(Photo : REUTERS/Adrees Latif)
Legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya knows how tough Floyd Mayweather (44-0. 26 Kos) is, but the Golden Boy Promotions president is confident that Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 Kos) will score a knockout against the undefeated American.
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De La Hoya, who failed in his bid to hand Mayweather his first defeat when they squared off in 2007, reiterated that he felt he was robbed during their bout, but Canelo will give him the redemption that he is looking for in his upcoming showdown with Mayweather on September 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
De La Hoya said that Alvarez is headed for greatness and a win against Mayweather will change Canelo's boxing career, adding that he will be surprised if Mayweather will not be knocked out in the first eight rounds.
"You have the 2 biggest names in boxing facing each other. There will be fireworks. You will see a good fight, a solid fight. You have the guy with the torch and the guy who is going to get the torch and everyone knows it," said De La Hoya in an interview with Boxingscene.
"Canelo is so calm and mature. Nothing gets to him. He is focused. I tell him to stay focused. And keep pumping your jab. That is the key. My world changed after I beat Chavez. Canelo is experiencing the glory and ahead of his time. If he doesn't knock Floyd out in less than eight rounds, I will be very surprised."
De La Hoya believes that Canelo's jab will be a vital weapon against Mayweather. Curiously, the 40-year-old Mexican American dominated Mayweather in the first few rounds of their 2007 showdown using his jabs before he abandoned the tactic without the blessing of his trainer back then, Freddie Roach.
The Golden Boy said that he is continuously advising Alvarez not to commit that same mistake and he is confident that Canelo will use "smart pressure" instead of the "reckless pressure" he used during his split-decision loss to Mayweather six years ago.
"I used reckless pressure. He's going to use smart pressure. That's going to be the difference," says De La Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotion handles Alvarez.
Alvarez, who is coming from an impressive unanimous decision victory against Austin Trout in April, will put his World Boxing Council light middleweight and World Boxing Association Super World light middleweight title against Mayweather.