Popular junior middleweight prizefighter Saul Alvarez enjoyed a convincing points victory over 154lb rival Austin Trout on Saturday, April 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, however, the fight was far more competitive than the scores submitted by the judges at ringside.
Boxing’s burgeoning junior middleweight forces, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez with his prolific promotion and Austin Trout with his signature victory over Miguel Cotto, collide at San Antonio’s Alamodome in Texas on April 20 with their respective WBC and WBA titles both on the line. As part of the build-up to fight night, Showtime released a highlights package of their All Access programming.
(Video embedded above credit – YouTube, ShoSports)
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
In a fight filled with excessive holding, wanton wrestling and a finish that was punctuated with lowblows, Cornelius Bundrage knocked Cory Spinks down numerous times en route to a seventh round technical knockout at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Saturday, June 30. Following the official announcement of his triumph, Bundrage expressed his desire to unify his IBF junior middleweight belt with Saul Alvarez’s WBC title.
Official verdict: Bundrage via 7th Rd TKO.
Bundrage’s best weapon was established early as a succession of tough right hands all landed but, midway through the first round, Spinks began to employ head movement in order to duck under the shot. When it came to attacking, Spinks struggled to press the trigger and his most notable contribution to the fight was lifting Bundrage up for a few seconds, prompting the referee to pull them apart. Moments later, Spinks was dropped with an overhand right, recovered, but for the second time in three minutes the pair decided to abandon the discipline they had trained in and instead wrestled.
In round two, Spinks clinched and, in retaliation, Bundrage got Cory headlocked with a free arm and both moves contributed to the souring of the sweet science. It took a knockdown, some MMA-style grappling and five minutes of taking Bundrage’s shots for Spinks to finally box positively and connected with an orthodox jab followed by a body-bound left.
Bundrage relied on single-fire jabbing at the start of round three and this contributed to the swelling on the right eye of Spinks. The often spoken pugilistic mantra of keep yourself protected at all times was something that went AWOL in Spinks’ mind in round four as he left his chin hanging, which allowed Bundrage to score with a hellacious uppercut and a bomb of a hook.
Spinks secured his first big round in the fifth, landing damaging left hands, right hooks, targeting the body and finishing the session with a huge straight. Bundrage had slowed considerable and this allowed Spinks to gain momentum, something that irked Bundrage’s head cornerman Emmanuel Steward who shouted: “You’re stumbling around like a goddam drunk,” as well as: “You’re letting him get his confidence back!”
The success Bundrage enjoyed with his right hand early on had fizzled out by the end of the sixth as his accuracy had gone. While Spinks’ could not brag the power of Bundrage, his inside fighting was superior and won him the round.
Any momentum Spinks had built up in the fifth and sixth was stolen away from him in the seventh as Bundrage twice dropped Spinks, both times with acute right hands. Cornelius had relocated his accuracy with the punch and Spinks was beaten around the ring, falling to the canvas another two times, yet both were adjudged to not be the result of a punch. With 26 seconds remaining on the round, the referee waved the bout off as Bundrage was literally chasing and battering his man, with little intention to reply let alone throw anything back.
“I want Canelo [Alvarez],” proclaimed Bundrage, hoping to be the man to fill the TBA slot next to Saul’s name for the popular Mexican’s slated prizefight on September 15.
Overall, the bout was not pretty, neither was the pummeling Cory received in the seventh and final stanza but Bundrage did enough to claim his second win in his series with Spinks. With a knockout victory, the Iron Man Bundrage saw his record rise to 32-4-0, 19ko and, while the announcement was made, Cornelius – in what had become his signature – barked into the air, mimicking an animal who would be more likely to fight cleaner.
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Fast-rising Cuban hotshot Erislandy Lara clashes with former welterweight world title challenger Freddy Hernandez on Saturday, June 30 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California but believes that a replication of his first round drubbing of Ronald Hearns could mean he becomes an even more avoided fighter than he currently is: “The [big] fights will come sooner or later,” the 29-year-old southpaw recently hoped.
The victim of a controversial split decision loss to Paul Williams last summer and the victor in a first round knockout win over Hearns are two results that have propelled Lara (16-1-1, 11ko) into territory where he is perceived to have great talent but is yet to establish a name as familiar as, for three examples, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto or Saul Alvarez.
Currently, he is therefore a high risk/low reward contender, but that does not dishearten the Florida resident as he has confidence in his management team to align him with the right opponents that will see him manoeuvred into a junior middleweight world title shot. Speaking ahead of his punch-up with Hernandez, Lara said: “If I go out there and do what I did to Ronald Hearns [then] no one is going to want to fight me.
“Freddy Hernandez is a very good fighter,” he added. “I’m prepared for anything he’s going to bring, but he needs to be worried about what I plan to bring.”
On his reputation as a fighter whom is avoided by the elite in his division, Lara said: “I’m not frustrated that fighters avoid me. I just have to keep working hard and taking care of the fighters my promoter puts in front of me. The big fights will come sooner or later.
“These guys can run but they can’t hide.”
On The Beak – Admin
With the hunt for an opponent for WBC junior middleweight belt holder Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (40-0-1, 29ko) on Saturday, September 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada still apparently ongoing, WBA titlist at 154lbs Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout (25-0-0, 14ko) has issued a reminder to his Mexican rival. Eager for a world title unification, Trout has challenged Canelo…
“Canelo, if you want my belt, come try and take it! After I beat your brother in your hometown to win my title, you came forward and stated you wanted to fight me to avenge your brother’s loss. Ever since I immediately accepted your challenge, you have disappeared. Now we have a chance to unify the titles and give the fans a fight between two young, undefeated world champions, but it seems as though you are more interested in taking on lesser-quality opposition and avoiding me again.”
Trout was last seen scoring a dominant win over Delvin Rodriguez on June 2 on Showtime.
“I’ve proven to be head and shoulders above everyone they’ve put in front of me. I’m ready for my first defining moment as a fighter on the world stage, so I’m sending this challenge out to another champion who hasn’t yet been in a pick ‘em type of fight.”
Surprisingly, Trout says he doesn’t blame Alvarez for his choice of opponents thus far.
“If I could get away with fighting the Kermit Cintrons and Matthew Hattons of the world on HBO, I would too, but it’s time to step up Cinnamon. Time to find out what we’re both truly made of.”
Note: The WBC are reported to have rejected this unification.
Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photos: Esther Lin/Showtime
Defending WBA junior middleweight champion of the world, Austin Trout, is hoping a win over challenger Delvin Rodriguez – whose stock is currently high following his two dust-ups with Pawel Wolak last year – will elevate him from title-holder to emerging star. Trout takes on Rodriguez on Saturday, June 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California but Delvin believes his experience against southpaw fighters will make a difference when it’s time to trade.
The bout between Trout (24-0-0, 14ko) and Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14ko) may not be the headlining fight on a Showtime bill that also includes Antonio Tarver versus Lateef Kayode, Winky Wright against Peter Quillin and Leo Santa Cruz taking on Vusi Malinga, but Austin believes it will be the one most remembered by those at the gate and fans watching at home: “It’s going to be a great night of fights and I feel like me and Delvin are going to be the show-stealers.”
Breaking down his contest with Rodriguez, Trout said: “We know Delvin is a very high-action, fast-paced fighter, so we’re going to have to take that pace and step it up a notch. We need to keep our combinations moving and our footwork. We need to use our feet. We don’t want to stay right in front of him, but we don’t want to run either.
“I think this is the hardest fight to date that I’ve had in my career. Delvin is a world class fighter. I’ve watched him on TV as a fan and I know the type of challenge that’s coming forward. This is the toughest fight of my life [because] Delvin doesn’t fight the same every fight. He changes his style and he adapts. He’s a smart fighter. I don’t think I’ve ever fought anybody that has the diversity that Delvin does.”
Trout, though, prepared for a multi-dimensional prizefighter by varying the styles of those he sparred with during training camp: “We [got] ready with a bunch of different styles of sparring partners. In case he wants to box, we work on cutting the ring off. If he wants to bang, we have an idea that we want to do for that. We make our own camp diverse.”
Rodriguez concurred with Trout’s assessment about the quality of their match-up: “It’s going to be a great fight. I have respect for him; he’s an undefeated champion [but] I’m hungry for a world title. I just got to do what I do. I have to go in there and put my combinations together. I haven’t had any problems against lefties. He has good movement, always aware of where he is in the ring [and] a fine champion [with] a lot of skills. I’m facing someone that I know I can’t make any mistakes [against] and I definitely cannot look past him.”
Whilst Rodriguez is solely focussed on what he will be looking at from the blue corner to the red on fight night, Trout is hoping the Showtime appearance could lead to unification fights in the future: “I want to get the rest of those belts,” he said.
“To be the true champion, you have to have them all. I’m looking at Canelo [Saul Alvarez], I’m looking at K9 [Cornelius Bundrage] and, of course, everybody is looking at Floyd [Mayweather], but first I got to get past Delvin to make any of this possible. I look at Delvin as the gatekeeper. He’s the one who’s going to let me in or deny me. I have to get through him to get those other belts.”
On The Beak – Admin
Powerful junior middleweight contender Gabriel Rosado says he should be the one to fight Saul Alvarez in September: “Let Canelo step up to the plate and fight a real man,” Rosado said after his impressive ninth-round knockout over world-ranked Sechew Powell on Friday night at the Sands Casino Resort, Bethlehem. Having witnessed both Paul Williams and James Kirkland withdraw due to injury, Canelo Alvarez has also been called out by Carlos Molina.
“They keep going over the same old names. Carlos Quintana? Please, give me a break. Carlos Molina? Get real! Those guys can’t hurt my sister. Maybe Canelo wants to play it safe.”
Rosado’s win over Powell should push Rosado to the top of the class at 154 pounds. It was Rosado’s sixth straight win, fourth by knockout, and improved his record to 20-5-0, 12ko.
Going into the fight, Rosado was ranked fifth by the IBF and ninth by the WBC. He should also pick up a WBO ranking now that he has won the vacant WBO Intercontinental junior middleweight belt: “A lot of guys talk tough, but don’t back it up,” Rosado added.
“I’ve fought tough guys every step of the way. My record may not be all that glittering to look at, but check out the guys I’ve fought. Name me another junior middleweight who came up the old-fashioned way like the old-timers did. Why should Canelo be afraid? He’s got one of those pretty records (40-0, 29ko). I should look like a piece of cake to him.
“If TV wants action, I’m their man. If they’re just looking for a pretty face with a pretty record, then they can choose one of those phony contenders. My day will come!”
Alvarez, the WBC champ at 154 pounds, was signed to defend against Paul Williams on September 15 in Las Vegas before Williams was severely injured in a motorcycle accident last weekend in Georgia. James Kirkland was the first choice to replace Williams, but that matchup fell apart.
“Stop playing around!” Rosado added. “I’m ready and I’m willing. Too many promoters play it safe with their fighters and want to keep everything in-house. That way they keep control, regardless of who wins. Let’s break that mold and make a real fight fans’ fight!”
Rosado is not the only pugilist gunning for Alvarez as, now that James Kirkland is injured and unable to face WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the world’s uncrowned number one junior middleweight contender, Carlos Molina, would like the fight.
“Hell yeah I want that fight!” said Molina (19-5-2, 6ko) from his home in Chicago. “Every time I fight somebody, it seems like they get to fight Canelo after that. Kirkland was the second time it was going to happen. First time was with Kermit Cintron, whom I beat. Now they’re talking about giving the fight to Erislandy Lara that I had a controversial draw with… what can I do?”
Molina says he’s ready, willing and able to step in, should anyone on Team Canelo come up with the novel idea of fighting the rightful number one contender.
“I’m in the gym training. I’m ready for anyone, Canelo, anybody. I want to fight anybody in the top ten. I want hard fights, the toughest guys out there. This is the best division in boxing and that’s where I want to be.”
Molina says he would be up to his usual spoiler ways should he end up in a ring with Canelo: “I think he’s a good strong, young kid, but I see lots of openings to exploit on him. He’s good for a young guy, but how good? Let’s find out.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Three-weight world champion Shane Mosley may have been abdicated from the throne for good when he was so resoundingly beaten by Floyd Mayweather two years ago, but Cinco de Mayo opponent Saul Alvarez showed he may not be too far off boxing royalty himself as he extended his undefeated streak with a very unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas. It was Alvarez’s fourth WBC junior middleweight world title defence.
Official verdict: Alvarez via UD (119-109, 118-110, 119-109).
Landing his first punch after one and a half minutes, Alvarez paid too much respect to Mosley too early and arguably relinquished the first round to the ring veteran. Mosley popped a sturdy jab and fair one-two-three into Alvarez’s mouth but Saul swiftly discovered his hand-speed was far swifter than the man almost two decades his senior.
Canelo’s punches were the harder, as Mosley found out in round two when Alvarez executed his tough hookercuts prior to deflating Mosley with strong left hooks upstairs. In round three, Saul varied his jabbing as he landed left hands to the lips and to the midsection. Mosley, meanwhile, was not boxing with the same energy as he did in round one and appeared perturbed at Alvarez’s strength, length and technique.
When Mosley extended his lead arm out, Alvarez hooked over the jab. It was not just the trademark hook that Sugar Shane had to watch out for as the straight right, too, was dispatched with envious venom. The fight was temporarily halted toward the end of round three as a coming together of heads caused tears of blood to weep from an eyebrow cut on Canelo.
Alvarez put his punches together extraordinarily well in round four and, as a result of the two-punch moves, Mosley’s cheekbone was swelling. When Mosley was troubled by Canelo’s power, he tied up, however, in an effort to ward off the clinch, Saul pumped right hands into the kidneys. A donnybrooking dust-up erupted midway through the fifth as Alvarez loaded up on punishing power shots that crept lower and lower. A referee’s warning returned Saul’s attentions to Mosley’s face but the ring veteran was by no means capitulating and attempted to halt Saul’s asendancy by peeling off three punch combinations. When compared to the thudding power of Alvarez, though, Mosley’s power paled.
When Mosley was hurt during his bouts with both Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, he retreated into himself and employed survival tactics. By round six and seven there were clear signs that he wanted to mirror that approach with Alvarez as, just when Canelo attacked Sugar with speed, power and blistering flurries, he sought to spoil.
Alvarez busted Mosley with uppercuts, with four punch combos, with hook shots, body shots and right hands from range. Alvarez may have taken 90 seconds to assess Shane in that opening round but, having found his form in the contest’s third quarter, there appeared to be no stopping him as Mosley struggled to limit Alvarez’s success.
Saul attacked Mosley with viciousness when pummeling the body in the ninth, combo’d in the tenth and jabbed and boxed on the inside in the penultimate round. Mosley by no means got steam-rolled, but everything that he attempted to do, Alvarez just did better. He was more powerful, he was stronger, he took a punch better, he threw a punch better and he was faster.
With the clear victory by a deservedly wide margin, Alvarez put a guaranteed future hall of famer’s name on his resume and boosted his chances for a super fight with either Floyd Mayweather or Miguel Cotto later in the year. While he rose to 40-0-1, 29ko, Mosley dropped down to 46-8-1, 39ko.
Roberto Delgado – Los Angeles
Reigning WBC junior middleweight world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will not only defeat future-hall-of-famer Shane Mosley when the two collide on Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but will emulate the dominant performances enjoyed by Mosley’s recent conquerors: pound-for-pound favourites Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, according to event promoter Oscar de la Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions.
“I would expect him to look better than Pacquiao and Mayweather did against Mosley because that’s the type of talent that Canelo has,” proclaimed de la Hoya, however, whilst the 39-year-old is hopeful his Mexican prodigy will oversee Sugar Shane (46-7-1, 39ko) in one-sided combat, he refuses to predict a knockout-winning performance. “I don’t expect him to go and look for the knockout with Shane Mosley,” he said, before adding: “If you look for the knockout, you won’t get it.”
In his illustrious professional career, Mosley, now 40, has picked up world titles in three weight divisions whilst also recording two victories over Oscar de la Hoya, two over Fernando Vargas and one thumping win over Antonio Margarito. Whilst the skillset of the Californian is undeniably on the wane, he did manage to go the distance with Pacquiao and Mayweather, despite losing virtually all the rounds.
De la Hoya continued: “[Saul] didn’t look for the knockout when he fought [Carlos] Baldomir [who had only once been stopped prior to meeting Alvarez], so you just never know what’s going to happen in that ring, especially when you’re facing Canelo.
“I would be pleasantly surprised if Canelo knocks him out. Obviously, it would catapult him to just another stratosphere. Nobody has ever been able to knockout Shane Mosley, including myself, including the best in the world. If a 21-year-old fighter named Canelo can do it, then that will be huge.”
An emphatic victory for Alvarez (39-0-1, 29ko) is something de la Hoya is hopeful for as it would gain the further prerequisite momentum and fame that would make matching him with Mayweather – should Floyd see off the challenge of Miguel Cotto on the same card – that much more palatable to fans, writers and broadcasters.
“The winner will go on to bigger and better fights, that’s a given. [Canelo or Mosley] can either face the winner of Andre Berto versus Victor Ortíz or [they] can face the winner of Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto. So, this is a very important fight.”
In a concluding statement, the Golden Boy remarked: “We could sit down and talk about [Alvarez v Mayweather] after May 5. That fight can get close to my fight with Floyd Mayweather.”
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
From Sinoloa, a Mexican state that producers a conveyor belt of fighters, comes Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez, a 20-year-old middleweight prospect who has, thus far, boxed exclusively in his home country but, by the end of the year, will be thrust into the American spotlight to showcase his skills in front of a wider and international audience. A devastating puncher, Ramirez has been physically readying himself for his current Guadalajara training camp where he will soon link up with his promoter and sparring partner, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez…
Ramirez (20-0-0, 18ko) fights on March 17 when he makes a further defence of his WBC middleweight youth title. An opponent has yet to be selected, but his manager, Hector Zapiri, is keen on matching the southpaw with “an African/American boxer” because “he needs to get used to fast, skillful and strong boxers. The plan is that he will fight in the US by the end of the year.”
Zapiri also confirmed that Canelo Alvarez (39-0-1, 29ko), who boxes Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39ko) on May 5 as the main support for Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Cinco de Mayo punch-up with Miguel Cotto, will spar with Gilberto “next week”.
Ramirez fought five times in 2011, all of which he triumphed in by way of technical knockout. His March fight will be a third defence of the youth belt at 160lbs that he won in 2010 due to a stoppage win over Rogelio Medina. He has since made two successful defences against Oney Valdes and Amilcar Funes.