By Kirk Jackson
Austin “No Doubt” Trout is coming off the biggest win of his career, scoring an upset victory over Miguel Cotto on Dec. 1st.
An undefeated champion, Trout gave a great account of himself on the biggest stage and definitely earned the right to face one of the biggest names in the sport, who happens to reside in his division. That guy being Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Alvarez is a current undefeated junior middleweight champion, a rising boxing star and considered by many as Mexico’s modern day Julio Cesar Chavez.
At only 22, he is already a huge draw in Mexico and aims to propel himself among boxing’s best and brightest stars in the coming years.
He can do that by fighting arguably the best guy in his division, Austin Trout.
There’s no question Trout wants the fight against Alvarez. Trout even called out Alvarez and De La Hoya in his post victory interview with Jim Gray.
Looking at Alvarez’s track record, credible opponents are certainly absent from his resume.
Most of his opponents have been either past their prime, at a weight disadvantage, or outclassed altogether. For example, take Alvarez’s last fight against Josesito Lopez.
Lopez, regularly fights at 140, the junior welterweight limit. Lopez moved up to welterweight (147) earlier this year, scored an upset over Victor Ortiz, in what was supposed to be a warm-up for Ortiz before his scheduled fight with Alvarez.
After his upset victory over Ortiz, Lopez, then moved up again in weight and fought the naturally bigger Alvarez at junior middleweight (154). Doesn’t sound like a fair fight.
Some of the other notable names he has bouts against the undersized Matthew Hatton, the younger brother of Ricky Hatton, Jose Cotto, the older brother of Miguel Cotto who took the fight on a week‘s notice, Kermit Cintron, who is far removed from his championship days, and even Shane Mosley, who hasn’t won a fight since 2009.
We can’t entirely place the blame on Alvarez, because he has expressed interest in fighting better opposition. He has expressed the desire to fight Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather, and it doesn’t get any tougher than facing the likes of Mayweather and Martinez.
But on the flip side, Alvarez is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, and they probably want to protect their most valuable asset and bring him along carefully.
During his appearance on “The Boxing Lab,” Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya talked about Alvarez facing the elite fighters of the sport.
“I would love to see him against Floyd Mayweather, I would love to see him against Miguel Cotto,” said De La Hoya. “Hey, bring on Erislandy Lara.”
De La Hoya says that, but Alvarez’s resume suggests otherwise. In all likelihood, we will never see a Alvarez-Trout fight.
Alvarez has a PPV date set in May 2013, and more than likely he will probably fight Mayweather or even the recently defeated Miguel Cotto, mainly because of the name recognition and the potential money that can be generated off of those fights.
The thing is, even when paired with relatively unknown fighters, Alvarez brings in good ratings.
He has a huge following in Mexico and has the exposure fighting on the under-card of several Mayweather events, as well as even head-lining his own event this past September when he fought Lopez.
The Alvarez-Lopez card that aired on Showtime drew a rating of 2.6 and Alvarez’s fight against Cintron on HBO drew 1.469 million viewers.
Most likely a highly anticipated fight between two undefeated champions will draw decent ratings, especially with the HBO and Golden Boy marketing the fight.
The problem is, Golden Boy Promotions may see Trout as too much of a threat.
He is a slick south paw, has good hand speed, decent power, possesses boxing skills and toughness. Trout is also a natural junior middleweight and in his physical prime. All these qualities present problems for Alvarez.
Alvarez is talented enough to overcome these obstacles if there were to meet, but it would definitely be his toughest opposition to date.
Sergio Martinez may stay in the middleweight division and no one knows for sure if Floyd Mayweather is going stay in the junior middleweight division, let alone fight again.
Bottom line, Trout and Alvarez are best fighters in the division and should face each other to truly see who is the best.