A fight between junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and former welterweight titleholder Kermit Cintron could be signed by Monday, according to Ryan Maquiñana at BoxingScene.com. The fight would take place in Mexico in November or December.
Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KO) is coming off of a win over Alfonso Gomez on September 17, a fight that was more competitive than most expected but also featured Alvarez, 21, almost playing around in the ring, trying out a James Toney/Floyd Mayweather Jr sort of style that had him looking well off his game in the early going against the well-prepared Gomez. In the end, though, Alvarez came on strong and was hitting Gomez with heavy shots, rocking him in the sixth round. The fight was stopped a bit prematurely, which has been the universal position, but Alvarez looked well on his way to a victory when it was stopped, too.
Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KO) is at a career crossroads with pretty much nothing to lose. After sitting out 14 months and signing with Top Rank, the 31-year-old Puerto Rican returned on July 9 and was pretty easily handled by light-hitting but determined Carlos Molina on the Rios vs Antillon card. Cintron did get back into the ring on August 12, facing Antwone Smith on Friday Night Fights, and while he won the fight clearly, he simply didn't look like his old self.
It's an interesting fight because while I truly believe Cintron's power has been overrated over his career, and really doesn't stack up to his great KO rate, it would definitely be a fight where at least most people wouldn't complain that Alvarez is facing yet another guy with no punching power, which has been a criticism, and a valid one, of the young Mexican star.
Cintron has also been in this position once before, and let's not forget what happened there. Kermit was coming off of lackluster performances against Antonio Margarito (L-KO-6), Lovemore N'dou (W-UD-12), and Sergio Martinez (D-12, but should have been a loss) when he upset the undefeated and heavily hyped Alfredo Angulo in May 2009.
It's not a perfect comparison, since Alvarez and Angulo are not really similar fighters style-wise, and I don't really expect Cintron to have much success at all against Alvarez if the fight does come off. I just don't think he's good enough anymore to really trouble the youngster, who is physically strong and should be able to handle Cintron, and is also a much better boxer than the forward-charging Angulo.
Realistically, I think this is a fight that will be met with more praise (if it gets done) than is really warranted. I don't see it as a much better fight than, say, Alvarez vs Shane Mosley, which is what I feared we'd see, because Cintron just does not look good in the ring these days. He fights with no urgency and it looks like his power is almost gone. But that's all just my opinion. Whether the fight is safe or not, it's a fight, and Alvarez is staying busy against competition that at least isn't awful.
Since HBO would be the likely destination, it would seem possible that the fight could go on November 5, when HBO is heading to Mexico for the Angulo vs James Kirkland fight. That would make for a nice 1-2 card if it can get done and budgeted in.