Wednesday, 10 October 2012 21:19

Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez and the Stacked 154 lb Division

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The 154 pound division is one of the hottest in boxing.

With WBC titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (44-0-1), 22, and former amateur standout and Cuban defector Erislandy Lara (17-1-1), 29, the division has been graced by great young stars with tremendous potential.

There are also division dark horses to watch for such as Carlos Molina (20-5-2) and Gabriel Rosado (21-5) who look to change the current scenery at 154.

And with future hall of famers such as Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0) and Miguel Cotto (37-3), the 154 lb division has no shortage of potential high-profile fights.

There is a storm on the horizon, and the 154 lb division is about to be shaken up as its top fighters are looking rise their stock and cement their legacies in boxing.

Miguel Cotto, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., will challenge the slick, undefeated WBA Regular Champion Austin Trout (25-0) on December 1st in a bout that will have tremendous impact on the landscape at 154.

Pictured: Miguel Cotto vs Austin Trout Fight Poster


If Cotto wins, he will solidify his position as a top Junior Middleweight despite all the wars he's been through and put himself in-line for future high-profile fights, including a rematch with Floyd Mayweather and a shot at Canelo Alvarez's WBC strap. On the other side, the little-known but very capable Austin Trout is looking to catapult into stardom by defeating one of boxing's biggest names.

Cotto is a warrior but Trout is a highly-skilled, very dangerous underdog with the element of surprise on his side.

Will Austin Trout shock the world?

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has become a hot commodity in the light middleweight division. He has amazing boxing intelligence with punching power to match.

One of Mexico's brightest stars, some believe Canelo is on track to be the next Julio Cesar Chavez or Oscar De La Hoya as far as marketability, popularity and possibly even skill.

Pictured: Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez lands a left hook to the body of Shane Mosley
Courtesy Golden Boy/ Hogan Photos




But in order for Alvarez to take his career to the next level, he must start defeating dangerous, legitimate jr middleweights in prime condition.

He attempted to do that this summer, but met obstacle after obstacle.

Initially slotted to face Canelo was Paul Williams but the former muti-division champion suffered a tragic motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed. Seemingly next was knockout artist James Kirkland (31-1) but the hard-punching Texan was forced to pull out as a result of an injury. The next opponent was supposed to be the fierce former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz but the Mexican would be upset by Josesito Lopez (30-5), as the bout was halted after Ortiz suffered multiple fractures in his jaw.

In the end, Alvarez took on the under-sized Lopez who was basically coming up two weight classes. To the surprise of almost no one, Canelo Alvarez manhandled Josesito Lopez in five.

Let's just hope that "Canelo's" next dance partner in is a more capable fighter at this weight.... Two names that come to mind are Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan.

On November 10th, former Cuban amateur standout Erislandy Lara is taking on Vanes Martirosyan in a WBC title eliminator. The winner will be the mandatory challenger for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

Pictured: Erislandy Lara, left, and Vanes Martirosyan


Lara is a highly skilled, super slick southpaw while Martriosyan, a former amateur standout and Olympian, has great boxing ability. Moreover, Martriosyan is also trained by legendary trainer Freddy Roach.

Hopefully the WBC will standby its own rules this time and insist the winner of Lara vs Martriosyan fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez without delay.

Carlos Molina (20-5-2, 6 KO) is undoubtedly one of the most underrated boxers in this division and possibly in all of boxing. You might see flashes of Bernard Hopkins when you see Molina fight. He's not going knockout an opponent with a single punch but he's an extremely awkward and intelligent boxer who is very cagey and resourceful.

On March 25, 2011 on ESPN Friday Night Fights Molina fought Erislandy Lara to a draw in a bout most spectators felt Molina had won. And on March 24, 2012 on HBO, Molina was disqualified for a technicality in a fight that he was seemingly dominating against James Kirkland.

Molina is far better than his record indicates and facing would would be a dangerous task for any fighter in the light middleweight division.

Gabriel Rosado is a fighter who can take this division by storm, hitting it like a hurricane.

An all action fighter who will look to take you out early, Rosado is one of the bigger light middleweights, standing at six feet. With his last win, Rosado earned a title shot against IBF title holder and former Contender star Cornelius "K9" Bundrage who also has an all action style and excellent punching power.

"K9" Bundrage dismantled Cory Spinks twice in devastating fashion in his most recent fights. Although some would argue that Rosado is the more skilled fighter, Bundrage always comes to fight and if this fight happens - Bundrage vs Rosado - it won't be anything less then an all out war.

A prospect looming in the background looking to make some noise in the division in the next year or so is Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade (18-0).

This 2008 U.S. Olympian is a highly skilled southpaw whose best win to date is against contender winner Grady Brewer. In that fight, "Boo Boo" displayed his proficiency in the lost art of the jab, using it to good effect to outbox Brewer.

Watch for this prospect to make a splash in the top 10 soon.

Finally there is the 'holy grail' of the light middleweight division and all of for boxing for that matter, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0).

Back on May 5, 2012 Money Mayweather defeated Miguel Cotto for the WBA Super World light middleweight title in arguably the toughest fight of Floyd's career. Now after a short prison stint, fans are wondering what his next move will be.

Pictured: Floyd Mayweather, right, attempts to penetrate the defense of Miguel Cotto


Will he face a top contender at 147 or 154? Will he respond to the challenge from lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (50-2)? Or will we get to see the greatest fight that can be made of this generation Mayweather vs Pacquiao? Or will we see him take on young stud Canelo Alvarez?

Things have getting hot in the sizzling 154 lb division.

BoxRec 154 lb Ratings
(As of October 9, 2012)
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2. Saul Alverez
3. Cornelius Bundrage
4. Miguel Cotto
5. Austin Trout
6. James Kirkland
7. Carlos Molina
8. Zaurbek Baysangurov
9. Gabriel Rosado
10. Erislandy Lara

ESPN 154 lb Ratings
(As of October 9, 2012)
1. Floyd Mayweather 
2. Miguel Cotto
3. Saul Alvarez
4. Erislandy Lara
5. Cornelius Bundrage
6. Carlos Molina
7. Austin Trout
8. Vanes Martirosyan
9. Gabriel Rosado
10. Zaurbek Baysangurov 

The RING Magazine 154 lb Ratings
(As of October 9, 2012)
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2. Miguel Cotto
3. Saul Alvarez
4. Erislandy Lara
5. Vanes Martirosyan
6. Carlos Molina
7. James Kirkland
8. Cornelius Bundrage
9. Austin Trout
10. Zaurbek Baysangurov