Yes, he only got the stoppage in a technical fashion, but did he really need to prove his power? Knocking out iron-chinned Carlos Baldomir with one punch pretty much is the last test your power should ever have to take. The areas of improvement left to see are: can he handle a slick boxer, and can he mix his offense and defense well, when another puncher is willing to trade with him. He is almost 21 years old, and to be honest, a loss would do him good. Look at how well Victor Ortiz has recovered. Here are the most likely candidates to hand Alvarez that loss at 154lbs:
Paul Williams – Not the perfect opponent for Alvarez in any other way except that a loss to Williams would be highly forgiveable. Depending on how well Williams does against Lara, it may not even be a fight Alvarez would lose. He has the punch to hurt ‘The Punisher’. We know that now, but he’s certain to look awful until he starts landing, and maybe even after. Sometimes that’s a better lesson to be learned than losing, and every big puncher from Tyson to Pacquiao has to learn it. Those fighters, and Alvarez so far, however, learned it by having fighters run from them. That's why they looked awful. With Williams, it will be because he is fighting back. And that’s a more fun lesson for fans to watch Alvarez learn.
Austin Trout – The most likely to beat Canelo, therefore the least likely to get the shot. He has a belt, beat Alvarez’ big brother to get it, and has fought in Mexico lately. He is the slick boxer test Alvarez must pass. If Trout is built up with unification matches against either the winner of Bundrage-Powell, or Sergei Dzindziruk, he may be a more lucrative challenger, but 8 different promoters are running things at 154, so he may have quite a waiting game, If Alvarez can dominate a fighter like Trout, however, he will be accomplishing something no other Mexican star has. Black-American slicksters have always been the thorn in the side of the red, white and green boxing stars. Ricardo Lopez over Will Grigsby is one noteworthy exception.
Alfredo Angulo – Talk about a fight that makes sense! Angulo is stuck in Mexico , where Alvarez sells a ton of tickets. He is also the durable puncher who will be willing to trade with Canelo. This fight will test his boxing skills, chin, and resolve… in a fight that fans and TV networks would love. There is no reason, other than Gary Shaw, that this fight should not take place. Do it, now!
Sure, K9 Bundrage, Pawel Wolak, and Sechew Powell would be fun fights to watch, but their chins would not hold up to Canelo’s slashing fists. Ditto Kermit Cintron’s ribs, and Miguel Cotto’s skin. Dzindziruk needs to prove how well he has recoverd from the Martinez fight before being put back in this mix. There are a lot of great fights out there for Alvarez, most of which he would probably win… but if he is really a serious threat, he needs to be separated from The JC Chavez Jr. hype and B.S. machine that people keep attaching him to. The best way to do that, is to do what Chavez will not… fight the best opponents.