Tomorrow one of the great dichotomies of power sports will be on display for all on Showtime PPV. The technical wizardry of a patient boxer with finesse versus the slug at all costs style of the unrefined boxer. Such differences have made technical master and boxing’s pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., a household name and past sluggers like Roberto Duran fan favorites.
Playing the role of the technician is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who, after suffering his first professional loss last September to Mayweather, is looking to rebound. After racking up an impressive 42 wins before “Money” derailed the unbeaten streak, Alvarez is a bona fide star for Golden Boy Promotions. His clash against Mayweather is now the most successful PPV in history, and although his opponent can claim responsibility for much of that, Alvarez is still the new “golden boy.”
Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, however, is from a different side of the game. An unrefined slugger that is not the top priority of promoter Golden Boy, Angulo was probably conceived as an opponent that will showcase Canelo’s ability to fight spectacularly. After all, Angulo is the typical prototype slugger that will stand in the middle of the ring and go toe-to-toe. Canelo has fared well against these types of opponents, managing to look spectacular in the process; however, this assumption of a promoter’s motive has little to do with the fact that El Perro is very capable of stealing a win from Alvarez due to his brutal punching power.
Angulo is currently 22-3 and in those three losses his only legitimate knockout was against James Kirkland in the 6th round during November 2011. Two wins after that he faced Erislandy Lara whom he put on the canvas twice and hurt badly. Lara had been untouched in previous fights, and although the fight was ruled a TKO due to Angulo suffering an orbital fracture above his left eye, the fact that the fight was controversial and close is an understatement.
For Canelo, the pressure truly resides as he has built a considerable US fan base to add to his Mexican stable since taking unbeaten off the title of Austin Trout and facing off famously against Mayweather. With “Vicious” Victor Ortiz having just been knocked out by Luis Collazo in the 2nd round last January, “Canelo” is truly the promotion’s Mexican hype. Golden Boy has a substantial fan base in the Latin community, fueled by the former reputation of Oscar De La Hoya, which transcends to what are considered as his protégés. Canelo now wears that crown post the Victor Ortiz era and as the new broadcast deal with Showtime continues, his star power is bankable.
But Ortiz has shown, the slugger too can win and dethrone the groomed, and for that reason alone “El Perro” has a chance to make history tomorrow night. Canelo will do all that he can to avoid the ropes, which is a death trap against Angulo, and be technically proficient, but these types of match-ups are the reason why we watch boxing. As Mike Tyson famously said, “everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the face.” When Canelo and Angulo meet center ring, the only question answered is: who will remember theirs?