This past December, in Madison Square Garden, Austin Trout played spoiler. The boxing world was awaiting for another scintillating chapter to be added to the pantheon of the Puerto Rican-Mexican rivalry that is regarded as the sports’ most intense. Instead what transpired was the coming out party of a slick, unblemished 27-year-old southpaw. Miguel Cotto was attempting to once again claim the WBA junior middleweight championship of the world in front of thousands of adoring spectators, but Trout, (26-0, 14 KOs), was triumphant in out boxing the former three-division world champion. Thus putting an end to Canelo-Cotto and birthing what we now have: Two below thirty fighters who have not tasted defeat, and need a victory over one another to perhaps gain a shot at boxing’s holy grail; a fight with Floyd Mayweather.
This moment has been building for the apple of Mexico’s eye, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, (41-0-1, 30 KOs). After 42 fights, and premature superstardom in his native country, Alvarez has an opportunity to silence all critics who believe he is more hype than substance. He has the chance to unify the world championship for the first time in his career. With each outing Alvarez looks more and more polished, gradually attempting to utilize and squeeze out every ounce of talent bestowed upon him. It seems as if he will have to look better than he has ever been against Trout to reign supreme Saturday night. Which bodes well for the 22-year-old Alvarez, as each time he has stepped into the ring he has looked superior than his previous outing.
Austin Trout may not have the public notoriety Alvarez has, but he does have the respect of boxing purists. Many experts and fans alike believe he will, like he did in December in New York, play spoiler to something of a home crowd and upset Canelo Alvarez. After all, at the highest level in the sport, usually a great boxer defeats a great puncher. And in this bout, Alvarez is the puncher and Trout is the boxer.
These two have yet to have proven greatness yet. So we do not know if we have a great boxer against a great puncher. Or if each fighter is great, we know not to what level of greatness each fighter possesses. What we do know, is that we have two tremendously conditioned men on the bright side of 30 with talent. But with the exception of Trout’s victory over Cotto, it is relatively untested talent. Talent that will be tested in and against one another.
Since Alvarez has the reputation of the puncher, one would think that he is going to have to make it a phone booth brawl of a fight. Well make no mistake, that kind of fight would indeed favor Alvarez, but it is not needed for Alvarez to gain a victory. Alvarez’s speed on the outside is being under appreciated. Perhaps because in large part he has stalked his prey, onlookers view him as a flat-footed brawler. That he is not. Alvarez is able to slip punches on the outside and come back with a double left hook, one to the body, and one up top. Only a fighter with some athleticism can do things like that.
Trout is being looked upon as the tactician, the smarter fighter, and the man looking to come in and box. He has shown in his career that he is a superior boxer to Canelo Alvarez. One disadvantage Trout has is Alvarez can fight on the outside even when it is not supposed to be beneficial. Trout on the other hand, can not afford much at all to go toe to toe with Alvarez. The speed of Alvarez when he swarms Trout may indeed force Trout into exchanges, as Alvarez is not a one punch-puncher, who also goes to the body and has a left jab.
Trout is a crafty southpaw, who is very quick and good defensively, with great endurance and lateral movement. Trout though, lacks punching power. So a stoppage victory for Trout is highly unlikely, he will look to out point Alvarez; Trout better plan on doing it clearly in San Antonio where there will be roughly 40,000 or so fans praying for a Alvarez victory. Which has shown in previous history (think Chavez-Whitaker) to have swaying power on the judges at ringside.
We have seem so many times in boxing a certain fighter pegged for greatness and stardom, only to come crashing down before truly taking flight. This will not be the case for Canelo Alvarez. He will surprise his doubters, he will surprise Trout and he will evoke joy for his following. Canelo Alvarez will not put to waste the red carpet grooming he has received for this moment. After perhaps being even befuddled in the early rounds against the best fighter he has yet to have faced, he will make adjustments, score to the body and take over the fight. If he can really put his punches together, it will be a surprise if Trout can take Alvarez’s heavy artillery. After a competitive start, look for Alvarez to take over and earn the biggest victory of his life.
BRB’s FINAL PREDICTION: “CANELO” ALVAREZ VIA LATE ROUND STOPPAGE.