Canelo and Bute: The New Event Fighters?

By Ted Sares:

His [Canelo’s] record as a professional is not a mirage nor is it littered with many meaningless fights to beef it up.

--Paula Duffy

I want to face anybody who wants to fight me….. I can't wait for my next fight in my own country of Romania in July. …. I will beat (Jean-Paul) Mendy. After that, I want a big fight this fall and then face the winner of the Super Six."

Lucien Bute

For me, each era in boxing seemed to have a guy who was right for the time—an event fighter if you will. When these guys fought, people would build an event around their fights—cigars, dinner, casino gambling, whatever. The bout would be the lynchpin for other social activities. The 1940's had "The Brown Bomber, "Joe Louis, and he transcended the sport. Sugar Ray Robinson later dazzled every one with his superb skills. Then along came Ali and he too transcended boxing. He was in sync with his era as much as anyone could ever be. Sugar Ray Leonard picked up the mantle and then handed it off to the "Golden Boy," Oscar De La Hoya. Tyson was an event fighter if there ever was one. These days, Pacquiao and Mayweather (and maybe the Klitschko brothers at least in Europe) fill the bill, but two others are waiting in the wings.


One is Mexican welterweight sensation Saul "Canelo" Alvarez who hails from Guadalajara. His current record is 37-0-1 with 27 coming by way of stoppage Now at just 21 years of age (on July 18 to be exact) but mature far beyond his chronological age, he has become more of a complete fighter and reminds me of an early Salvador Sanchez in his manner and style. At 5'10" tall, he possesses a big upper torso with a huge back and broad shoulders. He also has deceptive hand speed and when he shoots his combinations such as left hooks followed by right crosses, the intent is pure evil (though his hooks do need to be shortened up a bit). Moreover, his withering body punching has become something few fighters can match.

While becoming an equal opportunity practioner, he shows promise here as well. Canelo has stopped 12 of his last 15 foes including the never-before-stopped Jose Miguel Cotto and granite chin Carlos Baldomir. Baldomir later said, "It is true that he hits very hard. He is the real deal. No one has hit me like he has." He also beat experienced South African Lovemore N'dou and two Brits, Matthew Hatton and Ryan Rhodes.

Maybe it's the good looks, red hair and freckles strewn across his prominent chin and thick shoulders. Reportedly he is dating the 27 year old Marisol Gonzalez, Miss Mexico Universe 2003 and now a sports reporter for Televisa Depotes. Oscar De La Hoya, in a rare moment of "humility," recently said that not since himself had a boxer attracted so many female fans. . Whatever it is, the chants of “Canelo, Canelo, Canelo" ring out and he is now the most popular boxer in Mexico, thanks to his exciting style and unmistaken charisma.


Lucien Bute also has become an equal opportunity fighter as he has beaten Australians, Colombians, Mexicans, Americans, Ghanians, Russians, etc and his last foe hailed from Northern Ireland. He is to Quebec Province what Canelo is to Mexico. When he enters the ring at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the electricity and connection with his fans is palpable. Some say he has been more protected than Canelo. I am not one of them. Bute features one of the most remarkable punches I have ever witnessed in my length experience as a serious boxing observer. His laser-like uppercut to the body is his signature and had been the cause of many a spectacular knockout. And when it occurs, you know the rabid Canadian fans will soon be meeting in some fine restaurant to celebrate “Le Tombeur.” The fact that Bute is quickly becoming tri-lingual will not hurt his global appeal just as Canelo will enhance his if he learns English (as did the popular Miguel Cotto).

Both Alvarez and Canelo are now regional event fighters. In my view, they have the potential to join others from the past to become global in their popularity. If they begin to step up the competition and fight outside of Mexico and Canada, respectively, this will happen sooner rather than later.

And ironically, were Bute to fight and lose to the very skillful Andre Ward, S.O.G. would not inherit Bute’s potential as an event fighter. Electricity in boxing is a rare commodity.

Article posted on 23.06.2011

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