Chances are, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will fight again in September, potentially sharing the PPV bill with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Victor Ortiz on September 17, and the question now is: What's next?
Alvarez, who will be 21 when he fights next, mowed down well-regarded Ryan Rhodes last night in Mexico, dominating 11 rounds before stopping the UK road fighter in the 12th and final frame. After the fight, Golden Boy reps were on Twitter asking who the world wanted to see next, and in part because of the way people judge fighters these days, and in part because of the way Alvarez fights, they tried to quell the criticism of the fight by reminding people that Alvarez is young.
On the one hand, yes, he's young. On the other hand, the WBC calls him the junior middleweight champion of the world, and alleged champions should not get soft touch excuses for fights. That's just going to be the nature of boxing fans. If you tell us a fighter's a champ, regardless of age, he will be expected to fight top competition, even if that rarely is the case in boxing.
So what do you want to see? My top three would be:
- Miguel Cotto. I know it's not going to happen, and understand why, but I really think that right now, at this moment, this is a truly tremendous fight and would be excellent entertainment. I think this is a marvelous fight right now. I really do.
- Vanes Martirosyan. I have stated a few times that I almost feel bad for Vanes these days. I don't think he's the greatest fighter. I don't think he's the greatest prospect. But he wins, and he fights the guys who will fight him, and he's got a lot of balls. He wants the big fight. Someone get one for him. He deserves the shot, and he makes good fights, too.
- Pawel Wolak. This is just a fight I think would be fun to watch. Wolak is fearless. I think Canelo outguns him pretty big, but it would be a brawl.
Who would you like to see against Canelo at 154? Despite that it's not a glory division (yet), it has a lot of names and a lot of talent, and the bunching of talent makes for a division that is deep if not one that reaches huge peaks at the top of the rankings.
As for Canelo, I want to add this: All the way until last night, I still considered him a prospect due to his age. In some ways, I think you have to look at him that way still. But this is no longer a true prospect, even at 20. He is light years beyond his age when the bell rings. He's smart, he's patient, he's powerful, and he can box. He flips the script on veterans and turns them into the boy playing his man's game. As a physical specimen, he's not eye-popping. But I think he looks like he has the mental side close to down pat already, and that's huge.