Saul Alvarez will likely stop Cuello on Saturday, but so what – take the training wheels off already
By Chris Williams: Unbeaten junior middleweight Saul Alvarez (32-0-1, 24 KO’s) will be fighting Luciano Leonel Cuello (26-1, 12 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Arena VFG, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I expect the soon to be 20-year-old Alvarez to win this fight, and possibly win it by stoppage, but so what? It’s time to take the training wheels off of Alvarez’s tricycle and put him in with someone really good so he can grow as a fighter.
I don’t want to see the hulking Alvarez fight anymore lightweights like he did in his last fight when Alvarez was pitted against the much smaller Jose Miguel Cotto. That was something out of this world. I’ve seen fighters matched softly before, but they’re usually at least put in with guys from their own division and not someone two divisions below him.
Cotto looked to be at least three divisions below Alvarez, which would make sense because he’s now outgrown the welterweight division and is fighting at junior middleweight. But it was awful to see how much Alvarez was clocked by Cotto.
If I didn’t know already who the bigger hyped fighter was in that bout, I would have sworn that it was Cotto, because he looked like he could actually fight. Alvarez seemed like a slugger with terrible defense and only a right hand as a weapon. Didn’t see any evidence of a left hand from Alvarez.
I know he’s kind of young, but Alvarez needs to be put in with some better fighters in the division. Once this fight is out of the way, I’d like to see Alvarez matched up against guys like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Alfredo Angulo. I think those would be good fights where Alvarez could grow and show whether he has anything.
Who cares if Alvarez gets beaten, it least he learn something instead of having him matched against a guy much smaller than him or someone who folds after getting hit once in the 1st round. Alvarez can punch, at least with his right hand but he’s horrible in the other areas of his game and I’m not so certain that he’ll ever get much better in those areas.
But you at least have to put him in with the kinds of fighters that will teach him something instead of putting him in with guys that you know he can easily beat. Believe me, before you know it Alvarez will be 25, and still looking horrible and fighting 2nd tier opposition.