<
>

In this corner

DEFENSE

Floyd Mayweather
There's a reason he was once known as Pretty Boy Floyd. His rivals can't touch him, literally. CompuBox stats say the champ gets hit with only 17 percent of his opponents' punches, tops among active fighters with six championship-caliber fights. He's the best defensive fighter of his era.

Canelo Alvarez
It's the calling card of some of Mexico's greatest fighters: The best defense is good offense. Although he's got some game on defense -- CompuBox says Alvarez gets caught with 24 percent of his opponents' blows, ninth best at avoiding leather -- he hasn't faced many elite fighters.

ADVANTAGE: MAYWEATHER


LENGTH OF FIGHT

Floyd Mayweather
Nobody outboxes Mayweather, who has gone 12 rounds 14 times. So if the fight goes the distance, it means he did his job. Mayweather isn't known for knockouts, but he does have two career post-Round 9 KOs. One of those, however, was against Diego Corrales in 2001 -- when Alvarez was all of 10.

Canelo Alvarez
Alvarez has gone 12 rounds just six times, but he's KO'd 70 percent of his opponents. And his power isn't just early; seven of his 30 knockouts have come in the ninth round or later. But if this one goes the distance, it'll favor the technical wizardry of Mayweather, who never fades late.

ADVANTAGE: MAYWEATHER


DURABILITY

Floyd Mayweather
He's never been stopped, but he has been stymied. Mayweather has officially been down once: a bogus ref call against Carlos Hernandez in 2001. Otherwise, the closest he's come to tasting canvas came when he was rocked by Shane Mosley in 2010 and by DeMarcus Corley in 2004.

Canelo Alvarez
The man has never been knocked down, but because he's faced so few top boxers, it's unclear how he will handle Mayweather. The only time Alvarez was in serious trouble was when he was nearly dropped in the first round against Jose Miguel Cotto in 2010. He rallied for a TKO in the ninth.

ADVANTAGE: TIE


SPEED

Floyd Mayweather
Watch just one round of a Mayweather bout and you'll notice his speed and reflexes, which are still tops in the biz. The 36-year-old's hand speed is why he connects on 41 percent of his punches, second only to Alvarez. Stats aside, most opponents say Mayweather is the fastest fighter they've faced.

Canelo Alvarez
Alvarez isn't slow, but we're comparing him to Mayweather, one of the quickest fighters in boxing history. Alvarez has connected on 42 percent of his punches, according to CompuBox, but he has never faced an opponent who could move like ... okay ... care to guess?

ADVANTAGE: MAYWEATHER


POWER

Floyd Mayweather
If there is a negative in this corner, it's Mayweather's history of having brittle hands. The lack of power has resulted in just 26 KOs in 44 fights, and few were highlight-reel-worthy. In his past nine bouts, he's had two KOs, and one of those was a fourth-round sucker punch of Victor Ortiz in 2011.

Canelo Alvarez
Naturally bigger and a heavier hitter than Mayweather, Alvarez has 30 stoppages in 42 wins. Power is, by far, his biggest advantage. Alvarez has connected on 52 percent of his power shots -- meaning anything other than a jab -- which is tops among active boxers, according to CompuBox.

ADVANTAGE: ALVAREZ


EXPERIENCE

Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather has had 44 pro fights, Alvarez 43. Similar, right? Not really. The experience gap is massive, thanks in part to a dominant amateur career by Mayweather that included a 1996 Olympic bronze medal. And with 18 years as a pro, he has numerous future Hall of Famers on the résumé.

Canelo Alvarez
Although he has almost as many bouts as his opponent, Alvarez is lacking in the quality of his opposition. With virtually no amateur career to speak of, the 23-year-old spent his first five years as a pro facing dozens of soft touches as he learned how to fight.

ADVANTAGE: MAYWEATHER


AND THE WINNER IS...

Mayweather by decision. Alvarez's strength is his power, and if he can land a devastating blow, he could win. But Mayweather, who is possibly the fastest and best defensive fighter in the history of the sport, is a hard man to bet against.

Follow The Mag on Twitter (@ESPNmag) and like us on Facebook.