A Boxing Prospect to watch out for in 2011- Saul Alvarez

By Kevin Wrigley: 2010 solidified Saul Alvarez as one of the hottest prospects in the boxing game at the moment. Golden Boy Promotions did a good job in putting him on big shows be it him facing of against Jose Miguel Cotto on the Mayweather-Mosley under card (won via 9th round TKO) or being on the Mosley-Mora show (6th round stoppage of Carlos Baldomir). They have not made any mistakes with him yet on the part of Golden Boy, as they did with the talented Danny Jacobs and Victor Ortiz, which has meant that Alvarez has racked up a impressive 35-0-1 (26 KO’s) since he turned professional in 2005.

Interestingly he claims he has 13 more wins which don't appear on his record. There is another statistic for the Mexican which fans point to- he’s 20 years old. Despite his young age he already has a significant amount of hype and fanfare around him. Mexicans come to watch him fight in droves, be it in his homeland or in America. Golden Boy are trying to capitalise on his popularity which was reflected by his 5 fights last year (of which only one opponent lasted the distance). He was fighting on an average of about every 2.5 months which gave the fans a lot to see.

Saul Alvarez does not have the blinding speed of a Guilmero Rigondeux. He does no have the crunching power of a David Lemiux. You also can't throw combinations as well as a James Kirkland. Yet what he does have he puts it all together as well as anyone at the age of 20. In the impressive performance against Carlos Baldmoir he showed this. He put all of his punches together well and finished the indestructible Baldomir. While the tough Argentine was clearly not the same boxer who beat Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti he still pressed Alvarez. He still caught the Mexican with some good shots. Yet his chin could not withstand the monstrous left hook that planted his face on the canvas Ala Paul Williams. Not long before this Alvarez showed heart in withstanding a assault by Jose Miguel Cotto and came back to stop him later on in the 9th.

Its important that Alvarez is moving down a weight class to welterweight. His handlers have previously said he is a natural welterweight and needs to bulk up to make 154. This won't do things such as his power and speed any favours. However he was stepping up clearly in competition at 154 with opponents like Cotto and Baldomir. 147 holds the two best boxers on the planet in Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao. These two only have a few fights between them left (if Mayweather is even going to fight again) and Pacquiao will most likely be looking at the Bradley-Alexander winner or Juan Manuel Marquez. He is to far into his career to be wanting fights against the likes of prospects. Apart from them there is only really Andre Berto, the WBC champion. That would be a marketable fight. HBO have carefully groomed Berto taking few risks with him. If Alvarez looks as good at welter weight as he did higher it certainly will be a risky fight. But Alvarez with his large following and strong promoter would make this a big bucks fight.

Despite having fought as early as December he has another fight scheduled for March against Britain’s Matthew Hatton (41-4) who currently holds the European title, which is appears will not be on the line. I like this match up- Hatton last lost in 2008 to the talented Craig Watson and has since been on a bit of run going 8-0-1 stopping 3 of these opponents. These opponents he has been beating have been the definition of European class opposition and the fact that he has only stopped 3 shows a distinct lack of power. The one characteristic that he brings into this fight which Alvarez has not seen before is a consistent body attack (I’m sure he developed those through sparring with his brother, Ricky Hatton). The only question most fans is can Hatton extend Alvarez the full 12 or will he stop the tough Mancunian? Look for Alvarez to stop Hatton before the 10th round. After hopefully Alvarez gets in a few more fights this year. He could take step up in competition and face England's Kell Brook or Victor Ortiz. Selcuk Aydin is a good boxer and presents a knockout risk. Whoever he chooses to fight look for Alvarez to be on the minds of boxing fans and one of the ones to watch out for this year.

Article posted on 27.01.2011

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