19-year old Mexican prospect Saul "Canelo" Alvarez stayed unbeaten with a hard-fought victory over tough veteran Lanardo Tyner tonight in Tepic, Mexico.
Alvarez (30-0-1, 22 KO) outpointed Tyner (21-3, 13 KO) over 12 rounds, winning a minor welterweight trinket. I saw the fight from the fifth round on only, but it was a good scrap, Tyner gave Alvarez some resistance, and the veteran might have even been able to pull off the upset on a different night.
But one thing is obvious: Alvarez is progressing very nicely, though his gung ho mentality may eventually get the best of him before he reaches the true top levels.
It's the third loss in five fights for Tyner, 34, the Detroit native who now fights out of Houston. But the losses have all been quality, coming to Mike Arnaoutis, Lamont Peterson and now Alvarez. He has no real notable wins, but he's got a stiff chin and enough skills that he's become a pretty nice gatekeeper for guys looking to bounce up a level, and there's solid money in that role. Boxing needs guys like Tyner.
The decision win also ended a seven-fight knockout victory streak for Alvarez. Golden Boy and Top Rank are both interested in the young Mexican, whose fights have been drawing very big crowds. In a lot of ways, he's like a better Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
While Alvarez doesn't have Junior's famous name, he's a better fighter, probably will have a longer shelf life, and fights a crowd-pleasing style, while Chavez was booed heavily last time out for putting on such a bore of a contest. One of the two U.S. giants will wind up signing him eventually, and it'll be interesting to see who it is.