyone at 154.

Mosley: Almost twice Alvarez’ age at 40. Shane was at one time 38-0, but his record now stands at 46-7-1, meaning he has won only 8 of his last 16 bouts. Standing a tad over 5’8” with a 71-inch reach, he has decent size for the junior middleweight class and is 4-2-1 at this weight.

Recent Form

Alvarez: Canelo has done everything asked of him so far. But the test questions haven’t been terribly difficult. But for a 21-year old, his list of victims is still impressive. He is on a roll now, with 3 straight knockouts over decent stock in Ryan Rhodes, Alfonso Gomez, and Kermit Cintron.

Mosley: Not a strong area for old “Sugar Shane.” It’s actually been a while since we’ve seen anything resembling vintage Mosley. And even that came against an Antonio Margarito who had just been busted loading his gloves–making one wonder how mentally fit he was that night. In the past 3+ years, he is 0-2-1.

Questions and Issues

Alvarez: Is he worthy of the hype? Are people jumping the gun before Alvarez really proves himself against top competition? Will early fame spoil him and can he handle being under the bright spotlight? Is his sterling record a true sign of his prowess or a byproduct of clever matchmaking?

Mosley: Does he still have “it?” Did losing to the top 2 guys in the sport (Mayweather and Pacquiao) unfairly paint him as a spent force? Will he find Alvarez more to his liking or is he just playing out the final lap of a great career, making a little extra money before he fades into the sunset? Is he pushing the health envelope by continuing to fight? Or will he look refreshed at 154 after fighting at 147 in recent setbacks?

Canelo vs. Mosley Prediction

I’m not one to advise fighters what to do with their lives, but I wish Mosley was retired. The idea of him taking tough fights at 40 years old is troubling. He’s an old 40–showing the signs in and out of the ring of a long and taxing career. I could be wrong, but he sounds a tad different when he speaks now–a tell-tale sign of pronounced ring erosion. At this point, my concern lies with Mosley’s post-ring life more than his diminishing prospects as a contemporary prizefighter. If you look at his best wins and biggest fights, those guys are all retired now and I’d like to see Mosley join them sooner than later.

This is not meant to imply that Mosley has no chance. Sure, Alvarez has looked good and Mosley has looked bad in the past several years. But maybe if Mosley had been facing the guys Alvarez has fought–he would have shined also. And maybe Canelo would have been looking shoddy if he had been facing guys like Mayweather and Pacquiao in his recent outings.

But then you look at how Mosley has fared in recent fights when he isn’t facing the best guys and it’s a little hard to be optimistic. Sure, he blitzed Mayorga with a thrilling last-round knockout. But that only masked how much he truly struggled with the past-his-peak Nicaraguan before he flattened him. And his fight with Sergio Mora didn’t show him in the most favorable light, even if the draw result should have been a Mosley win.

I can see Mosley having his moments. He can still hit with the right hand and is hugely experienced at the top level. It’s just that Canelo is so young, energetic, and ambitious. This is a young man’s game and those traits count for a lot. Look for Canelo to show some more discretion in the early going–fully aware of Mosley’s power.

In the middle rounds, Canelo will become increasingly assertive, as Mosley starts to slightly fade. I see the last 3 rounds being hard on Mosley, but he has enough guile and pride to soldier through to the final bell. A clear unanimous decision goes to Alvarez.

Prediction: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez W12 Shane Mosley

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  1. Fight date is wrong.

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