Saul Alvarez: Is he as good as his fans think he is?

By JK James - 07/08/2013 - Comments

03CaneloandMayweathernosetonoseIMG_3679(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) By JK James: The upcoming fight between future hall of famer and pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather (44-0-0,26ko’s) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1,30ko’s) is set to be a huge event. It will bring in huge amount of PPV buys and will certainly be one of the biggest nights of both fighters careers.

Golden Boy hope that this will be the first huge night in the career of one of boxing’s potential new money making machines. However, Alvarez has only been tested at the top level once in his career against former WBA light middleweight champion, Austin Trout (26-1-0,14ko’s). Apart from that I am of the opinion that his promoters have done an excellent job of carefully guiding Alvarez into the position he finds him self, and have made people believe that he presents the biggest danger to Mayweather’s unbeaten record.

It must be known that I believe Canelo is a worthy champion and is most certainly at the world level. However to say he is good enough to beat Mayweather, that’s a different story. Lets look at what both fighters have accomplished. On his way to winning 8 world titles at five different weight categories, Mayweather has beaten Jose Luis Castillo, Demarcus Corley, Artuto Gatti, Zab Judah, boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto to mention but a few. Time and Time again Mayweather has taken on the best, and has always came out on top. Manny Pacquiao went life and death 3 times with Marquez before being KO’d in spectacular fashion in their 4th meeting. The ease in which Mayweather handled Marquez for 12 round in 2009 shows to me he is, and always has be No.1. Even in Mayweather’s latest fight, an easy, but drab points win over Robert Guerrero, shows Floyd is still at the top of his game.

Canelo on the other hand, at this moment anyhow, can not be put anywhere near the same level as Mayweather. Firstly a fighter that has won 42 of 43 professional fights at the age of 22 must tell us something about the calibre of opponents. It took 18 fights until Mayweather won his first world title against Genaro Hernandez, where as Canelo went through 36 opponents before he finally fought for the world title. And that world title must be looked upon carefully. He won the vacant WBC title against natural Welterweight Matthew Hatton, who is a European level fighter. Needless to say he won the title with ease although it did go the distance. His first defence of the title was vs Ryan Rhodes,a gallant fighter but again, a European level fighter who almost went the full 12 rounds. He has since went on to defeat Alfonso Gomez, Kermit Cintron, a 40 year old Shane Mosley who had only won 1 of his last 4 fights and Josesito Lopez. None of Alvarez’s first 5 defences were of any great threat to his title.

Perhaps then, the only piece of evidence we can use to even talk about Canelo being an elite fighter is his last win in the unification fight with Austin Trout. Trout had only just proved himself to be legitimately world class with a win over the somewhat faded, Miguel Cotto. The fight took place in front of a pro Canelo crowd and he went on to win a close but Unanimous decision. Although an impressive win, is this enough to really see Saul Alvarez as a legitimate threat to Mayweather, I’m not sure.

The fight will be Mayweather’s second of a 6 fight deal with Showtime and the fact of the matter is, he simply can not afford to lose. Although it would not effect Floyd financially as there are still many super fights out there even with a loss on his record, I simply cant imagine how he would react to loosing his undefeated tag. The difference is that Canelo simply has not faced anywhere near the same calibre of opponent as Mayweather. This will be Alvarez’s first super fight, where as Floyd has had countless huge nights. Even though Alvarez will hold the size advantage I fully expect to see Mayweather put on another master class of boxing and prove the doubters wrong yet again and spoil Golden Boys plans.

Although he hasn’t proved he is a great fighter at the moment, it must still be taken into account that Alvarez is still incredibly young and has many years to look forward to in the sport. He could have future mega fights at multiple weights and could likely become pound for pound king himself depending on how Andre Ward’s career pans out. For the Moment however, to say Alvarez will beat Mayweather, is in my mind, baffling.

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