By Kirk Jackson
WBC Super Welterweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 41-0-1 (30 KO’s) takes on WBA Super Welterweight Champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout 26-0 (14 KO‘s) in a unification clash April 20th at The Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Tx.
One of the more significant fights of the year, with many implications that can potentially shake up the boxing world once the dust is settled.
This fight has many storylines and many questions to be answered.
There is the revenge factor for Alvarez. A couple years back, Trout defeated Saul’s older brother Rigoberto.
Trout looks to establish himself as a household name. He has a victory over Miguel Cotto and aims to add Alvarez to the list of prominent names.
This is arguably Alvarez’s first fight against legitimate opposition. Up until now, many of the guys he had been fighting were old and past their prime, (Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Carlos Baldomir) and smaller guys (Matthew Hatton, Jose Cotto, Josesito Lopez).
He can silence all his critics with an impressive victory over Trout this weekend. With a victory over a Trout, he can also put himself in a prime position to face Floyd Mayweather, if Mayweather is to get past Robert Guerrero in their fight on May 4th.
If Trout is able to emerge victorious over Alvarez, the question remains if he will be able to secure a fight with the likes of Mayweather or Sergio Martinez in the future. He would be the king of the division, a unified champion with Cotto and Alvarez as his victims on his resume.
20 years ago, boxing legends Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker met in an highly anticipated fight for Whitaker’s WBC Welterweight title and for the title of Pound for Pound supremacy.
A clash of styles, Chavez an intelligent pressure fighter, recognized as one of the more durable fighters in recent memory with an uncanny ability to punish the body going up against Whitaker, a fighter known as a defensive mastermind, possessing elusiveness and boxing skills second to none.
It was a meeting of two different backgrounds as well. Chavez with a short amateur background, started at age 17 from humble beginnings as a young man from Mexico. He fought and scrapped his way up to the very top and his fighting style embodies the hardships and struggles of the hardworking underdog.
Whitaker had a much more decorated amateur background, well over 200 fights, culminating with an Olympic Gold Medal in 1984.
Chavez and Whitaker fought to a controversial draw in their fight. From most viewers perspective, it was a close fight in the initial rounds but by round 4, Whitaker had seized control of the fight and was landing the harder punches, landing more often and dictating the pace of the fight.
They fought in front of mostly a Mexican crowd at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Tx, and maybe the crowd’s influence may have impacted the judges’ scorecards. Will history repeat itself?
There are some similarities from the fight that took place roughly 20 years ago and the fight taking place this weekend.
Trout like Whitaker, is a defensive minded southpaw. Alvarez like Chavez, would be considered the pressure fighter in this match-up. While making these comparisons, I’ll be clear there are some variances within the fighting styles.
In regards to how this fight plays out, there will be a clash of styles and both fighters may have to venture out of the comfort zones in order to secure the victory.
Can Alvarez cut the ring off more effectively than Cotto was able to against Trout? Will he be able to use his supposed power and strength advantages over Trout?
I don’t think that will be the case. Cotto in my estimation has slightly more foot speed than Alvarez, has more experience against better opposition, has a better jab and has shown to be better at cutting off the ring than Alvarez.
Alvarez is still growing and improving as a fighter and he must know he has to be effective in those aspects in order to win against Trout. Body punching will be key for him.
Some people may overestimate the power of Alvarez. He’s looked powerful because he has been fighting smaller guys moving up to his weight class. Alvarez does possess solid power, but it’s been exaggerated on these smaller fighters.
I question his level of conditioning as well because he has looked noticeably tired against Hatton, Mosley and a few other fights. What I do like about Alvarez is he fights at a measured pace, a does solid work to the body and can make adjustments.
I think Trout will be too much for him.
Trout is a solid 154 pound fighter and I do not envision him being bullied like other Alvarez victims. One of Trout’s former opponents, Nilson Tapia, now fights at light heavyweight.
The question is can Trout dominate rounds and leave a lasting impact amongst the judges scoring the fight? This is important because the fight will be in Texas, with many spectators of Mexican descent filling the seats to support their guy Alvarez.
Although Trout is of Latin descent as well being part Panamanian, he will be at a disadvantage because of the crowd. Every time Alvarez throws a punch they will cheer him on and it can influence the judges.
He may have to go out of his comfort zone and stand a trade a little bit more frequently to ensure he wins the rounds. I do not foresee a stoppage, Trout’s last stoppage came against Martin Avila four years ago. But I do see a boxing clinic taking place.
Even though Whitaker received an unfair decision in the draw against Chavez, hopefully the judges get it right, whoever is the better fighter on April 20th.
A majority draw won’t be a surprising end result to the fight, but I predict a split decision victory for Austin Trout with plenty of controversy to follow.