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Written by Ian Wallwork

Saul Alvarez is only just old enough to drink beer in America, yet he has already beaten thirty eight men in the boxing ring. But for many, he still hasn't convinced. He was paid $350000 for his fight against Matthew Hatton in March this year. For about forty minutes work, where he beat Ricky's brother soundly, Canelo was given enough money to build himself a life-like dinosaur (seriously, have a look at this. People are building themselves life-sized replicas of our ancient friends).

He won the WBC Light Middleweight title against Hatton and has defended it twice now, first against Ryan Rhodes and then Alfonso Gomez. So, here we have a young man, 5'9” tall, unbeaten and a world champion, but people are still not convinced.

Why Aren't People Sold on Saul Alvarez?

The answer is simple – Alvarez hasn't fought anyone world class. In his division there are guys like Miguel Cotto, Carlos Molina and James Kirkland. He hasn't faced any of these yet, and even Austin Trout (24-0-0) would be a step-up in opposition for him.

With the experience of thirty-eight fights behind him, Alvarez should really have pushed himself to fight someone better by now. Goldenboy, his promoters, seem to be handling him as though he were a ming vase. They have put him up time and time again against fighters that aren't capable of testing him, and the result is an impressive record, one world title and a fan base full of doubt.

At least the problem has been taken on board. On Saturday 26th November, Saul Alvarez will face Kermit Cintron in Mexico City. Cintron is a two-time world champion at welterweight and in the past he has fought Antonio Margarito and Sergio Martinez, who he held to a draw. He isn't in the best of form though.

Goldenboy have handled Saul Alvarez carefully.
Kermit Cintron the Ghost

Despite his impressive career, Cintron doesn't inspire when you see him in the ring. He is a shadow of his former self, the one who knocked out Walter Matthysse in the second round, and it feels like he can't be bothered. Watching him fight, technically adequate but without any fire, you get the impression he is there for the pay day or because he didn't have anything else to do that night.

This will be Cintron's last chance in boxing's top echelons. He is in his thirties, on a bad run of form and is being overtaken in the ranks by younger fighters. If he loses tonight he will not see a major title belt again and will ebb out his career fighting in the middle leagues. We need to see a spark from The Killer tonight.

Lately it has felt like we were watching Kermit Cintron's ghost in the ring. 

Time to Settle a Bet

There is good news on this front though, because he seems to be taking the fight seriously. He trained for nine weeks in his regular Houston camp and then traveled to Mexico City, two weeks ahead of the fight, to acclimatise to the heat of the country. His confidence is making a welcome return too. Cintron said of his chances on Saturday:
“I feel I can knock him out, but I'm prepared to fight the twelve rounds, and I expect to win by any means.”
So there we have it – on Saturday two questions are going to get answered. One is “Will Saul Alvarez live up to the hype?”, and the other “Is Kermit Cintron past it?” For my money, Alvarez has the physical advantage and technical skill to win this one.

What do you think? Is Alvarez going to extend his perfect run or will Kermit Cintron surprise us all?