Saul Alvarez: Boxing’s Newest Flavor

By Francis Walker
Updated: May 7, 2011

NEW YORK, NY-Saul Alvarez is the latest sensation to emerge from out of the Golden Boy stable. During a time when a sport is in such dire need of stars, the young Mexican boxer-puncher is stepping up and taking advantage of a lot of opportunities to showcase his talents.

Alvarez, at age 20, is undefeated in 37 professional fights and is the current WBC super welterweight champion. Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KOs), who won the title from Matthew Hatton in March, is scheduled to make his first defense against Englishman Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KOs). The bout will occur on Saturday, June 18, at the Arena Vincente Fernando Gomez in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

HBO will televise the bout on Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:30 PM/ET. The co-featured attraction will match undefeated junior lightweight prospect Adrien Broner (21-0, 16 KOs) vs. Jason Litzau (28-2, 21 KOs).

“I am very excited that my first world title defense will be in Guadalajara,” said Alvarez. “I promise I will work extremely hard to give all of my fans a great performance on June 18. Ryan Rhodes is a very dangerous opponent, but nothing will get in the way of me winning this fight.”

Rhodes, of course, disagrees.

“I have waited a long time for this opportunity and I intend to take it with both hands,” said Rhodes. “I respect Canelo as a fighter and I know he is an exciting prospect, but he has never fought a super welterweight as good or as experienced as me and I fully intend to bring the belt back to England.”

Alvarez is sending plenty of shockwaves throughout the sport and a lot of people, namely Oscar De La Hoya, are pleased thus far. Alvarez fought five times in 2010. Alvarez knocked out former WBC welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir and outpointed Lovermore N’dou. In March 2011, Alvarez won a 12-round unanimous decision against Matthew Hatton to claim the WBC 154-pound title vacated by Manny Pacquiao.

“One of the first things Canelo told me after he won his world title was that he didn’t want to sit around waiting,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “He wants to fight, he wants to be an active champion and we’re going to give him every opportunity to do that. I know that Ryan will be coming to seize the opportunity to win a world title, but I have every confidence that Canelo has what it takes to not only win on June 18, but also to reign as a world champion for many years to come.”

Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of HBO Sports of Programming believes: “Canelo Alvarez has emerged as a terrific attraction and a very entertaining prizefighter. Ryan Rhodes is very capable of giving him quite a battle on June 18 and the scenes from the hometown crowd in Guadalajara should make for a festive telecast.”

The co-featured attraction will match Broner vs. Litzau – a fight De La Hoya is personally excited about.

“To add to the main event, we are very excited about bringing Adrien Broner to Mexico to show his skills against Jason Litzau in what is sure to be an all-action fight,” De La Hoya continued.

Broner is a former amateur standout from the Cincinnati, OH area. Broner is coming off a decision victory over former world champion Daniel Ponce DeLeon. Not bad for a fighter with only three years professional experience. Broner will have his hands full when he meets the once-celebrated Litzau. He has won his last five fights including a pair of upset victories against Rocky Juarez and former WBA 122-pound champion Celestino Caballero.

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