Still just 22, Saul Alvarez has already compiled a professional record of 41-0-1 with 30 stoppages. He is the WBC junior middleweight champion and one of the most popular fighters in North America.
Alvarez has had the tough task of continuing to develop as a fighter while already being hailed as a major box-office star. He has had his own big pair of shoes to fill.
So far, his steps have been steady but sure. I sympathize with boxing fans who long to see Canelo tested at a higher level. But it's only fair to acknowledge that the resume he has put together so far is still pretty impressive for a 22-year-old.
Look for 2013 to be the year Alvarez starts to reach his potential more fully in the ring. Despite losing to Austin Trout in December, I still think Miguel Cotto will fight Alvarez in May. And I expect Alvarez to win.
From there, I predict he will fight Floyd Mayweather on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September. Those will be the deepest waters he's ever seen, by an order of magnitude. Expect the young but already experienced veteran to hang in and acquit himself better than expected.