Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 28th
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saul_canelo_alvarezIt is true that Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is having a great difficulty finding an opponent for September 15th.  His first opponent, Paul Williams, would have marked one of the biggest, if not the biggest, challenges of Canelo's career.  Unfortunately, Williams is likely paralyzed permananetly, and at any rate, will definitely never fight again.  James Kirkland then priced himself out, and got injured (conveniently).  I think Kirkland's handlers finally realize what they have in Kirkland.  An offensively gifted fighter with a lot of heart, but who can be both outboxed, and hurt easily.  A fighter like Canelo, who has both power and boxing ability would not be a favorite foil for a fighter like that.

Then Victor Ortiz was mentioned as the opponent.  Enter Josesito Lopez and Ortiz's bad luck.  Ortiz was ahead on all cards, when a broken jaw prevented him from continuing.  Ortiz now has 4 losses and 2 draws on his record, all of which ended bizarrely.  A technical draw early in his career, and a DQ loss both were against fighters he would have easily beaten.  Then he was ahead against Maidana, before two eye injuries ended his night.  Then, the weird head-butt/look at ref KO loss to Mayweather, and now the broken jaw.  I think Ortiz has just had awful luck, but he will soon make another list of mine in a subsequent article for that reason.  However, Lopez, a natural 140lb-er is too small for Canelo, so he is not a viable opponent.  The handlers of Alvarez are left scrambling, once again.

The only real opponents for Alvarez are Miguel Cotto or Austin Trout.  The WBC is playing it's favorite game "protect the mexican" and saying they will not accept Trout as a unification bout.  Twisted logic somehow saying that they will be harming the "WBC brand", by unifying.  Funny, they have no problem doing it with Cornelius Bundrage, the IBF champion.  These cretins have been in power so long, they don't even bother to tell believable lies.  Trout will likely outbox, and frustrate Alvarez all night.  He is the kind of slick boxer who gives nightmares to fighters like Canelo, and will put fans to sleep in the process.  It is simply a cowardly business decision to avoid him.

If I were Trout, I would follow the Pernell Whittaker plan, and win as many belts as you can, televise all of your fights, no matter where.  Above all, look vulnerable, even though you win.  Dominating Delvin Rodriguez, who always loses close... and doing so in a boring fight, did not help his cause.  Eventually, though, if he keeps winning, they will have to face him, or abandon the division.  Cotto is waiting on a Mayweather rematch, and Canelo is a nightmare for his style, hence the reasons for turning down that fight.  Bundrage and Spinks do not excite people, and the winner of that match up should be facing Trout for the number one spot behind Alvarez.  Dzindziruk is completely invisible, and Vanes Martirosyan's handlers seem unwilling to make a move with him.  This leaves one person in the mix.  Someone who deserves the payday, has all the boxing street cred, and can upset anyone if given the chance... Carlos Molina.

You can argue that he beat JC Chavez Jr. twice, and Erislandy Lara, and was beating Kirkland, when a bizarre DQ took place.  He could easily be a top contender, and that is with little power or hype behind his name.  He was learning on the job.  The fight is a natural for CBS, in the afternoon.  Make it a network, afternoon throwback fight.  This will help out boxing fans, who hopefully do not realize how shamelessly they are being pandered to, can watch both this fight and the competing Chavez Jr vs. Sergio Martinez clash.  Unless Canelo faces Cotto, it is not PPV anyway.  Or, here's a thought, get off the Viva Meheeco bandwagon, and fight on a different date.  How about the 22nd or 29th?

Odds are they will take a useless matchup, and attempt to compete with Top Rank's card.  My vote still stands with my plan.  Either of my two plans would work.  Hold the fight in Chicago, so we can see if Canelo can fight in another man's backyard.  It also has a large Mexican population, so he would have some fans... who either don't know or don't care that Molina is their native son.  If Alvarez can legitmiately defeat Carlos Molina, he will be for real in the eyes of not just fair weather or racially motivated fans, but boxing purists as well.  Early stoppages, record padding fights, and old dogs who don't have it anymore are not enough to sustain the level of popularity Canelo has achieved.  He has to deliver now, and Molina is a big step in that direction.

Chris Strait

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