Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez: Boxing’s brightest young star is back but will his flame continue to burn?
By Robbie Bannatyne: They say in boxing you are only as good as your last fight. On the evidence of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s last bout, a boxing lesson by the magical Floyd Mayweather Jnr many experts predicted the death of the career of Saul Alvarez- who had barely turned 23 years old at the time of the bout.
In such a fickle sport, Canelo’s defeat against Floyd Mayweather last September was seen as a disaster which would have damaging repercussions for the rest of his career- starting with Alfredo Angulo. Consequently, Canelo simply had to quell any suggestions that his career was in crisis with a clinical result, and performance against the man they call ‘El Perro’- Spanish for ‘The Dog’.
Many thought The Dog would have his day against Saul Alvarez last Saturday night at MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, USA.
A common theme in many articles which previewed the fight in the build-up was that Angulo would overpower and ultimately overwhelm Canelo with pressure and power shots.
But from the outset the young pup quickly extinguished any hope of a historic win for El Perro, in doing so dispelling the myth that his fighting future was in the mire with a comprehensive victory against his Mexican counterpart.
The young thoroughbred showed the old dog all of his new tricks as he battered Angulo with a blinding array of viciously accurate uppercuts, classy but brutal combinations and a barrage of perfectly timed power punches with both hands. For a young man, who to many has been nothing but a bully, beating up on over matched, under-sized victims, Angulo’s horribly disfigured facial features was a painful looking picture which proved conclusively that Canelo can mete out punishment to men his own size.
Yes, he should never have been fighting the likes of Joseito Lopez or Matthew Hatton, and rightfully his handlers have received harsh criticism for matching him up against much smaller men in the past.
Now, after the total destruction of a normally dominant force in Angulo- who had knocked out 18 of his 22 victims- the days of Golden Boy Promotions propping up welterweights for Alvarez to punish, are over. When Canelo was outclassed by the peerless Floyd Mayweather he simply wasn’t ready to face such a challenge. In contrast, now is the time for Canelo to tackle the likes of Miguel Cotto and the titlists at light middleweight- if he can still make the 154lb weight limit, of course.
As far as Angulo is concerned, he was desperately disappointing.
‘Let those strong hands go Dog, let those gifted hands go’ was the desperate plea from Virgil Hunter, designed to summon his fighters will. Still the dog didn’t listen, and showed a real lack of desire in what many thought could have been a career defining night for Alfredo Angulo.
For being such a renowned puncher, who was supposedly blessed with knockout power in both hands, Alfredo Angulo seemed to manifest only moderate power, albeit with an abundance of heart and the ability to sustain murderous punishment. Sometimes these limited tools can take a fighter to the top, on other occasions like Saturday night such flaws in a fighter like Angulo’s style are, quite literally, painfully exposed.
In theory, it was supposed to be an evenly balanced contest. In reality, it was a total mismatch. Angulo took a massive beating until the fight was mercifully stopped by referee Tony Weeks, who had seen enough after another wicked uppercut from Canelo connected flush on Angulo’s face, rocking his head back violently.
The boos which reverberated around the arena after the stoppage in the 10th round told us the crowd thought the fight was ended prematurely. In truth, the fans allowed their bloodlust to get the better of them. Angulo was taking a pasting and the pendulum was never going to swing in his favour, so no-one can have any complaints about the nature of the stoppage.
Instead of raising the white flag in surrender, Saul Alvarez issued a statement that his star has not faded and he is here to stay.
Yet he cannot get carried away after a victory over a crude brawler who seemingly has forgotten how to brawl. It is plainly obviously that Canelo will have to overcome foes far more formidable than Alfredo Angulo in order to convince the critics that he is indeed an elite fighter.
But if we are to place faith in the old adage that a boxer is only as good as his last fight then Canelo will be confident that he can recapture a light middleweight title in his next fight before trying to take care of the winner of Miguel Cotto vs Sergio Martinez.
Thanks for Reading.
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How far do you think Canelo can go in his career and who should he fight next?
Could he beat the winner of Cotto vs Martinez?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks again.
- Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders in Arlington, TX or Las Vegas on May 8th
- Jake Paul dares Canelo to fight Benavidez, Charlo, Ward & Andrade
- Tony Yoka vs Djeko on March 5th, LIVE on ESPN+ & Premier Sports
- Canelo Alvarez says Billy Joe Saunders will be “easy work”