Though he's only 21 years old and has yet to face a truly world-class opponent, young Mexican phenom Canelo Alvarez already has his own HBO Greatest Hits video. In fact, he had it months ago, even before beating Ryan Rhodes on June 18 and Alfonso Gomez on September 17.
On Saturday, Canelo appears in his third HBO main event of the year, and fourth fight for the network, when he faces Puerto Rico's Kermit Cintron.
Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KO) has fought just one time since May 2010 without HBO backing of some kind, and that was for his July 2010 win over Luciano Cuello. He's been featured on two Mayweather pay-per-views (Mosley and Ortiz), and the latter he got to sell his own house in Los Angeles, because he's a bankable enough star to do that.
The guys he's been beating follow a pattern -- generally aging or outright old, and usually smaller than him. Jose Miguel Cotto, Carlos Baldomir and Lovemore N'dou were all pretty old fighters, and though Ryan Rhodes was a top ten-type guy at the time, he was in his mid-30s too. Matthew Hatton and Alfonso Gomez weren't so far past their best, but they were welterewights.
Now you have Cintron, who hasn't done much at 154 pounds (or much at all, really, other than have a reputation and a lot of TV appearances), and has looked worn out in his last two fights. Maybe he's a step up, but if he is, it's still a small step. 2012 could be the year where Canelo adds quality to his quantity, but his final fight of 2011 is really more of the same on paper.