By Jackie Kallen, in San Antonio
The showdown Saturday night between Austin Trout and Saul Alvarez is stirring up quite a storm here in San Antonio.
I ambled down to the Riverwalk section of town and sat down on a bench in front of the Alamo. I asked people passing by how they felt about the fight and who they were pulling for. It seems that everyone in town, including old ladies and kids, are aware of the fight. And everyone has an opinion.
Austin Trout Talking to media and fans
Photo: Stepanie Trapp/Showtime
This happens to be the annual Fiesta in San Antonio so the town is jumping even more than usual. Between the fight and the Fiesta, hotels are sold out and the streets are teeming with people.
A proud Mexican women sitting next to me with her two children claims she grew up with “Canelo” in Mexico and knows his family. She is, of course, a huge fan. According to her, Trout is an unknown African-American fighter who will go back into the shadows after “Cinnamon” (as she calls him) knocks Trout out. She says that she and her husband could only afford the “cheap seats” for the fight, but she insists they wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Canelo meeting the fans
Photo: Stephanie Trapp/ Showtime
A man who works for the city walked by and when I asked him his pick for Saturday night, he looked at me like I was crazy. ” I don’t even know who he’s fighting, but you have to go with Alvarez. No one is tougher than a Mexican fighter.”
A couple of teenaged boys were walking into the CVS when I approached them. When I asked them about the fight they both quickly answered “No Doubt Trout.” The taller one said, “Did you see what he did to Cotto? He will reveal the real Canelo and box circles around him. Canelo can’t hit what he can’t catch. Trout is just too slick.”
I ran into a guy wearing a Trout T-shirt. There was no point in asking him who he is for,
A cab driver who was on his break, was only too eager to discuss the fight. “Alvarez will knock him out within six rounds. Guaranteed. If not, I will drive you to the airport for free when you leave.”
One Trout fan, who claims his name is “Slick Rick” predicted a lop-sided decision for his man. “Alvarez did not look too good against an old, shot Mosley. Hell, he could not knock out a man twice his age. He is totally over-rated and will be exposed on Saturday. This is the opportunity my man has been waiting for. He will KO Canelo and go gunning for Mayweather.”
One man, here for the fight from New Mexico, is, of course a huge Trout fan. “I was at his pro debut in 2005 and have been a huge fan ever since. He is awesome. People think that Canelo is the next Julio Cesar Chavez or Oscar de la Hoya. I disagree. He will look like a little minnow when he tries to swim with the Trout.”
Oddsmakers favor Alvarez, which is a bonus for the Trout fans who envision cleaning up on their bet. The crowd here in San Antonio will lean heavily toward Alvarez. As long as it turns out to be an exciting fight, though, most people will leave happy.
As for my personal survey, for awhile I thought it was a toss-up but as the day wore on, I have to say that the support was 3-1 for Canelo. This should further fuel Trout’s desire and make him fight even smarter.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen
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