Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is possibly the fighter to take over the premier spot when Floyd “Money” Mayweather eventually retires.
Alvarez was comprehensively outpointed by Mayweather six months ago but was weight weakened as he went into the fight, having to agree to Money’s demands and get down to 152 pounds when the light-middleweight limit was 154.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Mexican, who is already a superstar in his homeland, bounced back in Las Vegas on Saturday to record his 43rd victory (31 knockouts) with only the sole loss to Mayweather blemishing his record.
Alvarez’s confidence was restored with an emphatic 10th round stoppage of the brave but limited Alfredo Angulo.
Considering how easily Mayweather beat Alvarez, a rematch is unlikely. Anyway, the Mexican was so weight drained, he is more likely to move up to the middleweight limit of 160 pounds soon than torture his massive frame again to get down to 154.
Even against Angulo, Alvarez weighed in at 155 pounds, one pound over the contracted weight and was happy to pay a $100,000 forfeit.
Alvarez said after the Angulo victory in Las Vegas that he would like to face the winner of the WBC middleweight bout between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, which is on Jun. 7.
Cotto is shopworn at 33 but is still fighting at top level and remains a huge pay-per-view generator through his legion of Puerto Rican fans in his homeland and the United States.
If Cotto beats the teak-tough Martinez, a big money bout with Alvarez beckons.
Mayweather faces the brawling Marcos Maidana in Vegas on May 3 and assuming he beats the game but easily picked-off Argentine, Money may face the unbeaten American Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley at the end of the year.
Bradley has a rematch with Manny Pacquiao on Apr. 12 and hopes that he can win decisively this time after getting what looked like an absurd points verdict when he faced the Filipino icon two years ago.
Bradley’s body language and demeanor immediately after the bout was one of a loser and he looked as shocked as everyone when he got the nod.
Pacquiao has had tax problems and other money issues recently and needs a jackpot payday against Mayweather more than ever. The stumbling block in making the fight is no longer over drug-testing issues but because Pacquiao is still promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank.
Mayweather steadfastly refuses to do business with Arum, who he despises since their acrimonious split some years back.
But Pacquiao is only contracted to Top Rank until the end of this year, so there is still faint hope that he can be matched with the brash American in 2015 in a contest that could generate $200 million, the richest purse in boxing history.
But first Pacman has to weather the Storm next month. He has promised not to leave the verdict to the judges this time and wants a knockout.
The last time Pacquiao announced he was going for the short finish, he was knocked out himself, by Juan Manuel Marquez. This bout with Bradley is likely to be even more intriguing than their first encounter, for lots of reasons.