Cinnamon Trout: Preview And Prediction For Saul Alvarez Vs. Austin Trout

(photo credit: Stephanie Trapp, Showtime)
It’s sad that the best fighting the best is rare enough an occurrence in modern boxing that it warrants special note. But it’s great that two such match-ups will occur within a week of one another on U.S. TV without the need for fans to shell out for a pay-per-view. Like last week’s junior featherweight fight between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux, this week’s junior middleweight duel between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Austin Trout on Showtime is a real head scratcher.
And unlike last week’s fight, Canelo and Trout seem likely to let off some fireworks in San Antonio. It’s all down to styles. “Styles make fights” is a cliché because it’s true – Rigondeaux and Donaire, two counterpunchers, were never likely to put on a Fight of the Year candidate. Canelo, a boxer-puncher, and Trout, a boxer, just might.
Even if the fight isn’t a war, it’ll be worth watching. Canelo (41-0-1, 30 KO) is one of the biggest stars in the sport right now. He’s a hero in Mexico, where his red hair, boyish good looks and entertaining style guarantee him a huge audience. At just 22 he’s the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s #4 junior middleweight – thanks more to a long string of victories against fringe contenders than to a single, defining win.
New Mexico’s Trout (26-0, 14 KO) is Canelo’s chance to prove what he’s made of. Alvarez reportedly went against the wishes of his promoter to get this fight, and if that’s true then good on him, because Trout is no walk in the park – he’s the #2 man in the junior middleweight rankings, second only to the consensus best fighter in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
You can see why the higher-ups might have wanted to keep their golden goose away from this fish – Trout is an awkward southpaw who really knows how to box. He controlled Miguel Cotto, a boxer-puncher like Canelo, with relative ease last December, constantly firing southpaw jabs, straight lefts and the odd, clubbing right hook.
Trout will try and use his repetitive jab and great condition to snatch a similar win here, I have no doubt. And the blueprint is there — the Mexican seemed perplexed by Alfonso Gomez’ much less convincing jab in their September 2011 fight.
The key for the Las Cruces native will be to keep his hands moving. While his 14 knockouts suggest he’s not a huge puncher, Trout’s punches sting when he wants them to. He managed to hurt Cotto a few times in their bout and managed to dissuade Canelo’s brother, Rigoberto, from trying anything too effective when they fought in 2011.
The bad news for Trout is that Saul is a much better fighter than Rigoberto. Though he goes through periods of listlessness (like the one I mentioned against Gomez),  he is genuinely committed to hurting his opponents. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fighter with such a cruel look in his eye.
He can throw every punch in the kitchen sink and will do so in unorthodox combinations that nevertheless remain things of beauty. He’s got knockout power in both hands, a rocket left hook and an admirable commitment to body punching. While he’s not lightnight fast on his feet, you don’t see people complaining about Canelo being slow of hand anymore.
In short, he has all the tools. Now he has to prove it against the best, and I think he will. Trout wasn’t flash enough to avoid Miguel Cotto altogether. During the middle rounds he tended to get caught in small exchanges, just enough for Cotto to land two or three punches, including his vaunted left hook.
Those aren’t going to be two or three punch exchanges against Alvarez. Canelo throws in fours, fives, sixes and sevens. When he lands, his punches are going to have a lot more effect than Cotto’s.
I don’t think Trout is going to get knocked out; he’s a tough mofo. In fact, I think he’ll do well early in the fight. But once Canelo gets his eye in, he’s going to start catching Trout here and there. Some of that will be to the body, which will slow Trout down even more.
Eventually Canelo is going to hurt Trout and when he does he’ll capitalise – the psycho little redhead has a killer instinct. That’ll be enough for him to win a relatively close decision.