By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
One world class fighter, who lost a decision to Saul Canelo Alvarez in Mexico before Canelo was world champion, felt he (and not Canelo) won every round, but watched as the partisan Mexican judges gave Canelo nearly every round anyway and the Mexican fight fans danced in celebration when it was over. The viewpoint, while the fighter’s own and not necessarily the final word, does give rise to the concept of losing to the spectacle of the show, and not the fighter.
When Saul Canelo Alvarez lost his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association Junior Middleweight world titles to Floyd Mayweather Jr., the Mexican fight fans and the the world was greatly disappointed. However, the world overlooks one key point: more time was spent promoting the bout to sell the Pay-Per-View. The megabucks were destined to roll in for Floyd and Canelo, and who cares about the training so much anyway. The bout sold, the boxing fans bit the bait, everybody watched, and the overhyped bout did not live up to the high expectations. It was not a Thomas Hearns-Marvelous Marvin Hagler, it was not a Sugar Ray Leonard versus Roberto Duran, and it was not a Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier. Floyd versus was Canelo not an action-packed extravaganza, or even an interesting bout to watch.
It turned out to be just an ordinary, so-so 12 round title bout. Floyd was 44-0, Canelo 43-0-1, and the bout just was not worth watching. Floyd outboxedCanelo hands down, and it wasn’t difficult for him. Canelo did not fight Floyd with any passion or exciting intent, or even try to win despite the high stakes the battle supposedly represented.
Perhaps everyone might have overlooked the fact Alvarez may not have lost to Floyd, but in fact Alvarez actually lost to Floyd Promotions. Alvarez got lost in the spectacle of the show, and become a flashing light bulb on the marquee promoting the event, took the paycheck but was never able to rise above the hype of the show, The ‘Floyd’ show. Simply put, Alvarez was a casualty not of the bout inside the ring, but of the prefight whoopla preceding the fight. Floyd simply dominated the whoopla, and Alvarez played his part, joining the madness of the whoopla, but never preparing for the bout like he ordinarily would have under normal six to eight week training camp circumstances.
Alfredo Angulo, like Saul Alvarez, is a Mexican light middleweight boxer, and a former World Boxing Organization world champion in this weight class with considerable fight fans and television following. Angulo has lost to Kermit Cintron, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara and now Canelo Alvarez.
The general boxing public never questioned the all-Mexican ‘Battle Royale’ between Alvarez and Angulo, seeking only Angulo’s blood if Canelo could find it. For this reason, the fight fans at ringside did not like it when Tony Weeks stopped the bout. Truth be told, Alvarez versus Angulo, Mexican versus Mexican, did not promote the cause of Mexican boxing. It just gave Angulo, a tested warrior, three losses in his last five bouts, and reduced his stock for no good reason.
In reality, Angulo lost the bout perhaps not in the ring, but to the spectacle of the show. Much like Canelo appeared against Floyd, now the coin had reversed itself and Angulo looked overwhelmed by the spectacle of Canelo Promotions. The training camps for Angulo and Alvarez were probably better than the training camps in Canelo versus Floyd. Even still, Angulo got dragged down into the flashing lights of the prefight publicity and hype. At times, before the bout began, the puzzled look on Angulo’s face appeared to be one of wonder: who was he fighting, and why was he there? It appeared Angulo could not rise about the Canelo Show, which the Mexicans wanted for Canelo, hook, line and sinker.
Canelo did outbox Angulo. Watching the fight and listening to the commentary, it was evident the Canelo Show was completely one-sided. Canelo this, and Canelo that. Angulo was landing a significant number of punches, an output much different from Floyd versus Canelo. If one was to listen to the commentary, it was far from the days of Howard Cosell and Don Dunphy. Alfredo ‘El Perro’ Angulo appeared to be ‘The Invisible Man’. Canelo was landing every punch, and dominating every moment. This was not completely true, but the Canelo Show pitched itself this way to the bitter end. PerroAngulo was in the house, but might as well have been, as Sting and The Police so well sang, ‘Walking on the Moon’.
Giant steps are what an underdog fighter in a big show takes
Walking on the moon
He hopes his stamina and legs don’t break
Walking on the moon
The two fighters could walk forever in the Pay-Per-View
Walking on the moon
We fight fans live together in the prefight hype
Walking on, walking on the moon.
Some may say the underdog is wishing his future paydays away
and if it’s the price the underdog pays, maybe tomorrow’s another day, keep it up
The mega fight payday game is what the underdog might as well play, walking on the moon.