Mexican phenom Saul “Canelo” Alvarez dominated Ryan Rhodes, winning every round before scoring a technical knockout in the twelfth round. Alvares (now 37-0-1, 27 KOs) set up devastating combinations and body blows throughout the night, leaving Rhodes’ (45-5, 31 KOs) face a battered, bruised mess.
The talented twenty year old turned in a more technically impressive fight than his match against Matthew Hatton, showing better defense and ring generalship against Rhodes. Alvares slipped punches and countered Rhodes’ sloppy straights. Rhodes tried to switch to southpaw at times but this backfired, opening him up to more damage. Alvarez scored a knockdown in the fourth and dominated each round after.
Before the twelfth round, Rhodes’ coach yelled at him “You’ve lost every round! You may as well get knocked out!” and told him to go for the knockout. Instead, Alvarez was the one looking to floor his opponent while Rhodes barely mounted an offense. After another brutal combination the ref stepped in and called the fight 48 seconds into the round.
I have to admit, after the Hatton fight, I was convinced Alvarez was all hype. I’m a bit less cynical now, but while he showed technical improvement, he still threw a few wild punches and it’ll take a more impressive and spirited opponent than Rhodes to get me on the bandwagon. Anyone can look like a textbook fighter or hard-hitting slugger against the right opponent, after all. It’ll take more than the HBO hype machine to change my mind.
I don’t know how good he’ll get, but he’ll definitely be an exciting fighter to watch if he gets opponents who’ll fight back.