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Alvarez stops Baldomir, but looks flawed

Canelo Alvarez Carlos BaldomirBy Matt Stein: For those people who see welterweight/junior welterweight contender Saul Alvarez (34-0-1, 26 KO’s) as the next big thing in boxing, I think they shouldn’t get their hopes up too high, because Alvarez has ton of holes in his game at this point in his career. Alvarez, 20, proved that he can beat a 39-year-old Carlos Baldomir (45-13-6, 14 KO’s) on Saturday night, stopping him in the 6th round on the undercard of the Shane Mosley vs. Sergio Mora bout at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California.

Alvarez took Baldomir out with a right hand that staggered him and then followed it up with a fast left hook that put Baldimir down for the knockout in the 6th. It was an impressive knockout, to be sure. However, Alvarez was hit a lot in the fight. Indeed, even in knocking Baldomir out with a right and a left hand in the 6th, Baldomir tagged Alvarez with a big right hand in between those punches and was able to snap Alvarez’s head around with the shot. The problem for Alvarez is that he may have good power, but the guy gets hit far too much and he’s still facing 2nd tier opposition. He hasn’t even faced a top tier fighter as of yet, and he’s getting hit way too hard and with shots that are hitting him too cleanly.

Had this been a better fighter than 39-year-old Baldomir on Saturday night, I think Alvarez would have been knocked out. He hits hard, but his horrible defense takes that advantage away from him. Also, Alvarez isn’t monster puncher by any stretch of the imagination. He’s not a Julian Jackson. He hits hard, but not harder than welterweights like Mike Jones, Andre Berto, Selcuk Aydin, Manny Pacquiao and Kell Brook. Those guys hit just as hard as Alvarez does, only they’re better of defense than him. The HBO analysts were all over Alvarez on Saturday night, saying all kinds of nice things about him.

I think they may end up with pie in their face when and if Alvarez turns out to be another flash in the pan. I can see him failing quickly when they finally put him in with a live body and not another old guy or someone who can’t basically fight at all. Alvarez’s record is littered with 2nd tier opponents and he’s going to be taking some serious punishment when he does finally step it up.

In rounds one through five, the fight was pretty close on Saturday night, as Baldomir was able to land big shots in every round. Alvarez fought back well, but he was getting really hammered by Baldomir. This is a fighter that Alvarez should have been able to steam roll over if he was as good as people think he is, yet Alvarez really struggled with him.

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