Saturday night two of the best junior middleweights in the world will step into the ring to face each other as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0, 30 KO’s) squares off against Austin “No Doubt” Trout (26-0. 14 KO’s) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX in front of close to 40,000 fans. The fight is being deemed by many as 50/50, meaning that the scheduled twelve round bout can go either way and that no one should be a favorite. So, when trying to predict a fight like this, a fight that no one really knows how it’s going to go and who is going to win, which way does one go?
First of all, let’s try to break down the fight. I studied both of these fighters in their most recent fights. No one is going to be surprised by the game plans of these fighters going into Saturday’s bout. Anyone that knows even a splinter of boxing knows that Trout’s job is to stay on the outside and outbox Canelo, and Canelo’s job is to get inside and bang Trout to the body and head. It’s not just the game plan to beat each other, it’s the game plan that got them into the positions that they are in today. I mean in all reality, neither one of them has to make any adjustments to their style to win, they just need to do what they do best against someone that is going to try to make them not do it. Trout’s job is to do what he loves to do, box on the outside, and not let Canelo get near him. Canelo needs to do what he loves to do, make Trout brawl him on the inside, and don’t let him box around the ring. So, the winner of this fight is going to be the guy that turns the fight into the fight that he loves to fight. Not so complicated. But who is going to execute better?
It’s like a football game. Where an explosive offensive team plays a tough stellar defensive team. All the attention is on what happens when the offensive faces the defense, but no attention is on the offensive team’s defense, and the defensive team’s offense. Sometimes, that is what wins the game. So maybe, the focus shouldn’t be on whether or not Trout can execute his boxing plan, and Canelo can execute his brawling plan, but to focus on how well Canelo boxes Trout, and how well Trout brawls Canelo. Can Canelo box Trout better than expected? Can Trout brawl Canelo better than expected? Well to me, that’s where the difference lies in this fight.
I think that Canelo is going to surprise people at how well he boxes Trout, but ultimately he will need to get on the inside to win. I don’t believe Trout has any chance on the inside with Canelo. He didn’t do that well against Cotto when he got to close, and he got hit with punches that sometimes off balanced him. Canelo isn’t a bad boxer, and I think the lead left hook is going to work well against Trout.
However, Trout is slick with his movement. His jab is very good and his one-two is good as well. Trout does a good job at moving away from fighters that get too close him, but sometimes gets caught while doing it. He’s no Floyd Mayweather. What leads me towards Canelo though is Trout’s inability to hurt him, and throw enough punches to win rounds in the judge’s eyes. To keep Canelo away he has to feel the punches, and a lot of punches need to be thrown. Trout isn’t known for either. We saw what happened to Rigondeaux when he boxed too much against Donaire. Even though he controlled the rounds with minimal punching, the judges came close to not giving him that fight. Scores were a lot closer because he didn’t press any action. The judges don’t like that. Trout will have to do something he usually doesn’t do, and that’s throw a lot of punches. But doing that means opening up against a dangerous Canelo, and is totally opposite of what his game plan is going into this fight.
That is why I am picking Canelo to win this fight, by KO. I think he will surprise Trout with his ability to box, and ultimately put too much pressure for Trout to withstand. I saw Cotto had some chances to catch Trout and didn’t, and Cotto has lost a lot of his power over the years, and always got tired late in fights. Canelo is young, powerful, and doesn’t gas out. He will put the pressure on Trout, and I believe he can KO him in the late rounds.
Owner Prediction: The owner of Fightnights.com is picking Canelo to win by SD, but that Trout will win the fight. He believes the judges won’t give Trout his fair share of close rounds. He thinks Trout is going to outbox Canelo, and not let him anywhere near him. In other words, he’s predicting a rip-off.