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Saul Alvarez – Future Superstar?

Image: Saul Alvarez – Future Superstar?By John F. McKenna (McJack): Saul Alvarez ( 36-0-1, 26 KO’s) burst onto the scene on May 1, 2010 when he defeated Jose Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather vs Shane Mosley fight. Alvarez is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and currently holds the WBC Light Middleweight Title after defeating Matthew Hatton on March 5, 2011.

Saul who is still only twenty years old was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to his current address in Juanacatlan at the age of five. Saul’s father and his brothers have dark hair, but like his mother Ana Maria he has red hair. For that reason he was given the nickname of El Canelo, which in Spanish means Cinnamon. His trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso gave him the nickname when he was only thirteen years old. When he was fifteen years old Alvarez became the Junior Mexican National Boxing Champion in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.

When El Canelo turned pro he defeated the now current IBF Champion Miguel Vasquez in his third fight. Since that time Alvarez has been steadily moving up in the rankings. On March 6, 2010 Saul scored an impressive third round knockout over Brian Camechis in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico. Next El Canelo defeated Luciano Cuello with a sixth round TKO. Alvarez then defeated former WBC Welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir with a crushing sixth round knockout. The fight took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on the Shane Mosley vs Sergio Mora undercard giving El Canelo still more recognition. Alvarez then scored a unanimous and one sided decision over Lovermore L’dou in Veracruz, Mexico.

On March 5, 2011 Saul defeated EBU Champion Matthew Hatton by unanimous decision for the vacant WBC Light Middleweight Title. The fight was televised on HBO and was held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Boxing analyst Max Kellerman was obviously impressed with El Canela and stated that when his punches to the body of Hatton landed they did not sound like normal punches. Roy Jones Jr also attested to Alvarez’s power saying that he definitely had heavy hands.

On June 18, 2011 Alvarez will defend his Light Middleweight Title against number one ranked England’s Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO’s). The fight will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico. Rhodes trainer/manager David Coldwell has studied Saul Alvarez’s fighting technique and he believes El Canelo has flaws that Rhodes can easily exploit. Rhodes will not stand in front of Alvarez and will use movement to make it harder for Alvarez to hit him. Furthermore Coldwell thinks that Alvarez has too many flaws to be eliminated in a short time. The lack of head movement on the part of Alvarez is a flaw that Coldwell thinks his fighter can easily exploit. Coldwell was quoted as saying that “Ryan has the power to knock this kid out.”

Alvarez is wildly popular in his native homeland and seems to have that indefinable thing called charisma. Not many fighters have charisma and when promoters latch on to such a fighter they begin to salivate at their good fortune. Only time will tell if El Canela lives up to his advanced hype. Alvarez is the kind of kid that you instinctively want to like. He will be guided carefully on his way to pugilistic stardom. Only time will tell if Saul Alvarez emerges as boxing’s next superstar.

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