Saul Alvarez, December 4, 2010
As some of you know, my top boxing prospect at the moment is Saul Alvarez. To see my previous comments on this kid, check out an earlier article here. If you get a chance, I’d recommend you check Canelo out on HBO Latino this Saturday. (By the way, I believe the broadcast is going to be in Spanish, so if you’re really into listening to boxing commentary and you can’t speak Spanish… maybe you should skip this one.)
Canelo clearly still needs a lot of work, but keep in mind that he’s only 20. At the rate he is going, he should be a much more refined product by the time he’s 23. While I think Alvarez is a solid fighter right now and would give a lot of guys up and down a weight class problems, there are still certain areas of his game that I would like to see improvement in. From what I’ve seen, the first aspect that needs to be improved is his defense. It’s not exactly porous, but I would be more impressed with a bit more head movement and seeing him pick off more straight shots. Second, I don’t recall seeing much (if any) inside fighting from Saul. This could potentially be due to the fact that his recent opposition hasn’t exactly been the who’s who of inside fighters. I would be more comfortable if I saw him demonstrate inside fighting prowess in addition to his long range game. I’ll leave it at that for now as I don’t want to get too picky before the kid has even been truly tested yet.
If managers Jamie Baker and Eddy Reynoso as well as promoter Golden Boy Promotions do this right, they will have Saul fight frequently (as has been the case so far) and gradually expose him to different fighting styles. At this point, they are still developing him and hence, will be unlikely to put Canelo in with anyone who has a good chance of beating him. For more on this last point, see my article about rising stars here. Consequently, I would not recommend anyone to bet against him. However, I won’t be betting ON him either. I haven’t seen a line out yet, but I’d assume Saul will be a huge favorite here.