This is really one of the most evenly-matched, legit big-time fights on paper in a long time. And this is a really big fight, with what will almost surely be the biggest live crowd for a fight on U.S. soil in 2013. I've said many times I'm a big believer in Alvarez's talent, but I've also been a Trout supporter for a long time, too, so I'm sort of torn here. These are two of my favorite young fighters, a pair of legitimate talents, in my estimation, taking their toughest test in a refreshing matchup.
Though I can see Austin Trout boxing his way to a decision, I don't think Canelo is quite as stiff as he's made out to be. While in my SB Nation preview, I mentioned the potential for hideous judging, which I think is, unfortunately, an almost likely scenario if Trout has this fight won in the eyes of most observers, I'm going to go with Canelo by close but deserved decision here. Both guys are going to have rounds where they look dominant, but the other man will adjust, and we'll keep getting close to even. I really think this will be a 7-5, highly competitive 8-4 sort of fight. Canelo by decision.
There's no doubt that this is a great fight on paper, one arguably as good as it is to make at 154lb. What's also true, though, is that Austin Trout - while, clearly, a talented, determined fighter with momentum - has a reputation that's riding almost entirely on a win over a clearly shopworn Miguel Cotto.
Of course, that win, combined with a credible, if not awfully uninspiring, win over Delvin Rodriguez match up to anything - or indeed everything - Alvarez has done, but the hunch here is that Canelo is just that bit better. And indeed, I think he makes a statement here. In tough against a legit, crafty light-middleweight, it may take a few rounds of feeling out, but look for Canelo to solve the puzzle and find Trout with increasingly regularity - likely to the body - by midway, doing enough to land a emphatic stoppage win to silence some of the critics. Canelo TKO7
Tremendous matchup here that will tell us a lot about each man. This is the fight Canelo Alvarez has needed to show us that he is indeed for real and more than just a freckled, red-headed Mexican with fast hands. Austin Trout, on the other hand, has the chance to play spoiler once again, and no conclusion would shock me with this fight.
I like Canelo to win, and a big reason for that has to do with his jab. It's an underappreciated weapon of his, and I think he will use it then hook of it (especially downstairs) as the bout progresses. Trout is a slick southpaw with good skills, but I believe Canelo actually has the quicker (not to mention heavier) hands. That will make a difference when they have exchanges in the center of the ring. And though Trout's defense is solid, he's not untouchable or anything. Canelo's biggest issue is his tendency to fight in spurts. If he can overcome that and let his hands go at a consistent rate, he will win some rounds on sheer activity alone. It figures to be close, but I get the feeling Canelo is on another level in terms of talent. Canelo by clear decision.
This is undoubtedly the toughest match-up of both boxers career. Alvarez has feasted on old men, significantly smaller foes and sub par opposition, and whilst Trout holds an impressive win over Miguel Cotto, his record is only marginally better than that of Alvarez's. To be fair to Alvarez, it could also be said that Cotto was a smaller opponent and one who could've been on the slide when he met Trout.
It'll be interesting to see how Alvarez copes with a quick southpaw like Trout, I can't remember Alvarez facing too many southpaws before and certainly none of Trout's calibre. Alvarez will be hoping his physical strength and stamina will swing the bout in his favour, although Trout doesn't seem to be lacking in either of those qualities.
It should be an interesting fight, and could well show us whether or not Alvarez is as great as he's been made out to be. I've got a feeling that Alvarez is a good fighter rather than a great one and this will be a fight which he struggles in. I can see the skilfully superior Trout causing problems that Alvarez will struggle to adapt to, out-boxing Alvarez on the outside and matching him for strength on the inside. I believe Trout will win the fight comfortably but will be on the end of a shocking decision. Alvarez by split decision.
Final Tally: Canelo Alvarez 4, Austin Trout 0.