Watching Floyd Mayweather dismantle and toy with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez this past September at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, it was hard to tell why Canelo was being hailed by many as the future of boxing.
He will help remind us all of exactly why he was held in such esteem by dismantling Alfredo Angulo in his first fight since losing to the undefeated Mayweather.
Alvarez (42-1-1) will face Angulo (22-3) on March 8 in a super-welterweight bout at the MGM Grand.
It is tough to predict how a fighter will react to picking up his first professional loss, but I don't expect anything from Alvarez except for the 23-year-old to reassert his dominance.
He certainly has the right attitude to do that.
While preparing for his upcoming bout, Canelo offered up these thoughts, in the Miami Herald by Santos A. Perez, on coming back after his loss: "I’m very strong-minded; so, yes, it was a loss, but I learned a lot from it, and I just move on. I gained experience and move on. I don’t dwell on the past. Now I look forward to the future.”
This doesn't appear just to be lip service, either. As Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole notes, Canelo built a gym in his San Diego home, and that "he's been training maniacally."
Alvarez is giving off all appearances of a fighter more determined than ever to prove he's still bound for greatness and not one who is questioning himself and his ability after a lopsided loss.
With an already-huge following, Alvarez has a bright future to look forward to. Still, a second straight loss would definitely dim that future. There is little chance of that happening, however.
Angulo is a bit of a desperate fighter at this point. He has lost two of his last four fights, including his last one, and both losses were by way of TKO.
None of this is what should have feeling Canelo so confident, though. This is an ideal matchup for him.
Of course, I don't have to tell Alvarez this.
“Obviously, he’s a fighter that comes forward, that hits hard, that can take a punch, and that’s what’s going to make the fight live up, and that’s what the people want to see,” Alvarez said in another quote captured by Perez. “They want to see action, and that’s what they will see [Saturday], a lot of action.”
In other words, Angulo is not going to bring the elite defense and counterpunching possessed by Mayweather.
These two boxers are going to stand toe to toe and duke it out.
As FightNight.com points out, Angulo is well equipped for this style of fighting:
Angulo is no walk in the park. Despite people thinking Canelo's taking an easy route, Angulo hits very hard which is always a danger.— FightNights.com™ (@boxing) February 23, 2014
Still, this style of fight is Canelo's comfort zone, and one the powerful youngster is not likely to be overwhelmed in.
This fight is going to look similar to the ones that helped Canelo build his reputation and star power. He is a slugger at heart, and he excels at that style.
Combine that with the fact that he appears to be training harder than ever and that he is moving to an age where he should be hitting his athletic prime, and it all spells out a resounding victory for Alvarez.