So this recent fight had me thinking about Canelo. Also, a few brief conversations with Pakin had me thinking of the effectiveness of Canelo vs. Ortiz. I know some people will roll their eyes: Ortiz got KTFO, he didn't land ONE punch, and he kissed his opponent before his kissed the canvas!
First, a brief analysis of Canelo:
Many people would like to write him off as terrible, green, and just basically a bum or hype job. I feel a bum or hype job would have landed so many punches on Floyd nor would he have been so fresh at the end. Also, Floyd never took his spirit, his heart, and his will to win nor did he put him in a state that he was so bamboozled by the "Floyd puzzle" that he looked lost in the ring. Here's a few things Canelo did well or at least tried:
- He feinted early to get reactions from Floyd and to get him off his timing.
- He tried punching with Floyd several times including throwing a left hook and right to the body the first time Floyd landed a clean right hand.
- He tried to counter punch Floyd several times and actually did succeed.
- He doubled and tripled his jab at times, and did land hard jabs to Floyd's face.
- He tried laying traps such as playing possum several times along the ropes to lure Floyd into over extending himself.
- He consistently threw the right hand to the body below Floyd's left elbow which is an opening in the shoulder roll.
- He tried setting up Floyd along the ropes.
- He tried (not a lot, but some) to tee off on Floyd against the ropes with long punch combinatinos.
Though he was not entirely successful with the effort, Canelo was not necessarily made to be a bum. Floyd just did a little more, and did it better than Canelo in each round. Floyd would land 3-4 meaningful shots, and maybe a sprinkle of clean jabs per round compared to Canelo's occasional hard jab, a few good body shots, and your assortment of partially landed and/or partially clean head shots. Floyd ran the tempo, Floyd seemed in control, though Floyd didn't necessarily dominate the way he did against Guerrero or Mosley. Canelo did give him a few tough moments (not staggering or anything) where he landed hard shots or used his strength, but Floyd is too well conditioned to be hurt with body shots and those hard shots were too infrequent and far in between. Canelo's approach was to take his time, set up his offense, pace himself, and wait for the right opportunity to unload- a cerebral approach versus brawling approach. It was not totally ineffective, but he lacked one thing that gave certain fighters a degree of success against Floyd: speed.
This leads me to my next topic. Speed. Besides "southpaws" (though Guerrero was about as effective as my getting Rachel Cordingley to respond to my phonecalls [we had a fight, get over it] ) and pressure fighters Floyd has also shown some vulnerabilities against speed (the way Pacquiao has shown vulnerabilities against boxers and intelligent counter punchers).
1.) Zab Judah knocked him down in round 2 of their fight with a counter right hook off the jab, and several times he tagged him with a jab-jab-cross when he was leaning back (clean).
2.) Sugar Shane Mosley had two moments in round 1 in which he hit Floyd with two shotguns that made his legs buckle. Of course the rest was just history, but what if Shane was in his prime? The speed did bother him, and besides Mosley getting old after round 2 I'd say Floyd does incrementally take away speed with timing and tempo over time.
3.) Victor Ortiz hammered Floyd along the ropes in round 2 and 4 in their fight, and landed hard head and body shots. He had just enough head movement to make Floyd miss (he did nullify Floyd's lead left hook, something that many fighters before him could not do including Marquez, Judah, and Oscar).
Oscar, and Canelo to a certain degree had demonstrated that a straight, hard left jab could also help to keep Floyd at bay. So southpaw, pressure, jab, and speed. I'm not talking about "blue prints" to beat Floyd, but maybe some factors that fighters can have in order to have some success with him.
This wasn't my ultimate aim in the beginning, but it so happens that Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez are just that: southpaws with speed. They may or may not have beaten Floyd, and we'll never know, but I wouldn't count them out. Khan is a flawed fighter, but I have no doubt in my mind that he would have or could give Floyd a few tough rounds with his height, handspeed, and footspeed. He's also a very marketable fighter and has a decent fan base. It's funny how Floyd would disqualify Khan from fighting him, but he'd fight Guerrero who's less accomplished at the higher weight classes and has a lesser fanbase. Just a thought.
Either way, at the moment, in my opinion, the name of the game is: speed.
Just for humor, here's Kevin Hart laying it down about Floyd and speed: