When Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) squares off against Austin "No Doubt" Trout (26-0, 14 KOs) in the AlamoDome Saturday night, it will be one of the most anticipated fights of 2013 and has all the potential on paper to become an instant classic.
As great as Trout has become over the years, this is Alvarez’s time to shine.
Not only will this bout unify the 154-pound belts (WBA and WBC Light Middleweight championships), each man’s battle to remain undefeated is setting up to make this one of the fiercest fights boxing fans see all year.
With the knowledge that a defeat Saturday would kill much of the aura that surrounds Alvarez and his mystique, Canelo will use his vicious power and speed to get Trout on his heels and moving backwards starting in the very first round.
Trout is no stranger to the pressure of an offensive fighter—he won a stunning bout with Miguel Cotto in December—but Alvarez’s unique combination of finesse and strength is something the American star has never faced.
Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com about the magnitude of this fight for Alvarez and what a victory would mean:
It's the biggest fight for Canelo, a big step up for him and a world title-unification bout. It's two undefeated fighters against each other, two of the best in their weight class. Austin Trout is coming off the big win against Miguel Cotto and can get another big win. Canelo wants to shut up all of the doubters. He wants to show he is the best at 154 pounds.
At only 22 years old, there is no doubt that a loss Saturday would hurt Alvarez in his goal of becoming the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but that’s not an option he is interested in exploring.
Alvarez knows that if he wants to become a prize-fighter like Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao—something many boxing experts believe is a real possibility—he needs to start gathering some big wins over quality competition.
While Trout isn’t the biggest name out there, a definitive win over one of boxing's brightest emerging stars in Alvarez would quiet the critics and warrant an even bigger name for his next bout.
Maybe even Floyd Mayweather.
While the sport looks ahead to what could be next, Alvarez and his team are focusing and preparing for the biggest fight of the young star’s life.
As long as the champion sticks to the plan in the ring by keeping Trout on his heels and not letting him build any momentum of his own, there is no doubt that Alvarez will walk out of San Antonio as boxing’s next big superstar.