Referee Laurence Cole was surprised and impressed with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez‘s Showtime-televised unanimous decision over Austin Trout for the vacant RING junior middleweight championship on Saturday before a packed Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Cole left the arena feeling that Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 knockouts) had proved to be a more skillful, elusive and powerful fighter than he expected the 22-year-old Mexican to be after outpointing Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) by scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 118-109 on the respctive cards of Rey Danseco, Oren Shellenberger and Stanley Christodoulou.
Cole provided his own perspective on the bout in this Q&A below.
RingTV.com: What were your impressions of Alvarez?
Laurence Cole: Well, both of them are very, very good individual fighters. They can box and they’re very professional and classy and professional.
I was surprised at Trout applying pressure and moving forward and trying to connect to shorten the space and to get within range to land on Canelo. But I was also very surprised at Canelo’s defense without moving backward.
I mean, Canelo was still able to elude Austin Trout’s punches, and he was very slick on the inside, moving side-to-side and moving his head just a little bit here and there.
I think what Canelo was doing, which was very effective, is that he would throw a straight right at Trout’s lower chin, and Trout would lean back to get his head away from the punch, and he would get nailed in the chest.
So I was very surprised with Canelo’s speed. I expected it to be the banger against the boxer, and Canelo turned into the one who was eluding the punches.
Trout wound up being the one who was being a lot more assertive and aggressive than I thought that he would be because he had to to stay in the fight.
RTV: Althought Trout was the busier fighter was he as effective as you thought he would be?
LC:No. A lot of his punches weren’t landing. The easiest thing to see is that after the fight was over, Canelo looked like he ran a friggin’ 10K and Trout was beat up a little bit.
RTV: Do you have an opinion about the scoring?
LC: I’m a poor judge, self-admittedly, and I’ve judged at the highest level. But it’s not fair of me to say because it’s a different thought process when you judge a fight and when you referee a fight.
So it’s not fair for me to go, “Wow, I thought Stan Christodoulou’s card was out of whack” or “Rey Danseco score was…” because I get more of a feel of who won the fight based on how the fighters react.
And I thought Canelo was very confident that he won the fight and that Trout was accepting that he lost the fight when the last bell rang.
I’m not your best judge, once again. If you ever see me judging a fight, you had better wish that there is a knockout.
RTV: Was there anything that surprised you about the way that the fight went?
LC: I think that Austin tried to press the actionnbut he was having a very difficult time closing space and getting his range and connecting on Canelo because of Canelo’s defense without moving his whole body.
Canelo was staying within arm’s length but he was very elusive at the same time. There was a little big of head movement and upper body movement.
I almost expected it to be the typical bull fighter against the matador, where Canelo would be pressing and pressing and pressing and Trout would be boxing and using angles and trying to keep Canelo at bay.
But it turned out to be more of a stand-up in the middle of the ring boxing match. There wasn’t a lot of work off of the ropes, and neither one of them ever really touched the back of the ropes that much.
The mostly just stayed in the middle of the ring and did their thing. I knew that Trout was quick, because I had worked with him before, but I didn’t realize that Canelo had the hand speed and the body movement that he was able to have on display.
I thought that Canelo’s chest-shots really hurt Trout. I thought that when Canelo really sat down on his shots, and he would get off a couple of times to the collar bone area, I thought that those were some big, heavy shots right there.
LC: I don’t know if he necessarily graduated because of the way that the fight went. I don’t know at 154 pounds if there is another great adversary that Canelo can have unless Sergio Martinez comes down.
But I will tell you this, and that’s that I was impressed with his poise, because he is a very young man. When you combine the kid’s talent-level with his age, he is very impressive.
At the age of 22, I couldn’t tie my shoes. I don’t know how sold everyone is on the hype that is surrounding him and all of the attention being given to him, but he appears to be grounded.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org