The November 26 fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Kermit Cintron is official for a split-site triple-header on HBO, with Adrien Broner and Gary Russell Jr on the undercard.
Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KO) is coming off of a win over Alfonso Gomez on September 17, the featured undercard bout on the Mayweather vs Ortiz PPV show, and a headliner that sold nicely at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This fight will see "Canelo" head back to Mexico to face Puerto Rico's Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KO), a seemingly burnt-out former welterweight titlist who has looked lousy in his pair of 2011 fights, losing handily to Carlos Molina on July 9 and defeating Antwone Smith in an uninspiring effort on August 12.
No matter what Richard Schaefer says, I think it's very clear that Alvarez vs Cintron is another hand-picked fight, and not really any kind of major step up. Cintron's power looks to be just flat gone at 154 pounds, and his power was always considered his greatest asset. I like the fight as a way to keep a 21-year-old fighter busy against a legitimate pro. I don't like it as a "title fight" or as a competitive matchup.
Let's put it another way: Top Rank signed Cintron this year. After two fights, they were willing to just set him free. Spin it however you want, but that's a fact.
Broner (21-0, 17 KO) will headline a card in his hometown of Cincinnati, facing Vicente Martin Rodriguez (34-2-1, 19 KO) of Argentina for the vacant WBO super featherweight belt. Rodriguez, 26, has never faced someone as good as Broner, but if he exceeded expectations as an opponent, it wouldn't be the first time a fighter from Argentina has done so in the last few years, as we've seen Sergio Martinez, Marcos Maidana, and Lucas Matthysse lead the charge for the country's boxers.
Russell (18-0, 10 KO) is a flashy featherweight prospect who drew mixed reviews in his HBO debut on September 3 against Leonilo Miranda. His hand speed is definitely special, but and he clearly and easily won his last fight, but there's a growing perception that he doesn't have much power at all, and he's small even for a 126-pound fighter.
It's a decent lineup overall, but in the end probably just a showcase card for three of Golden Boy's top young fighters.