Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez - Just Sayin'Written by Marc Livitz
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was forced to withdraw form his upcoming bout with Joshua Clottey and in turn, the Lone Star state had to sit tight for a little bit longer. The culprit was an ankle injury.
The December 6 showdown between the Crimson haired fighter from Guadalajara and the puncher (and occasional punching bag) from Ghana was set. It was going to give those in attendance at Minute Maid Park in Houston something to actually cheer for instead whoever was the visiting side facing the Astros. Many of us are perhaps among the boxing faithful who feel a bit more than slighted at yesterday's update from the Canelo camp.
Since then, Canelo (44-1-1, 31 KO's) took the road of broken glass back toward redemption in the form of a walkover win against Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo and a less than awe inspiring victory over the dangerous Erislandy Lara.
Prior to the July contest which featured Alvarez and the aforementioned Cuban Lara, the two combatants stopped in San Antonio, TX as part of their multi city press tour to promote the fight.
"Any promotion for me in boxing includes San Antonio", said the Mexican superstar last May. "I would love to fight here once again in San Antonio. Hopefully, later this year."
How enticing those words must have been to those in attendance as well as online or elsewhere. So what if he didn't exactly fulfill the promise of a fighting in the Alamo City. Up popped the rumblings of a fight in the Space City instead. It was going to be Canelo once again in front an enormous crowd which would possibly top the nearly 40,000 fans who packed the Alamodome in April 2013 to see him take on Austin Trout.
The idea was a good, if not great one. In addition, those who couldn't make the trip to Houston could have felt heavier in the wallet for a change. The contest was to be an HBO telecast as opposed to a yank of the nationalistic necktie and an absurd sixty dollar pay per view price tag. Don't worry, boxing fans. He'll be back in May, but it won't be free of charge, or at least closer to it.
The old cats wouldn't have done this. Across the gamut of sports, music and other forms of entertainment, within reason the show must go on. Never mind the hit back that the fight with Clottey wasn't officially announced and no tickets had been sold. Plans were undoubtedly being made for many traveling as well as local supporters.
Maybe Canelo was worried that he may truthfully roll an ankle in his bout with Clottey. We've seen bouts where a challenger would likely have to kill his opponent if he was touted as the stepping stone to a major payday fight.
The 2004 bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Sturm comes to mind.
Oscar's German adversary was the visual winner in the spectacles of many that night, yet the Golden Boy remained vertical and therefore the winner.
He went on to get knocked out by Bernard Hopkins just three short months later. A bit dastardly, but nevertheless true and the nature of a certain beast. The ankle is one of a handful of bodily locales which come knocking when a full speed return is attempted after a stay in the land of the sedentary.
It happens to NFL quarterbacks, for example. Johnny Throwball spends his summer surfing the suds and chasing females until the day comes when he has to report to training camp. Suddenly, the art of throwing a few hundred passes a day is kinda strenuous and up flares the chucking elbow.
Foul's being called here and it's not something we would have seen from such legends as Chavez, Olivares, Lopez, Sanchez, Zarate or other members of the green, white and red wolf pack.
They would have been the first in line to expend an entire roll of electrical tape if need be in order to tape that little ankle back into place.
Likewise, ask just about any up and coming fighter who can't consider the choice to skip out on a fight with an injury that's more than likely a result of no impact as opposed to high impact what he'd do in a similar situation.
No fight means no food.
Make no mistake. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is a true talent in the sport of boxing. He can indeed one day be the face of the game, but he first needs two true feet to stand on. A sore ankle shouldn't stop it.
Step on the people enough and they will push back, or least they should. Many haven't come to terms with such actions directed back at a certain "Money" man, but that is another story.