SAUL “CANEL-SLOW” ALVAREZ
I do not think Saul Alvarez is going to be anywhere near the talent that he is proclaimed to be. He is so SLOOOOOOOOOOOW, I mean come on. Yes, he may have red hair, freckles and be good looking, but he has NO hand speed, which is a huge factor in boxing.
I’m not saying he is a bum or won’t win a title, but his lack of hand speed is a major factor. Never put him in with a slick fighter, ever! I’m not hating on the guy but in his last fight I was like THIS is the guy I keep hearing about? — JCB
Alvarez’s hand speed isn’t going to remind anyone of a prime Meldrick Taylor but he’s no Yory Boy Campas in that department, either.
I remember thinking the same thing you thought about Alvarez the first time I saw him (which was his U.S. debut against Larry Mosley, who just happens to be a slick fighter). He looked ordinary. Game, which is why he won the 10 rounder (6 rounds to 4 on my card), but ordinary, especially in terms of speed and overall athleticism. However, I’ve noticed wrinkles to Alvarez’s game in recent fights that makes me think he can get the most out of his ability (a lot more than that other young Mexican star with the famous last name). Canelo’s a smart fighter. He’s harder to hit than he seems. He’s economical with his offense and he’s good counter puncher, especially with his hook but also with his straight right. He knows how to set up his power, which is not devastating, but it’s above average.
I know it’s too bad that his speed is not above average but I think he’s working on it. I was struck by the quickness of Canelo’s combinations while watching him work the mitts at Tuesday’s media workout in Los Angeles.
I think Alvarez is smart enough, strong enough, and yes, fast enough to defeat Matthew Hatton, who isn’t relentless like his older brother but a solid pro, in a competitive fight on Saturday. How far does Alvarez advance after March 5? I don’t know. I don’t think anyone will really know until he faces a truly formidable opponent, which could happen before the year is out. Golden Boy’s head matchmaker Eric Gomez told me that Alvarez wants to fight Austin Trout to avenge his older brother’s loss to the undefeated southpaw. Trout’s a tall order. I know that just from having watched the New Mexico native spar with Sergio Martinez and Antonio Margarito.
GOOD FIGHT WEEKEND
I enjoy watching Vicente Escobedo, he always works hard and his fights are rarely boring. I don’t see him having that much trouble with Walter Estrada, but what do you think his future looks like after this fight? He was pretty soundly beaten by Robert Guerrero (I think The Ghost could have KOed him with a little more effort, but you can say that about a lot of his fights). Do you think he’ll ever crack the top-10 or will he always be that hard-nosed guy that lets us know if his opponents are legit or not?
It will be interesting to see what Sweet Pea has done for Zab Judah. I haven’t seen much of Kaizer Mabuza outside of what Youtube has so I can’t really make an educated pick. Outside of Kendall Holt nobody stands out on his record, but putting Holt away before the end of the 6th round is impressive. Who you have in that one?
I’m looking forward to Adrien Broner-Daniel Ponce de Leon fight more than the main event on Saturday. It seems Ponce has improved since getting starched by JuanMa, but Broner has pop and that awesome pedigree. I live in Cincy. What chance do you give Broner in this one? I’ll be pulling for him, with Ricardo Williams running into trouble (repeatedly) and Warren deciding to stay in the amateurs we need a hometown guy to make it big.
Finally I had to make a comment on your last mailbag, you said:
“I don’t think there’s anything “silly” Rios’ new maturity, which has nothing to do with how the media or anyone else wants to portray him. It’s something that he wants in his life.
He’ll never be a refined guy who is careful about what he says on record, which can be a good thing, but he can certainly be a better human being than he was a few years ago, and I believe his efforts to grow up outside of the ring have enhanced his ability inside the ring because he‘s more dedicated to training than he‘s ever been. I’ve watched and covered Rios since he was 18 years old and I can honestly say that his new outlook and attitude is sincere.”
Wasn’t it just like 6 months ago that Rios was making fun of Freddie’s Parkinson’s? Seems like he has hardly grown up. Makes it hard to root for him, his style makes it easy. Then again, I’m awed by FMJ but cannot find it in me to root for him either because of his immaturity outside of the ring. It’s even more amazing to me that Rios would poke fun at Freddie given the fact that he himself is a fighter with a chance to be damaged goods when he gets older… and after seeing Saturday’s fight, if he continues these drag em’ out fights his chance might be pretty good. Thanks Dougie. — Nate
Yes, I realize that it seems as though Rios has “hardly grown up” but it’s all relative. For Rios “growing up” means he’s not out at clubs getting drunk two weeks before his fights and then getting tossed in jail for bare-knuckle altercations one week after. He’s never going to be PC or PG-rated when it comes to what he says. I bet he takes another stab at Roach and the respected trainer’s condition within the next nine months (it will probably happen whenever one of Robert Garcia’s fighters face one of Freddie’s lads). Brandon’s not thinking about Freddie’s feelings, his own image, or the possibility that he might wind up with Parkinson’s syndrome due to head trauma accumulated over the course of a rough career. He’s an impetuous dude. That’s what attracts fans to him and turns others away. It’s why he’ll emerge as one of the more compelling fighters in the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions over the next few years.
Oh, and by the way, for the record, I like Rios.
I agree that the Broner-de Leon fight is more intriguing than the Alvarez-Hatton matchup. I think your homeboy should get the job done. Apart from experience, Broner has the edge in every category including power (the kid can punch). I think he’ll win a decision in a fight that might look a lot like de Leon’s fight with Cornelius Lock (only Broner will take less punches and do more damage). If Broner tires too hard to impress or tries to go for an early KO, de Leon might catch him and hurt him. The jury is still out on Broner’s chin. Even if he does get rocked, I think he can survive by playing it safe and stinking the joint out. Yeah, he’ll get booed by the pro-Mexican crowd in Anaheim but he’ll get the “W.”
I think Judah-Mabuza might look a lot like Zab’s fight with Matthysse, only I don’t beleive the South African will score a knockdown, which is why I’m confident the more experienced former champ will regain his IBF trinket via decision. I don’t know what Pernell Whitaker brings to the table as a trainer but can he do any worse than Zab’s dad? I don’t think so. I think having a great fighter in your corner is always a good thing.
I think Escobedo’s future is very much in the air, even if he blows Estrada out tonight. He’s no spring chicken. At 29, he’s got to get busy and make s strong run at lightweight or junior lightweight. I think the 130-pound division is the way to go for Escobedo. He can make for some good fights at 135 pounds but I think his losses to Katsidis and Guerrero are clear indication that he lacks the size and power to be threat to world-class lightweights. Once upon a time Brandon Rios couldn’t touch Escobedo in sparring. Now I think Bam Bam would steamroll the older fighter. However, I wouldn’t count Escobedo out against any of the current beltholders at 130 pounds (Takahiro Aoh, Mzonke Fana, Takashi Uchiyama and Ricky Burns). In fact, I might favor him over most of those guys. Anyway, I’ll be watching Telefutura tonight because like you, I enjoy watching Escobedo fight.
I think the winner of the Khan-Bradley aims for bigger fish than Judah, but if they can’t secure a fight against Pacquiao or Mayweather either young gun would gladly accept a unification bout with the Brooklyn veteran.
I would favor Khan or Bradley to beat Judah.
THIS AND THAT
Hi Ya Dougie
Berto vs Ortiz – When a fighter look’s like a lost puppy dog when he hits a guy and he doesn’t get a KO I think it’s time to think of new profession. Berto will break his mind and then his body.
Pascal vs Hopkins – I was very similar to Hopkins-Mercado I, Pascal-Hopkins II I think will be like Hopkins-Mercado II. B-Hop by KO. Yep I think the old man is that good and Roman “El Chocolatito” Gonzalez is a hell of little fighter. What can’t you like about a fighter who’s style is across between Ricardo Lopez and Alexis Arguello? Hopefully he get’s a chance at some of bigger names at 112.
Broner vs Ponce de Leon – I’m looking forward to this fight more than the main event who are you picking?
Glad to see James Kirkland is back also.
Judah vs Mabuza – I wouldn’t be surprised if this is like the Matthysse fight, Judah barely does enough to win.
And I think that next week’s Sergio Martinez vs Sergei Dzinziruk showdown is going to be a surprisingly good fight even with the style match up and all the negative press. Cheers. — Nicholas
I don’t know why there’s negative press on Martinez-Dzinziruk. That’s a quality matchup between two extremely skilled and experienced world-class boxers. Trust me, I’ve watched both guys train recently, including sparring (which RingTV viewers will also get to peep with our exclusive camp videos that will be posted next week), and I can safely predict an entertaining fight. No, it won’t be Gatti-Ward. These guys are too smart to simply beat the s__t out of each other but they will trade punches and the exchanges will become more heated with each passing round. Martinez won’t have it any other way. He’s changed his style to that of a crafty pressure fighter and the champ’s hitting with more power than ever. Dzinziruk is textbook perfect when it comes to his technique, but he knows he can’t jab his way to victory.
Good call on Judah-Mabuza. I agree.
I’m also glad Kirkland’s back. Let’s hope he stays out of trouble long enough to get a title shot.
I’m picking Broner but I’m hoping de Leon clips the cocky kid.
If Roman Gonzalez goes to 112 pounds and is willing to fight in Mexico or the U.S., how does Giovani Segura vs. Gonzalez sound? I’d happily pay to see that one.
Win, lose or God forbid, another draw, I think Hopkins and Pascal engage in another close bout. And I won’t be surprised to see B-Hop get dropped by what appears to be an ordinary punch.
Everybody is Sigmund-freakin-Freud when it comes to poor Victor Ortiz. I guess while psychoanalyzing the kid it’s easy to forget that he was beat and held to a draw by two excellent, gutsy fighters. I haven’t forgotten that Berto was buzzed by light-punching Luis Collazo and was lucky to win a fight against a guy who has less of a killer instinct than Ortiz. I’m not counting Ortiz out against Berto.
I like Antillon, too. He might get the job done this time against Soto, but he’ll need some help from Father Time.
Rios didn’t surprise me by beating Acosta. Bam Bam vs. any top-10 lightweight or jr. welterweight is must-see TV.
Come on, Nick, I think you know what JMM has to do to get that third fight with the Pac-monster.