By: Sergio L. Martinez
On April 20, 2013 the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas will be packed to the rafters as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is scheduled to finally step into the squared circle with a real threat standing across the ring from him: Alvarez (42-0-1) is slated to face New Mexico’s own world champion, Austin “No Doubt” Trout with the WBC light middleweight title on the line. The venue is sure to be packed with plenty of Canelo fans anxiously hoping that they will bear witness to the birth of the next great Mexican boxing champion. For Golden Boy, the hope is that the baby-faced Mexican fan favorite and budding Icon is a finished product, ready to become a bona fide boxing star and transcend the sport into mainstream business. The profit potential is astronomical should Alvarez win, so the stakes are as high as anyone can imagine.
His boyish good looks, charismatic personality and bright red mane have led to a lot of hype and notoriety which his handlers parlayed into a vast following. He has the potential to become the next Oscar De La Hoya from a mainstream perspective, but the question remains: can he really fight?
The answer is not clear up to this point but the final exam is around the corner. Everyone involved with Canelo is confident that their charge is ready, willing, and able to pass his test.
By facing Trout, Alvarez is taking the first serious step towards becoming Mexico’s premier fighter of the future. All of 22 years of age, Alvarez has already been a professional for over seven years; he has competed in 42 professional bouts having won 41 with a draw as the lone blemish on his resume. The main issue with his development is that Alvarez has been fed a steady diet of poor opposition, coupled with has-beens and never-was types that do not support his lofty status. Truly, at this point in his career he is an illusion; however it must be acknowledged that Alvarez has shown really natural talent, making one believe that when the time finally comes, Canelo will furiously attempt to answer his critics and prove his worth.
In Trout, Alvarez will be facing his polar opposite: “No Doubt” is a man that has come up the hard way, having to literally fight his way to this opportunity. Oddly enough, even though Trout is the more legitimate champion of the two, he had to “earn” this big payday by facing and defeating top opposition.
In his last fight, the New Mexico native defeated Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto. In that fight, Trout showed mainstream boxing what hardcore fans already knew: he is a big, strong, and talented junior middleweight that can box from the outside and has a solid inside game also. His ring generalship, combination punching and mastery of distance and timing made for an exciting fight and one he ultimately dominated. It was an impressive win and well-deserved recognition for the working-class pug. There is little-to-no doubt that “No Doubt” will give Alvarez the ultimate test so the boxing world will finally be able to judge exactly how good Alvarez is and if he is a finished product.
Come Judgment Day at the Alamodome, everyone can be assured that Alvarez will be ready to give his absolute best. For as much as “Canelo” has gained at such as young age, he did not have to accept the Trout fight, and could have chosen to defend against a lesser opponent. Since Alvarez accepted to fight “No Doubt”, one must contemplate that Alvarez is seeking more than the riches and stardom which he has already achieved; Alvarez may be daring to be great and striving for boxing immortality. Should this truly be his cause, the boxing world can claim a victory on April 20, despite the actual outcome of the fight.