By John F. McKenna (McJack)
Saturday night in Mexico City WBC light middleweight champion Saul Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KO’s) performed as expected in stopping former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KO’s) in the 5th round. Alvarez looked impressive in methodically breaking down his opponent and was praised by HBO commentators Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. for showing maturity that belies his 21 years.
True “Canelo” as his fans call Alvarez was calm and waited patiently for his opportunities against Cintron. He showed speed and his power shots quickly turned the fight in his favor. But in analyzing the fight one has to wonder how much fire in the belly Kermit had going into the fight with Alvarez. His confidence level did not seem particularly high before and during the match.
At this stage of his career Alvarez is being carefully groomed as a potential future cash cow. His opponents are carefully screened and he seems to be matched only against opposition that will make him look good. Kermit Cintron at one point in his career was a formidable opponent. But in reality he is only a shell of what he once was. Cintron has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights and Team Alvarez most assuredly took that into account before matching him with the red headed Mexican.
In last nights match the first round was a feeling out process for both fighters. You could sense that Alvarez was attempting to gauge how much Cintron had left in the tank. In the 2nd round “Canelo” began to unload combinations and power shots. By the 4th round it was evident that Kermit did not have it anymore and was not going to offer much resistance. From that point on it was clear that Alvarez was in for an easy night.
Kermit Cintron did not give Saul Alvarez the test many had hoped for nor did he represent the kind of opposition he needs to progress from the level he is now at. Saul needs to talk on an opponent who does not crumble as soon as he begins to apply pressure. He needs to be challenged by a fighter who can wobble him and test his resilience under fire.
It’s time for Alvarez to fight some of the top tier fighters at his weight level. Until that happens he cannot truly be measured as a fighter. At some point “Canelo” needs to face an opponent who is a real threat to him.
As far as Alvarez calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. after his victory over Cintron, that is more than likely an effort by Team Alvarez to raise his public awareness.
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