Truth be told, many words came to mind as I watched the fight, hence the existence of this article; however the one among them that stood out the most was:
For a fighter not yet 21 years of age, Saul Alvarez fights with a great deal of poise.
Despite being the larger and more powerful fighter in virtually every contest I’ve seen him in, “Canelo” rarely overextends himself, and never wastes his punches.
With a record of now, 37-0-1 against fair to middling competition, it’s hard to say just how good Alvarez truly is in the grand scheme of things; but in terms of bringing the excitement, and pleasing the fans, I’d be hard pressed to find another fighter that has captured the public’s imagination the way Canelo has the people of Mexico.
While nowhere near his level of polish, it’s impossible to look at Alvarez’ fighting and not see flashes of the great Julio Cesar Chavez.
Moreso than the man’s own son, Canelo’s punches, his stance, even parts of his physical build hold close resemblance to the Chavez of old, transposed onto a flame-haired, 154 lbs. body.
Despite the similarities, Alvarez fights with the poise of a man wise beyond his years, slipping punches at will, and pounding out combinations with alarming fluidity.
In short, he fights like a man who is comfortable in the ring, and has found himself through honing his craft rather than through the influence of past greats.
Saul Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are looked upon as controversial “paper” champions.
Both fighters have bloated records and speculative worth among A-grade competition, but in my eyes; at least one of them could grow into something truly special.
Chavez Jr. has always struck me as a severely limited fighter that spent most of his early years chasing the spectre of his father’s legacy; and only now is starting to come into his own.
Unfortunately, “coming into his own” involved developing a bizarre style that makes absolutely no use of his considerable height and reach, as well as causes him to take an excessive amount of punishment in many of his fights.
He’s got his dad’s left hook to the body, but outside of that he’s a fighter without an inkling of science to his boxing.
He’s like Librado Andrade, only with bigger marquee value and a much wimpier resume.
In that sense, I see Chavez Jr. making a lot of money, making a lot of people *Cough!* Bob Arum! *Cough!* only to have his body give out on him while he’s still relatively young.
Alvarez on the other hand, while not a stranger to walking into a shot or 2 now and again, showed in tonight’s fight against Ryan Rhodes; that he’s got quite a future ahead of him, both as an entertaining prospect; and in terms of longevity.
Rhode’s slipperiness and caginess were supposed to be the sort that could give anyone fits, but Canelo walked him down and took nary a significant punch over 12 rounds, eventually stopping the Brit in the 12th round.
On a side note, if you ask me that stoppage was a very poor call by the ref.
To be fair, Rhodes was very obviously hurt, as he had been for much of the later rounds, but it was the last round and he was still doing well to defend himself.
Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents.
That being said I look forward to what the future brings for Saul Alvarez, as any exciting fighter that puts the asses in the seats like he does is good for boxing, and more importantly; good for my Saturday nights!