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Saul Alvarez vs. Ricardo Mayorga in late 2011

By Dan Ambrose: If unbeaten WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO’s) gets by his first title defense against Britain’s Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO’s) on June 18th in Guadalajara, Mexico, the 20-year-old Alvarez could be facing former two division world champion Ricardo Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KO’s) later on in the year. This is a fight that is being talked about for Alvarez to give him an opponent with a big name and a proven ability to promote fights in 38-year-old Mayorga.

It will also give Alvarez and experienced opponent that he can learn some things from and not be in too much danger of getting beaten. Alvarez needs to learn as quickly as he can because the division has a number of tough opponents that could be good enough beat Alvarez, starting with Alfredo Angulo. But first Alvarez has to get by Rhodes before he can even consider the Mayorga fight. Rhodes has good power and is a slick fighter with better skills than Alvarez.

If Rhodes can box and not slug with Alvarez, he has a good chance of winning the fight. However, Rhodes has to avoid standing in front of Alvarez the way he did in his 12 round decision loss to the hard hitting Gary Lockett in 2006, because Rhodes was walked down in that fight and hit a lot with heavy shots. Alvarez appears to be an even better puncher than Lockett, and that could make it tough on Rhodes once Alvarez is able to catch up to him and make him fight.

Alvarez dominated Brit Matthew Hatton in his last fight, winning a one-sided 12 round decision in March. Hatton, if nothing else, proved to have a huge heat and a strong chin with all the punishment he was forced to absorb in the fight.

Mayorga was stopped in the 12th round in his last fight in a failed title challenge of WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto in March. It was Mayorga’s best performance in years and he did remarkably well against one of the better fighters in the junior middleweight division in Cotto.

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