This coming Saturday, November 26th, at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico City, Mexico WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez defends his title against veteran Kermit Cintron. Alvarez, considered by many observers to be the hottest prospect in Mexican boxing right now, is as much as an 8 to 1 favorite for this fight. Cintron would appear to be a worthy opponent, as his competition level has been astoundly high, while that has always been the big question around Alvarez.
Alvarez is 38-0-1 with 28 KO’s and is still just 21 years old. This will be the third defense for ‘Canelo’ of the WBC Light Middleweight title. Cintron comes in with a record of 33-4-1, and is a former IBF and WBO Welterweight World Champion.
There was a time a few years back where Kermit Cintron was the young up and coming golden boy of boxing. He knows what it is to be an undefeated world champion, just like Alvarez is now. Cintron lost both his belts to Mexican Star Antonio Margarito on two separate occassions. He now gets to play the Margarito role.
He went on to a draw with lb for lb star Sergio Martinez, and went 3-0-1 overall after the last loss to Margarito. This set him up for a big fight against Paul Williams in May of 2010. A bizarre exchange led to Cintron being knocked out of the ring. He would not recover in the five minutes allowed by the regulations, and the match went to Williams by Split Decision.
Cintron took more than a year off, and promptly dropped his return in a flat performance in July of 2011 to lightly regarded Carlos Molina. He was hustled back into the rin less than a month later and won a flat decision against Antwone Smith.
There are a lot of people who think that Cintron has not been the same since the Williams match. Certainly the Cintron of old would have given Alvarez a fight, but flashes of him have been few and far between as of late.
And Alvarez continues to be one of the most pampered athletes in sports. He will enjoy home field advantage, he has successfully defended his title twice, his fortunes have literally exploded in the last year and he has Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy taking care of their mutual best interests.
His handlers have kept him very active, and the whole camp and presentation around ‘Canelo’ seem to back up that he is a hard worker who has avoided distractions. If you ask his detractors, he has also avoided Sergio Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Paul Williams and a myriad of other top fighters.
I’ve been looking for big underdogs lately, such as with Marquez and Pacquiao, but the heavy favorites have pulled it off. I don’t see this pattern ending here, as Alvarez is going to please the fans and take Cintron out early. The wheels are not ready to come off the Alvarez bandwagon yet, and the conditions around this fight are just too favorable – Cintron might make a fight of it but will wither in the end.