Boxing


Saul Alvarez Says He’ll Be “Ready For Pacquiao In A Year”

By James Slater: Many good judges see unbeaten 20-year-old Mexican sensation Saul Alvarez becoming the next boxing superstar. Comparisons have already been made between “Canelo” and modern great Oscar De La Hoya, and the new WBC 154-pound champion says he very much wants to become known as the very best fighter of his era. And the way he can achieve this, Alvarez said at a press conference to hype his upcoming (next Saturday) defence against British veteran Ryan Rhodes, is to beat current Pound-for-Pound king Manny Pacquiao.

Alvarez, 36-0-1(26) told the gathered media that “his goal is to be the best fighter,” and that “to be the best you have to fight the best. I think I could be ready for Pacquiao in a year.”

Of course, such talk will be made to look foolish and hugely premature if Alvarez loses to crafty southpaw Rhodes, 45-4(31). Most experts feel Alvarez, having the advantages of fighting at home and being so much younger and fresher than Rhodes, will get the job done in Mexico. There could be some tricky, awkward moments for the young champion, and he was, it must be remembered, hit quite a bit by the naturally smaller Matthew Hatton back when he won the vacant strap.

Rhodes says his power will have a greater effect than Hatton’s had, and that his experience will be key. Assuming he does come through this test of a defence, though, Alvarez will look to fight again on September 17th; the same day superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior returns to face WBC 147-pound champ Victor Ortiz. Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com of his hopes to have Alvarez in action in Mexico over the country’s Independence Day weekend - with a telecast featuring both Mayweather’s Las Vegas bout and Alvarez’ next defence.

Clearly there are some huge plans being made for Alvarez, and it seems the ultimate goal is to one day - perhaps as soon as one year from now - match him with Pac-Man. Many fans will no doubt feel “Canelo” is rushing things by even thinking about fighting an all-time great like Pacquiao at a time when he will be just 21-years-of-age. Will Pac-Man even be fighting come next summer? Will the global superstar have fought and defeated “Money” by then? If he has, Pacquiao might well decide he’s done enough and walk away from boxing, going into his “other job” of politics full-time.

Alvarez, if he keeps on winning and keeps on realising his massive potential, will have no trouble finding other major bouts, however. The unbeaten star spoke of his comparison to De La Hoya and his aims to “accomplish much more.”

Alvarez spoke of how “records are made to be broken,” and how “that is my goal.” Does the softly-spoken warrior feel he has it in him to one day break Oscar’s record for having won most world titles in different weight classes?

Again, a whole lot of Alvarez’ future is reliant on his coming through against danger man Rhodes next Saturday. I think he will, but via a close decision win.

Article posted on 11.06.2011



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