By Jack Price @PriceyJ97.
Just a week after boxing fans were treated to the super-bantamweight mega-fight between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux, we will now get another highly-anticipated unification bout this weekend. This time it’s in the light-middleweight division with WBC world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez taking on WBA titlist Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout. Will the underdog prevail in this one just as Rigondeaux did last week?
Alvarez (41-0, 30 KO’s) is just 22-years of age but has already become one of the sport’s most popular stars, partly because of his unique pale-skinned, ginger-haired look for a Mexican but mainly because he is seen by his country and the rest of the world as “the next big thing”. ‘Canelo’ picked up the WBC title back in 2011 at just 21-years old with a 6th round TKO victory over Alfonso Gomez and has made three successful defences since, against Kermit Cintron, Shane Mosley and Josesito Lopez, dominating in all three. The undefeated youngster has looked unstoppable against almost everyone he has faced in his career so far but he will be taking a big step up when he aims to unify titles this Saturday.
Trout (26-0, 14 KO’s) hasn’t had it quite as easy as Canelo. He found it extremely hard to generate any hype or attention from the fans for the first seven years of his career, out-classing everyone he met, including Canelo’s younger brother Rigoberto Alvarez, but has never really been taken note of by the fans or fellow fighters. On December 1st 2012 Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto provided the perfect platform for Trout to become a superstar and he took advantage of it. Trout, looking to make the 3rd defence of the WBA strap he won in 2011, entered the fight as the massive underdog, bigger than he actually will in this one, but silenced Cotto’s fans and the critics leaving them with ‘No Doubt’ that he was a world-class fighter.
Both men face the biggest test of their careers here and the winner will be rewarded massively. Not only will they become a unified world champion in a competitive 154lb division, they will also shoot straight up the pound-for-pound rankings and announce themselves as one of the biggest superstars in the sport today. Alvarez is almost already there, but Trout, even after the win over Cotto, is still pretty far away. He was the man who was desperate for this fight to get made and, just like the fans, he’s thanking his lucky stars that this super-fight is actually taking place because for so long it seemed like it never would. Alvarez always looked next in line to face pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, but now Floyd has stepped back down to 147, Canelo will take on the only other undefeated champion in the division.
It is so easy to babble on about how good this fight is, because it really is one of the best fights that can be made right now. But I don’t need to explain it to you anymore, you already know how big this fight is for the fighters, the fans and boxing itself. A unification bout between two undefeated superstars. So let’s move on to my prediction…
He is the slight underdog, but I believe that if Austin Trout puts on the perfect performance and sticks to his game-plan, he can win this fight. It will be very, very tough but he has the mental strength, composure and skill to do it. For him to do it he needs to keep the power-punching Mexican away from him as long as possible. Canelo will want this fight at toe-to-toe range and if he gets it there, he will win. No doubt about it. Trout needs to get on the back foot, box at range, but also be busy with his hands to make sure he wins the round clearly. I have faith in Austin Trout and believe he can do it. Trout by unanimous decision, providing we don’t see any controversy with the result.