Alvarez (41-0-1, 31 knockouts) watched in frustration as Trout unanimously decisioned his then-34-year-old brother, Rigoburto Alvarez, in February of 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
A 22-year-old resident of Jalisco, Mexico, Saul Alvarez also bore witness in December as the 27-year-old Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) won his last fight by unanimous decision over four-time, three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Trout’s triumph over Cotto ended the challenger’s unbeaten run at The Garden at 7-0 with four stoppage wins before a crowd of 13,096 partisan fans. Cotto’s overall record in New York was at 9-0, including five stoppages, prior to the loss.
Alvarez and Trout were face-to-face during a Wednesday press conference before nearly 2,000 fans on the arena floor of the Alamodome in San Antonio, their first stop in a three-city tour that will also include Houston and McAllen, Texas, both on Thursday.
“Austin Trout impressed me with his win over Miguel Cotto and my brother. But I feel that in boxing, it’s my time now, and I will show Trout why I am the best in the division,” said Canelo, who called his sixth defense against Trout “personal” during an interview with RingTV.com.
“Champions should fight each other because that’s what true champions do. I know he will be a tough challenge, but I’m confident I will be the unified champion at the end of the night. Beating him will make a statement, and in so doing, I plan to avenge my brother’s loss to him and bring victory home to Mexico too.”
But Trout is among those who critcize Alvarez for largely taking on undersized competition such as Lopez and Alfonso Gomez, and for facing past-their-prime or over-the-hill fighters such as former welterweight beltholders Mosley, Carlos Baldomir, and Kermit Cintron.
Alvarez stopped Baldomir in the sixth round in September of 2010, and did the same to Cintron in the fifth round in November of 2011.
“I’m absolutely ready to face Canelo and all of his fans who will be out in full force in San Antonio that night,” said Trout, a southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“Although he is a true champion, I don’t believe he has had the ring experience or has faced the competition he should have in order to be able to handle the skills that I will show him when we fight April 20. I have already defeated his brother and taken his belt, and I plan on making it two for two against the Alvarezes in my quest to be the best. I have no doubt that I will retain my title and takes his with me too. I can’t wait.”
Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya is, nevertheless, picking Alvarez to defeat Trout in a clash he predicts will produce the intensity to rival the controversial draw between then-WBC welterweight beltholder Pernell Whitaker and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. at The Alamodome in September of 1993.
“Canelo has proven with each challenge he has faced that he is getting better and has fast become a superstar in the sport not only because of his talent, but also because of his unbelievable fan base that continues to grow every time he fights,” said De La Hoya.
“Austin Trout is an incredible fighter with superb boxing skills and a great champion in his own right. I’m very excited to see what happens when these two fighters meet in the ring on April 20. Golden Boy is going back to Texas in true Texas fashion with a huge fight at the Alamodome in San Antonio, the home of great boxing fans who love and appreciate the sport. It’s going to be a great night for everyone involved.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Casino
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org