Canelo Alvarez KOs Two Sparring PartnersWritten by Richard V. Powell
With Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KO) vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KO) just a week away, young Canelo was given a chance yesterday to save his strength and lighten his load but the ferocious redheaded Mexican chose to keep his workout as intense as ever.
When presented with the opportunity of sparring two of the four sparring partners who were brought in to test the redheaded Mexican, Canelo shockingly stated, "I want them all."
Although the initial plan was for Alvarez to spar (3) 3-minute rounds with two opponents, the 21 year old phenomenon managed to spar all four men, taking only the usual one-minute rest between rounds.
Anyone whose sparred knows a fighter who's already worked several hard rounds in the ring with one guy puts himself at a disadvantage when a new, fresh sparring partner steps in to immediately replace the previous one - especially if the fresh fighter has warmed-up appropriately. Yesterday in Las Vegas, Canelo Alvarez did that not only once, but three times.
Aside from Canelo's desire to spar each guy, the WBC Champion's ability to adapt and adjust to the styles of all four sparring partners was, perhaps, the most intriguing takeaway.
There's no replacement for the "Sugar" but all of the fighters brought in to give Saul Alvarez ring work were experienced and athletic, and did fairly well in mimicking Shane Mosley stylistically. And while each guy temporarily seemed to present problems for Canelo, the 21 year old, looking far more polished than his 21 years, made the necessary adjustments to overwhelm each of them.
Impressively, Canelo Alvarez didn't assert his dominance by bum-rushing his sparing partners and immediately smothering them with speed and power a la a young Mike Tyson. Alvarez, instead, methodically dissected each guy before systematically breaking them down.
The first two sparring partners managed to last the distance of three rounds but Canelo stopped the last two inside of three.
The fourth and final sparring partner, who antagonized Canelo in the ring by motioning 'bring it on,' paid a painful price for his antics. He was floored in the second by a hard left hook to the body from which he bravely arose. But perhaps angered by the sparring partner's previous gestures, Canelo went in for the kill, knocking him down with another hard left to the man's solar plexus. He was unable to breathe and, was this time, down for good.
As grueling as his workout seemed yesterday, Canelo Alvarez appeared strong enough, endurance-wise, to have sparred four more guys. He's in excellent condition and appears confident and well prepared for his assignment on May 5th.
Critics of Alvarez who attest the Mexican lion is overrated often cite his youth, alleged inexperience and lack of quality opposition but, at least during his sparring session yesterday, he looked every bit like a poised world champion who was eager to step back in the ring on the big stage.
(Names of the sparring partners have been respectfully withheld)