By Jackie Kallen
Things went exactly as planned for the 40,000 fans at the Alamodome last night. The handful of Austin Trout fans might disagree, but there were too few of them to matter. Make no mistakes. This was a predominantly Mexican-American crowd and “Canelo” Alvarez is their new God. He is the second coming of Chavez and he is revered beyond belief.
Fans of all ages sported red “El Canelo” headbands and waved Mexican flags. When Trout entered the ring, the building shook with boos. It was as if George Bush walked into a Democratic National Convention. When Alvarez arrived, the cheers were deafening. This was an undoubtedly biased group.
When Canelo landed a shot, the arena shook. When Trout scored, there was barely a murmur. Yet Trout soldiered on, doing his best to keep his undefeated record intact. He kept his cool and tried to avoid fighting the fight that Canelo wanted him to fight. It didn’t work.
Afterward Trout claimed to have had an “off night”. He was gracious and showed much respect to the red-haired sensation. It is usually that way. The smack talk before the fight is replaced by fawning praise and humble acceptance. Trout is a classy guy and it showed. His brand wasn’t hurt by this loss. In fact, many fans feel it was closer than the judges in San Antonio had it.
So who is next for Alvarez? Of course, like every other fighter within a 10-pound weight range, the Mexican wants Mayweather. That is every boxer’s dream payday. Win or lose, their life changes after the fight. At least financially. But in the meantime, other light middleweights are hoping for their shot against Canelo.
Ishe Smith, who was at the fight and owns a piece of the title, is chomping at the bit. He probably feels that he has the key to defeating Alvarez. Vanes Martirosyan and Erislandy Lara would throw their hats into the mix, also. Cotto might want the payday and even Lanardo Tyner would love another shot after lasting 12 rounds with Canelo back in 2009.
Alvarez is in the driver’s seat. He and his team will decide what they want to do next. He has worked his way up to the top of the heap. He can move up in weight and shoot for Martinez or Golovkin. Or he can try to slide down to welterweight and fight Bradley or Marquez. No matter whom he fights, he will be the favorite. Unless it’s Mayweather.
Mayweather is expected to beat Guererro on May 4. Pacquaio is not the attraction he used to be, so his name is not thrown around much. Would a Mayweather/Alvarez fight reach the heights that a Pacman/Money fight might have a few years ago? Most fans would say “Not yet.” But who else is there for Floyd to go gunning for? Thurman? Jesse Vargas?
It will be interesting to see how the pieces come together. Boxing is making a big comeback. Last night’s over-flowing crowd at the Alamodome showed that. All the sport has ever needed were marquee names. We are starting to get them. Viva Boxing!