Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero will obviously be the biggest stars in boxing this May. With the full force of Showtime behind them, these two are going to be in every radio, magazine and TV spot imaginable prior to their bout. You can probably make a fairly decent case for their showdown being the most hyped fight of 2013.
That being said, with all due respect to everyone involved, Mayweather-Guerrero isn’t even the most interesting match scheduled for the first half of this year. That honor, without question, goes to the upcoming bout between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Austin Trout.
The reason casual fans aren’t talking about this clash is because of their unfamiliarity with all involved. Alvarez, 22, has had some big name fights against well-known competition, however, his rabid cult following is mostly comprised of legitimate boxing aficionados. Trout, 27, just sprung up onto the scene this past year with a big victory over Miguel Cotto, but he too is a relative unknown compared to the sport’s big name superstars.
Despite the lack of mainstream recognition both men get, you can rest assured that Mayweather will be watching their showdown very, very closely. He will likely square off against the winner (presuming he gets past Guerrero) later this year, and both of these guys pose a serious threat in their own unique little ways.
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"Canelo is a young strong champion," Mayweather said a couple of weeks ago. "Trout I had a chance to see him (versus Cotto). I thought the fight was a little closer than they had it. That should be a good match up. Like I said before, I have to focus on the guy in front of me and that is Guerrero.”
While Alvarez has gotten more media love to date because of his victories over recognizable names like Shane Mosley, Josésito López, etc, it is worth mentioning that he has yet to face an opponent of Trout’s caliber. As he showed in the Cotto fight, Trout has some superb (and extremely underrated) footwork that may end up leaving a heavy hitter like Alvarez swinging at air for large chunks of the match. And if Trout can figure the angles and effectively attack his counterpart, he has a far better shot at emerging from next month’s battle victorious than some odds makers would have you believe.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Trout put in perspective how legit this fight actually is.
"Those who know boxing know that these things don't ordinarily happen," Trout said Tuesday at a press conference. "Two undefeated world champions, in their prime, fighting. I'm glad the public was loud enough to force Canelo to put his foot down.
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"The public demanded this fight, basically told him if he fought anyone but Trout or Floyd Mayweather, he was a punk. To his credit, he stepped up.”
No one will give this match as much love as it deserves, for obvious reasons. But here’s to hoping people pay at least some attention to it. Mayweather definitely will.