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Saul Alvarez sparring with McEwan to get ready for Rhodes bout

Image: Saul Alvarez sparring with McEwan to get ready for Rhodes boutBy William Macky: Unbeaten WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO’s) is reportedly sparring with middleweight contender Craig McEwan (19-1, 10 KO’s) to help get ready for Alvarez’s upcoming first title defense of his World Boxing Council title next month on June 18th against challenger Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO’s) at the Arena VFG in Guadalajara, Mexico. McEwan has the same kind of slick boxing style that Rhodes possesses but is more aggressive and has arguably better power.

Alvarez, 20, hasn’t had to face slick fighters in his previous bouts because many of them have been tough Mexican fighters who have tended to go right at him to slug it out. Recently, Alvarez has stepped it up against aging veterans Carlos Baldomir and Lovemore N’dou, and beat them fairly easily. N’dou gave Alvarez some problems with his hard counter punching, but for the most part it was a pretty easy win for Alvarez. In his last fight, Alvarez dominated a weaker Matthew Hatton in a lopsided 12 round decision.

Hatton showed a lot of heart in that fight if nothing else. It was another mismatch for Alvarez, who stalked Hatton all night long punishing him with his heavy hands. It was a good fight in terms of giving Alvarez some badly needed rounds against a fighter that refused to quit and just give up. Rhodes is going to bring a whole different style of fighting in the ring with Alvarez on June 18th, as Rhodes is both hard to hit and powerful. He likes to make his opponents miss and then punish them with hard shots.

However, with Alvarez tagging Rhodes with his hard punches all night, we could see Rhodes, 34, forgetting about punching back and just looking to survive for 12 rounds. It’s difficult fight for someone Rhodes’s age, because he’s going to be getting hit over and over again by shots that are harder than he’s ever been hit before. The only way I can see this fight lasting is if Rhodes flat out runs from Alvarez, which I can see happening.

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