Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin: The Super Fight

‘Canelo’ and ‘GGG’ are set to face off in a huge middleweight clash on September 16th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

canelo vs golovkin fight poster
Huge Clash: Canelo and Golovkin are due to fight for Golovkin’s IBF, WBC and WBA middleweight titles.
It is the big fight that we have all anticipated in boxing. Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor is a massive event, Canelo Alvarez versus Gennady Golovkin however is a massive fight. This is an enormous spectacle for the boxing world, one where you could genuinely make an argument for either fighter winning. A true 50-50 fight, one might say. It is set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, just 3 weeks after Mayweather vs McGregor. September 16th is Mexican Independence weekend, a huge weekend for the Mexican people and traditionally a big weekend for boxing bouts. Expect Las Vegas to be packed with not just Mexican fans, but those from all over the world leading up to the fight who are extremely excited to see the best face the best.

The breakdown

Golovkin has a phenomenal record of 37-0 with 33 knockouts and an incredible 89% knockout rate. Golovkin is no doubt the middleweight king; he has the IBF, WBC and WBA titles at middleweight and has demolished most of his competition, beating the likes of David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr and Martin Murray. He recently defeated Danny Jacobs (albeit a controversial unanimous decision victory) and Kell Brook (moved up from welterweight to middleweight for this fight). ‘GGG’ has ferocious power in either fist, is fantastic at cutting off the ring, and is excellent at seizing his chance once the opportunity comes for the knockout. He is a beast from Kazakhstan and has found it hard to get the best to jump into the ring with him. It even took Canelo over a year and for him to drop his WBC middleweight belt to step up and face him, clearly recognising the danger involved with facing such a powerful fighter.

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Power: Golovkin landing a crushing left hook on David Lemieux, blood pouring from Lemieux’s nose. A sign of the danger that Canelo faces come September 16th.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (‘Canelo’ means ‘Cinnamon’ in Spanish, a reference to his red hair) has recently moved up from the junior middleweight division. In his previous fight, however, he fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds and boxed phenomenally well over 12 rounds, winning a comfortable unanimous decision victory. This fight is at 160 pounds, however Canelo’s previous fights have taken place at 154 pounds. He has beaten the likes of Miguel Cotto, Austin Trout, James Kirkland, Amir Khan and Erislandy Lara (a controversial decision win earned in this bout). In terms of Pay-Per-View events, Canelo may only be 26 but having the limelight on him is nothing new. At just 23, he faced Floyd Mayweather, and although he lost the fight, he has grown phenomenally as a fighter since that loss. He also has excellent power, his body punches and punching technique are of an extremely high level, and he can box as well as counter-punch very effectively. There is no doubting Canelo’s star power and fantastic boxing ability, however this is a legacy defining fight. If he managed to pull off the victory in this fight, he becomes the number 1 star in boxing and arguably the pound for pound best.

canelo v cotto
Left Uppercut: Canelo catching Cotto with an accurate left uppercut, right on the chin. His accuracy will be crucial in order to beat Golovkin.
Keys to Victory: Gennady Golovkin

GGG goes into the fight as a slight favourite in the eyes of the bookmakers. For him to win this fight, he is going to have to cut off the ring very well (which he already does) against an excellent counter puncher in Canelo. He could find this a very tough task, however. If you look at Golovkin’s previous fight against Danny Jacobs (a fight which, in my opinion, he lost), Jacobs was able to tag his body and make it hard for Golovkin to walk him down, as well as catching him from distance. Nonetheless, Golovkin did manage to knock Jacobs down in the fight, which highlights the fact that one punch can change a fight and Golovkin always has the power to do that. GGG will also have to throw lots of combinations at Canelo when he does catch him. Furthermore, he will have to avoid getting counter-punched and, crucially, avoid getting hit to the body. Canelo is brilliant at body punching and this could be GGG’s downfall in this fight, as he does not like to get tagged in the mid-section. It is imperative for GGG to not get broken down as Canelo will start to capitalise on this and catch him with other shots. Despite that, Golovkin still has a great chance of pulling off the victory and cementing himself as the true middleweight king.

Keys to Victory: Canelo Alvarez

For Canelo to win the fight, he has to first of all make sure that he does not get caught flush by Golovkin. Although Canelo has a world class chin, Golovkin has concussive power and has the ability and technique to knock almost anyone out. This will be the first danger for Canelo to avoid. He has to target Golovkin’s body a lot in this fight; Canelo is a tremendous body puncher and will have to be willing to fight on the inside and rip hooks to Golovkin’s body to break him down. This will give Canelo a great chance of slowing Golovkin down and also sapping his power later into the fight. Canelo will also have to concentrate for 100% of the fight and be able to slip GGG’s punches and counter Golovkin effectively. This will be very important as it will confuse Golovkin and make it hard for him to win rounds. Canelo has the tools to do this, however previous opponents such as Chavez Jr and Liam Smith are no match for Golovkin’s talents, therefore he will be in for a very hard night’s work. Another key factor is for Canelo to have a very high work-rate throughout the fight and catch Golovkin when he gets the opportunity to. If you let Golovkin have the chance to push forward and throw at you, it becomes very difficult to avoid every punch thrown.

canelo golovkin tale of the tape
Tale of the Tape: The statistics you need to know for Canelo v Golovkin. Golovkin has the reach and height advantage but Canelo has youth on his side.
Predictions for the fight: Canelo by Split Decision or Majority Decision

It is extremely hard to predict this fight, the reason being is that both fighters are of such a high calibre and there are very plausible arguments for leaning towards each fighter getting the nod. I have changed my mind a few times on this fight, however as the fight draws closer I am leaning towards Canelo pulling off the decision in a very close fight. I feel that Canelo is the fresher guy, with the speed and ability to hit Golovkin’s body hard and wear him down. Danny Jacobs showed elements of the blueprint on how to beat Golovkin and I feel that Canelo will pull it off. Having said that, because of Golovkin’s ferocious power, you can never count him out. We are really in for a treat with this fighter. Outside of Andre Ward, these are two of the best fighters in the whole of boxing facing each other. If the fight had taken place a year ago, I feel that Golovkin would have had too much power and strength to overcome Canelo. However, Canelo has filled into the middleweight division and improved a lot technically, whereas Golovkin has showed signs of decline in his previous fights with Brook and Jacobs. Therefore, I fell that Canelo will win via split decision or majority decision and become the number 1 star in boxing. This is a much-watch PPV event and the biggest fight of the boxing calendar, so sit back and enjoy.

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Let’s get ready to rumble: Canelo vs GGG will be a huge event watched by millions around the world, so mark your calendars for September 16th.
Written by: Alex Loughran

 

Mayweather vs McGregor: Boxing vs UFC

The best in boxing will face off against the best in UFC in the ring on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

mayweather mcgregor promo
Mega-Event: Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are set to face off under the bright lights of Las Vegas on August 26th 2017.

The Mega-Event

It is the strangest mega-event in boxing that I have ever personally witnessed. American boxer Floyd Mayweather is set to face off against Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor in a boxing match in Las Vegas. The bout will be contested at 154 pounds, the light-middleweight division and is scheduled for 12 rounds.

The attention which will be placed upon this event will be unparalleled. There is no denying that Mayweather and McGregor are huge stars in their chosen sports. ‘Money’ Mayweather, who turned 40 this year, retired back in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 boxing record, breaking PPV records and generating hundreds of millions of dollars throughout his 20 year career. The 28 year-old ‘Notorious’ McGregor, on the other hand, has revolutionised UFC in many ways and is undoubtedly the star of the Octagon. He has an MMA record of 21-3 and has shown no fear in taking on opponents at several different weight divisions. He is also a multi-millionaire several times over and his best years are still yet to come in fighting.

In terms of economics and attention brought from this fight, it is a no-brainer to make. For one, I strongly believe that this fight will break the PPV record set by Mayweather vs Pacquiao, the supposed ‘Fight of the Century’ which achieved 4.4 million PPV buys in the United States and created huge worldwide interest. Mayweather said himself that the only fighter which will ensure another 9-figure payday was a match against McGregor. No official information has been released on how much money each fighter is expected to make from fight night. However, Mayweather will demand the lion’s share, as he has done right throughout his career since defeating Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. He is the ‘A-Side’, in his words. I would expect Mayweather’s purse to be upwards of $100 million, before any money generated from PPV. McGregor is expected to earn $75 million from this fight, again before anything generated from PPV sales. That is phenomenal money and too big an opportunity for either man to pass up on.

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The Venue: The fight is set to take place at the recently constructed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather fought several times at the MGM Grand Garden Arena throughout his career which is just across from the T-Mobile Arena.

A hyped-up mismatch?

Putting aside the hullabaloo and the entertainment of two trash-talkers going at it in the squared circle, one is arguably the greatest boxer in history and the other is making his professional boxing debut in this fight. One is 49-0 and the other is 0-0. If we are talking about the matchup itself, it is a mismatch. That is no disrespect to McGregor: he is a fantastic UFC fighter, demonstrated through a 13 second knockout win over 10-year UFC featherweight beltholder Jose Aldo. Furthermore, he showed tremendous skills as a stand-up fighter in the Octagon, using a range of punches to beat Nate Diaz on points in an exciting rematch. McGregor lost the first bout between the two, however he jumped up to 170 pounds on 9 days’ notice and was not ready conditioning wise.

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Pow!: McGregor landing a powerful left hand on Diaz’ face.
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Skills: Mayweather landing a straight left on Pacquiao during their mega fight.

Having said all that, this is a boxing fight, not an MMA fight. Mayweather has dismantled excellent boxers right throughout his career, beating the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez. Infact, not only did he beat these opponents, he defeated them all with relative ease. Mayweather in his later years was the welterweight king, which in boxing is 147 pounds. McGregor until most recently was the champ at featherweight, which is 145 pounds in UFC. This was until he decided to fight Diaz at 170 pounds (welterweight) and Eddie Alvarez at 155 pounds (lightweight). This fight is going to be contested at 154 pounds, which is likely to suit both fighters well considering McGregor last fought at 155 pounds and Mayweather is coming out of a 2-year retirement.

There are several factors to take into consideration for this fight. If world class/elite boxers could not hit Mayweather often, what chance does McGregor have considering he has never fought in the ring professionally? Furthermore, even if McGregor does manage to hit Mayweather, he will naturally not have the same level of punching technique in boxing terms, therefore it is unlikely to affect Mayweather greatly. McGregor absolutely has a lot of power, but Mayweather has a superb defence and a fantastic chin. Other factors to take into account are Mayweather’s speed, footwork and ring IQ in the boxing ring. McGregor has never faced anyone as elusive or as skilled as Mayweather before and will find it extremely hard to contain the rhythm of the fight. Even though Mayweather is coming from a 2-year layoff, he always keeps himself in fantastic shape and will be extremely prepared come fight night. Another key variable is conditioning: in boxing it is 12 x 3 minute rounds, whereas UFC is 5 x 5 minute rounds (in championship fights). UFC fighters, of course, require extremely high levels of conditioning considering that they have to contend with different abilities in one fight, such as kicking, striking and grappling. However, in terms of pure boxing over 12 rounds in a boxing event, Mayweather undoubtedly has the advantage in this regard and has went the distance many times over.

Predictions for the fight: Mayweather by KO

I take my hat off to Conor McGregor: he has gotten everyone in the world, including myself, interested in him fighting Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match and willing to pay for PPV to see him do it. I strongly believe that this fight has generated even more hype than Mayweather vs Pacquiao did, which I did not think was possible considering the amount of exposure that fight managed to generate. Furthermore, he has natural charisma and phenomenal talent which have propelled him to stardom in combat sports. Fans are in for a treat with the press-conferences, Mayweather and McGregor both being epic trash-talkers. From his humble beginnings in Dublin, Ireland, he has gotten himself a shot against one of the greatest boxers in history under the bright lights of Las Vegas, despite never having boxed professionally. This has been through a combination of fantastic work ethic and marketing. Both fighters know how to sell a fight, and sell it well.

Nonetheless, I do believe Mayweather will score a knockout. Although Floyd is not the biggest power-puncher, with 26 knockouts in 49 fights, I strongly believe that McGregor will tire by the middle rounds and start eating a lot of right hands. As he tires I also believe he will open up greatly and get peppered by shots that he cannot see and will struggle with the momentum. If McGregor can make it somewhat competitive or have some moments of success, I would be the first to give him credit. However, I do believe it is a monumental task facing him when he comes up against a boxing master on August 26th and can only see a Mayweather victory. Despite this, I cannot wait for the full build-up and the event to take place. It is going to be a lot of fun.

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Lets Go!: Mayweather vs McGregor will prove to be a ratings hit and will have the world watching.

Written by: Alex Loughran

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Eubank Jr. vs Nick Blackwell: British Title Battle

Eubank stops Blackwell in the 10th round to capture the British Middleweight Belt

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Battle: Blackwell (19-4-1, 8KOs) and Eubank (22-1, 17KOs) fought in an extremely thrilling fight on Saturday 26th March 2016, at the SSE Wembley Arena in London

Information on Nick Blackwell

Following this fight, Nick Blackwell collapsed and was admitted to hospital after it was believed that he had suffered bleeding to the brain. Reports have since emerged that he did not suffer it to the brain, but rather to the skull. His forehead was extremely swollen and he was put into an induced coma. As of today (4th April 2016), Blackwell has woken up from his coma and has been speaking to his family, 9 days after the fight. He has not had to undergo surgery. I wish him all the best in his recovery.

It is unfortunate what has happened to Nick Blackwell following this incredible bout. This was a very exciting matchup between 2 warriors, both having given everything that they had. Big punches. Tremendous heart. Blood. Guts. Determination. A will to entertain and a will to win. However, in the 10th round Blackwell was ordered to get checked by the doctor, who informed the referee that he had sustained too much damage and the fight was subsequently called off. This was another horrendous scenario for the Eubank team too, bringing back memories of his father, Eubank Sr.’s fight against Michael Watson, who was left permanently damaged following their fight. Credit to them, both Sr. (who was in his son’s corner) and Jr. had been informing the referee to call off the fight, realising that Blackwell was suffering a lot of damage. I wanted to wait until Blackwell’s condition was clear and more known before writing an article about the fight.

blackwell injury
Unfortunate: Nick Blackwell suffered damage in this fight

Moving onto the bout itself. This action-packed fight earned both fighters a tonne of respect from boxing fans. Chris Eubank Jr showed that as an all-round fighter and package, he most certainly has star quality. A sublime physique and conditioning, very mentally tough, determined, possessing a lot of speed and power. Sure, Eubank does get hit more often that he perhaps should. But he showed in this fight (and in his last fight with Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan) that when it comes to producing truly magnificent shows, he is box-office. A lot of his showmanship and fighting style is influenced from his father, Chris Eubank Sr., a former British world champion at middleweight.

Against Blackwell, Eubank showed tremendous heart and power. He was relentless with his combinations, throwing several punches in bunches. His uppercuts were magnificent, able to land huge shots on his opponent. He showed that he was a level above Blackwell in terms of skillset, power and speed. However, Blackwell must be hugely credited for his truly amazing toughness. He did not even get knocked down despite getting tagged with a lot of vicious shots, demonstrating incredible heart. Blackwell landed some excellent shots himself onto Eubank, however his opponent took these on the chin (literally). It was an intense but scintillating fight for the British title. Eubank will be looking towards bigger fights on the world scene following this stoppage victory, targeting world champions such as Danny Jacobs, a rematch with Billy-Joe Saunders and possibly a huge bout with Gennady Golovkin.

eubank jr W
Victory: Eubank Jr. scored another victory and is looking to move towards securing a world title fight.

Eubank is brilliant at utilising his work rate along with his skills. The guy is a phenomenal athlete. His stamina allows him to keep up a high volume of punches from the start right through to the end of a fight. Against Blackwell, an extremely tough competitor who also has a granite chin, he executed his punches with such precision, power and venom. Yet, he was able to keep this up right through until the stoppage. Although Eubank is a skilled fighter, he definitely has aspects to work on. His defence at times can be questioned, leaving himself open to shots. This was the case against Blackwell, getting hit with the odd shot here and there following a barrage of punches thrown at Blackwell. Furthermore, Eubank used to showboat a lot in his earlier fights, but seems to have reduced this from his game considerably. Eubank has also improved a lot from the Billy-Joe Saunders fight, the only loss of his career up to this point. This was a close split-decision loss, however Eubank found it much harder to get into his rhythm against a boxer as skilled and as slippery as Saunders.

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Intense: Eubank throwing an uppercut at Blackwell during their exciting fight. Blackwell showed his toughness in this fight, however Eubank proved to be a level above him.

Nonetheless, Eubank’s future looks extremely bright. He is such a watchable fighter. Even casual fans of the sport get excited when watching him. He oozes class and excitement in every single fight. His win against Blackwell was a win against a good quality opponent, but highlights the fact that he needs to move onto securing a world title shot. A rematch with Saunders would be fascinating to watch. It would be interesting to see just how much he has improved from his previous loss to him. In the future, a matchup with Golovkin would be mouth-watering. Golovkin is the best 160 pounder in the world and has blasted opponent after opponent out. However, although this would be a very hard fight for Eubank, it would be intriguing to see how Golovkin would do with Eubank, a fighter with a great chin and a high intensity.

Had the injury not occurred, Blackwell looked like he was also going to have a bright future in the sport. This would have been his 4th loss, however he had no amateur career and had managed to work his way up to winning the British title. This showed that he definitely has talent and toughness as a boxer. Currently, he is facing his biggest fight outside the ring with the damage he suffered against Eubank. This unfortunately means that his boxing career is likely to be over. However, he will certainly be able to offer the sport so much in other capacities. If he does not fight again, he will always be known as a fighter who truly gave his all.

Get well soon, champ.

blackwell tough
Warrior: Nick Blackwell demonstrated just how tough a boxer and a man that he really is. A true warrior.

Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan: A Surprising Super Fight

Canelo and Khan to fight on May 7th  2016 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

canelo khan big fight
Big fight: Canelo Alvarez (left) and Amir Khan (right) are set to fight each other at a 155 pound catchweight.
It was a fight which nobody expected to happen. Speculation was mounting as to who Amir Khan was to face next, his last fight having taken place in May 2015, when he defeated Chris Algieri by Unanimous Decision. Many thought that he would finally take on his fellow British welterweight rival, IBF Welterweight title holder Kell Brook (35-0). This is a fight that would have easily filled 90,000 seats at Wembley Stadium in a huge domestic summer clash, a fight that British fans have been wanting to happen for years.

However, Khan (31-3) has surprised everyone and has decided to move up to a 155 pound catch weight to take on the dangerous Mexican superstar, Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1). Khan deserves enormous credit for taking this fight. This is the most dangerous and the biggest money-making fight he could have possibly made at this stage of his career, with the exception of facing Floyd Mayweather (who has declared himself as retired and has shown no interest in facing Khan). Canelo has 32 knockouts on his record in 48 fights, showing that he has real power in his punches. In his last fight in November 2015, Canelo defeated Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto via Unanimous Decision. This fight was also at a catchweight of 155 pounds, however it was for the WBC Middleweight title. Infact, Canelo was the only one able to fight for this belt as a result of Cotto refusing to pay the $1.1 million sanctioning fee. Canelo vs Khan is also for the WBC Middleweight title, even though this fight is also set to take place at 155 pounds. That’s the crazy world of boxing politics for you…

 

canelo cotto uppercut
Precision: Canelo catches Cotto with a sweet uppercut in their battle back in November 2015, which took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
There is no doubting the skillset and star power that both Canelo and Khan generate going into this fight. This fight is set to be the first boxing match to be staged at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, just off The Strip. Canelo has a huge Mexican fan base and also has a lot of support in America. Khan attracts the UK audience and is also a globally-known fighter. What makes this fight so intriguing and appealing is the difference in styles and the difference in weight. Many people assume that Khan is simply going to be too small for Canelo at the 155 pound limit. They could well be right. However, one must keep in mind that Floyd Mayweather (arguably smaller than Khan) fought Canelo and beat him comfortably. Although Mayweather is truly a special fighter and also took the fight at a 152 pound catchweight (rather than the 155 for this fight), it shows that size is not always the determinant factor in boxing. Both fighters bring a lot to the table, regardless of what weight the fight is at.

Analysis: Amir Khan

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Big fight: Khan is set to go into the biggest fight of his life against Canelo.
UK fighter Amir ‘King’ Khan most certainly has the edge in speed over Canelo Alvarez. His hand speed is potentially the quickest in boxing. He has a lightning fast jab, can box beautifully off the back foot and can throw rapid combinations. He has the natural ability to throw 2 or 3 punches before the opponent can even blink. Khan has not fought at the 155 pound weight before (1 pound over junior-middleweight), therefore it will be very interesting to see if his speed will transcend up into the weight. Judging by the pre-fight build up, Khan has also bulked up quite significantly, thus it will be interesting to see if he can retain his speed along with his extra muscle and strength going into this bout.

Although Khan is undoubtedly a very talented boxer, it has to be said that his chin is suspect. Khan suggests that cutting down to 140 pounds (and even cutting down to 147 pounds) was draining him and leaving him more susceptible to knockdowns. This could have been a factor, however his questionable chin has been a recurrent problem throughout his career. He was knocked out by Danny Garcia in 2012, who is an undefeated world light-welterweight and welterweight champion, however Khan was out boxing him in the first 3 rounds before he got caught. It must be mentioned that Khan ditched his trainer Freddie Roach after this loss and moved to California to work with Virgil Hunter. Hunter has mentored Andre Ward from a young age, who has impeccable defensive skills and is currently campaigning at light-heavyweight after clearing out the super-middleweight division. Khan has most definitely improved with Hunter in his corner. He has beaten the likes of Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri.

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Smashed: Khan was out boxing Danny Garcia, until he got caught by Garcia’s dynamite left hook. Khan lost this fight and subsequently teamed up with Virgil Hunter.
Khan’s last fight against Algieri (in May 2015) showed Khan winning but also getting hit a lot more than he really should have. Nonetheless, Hunter has definitely improved Khan’s defensive mechanisms, instructing him to tuck his chin in more and operate behind a tighter guard. Khan has very much became an in-and-out fighter, throwing flurries then moving back out of the opponents distance. These tactics are fundamental for Khan to have a chance against Canelo Alvarez. Over 12 rounds, this will be tough for Khan, but he has the skillset to do it. It is a concern that Khan has taken a year off before facing such a strong fighter in Canelo. However, it has allowed Khan the time to build up his weight and it does show that Khan has cojones, one might say, in taking on such a tough opponent.

Analysis: Canelo Alvarez

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Strength: Canelo is only 25 years old, yet has a lot of physical and mental strength beyond his years.
Simply put, Canelo Alvarez is a future star in the sport of boxing. He appears to have it all. The Mexican redhead (the name is ‘Canelo’ because it means ‘Cinnamon’ in Spanish, his real name is Saul) has the looks, the charisma, superb physical conditioning and the fanbase. More importantly, the guy can really fight. He has a similar following to what his promoter, the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya had.

Despite being just 25 years of age, Canelo has already beaten Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, ‘Perro’ Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley and Erislandy Lara (although this fight was controversial). His only loss came at the hands of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. Rather than sulk about this loss, Canelo took it on the chin and sharpened his tools and abilities as a boxer. What makes Canelo such a good fighter is that he has the ability to utilise his size and score a knockout punch (as shown by the Kirkland fight). He is very efficient with his punches, knowing how to calculate which punches to throw. He can also throw vicious combinations. If required, he is also able to box extremely well. The Cotto fight in particular showed his excellent boxing ability in scoring a Unanimous Decision against a top class fighter.

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Tough night: Canelo had a tough night’s work against the skilled Cuban Erislandy Lara, winning via a controversial split-decision.
However, despite this Canelo is most certainly not the finished article, nor is he perfect. His stamina has been questioned in the past, with him appearing to get tired in the later rounds. Furthermore, he is fairly flat footed, despite having very good boxing ability. This means that his footwork is not always the fastest. As well as this, Canelo seems to keep fighting at the 155 pound catchweight despite holding a middleweight title. After this fight, to truly test himself, he should actually fight at 160 pounds and fight the other world champions at that weight. Although Canelo is an excellent fighter, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin is an extraordinary fighter and would be a bad matchup for him at this stage.

Similarly to Khan, Canelo also has a lot of toughness about him and is willing to take on other quality fighters to prove his worth. Although in comparison to Khan, Canelo might appear slow, he does have underrated speed. Plus, Canelo has a very solid chin, therefore he should be able to take any shots that Khan throws at him well. Furthermore, Canelo is able to counter-box well, a dangerous proposition for Khan considering his power to go along with that.

Predictions for the fight: Canelo by KO in the mid rounds (6th/7th round)

First of all, Khan has to be given a lot of credit for taking this fight. Although he is making the most money from fighting Canelo, it is a very tough task. If Khan is to pull it off, he has to box perfectly for 12 rounds. Khan has shown that when he uses his boxing brain he is able to perform superbly. However, he seems to catch a rush of blood during fights and wants to take the fight toe-to-toe. This is something which Hunter has had to take away from Khan’s game. Unfortunately, even in his last fight against Algieri, Khan did get involved with this bad habit again. Thankfully for him, Algieri was not a big puncher. However, moving up in weight against a strong bull like Canelo is a different ball game.

Win or lose this fight, Khan will definitely be able to bounce back into a good fight. Although Khan most certainly does look stronger with extra weight on him, I feel that Khan may have bitten off more than he can chew with this matchup. Yes, he is quicker than Canelo and can box extremely well. However, Canelo is not only able to hit hard, he is able to box very well and is accurate when he does throw his punches. Khan I feel will be able to have a couple of good rounds for as long as he avoids Canelo’s punches. However, avoiding this for a full 12 rounds is a very difficult task. I expect Canelo to figure him out by round 4 or 5 and apply the pressure on Khan, forcing the stoppage.

Whatever the result, this is a PPV fight and should provide for a very interesting spectacle between 2 big names in boxing. On May 7th, sit back and enjoy the show.

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Face off: Canelo and Khan are set to face off on May 7th in what should prove to be an intriguing and exciting matchup.

 

 

 

Anthony Joshua vs Charles Martin: Too Much, Too Soon?

Joshua to fight Martin in London on April 9th 2016 for the IBF Heavyweight Title

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US vs UK: Charles Martin (left) is the IBF belt holder, originating from the US. Anthony Joshua (right) is aiming to become a world heavyweight champion in just his 16th fight.
The hype surrounding Anthony Joshua is surreal. Winning the Olympic Gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in Britain, the spotlight has been on this next British star of boxing. After scoring 15 wins, all by way of knockout, that star has not faded one bit. His win against previously undefeated arch-nemesis Dillian Whyte (16-1) was the biggest of his career, and has propelled him into a clash for the IBF title. This fight is the stuff of dreams for Joshua. A world title opportunity, set to take place on home soil, at the 02 arena in London.

There is no doubting that Joshua is a phenomenal talent and appears to have everything it takes to become an all-round star athlete. His speed and power in particular have made people sit up and take notice. The way he has been demolishing opponents has been extraordinary. For example, he smashed Kevin Johnson in just 2 rounds, who had previously not been knocked out in his entire career before facing ‘AJ’. This shows that Joshua’s power in his punches is certainly legitimate. Furthermore, he has the looks, the charm, the charisma and the personality to become a very well-known and iconic fighter.

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Battered: Joshua destroyed Kevin Johnson, something no other opponent had done in his long career.
However, Joshua showed some form of vulnerability in his fight with Dillian Whyte. In the first round, Joshua was controlling the pace and looked like he could even stop his rival, such was the tenacity in his punches as well as his accuracy. Credit to Whyte, he gritted his teeth and forced his way back into the fight in the very next round, catching Joshua with a huge shot and pummelling him against the ropes. Joshua was visibly stunned by this punch, appearing rocked and dazed, a position he had never been in before during his entire career (or at least, a position he had not been in since he was knocked down by Whyte in their amateur fight many years ago). Joshua managed to pull himself together and stay calm and composed, gradually getting his rhythm back, sitting down on his punches. He then forced the attack on Whyte and managed to catch him in the 7th round with a lethal uppercut, sending Whyte through the ropes. Joshua showed in this fight that he can take a punch from a hard hitter, regroup and come back to knock his opponent out.

joshua whyte KO
Down and out: Joshua was the victor in his feud with Dillian Whyte, sending his rival through the ropes in round 7 and scoring a big knockout win at the 02 Arena.
Joshua deservedly has received a lot of positive hype thus far. The guy absolutely has dynamite in his fists, able to pick an opponent apart and seize the opportune moment to send them face-first to the canvas. However, so far Joshua has admittedly not faced a particularly high standard of opponent. Fighters such as Raphael Zumbano Love, Gary Cornish and Jason Gavern are essentially journeymen fighters. Yes, Cornish was undefeated, however he did not start training full-time until the Joshua fight. Another concern with Joshua is his ever-increasing bulk. Sure, Joshua is a tremendous physical specimen. But is his bulk going to help him be conditioned enough for when he starts to fight people over 12 rounds? After Whyte caught him, he did appear to look very tired and jaded, albeit managing to get the stoppage win.

So what about Joshua’s next opponent? ‘Prince’ Charles Martin? Out of all the heavyweight champions currently, he was clearly viewed by Eddie Hearn (Promoter of Matchroom Sport and Joshua’s promoter) as the ‘easiest’ fight for Joshua to become a world champion. Tyson Fury is the linear champion, winning the WBA and WBO belts from Wladimir Klitschko. Fury also won the IBF title, but was then consequently (and unfairly) stripped of this belt after he was unable to defend it against his mandatory Vyacheslav Glazkov, resulting from Klitschko activating his right to a rematch with Fury. Once Fury was stripped, Glazkov took on Charles Martin for the IBF belt. Martin won the belt after Glazkov had to quit due to a serious knee injury in the fight. Deontay Wilder holds the WBC belt, but is promoted by Al Haymon and so far in his reign has taken soft-touches in his defences.

heavyweight champ fury
Future matchup?: a fight in the future between Joshua and Tyson Fury (above) could take place if Joshua defeats Martin in April. This would be a huge UK fight between 2 undefeated heavyweights.
Charles Martin deserves a lot of credit for willing to travel to the UK to defend his belt against Joshua, despite being the champion. This shows Martin has a lot of courage and determination to take the fight in Joshua’s hometown. Martin has a 23-0-1 record, with 21 knockouts. This shows that the champion can also hit hard himself. He is also a big southpaw, which can be tricky for any opponent, especially at heavyweight, where one punch can truly end a fight. Nonetheless, Martin has fought fairly weak opposition in his career and does not possess particularly great technique when throwing punches. He may hit hard, but does not look like a world beater at all. On the whole, it is quite difficult to gauge just how good Martin is, due to the lack of top calibre opponents on his record. Martin is very much an unknown, which makes him versus Joshua even more intriguing and exciting.

Predictions for the fight: Joshua by late knockout (8th/9th round)

Despite Charles Martin being the world champion and clearly a very determined individual, I feel that Joshua has both the natural talent and work-rate to score a stoppage win. Although Martin’s chin and ability to take a punch remains fairly unknown, Joshua possesses devastating punching power in his fists. I feel Joshua will have learned a lot from his experiences in the Dillian Whyte fight and will help him to become a better all-round fighter. I believe with more focus to his game, being smart with his game plan and using his boxing ability before breaking down Martin, Joshua will pick up a good win. He will also gain more experience, a world title belt and will become a very hot commodity in boxing.

Although I think Joshua will score a knockout victory in this fight, I am more concerned about his following fights. With a world title belt around his waist, Joshua will sooner or later have to face the other top guys. Eddie Hearn has said he would get Joshua to have two voluntary defences to continue learning his trade and develop into a better fighter. Fights against Dereck Chisora and Robert Helenius would certainly be good fights for him to continue plying his trade and for gathering experience. However, there are the likes of Tyson Fury, David Haye and Deontay Wilder chomping at the bit to get a piece of him. It could be too soon for Joshua to take on those types of fighters at this stage in his career. However, one thing it does guarantee is a very exciting heavyweight division, something we have not witnessed for a very long time.

Article written by: Alex Loughran, Edinburgh University Boxing Club, Publicity Officer 

Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux: Golovkin displays boxing brilliance and stops Lemieux in 8 rounds

Dominance: Golovkin put on a tremendous display to wear down and score a TKO over Lemieux in the 8th round

It was built up as a battle between two ferocious power punchers, one in the frame of Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, who has moved to 34-0, with 31 knockouts. Lemieux’s record is now 34-3, with 31 knockouts in his career. Records don’t lie: these warriors both have a great amount of power at their disposal. Golovkin was WBO champion, whereas Lemiuex was IBF champion in the middleweight division. It took place in Madison Square Garden in New York City and was deemed to be somewhat of a test for Golovkin. Could the Kazakh phenomenon finally be tested by a man with such great punching power?

What actually unfolded on October 17th was nothing short of a masterclass. Golovkin’s performance was akin to a surgeon, carefully dissecting his opponent round after round, before the referee decided he had witnessed too much damage to Lemieux’s face and called a halt to the contest in round 8. It appears that each fight, us as spectators try to figure out if Golovkin has a particular weakness. What we end up finding out is that he is even better than we originally thought and realised.

There is no denying that Golovkin has extraordinary power, demonstrated by his 91% KO percentage before this fight, the highest of anyone in middleweight history. However, what makes Golovkin so great is not simply his power, it is skills and tools as an overall boxer. In this fight particularly, GGG demonstrated a brilliant use of the jab. This was absolutely key for him being able to gauge the distance between himself and Lemieux, as well as setting up other punches and combinations following this. This was a hard jab which Lemiuex simply could not cope with the entire fight. The first 2 rounds, Golovkin landed 50 jabs on Lemieux, a large number in just a couple of rounds. Lemieux tried his best to find a way around this tool, but this was Golovkin’s bread and butter for carving up his opponent successfully.

Control: Golovkin displayed such a high skill level in his bout vs Lemieux, making sure it was extremely difficult for Lemieux to land anything of note throughout the fight.
Control: Golovkin displayed such a high skill level in his bout vs Lemieux, making sure it was extremely difficult for Lemieux to land anything of note throughout the fight.

Nonetheless, Lemieux was not discouraged. He would aim to throw counter shots to somehow try and catch Golovkin off-guard, After all, this is the sport of boxing, where one punch can change everything. Lemieux showed great heart and resilience in aiming to put the pressure on Golovkin. However, Golovkin also showed excellent defence mechanisms in this fight, showing great head movement and footwork to slip and slide shots coming from Lemieux. This would ultimately make Lemieux’s task much more difficult; he was very much facing a GGG on top of his game. Even in the rare moments where Lemieux had Golovkin near the ropes, Golovkin would have a very tight guard and cover up his torso, then bounce out the way and come firing back at Lemiuex with his own combinations. This shows that Golovkin was not only able to use his own tools, but he was also successful in taking away Lemiuex’s strengths and managing to avoid anything that came his way.

As Lemiuex began to tire, Golovkin would start to throw more combinations, throwing a mixture of hooks and uppercuts to pepper the Canadian IBF champion’s face and body. Golovkin is brilliant at wearing down his opponents and seizing on his prey. He is able to figure an opponent out after a couple rounds, cut off the ring and utilise his power once he has done this. This is a combination of his natural gifts as a puncher and boxer, as well as the first-class tutelage from trainer Abel Sanchez. Sanchez has moulded Golovkin into an all-round phenomenal boxer, using his power selectively and as a tool to dominate opponents. Golovkin’s boxing abilities in this fight were highly visible. In the 4th round, Golovkin caught Lemieux with a meaty left hook. Tremendous respect to Lemiuex for not getting knocked down, it was a brilliantly executed hook and showed Golovkin’s efficiency and accuracy when throwing punches is truly something special.

Stalking his prey: Golovkin looks from afar at Lemieux, seizing up another opportunity to pounce and go for the kill.
Stalking his prey: Golovkin looks from afar at Lemieux, seizing up another opportunity to pounce and go for the kill.

What makes GGG even more fearsome and machine-like is his ability to soak up a punch and come back with a hard-hitting counter. Golovkin has a world-class chin, meaning even when a puncher as big as Lemieux is able to land on him, Golovkin can absorb the punch and land back with his own fiery counter and cause damage. Part of this is to do with him having his chin tucked well, along with excellent balance, meaning he does not stumble once he is hit. This must have been demoralising for Lemieux when fighting Golovkin, as anytime he would land a punch, it would have little-to-no effect on him. Golovkin knocked Lemieux down in the 5th round with a vicious shot to the liver, Lemieux showing his bravery and fighting on.

One potential form of weakness for Golovkin which was noticed during rounds 6th and 7th is his concentration levels. After Golovkin hurt Lemieux, he appeared to become more hittable. Golovkin has been able to get away with this because he is so talented and has such a strong chin, however this would be his main thing to work on towards becoming a pure unstoppable force. Nonetheless, the referee decided to stop the contest during the 8th round with Lemieux’s face extremely bloody and bruised, having lost every round up until that point. Golovkin storms on with a one-sided victory and another middleweight belt.

What’s next for GGG? Golovkin is the mandatory for the winner of Canelo Alvarez vs Miguel Cotto for the WBC middleweight belt (although this fight is taking place at 155 pound catchweight, so more a junior-middleweight fight rather than a middleweight). However, it appears neither fighter is particularly keen on taking on the Kazakh sensation. It becomes more a question of who is willing to face Golovkin in the middleweight division. Andy Lee and Billy-Joe Saunders are fighting for the WBO middleweight belt in December, yet neither would likely post much of a threat to Golovkin. Chris Eubank Jr. has also been mentioned as a future opponent, although again unlikely to cause Golovkin a lot of problems. Peter Quillin and Daniel Jacobs are set to fight one another, yet both are promoted by Al Haymon who does not work with HBO Sports, making that fight unlikely too. There has been talk of Golovkin fighting Andre Ward at super-middleweight, however Ward is likely to be moving up to light-heavyweight in his next fight. If Golovkin does not manage to find a credible opponent, his best option may well be to move up to the super-middleweight division and see who is willing to take him on.

Whatever Golovkin decides to do next, keep your eyes peeled on this boxing superstar.

Baby-faced assassin: Golovkin is a star in the sport of boxing and attracts fans because of his star qualities as a boxer as well as his ability to draw an exciting fight everytime he steps foot inside the squared circle.
Baby-faced assassin: Golovkin is a star in the sport of boxing and attracts fans because of his star qualities as a boxer as well as his ability to draw an exciting fight everytime he steps foot inside the squared circle.

Curtain Call: Floyd Mayweather’s Last Hurrah

Mayweather vs Berto: A preview to myself witnessing the 49th and final fight of a legendary career live

It couldn’t be any more fitting. The final chapter of the truly remarkable career of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, against a heavily-criticised choice of opponent in Haitian Andre Berto, aiming to defeat a 23rd world champion in his 49th fight. I will be attending this fight live at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The excitement of getting to witness the Las Vegas bright lights in real-time and the anticipation for watching the artistry of Mayweather performing live in a boxing match for the final time is proving to be something along the lines of a dream come true. The glitz and the glamour of the Las Vegas strip will prove to be a spectacle, along with the opportunity to witness Mayweather’s boxing mastery, which may be compared to Picasso painting a picture, or Michael Jordan scoring 3-pointers in the NBA, a true appreciation of greatness at a chosen art. Regardless of whether you love him or hate him for his rather outgoing personality, to put it kindly, there is simply no denying the extraordinary talent and phenomenal work ethic of Floyd Mayweather, a man whose phrase ‘Hard Work, Dedication’ reverberates continuously around his gym in the Mayweather Boxing Club by his ‘Money Team’.

MGM Grand: Mayweather versus Berto is taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosting Mayweather’s final fight of his career. I will personally be staying at the hotel and watching the fight live at the resort during my time in Las Vegas next weekend.
MGM Grand: Mayweather versus Berto is taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosting Mayweather’s final fight of his career. I will personally be staying at the hotel and watching the fight live at the resort during my time in Las Vegas next weekend.
Following his defeat of Hall of Fame fighter Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao in May, a fight which broke all Pay-Per-View records (4.4 million PPV buys in the US alone) and brought huge worldwide interest into the fight, many fans have been upset that the fight simply did not live up to expectations. Although Mayweather showed pure technical brilliance and outstanding ring craftsmanship in the bout, Pacquiao did not appear to be himself in the fight, often finding himself frustrated through being countered time and again. Apart from brief moments in the fight, such as catching Mayweather in the 4th round, Mayweather was in cruise-control and danced his way to a unanimous decision. Pacquiao has blamed a shoulder injury for his rather less-than-stellar performance in the mega-bout. Did this have a significant impact on the result of the bout? I am not so sure, however we will never truly know. This was the fight that everyone had been waiting for, years and years of negotiations and ego got in the way of it happening. Now that it has taken place and is done and dusted, what’s next exactly for the man they call Money?

The stage is set: The fight is set to take place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which has proven to be the home of Floyd Mayweather for the majority of his later career.
The stage is set: The fight is set to take place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which has proven to be the home of Floyd Mayweather for the majority of his later career.
Step up former welterweight champion Andre Berto, who is 30-3 in his career. This fight has (rightly) been criticised as a total mismatch, many fans questioning why Berto was given the opportunity over the likes of Amir Khan and Keith Thurman. Although I do agree that Berto is undeserving of the fight, having been beaten by opponents such as Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, whom Mayweather handled rather candidly, I also believe that Mayweather has earned the right to choose a ‘softer’ opponent for the presumed final fight of his career. Mayweather will be earning a guaranteed $32 million for this bout; although it is much less than the $100 million guarantee from the Pacquiao fight, this is still an enormous purse for a supposedly easier fight. It seems extremely appropriate that Mayweather’s last fight involves extreme criticism, having received this throughout the majority of his career, for his fighting style, his personality and/or for his rather lewd out-the-ring behaviour. Nonetheless, regardless of whether Berto deserves the fight or not, he will certainly give it his all and is an extremely tough character and fighter. One thing that Andre Berto can guarantee is that when he gets knocked down, he gets back up and comes back fighting hard, giving it everything in the ring.

Fight of the Century?: Mayweather’s last bout was in a record-breaking fight with legendary Filipino Manny Pacquiao, whom Mayweather defeated by unanimous decision.
Fight of the Century?: Mayweather’s last bout was in a record-breaking fight with legendary Filipino Manny Pacquiao, whom Mayweather defeated by unanimous decision.
Many people forget that it was not too long ago that Berto was considered a future star of the welterweight division. He was blowing through many competitors, with speed and power in abundance. His first major hurdle came at the hands of Victor Ortiz, a man whose heart has been severely questioned. This was the Fight of the Year in 2011, both men showing a lot of guts, with a total of 4 knockdowns in the fight, 2 having been scored for each fighter. Ortiz proved to be just too much for Berto in this fight. Frustratingly for Berto, Ortiz captured the welterweight title and then went on to earn his biggest payday and opportunity against Mayweather in his next fight. The Haitian had to regroup and refocus; in his next fight, he took on Jan Zaveck and stopped him inside the distance. Berto then faced a tough fighter in Robert Guerrero in his next bout, the former lightweight world champion having been known for his rugged style and for being in particularly rough and dirty fights. Berto was knocked down twice in this fight and left the fight with two severely swollen eyes, although Berto also left Guerrero with a swollen eye. This was a tough fight for Berto but once again proved to the boxing fans that he does have a lot of heart and toughness about him. Guerrero then went to take on Mayweather in his next fight as his mandatory challenger, once again leaving Berto out in the cold and wondering what would have been had he defeated the ‘Ghost’. Berto tried to even copy Mayweather’s typical shoulder roll style for this fight, but Guerrero was able to plough through his defence and Berto left himself too open to be hit.

Gunning for glory: Mayweather is looking to equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record, whereas Berto is aiming to shock the world and be the first fighter to give Mayweather a loss in his professional career.
Gunning for glory: Mayweather is looking to equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record, whereas Berto is aiming to shock the world and be the first fighter to give Mayweather a loss in his professional career.
In 2014, Berto would record a comfortable unanimous decision win over Steve Upsher Chambers. His next fight, to take place in 2015, was absolutely key for knowing whether he was going to be able to come back and play a part in the welterweight division. He would go on to face Josesito Lopez, whom had broken Victor Ortiz’ jaw and made him quit a couple of years earlier. This fight was make-or-break for Berto; he simply had to win or he would prove to be nothing more than a gatekeeper for young up-and-coming fighters for the rest of his career. Lopez made it tough for him in first few rounds, catching Berto cleanly time and again, with Berto not showing much defence or head movement. However, Berto demonstrated his power in the 6th round, knocking down Lopez twice and the referee called the fight to a halt after the 2nd knockdown. Berto scored a 6th round TKO victory over Lopez. An elated Berto must have presumed that he would move on to a step up fight next, potentially a rematch against Robert Guerrero. However, Berto received the call to take on the undefeated Mayweather for his curtain call, a fight he will certainly throw absolutely everything at to try and unsettle Mayweather’s rhythm in any way, shape or form. Berto has to hope and pray that Mayweather has a severely off-night and can catch him flush on the chin, otherwise it will be a long, tough night for him.

Big win: Andre Berto stopped Josesito Lopez in the 6th round of their fight earlier in 2015, which would catapult him into fighting Floyd Mayweather, who he takes on in Las Vegas on September 12th.
Big win: Andre Berto stopped Josesito Lopez in the 6th round of their fight earlier in 2015, which would catapult him into fighting Floyd Mayweather, who he takes on in Las Vegas on September 12th.
Predictions for the fight: Mayweather by late knockout

Although Floyd Mayweather is known for predominantly scoring unanimous decision victories over opponents such as Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto and Marcos Maidana, I have a different feeling for this fight. Everyone in the boxing world knows that Berto has little to no chance of ever out-boxing Mayweather. Therefore, it is plain and simple; he will have to open up and press for the knockout to have any chance of scoring a famous upset win. The only problem with Berto going all-out for the KO is that Mayweather is one of the greatest counter-punchers in the history of the sport. If you open up or make any sort of mistake against Mayweather, he will make you pay for it. Berto will throw everything at Mayweather and will try to make him uncomfortable. Unfortunately for Berto, Mayweather has faced every style and managed to beat everyone that was put in front of him. Berto has, on the other hand, lost to fighters who are significantly less skilled than Mayweather.

Although I cannot deny that Berto is a warrior and will give it everything he has got whilst displaying a lot of power and strength, I expect Mayweather to counter anything that Berto throws at him and make it a fairly comfortable fight for himself. I feel that the Pacquiao win was very calculated and cautious, whereas I think with the Berto fight he will attack the body and then attack the head, wearing Berto down. Furthermore, Berto is known for slowing down significantly later in fights, thus I expect Mayweather to capitalise on him and score a late knockout, possibly in the 10th or 11th round, to end his amazing career in style, which would be the first knockout since Victor Ortiz in 2011 and Ricky Hatton in 2007. If Mayweather does not win by knockout, then I fully expect a very easy unanimous decision. Berto is a likeable character who has done very well to get himself into this position, but will ultimately fall short in his challenge of the truly great Mayweather. Nonetheless, on a personal note, I am extremely excited to see what will unfold in the MGM Grand on Saturday, September 12th in Las Vegas.

Written by: Alex Loughran, Edinburgh University Boxing Club, Publicity Officer.

Only one can prevail: Mayweather goes into the bout as an extremely heavy favourite, however this is boxing and one punch can change everything. Who will come out on top on September 12th?
Only one can prevail: Mayweather goes into the bout as an extremely heavy favourite, however this is boxing and one punch can change everything. Who will come out on top on September 12th?