After annihilating Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo for nine-and-a-half rounds on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the speculation about Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's next bout has already begun.
Alvarez had one of—if not his best—performances.
There are a few directions Canelo could go from here. Some of his options may actually include moving up to middleweight.
Canelo did not make the 154-pound weight limit for his clash with Angulo. Per Dan Rafael of ESPN, the weight limit had to be increased for the fight to stay on track. At 23 years old, Canelo's body is maturing and making 154 pounds consistently might not be possible.
If he does stay at 154 pounds, a clash with WBA light middleweight champion Erislandy Lara would be interesting. Lara is a skilled Cuban fighter with speed and moderate power.
Fight News calls for the fight to happen in July.
Lara defeated Angulo in his last bout, but he had tons of problems with him. Angulo dropped him twice before a well-placed punch from Lara badly injured Angulo's eye. The fight was stopped when Angulo turned his back to his opponent and referee.
Some might think that because Lara struggled with Angulo, Canelo would handle him even easier than he did Angulo. That's not necessarily the case. Styles make fights.
It's very possible that Lara's elusive style and speed could give Alvarez issues similar to the ones he encountered against Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.
Nonetheless, it's an intriguing option for Canelo.
If Canelo decides to move up to 160 pounds, there are a whole new set of challenges there for him. He could look to take on the winner of the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto bout in June.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is already calling for a bout with Cotto and a rematch with Mayweather.
Good body and head movement by Canelo. His defense has improved tremendously. He keeps this up , Cotto's next. Then rematch vs. Floyd. #Must— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 9, 2014
Smith is a bit hasty mentioning a second bout with Money but a bout with Cotto would be one of the biggest fights of the year. Canelo is the most popular Mexican fighter in the world and Cotto is the biggest Puerto Rican draw.
That's a great formula for a major pay-per-view attraction that should generate well over a million pay-per-view buys.
Cotto would have to beat Martinez, of course. Judging by both men's latest performances, you'd have to give Cotto the edge over Martinez. The question then would be: Does Canelo wait for the winner or does he take another tune up in between?
Per Golden Boy Promotions' Richard Schaefer, Canelo doesn't need to sit around:
"@caneloOficial wants to fight the best, he doesn't need to wait for anyone he just wants to entertain" R. Schaefer— GoldenBoyPromotions (@GoldenBoyBoxing) March 9, 2014
In either case, Canelo's performance on Saturday night made fight fans even more interested in his next move.
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