So just how big is this weekend for Canelo Alvarez? A convincing win against Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night would put him in the driver’s seat for his next fight.
No, it doesn’t mean Alvarez, the WBC 154-pound champion, is guaranteed a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the fall, but it will give him some leverage if Mayweather wants the fight.
Since both fighters are associated with Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME, it stands to reason a fight could easily be made if both boxers push for it.
If a Mayweather bout doesn’t come to fruition, other opponents could emerge, including Sergio Martinez or Miguel Cotto. Tim Bradley would be a possibility if he weren’t affiliated with Top Rank.
Alvarez (41-0-1) is by far the most popular active Mexican boxer and is fast becoming one of the biggest names in the sport. That notwithstanding, he’s had his share of critics, who believe he has yet to face a major challenge.
His last few opponents, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron and Alfonso Gomez, aren’t exactly household names these days. Lopez is a solid fighter, but nowhere near the talent Alvarez is. Mosley and Cintron’s best days are past them, while Gomez is a journeyman at this point.
Trout (26-0), the WBA 154-pound champ, represents what is likely to be Alvarez’s toughest opponent. But Alvarez says there’s no pressure.
"To be honest, I don't feel any pressure. I believe that if you're scared or anxious it's because you're not ready. I'm ready,” said Alvarez. “I'm confident about this fight. As a matter of fact, I've never felt this ready in my life.”
Alvarez’s confidence notwithstanding, he needs a good showing. It will validate his gaudy record and put him on the path to SHOWTIME’S pay-per-view component.