LAS VEGAS — With an impressive victory over former three-division champ Sugar Shane Mosley on Saturday at the MGM Grand, WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez can punch his ticket to super stardom.
A 21-year-old Mexican fighter whose red hair and freckles earned him the nickname, “Canelo” (Spanish “Cinnamon”), Alvarez has already expressed interest in facing the winner of Saturday night’s main event between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto, who will defend his belt on HBO Pay Per View.
Mosley (46-7-1, 39 knockouts) turned 40 last September, is 0-2-1 in his past three bouts. the veteran has not experienced a victory in more than three years.
In the MGM Grand, Mosley is returning to the site of his past two losses to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on May 1 and May 7 of 2010 and 2011 respectively. In between those bouts was a draw with junior middleweight Sergio Mora in September of 2010.
Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs) is in search of yet another notable victory, one that would trump those by knockouts over former world titleholders Carlos Baldomir and Kermit Cintron in the sixth and fifth rounds in September of 2010 and last November.
Alvarez could also further distance himself from the troubles he had during the early pressure he received from Alfonso Gomez before stopping him in the sixth round last September.
Mosley’s last win was in January of 2009, when he dethroned Antonio Margarito as WBA welterweight titleholder by ninth-round knockout.
Mosley’s best hopes may hinge on his traditional success opposite Latino fighters, his welterweight loss by unanimous decision to Cotto in November of 2007, notwithstanding.
Mosley also has twice beaten Oscar De La Hoya — the second time for both the WBC’s and WBA’s junior middleweight belts in September of 2003 — scored consecutive knockouts over former world champion Fernando Vargas in 2006, and stopped both Margarito and Ricardo Mayorga, the latter in 2008.
In addition to Cotto, Mayweather and Pacquiao, Mosley also has gone the distance in two losses each to Forrest and ex-beltholder Winky Wright.
Will Alvarez be the first fighter to stop him?
RingTV.com culled the opinions of 20 knowledgeable boxing observes on what they believe will transpire in the Alvarez-Mosley fight.
Saul Alvarez TKO 11 Shane Mosley: Saul Alvarez will stop the once great Sugar Shane Mosley, becoming the first fighter to do so.
Alvarez will walk him down and chop down the fighter 19 years his senior. With Mosley taking punishment from the underrated Alvarez, the bout will be halted.
Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press
Saul Alvarez KO 8 Shane Mosley: I love Saul Alvarez. You know, he’s the next, great Mexican fighter. I love everything about him. He takes big fights at a young age, and he’s very calm about it, and Shane Mosley’s over the hill.
Saul Alvarez W 12 Shane Mosley: Saul Alvarez is widely expected to become a Mexican legend, and this is the first test against a now wily veteran in Shane Mosley. Alvarez may be made to look inexperienced – even cumbersome — early in the bout by Mosley, and could be caught on the counter.
But the flame-haired tyro has a great chin, and ultimately will have too much vim and vigour for Mosley. The youngster is often accused of telegraphing his punches. But the 21-year old-will eventually catch up with Mosley late in this fight, and have the 40-year-old in survival mode. Late stoppage or points victory for Alvarez
Saul Alvarez W 12 Shane Mosley: I think I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I see a darn good fight between these two. I think the fight will be competitive in every round, much like Miguel Cotto-Mosley was. Like Cotto did against the 2007 version of Sugar Shane, I think Canelo will win the battle of the jabs and neutralize some of Mosley’s aggression with sporadic lateral movement.
However, I think Molsey will hurt Alvarez, who has a habit of going to the ropes, when he lands to the body. I also think he’ll wobbly Canelo at least once with an overhand right. Alvarez will survive the rocky moments and rally in the late rounds, but he won’t dominate the old warhorse, who will score a moral victory just by being in a good, competitive fight.
Saul Alvarez UD 12 Shane Mosley: There’s only one question: Which Shane Mosley will show up? Sugar? Or shot? It looked like the latter a year ago in Mosley’s last outing, a loss to Manny Pacquiao by a decision more one-sided than unanimous.
Saul Alvarez has none of Pacquiao’s speed, or — for that matter — any of the speed Mosley once possessed. The 21-year-old Alvarez also doesn’t have any of the 40-year-old Mosley’s experience. But he does have youth and that’s what figures to tip the scales in his behalf.
If Alvarez can control his emotions at the prospect of facing a legendary name in the early going, his youthful energy and combo of heavy hands will exhaust Mosley.
Saul Alvarez W 12 Shane Mosley: This one will go rounds because Saul “Canel” Alvarez, like Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., is someone who likes to use the early rounds to warm up to his task. Once he gains his bearings, he will gradually pick his 40-year-old opponent apart.
Shane Mosley no longer has the volume to counteract Alvarez, but he still possesses the granite chin, which will hold him in good stead here. Mosley is a remarkable specimen for someone his age, but lately he’s been showing too much of that age. Canelo by commanding decision.
Shane Mosley KO 8 Saul Alvarez: Shane Mosely is a different fighter at 154, and he wont be as drained, which means his power will be there. I like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and he’s a big star in Mexico, but I think Mosley wins by KO before the 8th round.
Saul Alvarez UD 12 Shane Mosley: Saul Alvarez by unanimous decision. Shane Mosley might be 40, noticeably worse than he was three years ago and coming off a one-year layoff, but he’s going to give Alvarez a tougher fight than some might expect.
This will be a great learning experience for Alvarez, who was two years old when Mosley made his pro debut in February 1993. The emerging Mexican star will win, but not by a wide margin.
Saul Alvarez W 12 Shane Mosley: Saul Alvarez by decision. I just think do see it. Shane Mosley is talking a good game and saying that he’s much different, but I’m going to have to see it in the ring before I can pick him again.
Saul Alvarez W 12 Shane Mosley: Saul Alvarez in a distance fight. Shane Mosley can still do one thing: Survive.
Saul Alvarez UD12 Shane Mosley. It is difficult to downplay Shane Mosley’s accomplishments over the course of what will be a Hall of Fame career.
But after two straight underwhelming performances against Sergio Mora and Manny Pacquiao, the story is rather whether Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has grown enough since his last outing to take advantage of the situation.
If they’re supposedly grooming Alvarez to fight Floyd Mayweather in the near future, then I want to see if he has improved his jab and footwork.
Those questions remain, but as far as this fight, I think he’ll outwork Mosley on the strength of his body punching combined with Shane’s recent lack of aggression.
Saul Alvarez UD 12 Shane Mosley: On the one hand, you have Saul Alvarez getting out-boxed by Alfonso Gomez for three or four rounds. That’s like, Alfonso freakin Gomez. No disrespect. But Shane Mosley might not be Alfonso Gomez at this point anymore.
Gomez is possibly faster than Shane Mosley right now. Once upon a time, this would not have been a contest at all. Shane Mosley in his prime destroys Canelo Alvarez. Shane’s so far past his peak now, and it’s not like he’s a very tricky fighter. It’s not like he has this bag of tricks.
He’s always been what he’s been. I just thinking that Canelo’s going to end up beating him. He’ll take a lot of heavy leather over 12 rounds. I think that probably this could be a fight where we say that Alvarez isn’t all that. But there’s only one winner here, and Mosley is not going to pull an Antonio Margarito again.
Shane will be standing in the end, but he will be pretty badly lumped up. Maybe it will bad enough that his trainer, Naazim Richardson, will want to stop it. But maybe not. He didn’t stop the fight against Manny Pacquiao when Shane was begging him to.
Jack Obermayer, USA Boxing News
Saul Alvarez KO 9 Shane Mosley: Saul Alvarez is too strong and aggressive for the old man. Shane Mosley is just collecting a paycheck for years of good service.
But the skilled veteran runs out of time and gets stopped for the first time. Mosley just a name that Alvarez can feast on. Alvarez in nine.
Saul Alvarez W 12 Shane Mosley: Well, I think that this fight really depends on which Shane Mosley shows up. I mean, is it going to be the Shane Mosley that we saw in the Manny Pacquiao fight, or from third round on in the Floyd Mayweather fight? Or is it going to be the Shane Mosley that we saw knock out Antonio Margarito and Fernando Vargas?
Shane knows that there’s no shame in losing to a Mayweather or a Pacquiao, because those are the two top names in the sport. You could always come back. But Saul Canelo Alvarez is just a young, up and coming undefeated guy that HBO and everybody is pumping up. Shane knows that if he loses to a guy like this, that he’s going to go into gatekeeper status.
If he loses this one, he can forget about being the main event for pay per views, and he realizes that, especially to at 40 years old. So I think that he’s going to go all out in this fight, and I think it’s a tougher fight to call when you really look at it. But I just can’t see myself going against Alvarez in the fight. I think that it will be a 12-round decision, and I don’t think that Mosley will get stopped.
You could see that in the Mayweather and Pacquiao fights, that when Mosley gets hurt and gets into trouble, he knows how to survive the rounds to the final bell. So if a Mayweather or a Pacquiao couldn’t catch up to him, I can’t see Alvarez catching up to Mosley and putting him away.
Saul Alvarez UD 12 Shane Mosley: I like Saul Alvarez to pull out a decision over Shane Mosley in a fight that is more competitive than expected. I think Shane will give “Canelo” a bit of a go early, but will likely run out of gas. Alvarez by Unanimous decision is my pick.
Saul Alvarez TKO6 Shane Mosley: This fight is brutal, the sort of ritual sacrifice boxing has engaged in for years with a typical hue and cry from moralizers who didn’t say enough before the first bell.
Shane Mosley hasn’t won a fight in years, had just enough gas to go two hard with Floyd Mayweather two years ago, and had terrible reflex and reaction against Sergio Mora and Manny Pacquiao.
Saul Alvarez may not be as slick, but he’s younger, bigger, and has heavy hands. This looks likes it’s going to be beating and one where Mosley’s corner has to save him by the mid-rounds.
Saul Alvarez KO 9 Shane Mosley: This is a tough one. On one hand, I think this is a good matchup for Shane Mosley. Saul Alvarez is relatively inexperienced and not nearly as fast or athletic as either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, who dominated Mosley.
On the other hand, Mosley probably doesn’t have much left, while Alvarez is a strong junior middleweight with good power and a killer instinct. I think the kid takes out the old man in the ninth round.
Saul Alvarez KO 5 Shane Mosley: We saw one legend who wore out last weekend in Bernard Hopkins against a burgeoning star in Chad Dawson.
I think we’re going to see another past-his-prime ring legend drop this weekend in Shane Mosley. He simply doesn’t have the hand speed to offset a rising beast like Saul Alvarez.
Saul Alvarez UD 12 Shane Mosley: I think the younger man wants it more. Shane Mosley has been a great fighter in the past, but I don’t think he has the hunger anymore to sacrifice and be a great fighter against Saul Alvarez.
Saul Alvarez TKO 10 Shane Mosley: The Saul Alvarez-Shane Mosley fight will be similar. Canelo’s inexperience will allow Mosley to stay in the fight for about four or five rounds, but then Canelo’s power will begin to take its toll on Mosley, and he will score a 10th-round TKO.
The experts favor the young lion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to overcome the old cat, Shane Mosley, 19-1.
Photos by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com