Less than six months ago, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez suffered the first loss of his professional boxing career. On Saturday, the 23-year-old steps in the ring for the first time since that defeat.
Alvarez is set to take on Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It’s the same location of Alvarez’s last fight, when he was beaten by Floyd Mayweather.
In his bout with Mayweather, Alvarez was overmatched. He lost in a split decision, but it was clear to many watching the fight that Alvarez was barely competitive. This time around, Alvarez is the heavy favorite. Bovada.lv has set his betting odds at -800, with Angulo coming in at +500.
"I learned a lot from fighting Floyd, but I'm ready to get back in the ring to maintain the path that I was on before,” Alvarez said at the MGM Grand, just days before the fight. “This is what I love to do. I live to fight and we're ready for Saturday.”
Angulo is looking to prove that he belongs as a pay-per-view main eventer. Alvarez may have lost to Mayweather, but there likely isn’t any boxer that could be a legitimate threat to his unbeaten record. He’ll be as tough of an opponent that Angulo has ever faced.
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Like Alvarez, Angulo suffered a defeat in his last bout. The fight didn’t last 12 rounds, and Erislandy Lara got the win with a stoppage in the 10th, because of a contusion to Angulo’s left eye. Still, the 31-year-old put up a good showing, knocking down his opponent twice. After training with champions Amir Khan and Andre Ward, Angulo believes he’s ready to pull off the upset.
"Amir and Andre told me that I'm ready. They told me this is my time," said Angulo. "I'm ready now, and I will give the fans my best performance against Canelo. You will see the best Alfredo Angulo on Saturday."
Alvarez held the WBC Light Middleweight title for two and a half years, before his loss to Mayweather. He defeated Shane Mosley, Josesito Lopez, and Austin Trout in 2012 and 2013. Thirty of his 42 career wins have come by knockout.
Prediction: Alvarez by knockout