Challenged about his prediction of a knockout for Canelo Alvarez against Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya came up with five reasons he believes that Alvarez will be the first man in 45 fights to defeat Mayweather.
It is one thing for Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya to say that Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will be the first man in 45 tries to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr., but it is entirely another for the man Mayweather once defeated to say Alvarez will do so in less than eight rounds when they meet for Alvarez's RING and WBC junior middleweight belts on Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay Per View.
Asked if he truly believed that Mayweather -- who has never lost, never been stopped -- is going to be knocked out by Alvarez in eight rounds or less, De La Hoya insisted that he does.
"Think about chopping down a tree. How do you chop down a tree? You do it by chipping away, and chipping away, and chipping away, from the bottom, boom, boom, boom. The difference is that Canelo can also surprise him with one punch. Another reason why I say that is that I've seen Canelo train, and how he's working, and what he's putting in," said De La Hoya.
"It's not just the hard work, the miles, but how he's doing it. That's the difference. He's not doing it like a typical, ordinary fighter who just works hard and sweats. No, he's doing it in a smart way where he's very calculated. It also goes back to who has Mayweather fought? I was actually just looking at his resume. None of those guys is capable of doing what Canelo is and what Canelo is capable of."
De La Hoya came up with what he calls his "Top Five Reasons Canelo Alvarez Will Beat Floyd Mayweather."
5) Canelo is not like any other opponent that Floyd has faced. He's not facing a Victor Ortiz, who, mentally, was not ready and who was not there. He's not facing a Juan Manuel Marquez that came up from 135 pounds and who was pudgy when he fought Floyd.
He's not facing a Ricky Hatton, who was not even on the elite level like Floyd. He's not facing a Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero who had no plan and who was overwhelmed by emotion. He's not facing an Oscar De La Hoya who was at the end of his career.
4) Mayweather's mind games can not penetrate Saul's focus one bit. He can not be rattled and he can not be diverted. Saul has a special focus and determination that reminds me of Julio Cesar Chavez.
Saul reminds me of Chavez when he fought Roger Mayweather, and when he fought Hector "Macho" Camacho. Canelo has a focus and a determination that not even a Mayweather can rattle.
3) This is because of the footwork that we're going to see, and that we haven't seen from Canelo is going to shock people and Mayweather on Sept. 14. We are not going to see a flat-footed Canelo, and we're not going to see a heavy-footed Canelo.
We're going to see a light-footed Canelo Alvarez that we've never seen before. People are going to be very surprised. That also would include his speed. His hand speed and lightening quick punches that he's capable of, we're going to see that.
2) Canelo's brains, smarts, thinking and ability to not get frustrated and his composure. His mental focus and decision-making about when to throw punches and when to hold back. He'll know when to throw the right combinations. Canelo is very smart.
We saw spurts and elements of that with Canelo's defense against Austin Trout, but like Canelo has said before, people haven't seen the best of me. There is a lot of potential and people haven't seen what he's capable of doing, and Mayweather's going to bring it out.
1) Conditioning. This kid is in shape. I've never seen this kid in this kind of shape in my life. For the first time in his career, he's hired a nutritionist, and he's hired a strength coach, and he's hired a chef.
For the first time in his young career, he has a complete team and a complete package. Before, in his previous fights, he was eating anything and everything. That's fine when you're 23, but it doesn't help your conditioning.
Now that he's eating the right food, doing the proper training and doing all of the right things, the way that he should be, he's going to sky-rocket. I'm a firm-believer in strength and conditioning.
He reminds me of when I fought Julio Cesar Chavez the first time. I hired the strength coach and the chef and the nutritionist, and I was an entirely different fighter and an entirely different person.
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org