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Alvarez headed to Big Bear

By John F. McKenna (McJack): (World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KO’s) put on the finishing touches of his training in Guadalajara, Mexico before heading to Big Bear, California today. Alvarez will enter into the final phase of his training at Big Bear in preparation for the 2nd defense of his title against fellow Mexican Alfonso Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KO’s).

Their September 17 showdown will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Staples Center is the same venue where “El Canelo” defeated Carlos Baldomir last year. Alvarez is a fledgling idol in Mexico where he has demonstrated his ability to draw fans in huge numbers to his fights.

Baldomir had stated prior to his fight with Alvarez that he wanted to fight the winner of the Mora – Mosley fight after he knocked out “El Canelo”. Baldomir had been contracted to weigh 151 pounds for the fight, but came into the ring at 153.4 pounds. Baldomir was to be penalized $12,000 for coming in to the fight overweight with the money going to Alvarez. “El Canelo” knocked Baldomir out cold in the 6th round but elected not to take the $12,000.

Big Bear has become a favorite for fighters who want to take advantage of its high altitude training when preparing for important fights. Alvarez will be traveling with trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso who has been instrumental in the early successes of Saul’s career.

The Alvarz camp has made a point of studying Gomez who holds victories over former world champions Arturo Gatti and Jose Luis Castillo.

Alvarez won the vacant light middleweight title when he won a once sided unanimous decision over European Boxing Union (EBU) welterweight champion Matthew Hatton on March 5, 2011.

On June 18 Saul scored a 12th round TKO in Gudalajara over number one contender and current EBU light middleweight champion Ryan Rhodes. Prior to the fight it was thought that the British veterans experience would be a factor against Alvarez, but he was never in the fight. Rhodes also stated after the fight with Alvarez that he wanted to fight him before he got too good because he thought in another eighteen months it would be too late. Afterwards he conceded that Alvarez was already a superior fighter to him.

Alvarez who is light skinned and has red hair is adored by his Mexican fans. His nickname of “El Canelo” means cinnamon and was given to him because of his red hair by trainer Reynoso.

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