Saul Alvarez – March or Die
By Francisco Hernandez: In the Mexican countryside “Canelo” is a name commonly given to race horses which have a dark reddish hue. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, true to his nickname is racing ahead of the young warrior who once overshadowed him, Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. On May 1, 2010, Saul Alvarez will fight Mathew Hatton on the Mayweather, Jr. Mosley undercard. Chavez Junior had his opportunity in the undercard of the Pacquiao – Cotto fight, but failed to convince boxing fans.
Time is running out for Chavez Junior, he is no longer a cub, but a mature mountain lion that has yet to enter into combat with the major pugilists of his weight class. The learning curve for Chavez Junior is over; there is nothing more he can gain from fighting obscure club fighters. For Chavez Junior it is time to face the big boys or to hang up the gloves. This is not easy for Chavez Junior because he has neglected the acquisition of boxing technique during his learning phase. He was misled into thinking he had knockout power because of the ease with which he put to sleep many of the inexperienced fighters he fought in the beginning. Now that he is facing more experienced club fighters, Chavez Junior has discovered that he doesn’t have natural knockout power; he is no longer putting anyone’s lights out. The problem is that he now has to use boxing skills to win, and he doesn’t have much of that, his fighting technique consists mostly in standing in front of his opponent and throwing left hooks to the body. Chavez junior has worked himself into a rut; he is in a weight division in which he has absolutely no power, his unremarkable boxing skills not enough to make up for that. He can no longer face obscure club-fighters, but doesn’t have the skills to fight the champions.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on the other hand is now talking about taking risks and moving his boxing career forward. Canelo is 19 years old and has 41 professional fights. Those 41 fights were his learning stage, now we are about to witness his second stage, where every opponent represents a real risk. Canelo like Chavez Junior has cut his teeth in bouts with obscure club fighters, but the difference is that Canelo is now willing to take the leap into the more competitive sphere of his weight class. Canelo’s next fight in the Mayweather-Mosley undercard will be against easy Mathew Hatton; this should be a gift for Canelo. Mathew was chosen more for his Hatton name, than for any challenge he might pose to the fiery haired Saul. After this show-off fight though, Saul is poised to face off against the prime level pugilists of his weight class. He is determined to become a champion and a respected boxer in the sport.
“March or die” was a popular saying in the Foreign Legion of France. The foreign legionnaires who refused to march because of exhaustion, isolated from their military units, became easy pickings for their enemy; met their death by being sliced to pieces by North African women. Chavez Junior refused to march forwards and is now being cut to pieces by the boxing public. Canelo marches on!