WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Austin Trout opened a lot of eyes and got a victory over his first big name opponent last December when he scored a clear decision victory over three division champion Miguel Cotto. Going into that fight, Trout had many skeptics but after beating Cotto in his home away from home in the Madison Square Garden in New York, some of those same people started to change their tune. Trout is an undefeated slick southpaw, who uses his long jab effectively to set up a variety of shots. He is athletically gifted with good speed and has shown the ability to out maneuver his opponents by moving out of their punching range and giving them various angles, making it very difficult for them to land cleanly on him.
WBC Super Welterweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is an undefeated Mexican superstar, who at only 22 years of age has 42 fights thus far in his young career. Unlike his upcoming opponent Trout, “Canelo” is shorter and stockier in stature and looks to be the smaller man in this fight. The perception is that Trout is the quicker man, but I believe that Alvarez has underrated speed and is somewhat quick in his own right. “Canelo” appears to be the heavier handed of the two, as he has scored four knockouts in his last five fights with the steal chinned veteran Shane Mosley being the only one to make it to the final bell most recently.
Alvarez has been often criticized about his quality of opposition, but he has managed to face some very rugged contenders and ex-champs and has looked pretty dominant in those performances. This fight with Trout will most certainly be his toughest opponent to date in terms of skill and looks like it may be his toughest test as well. Although he is a very strong young fighter, I’m not so sure that Alvarez brings that much more to the table than Cotto did late last year against Trout.
Trout is a very patient fighter, who at times likes to fight in spots, but he has shown the ability to put his foot on the gas pedal and step it up when need be. “Canelo” may have the heavier artillery, but I just see him having a lot of trouble with Trout’s movement and overall boxing ability in this fight. I don’t believe that Trout will stand in front of Alvarez and trade, and in the moments that “Canelo” may get inside I see Trout being able to tie him up effectively, not allowing him to land his big left hook to the body or head. Alaverz my be the bigger puncher, but I feel Trout may be the physically stronger of the two with a functional size advantage over the young Mexican champion.
In the end, I see this as a cat and mouse game with Trout being the ring general. I envision Alvarez looking for the big shot much like Donaire did last week against Rigondeaux, and getting frustrated when he can’t land it as effectively and clean as he’d like. This fight may have some thrilling exchanges at points, but in no way do I see it becoming a slugfest. I feel Trout won’t allow that to happen.
A lot of people are comparing this fight to another fight that happened 20 years ago at the Alamodome as well, when the slick southpaw Pernell Whitaker faced the great Mexican champion Julio Cesar Chavez. It seemed obvious to just about everyone who watched that Whitaker clearly out-boxed Chavez only to receive a dubious draw. I can see Trout doing the same thing to Alvarez and possibly receiving a similar result, but nevertheless, I choose to be optimistic that the judges will score the fight accordingly, and I’m going with Trout by decision possibly split.