Matthew Hatton knows more than most about the skills possessed by one of the most exciting fighter’s in the world today as former opponent Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez makes his return to the ring on Saturday night.
The now-retired Hatton, 32, shared twelve rounds with Alvarez in the Mexican’s very first world title fight back in 2011 at the Honda Center in California and has since followed the youngster’s phenomenal progress.
Six-straight victories were racked up by ‘Canelo’ on the back of his WBC title triumph, including one over Hatton’s compatriot Ryan Rhodes, before the formidable Floyd Mayweather Jr. ended Alvarez’s 43-fight unbeaten run last September.
Not one to shirk a challenge, Alvarez heads back in at the deep end with the rugged Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Hatton believes the Mayweather loss may not have too much of a bearing on the 23 year-old.
“Defeat can effect fighters in different ways and we will have to see how Canelo comes back from the Mayweather loss, but sometimes fighters can bounce back stronger and more determined,” Hatton told World Boxing News.
“Of course there are other times when they come back and they are not the same due to the nature of defeat and you would be forgiven for thinking Alvarez’s comprehensive defeat to the hands of Mayweather would have seriously dented his confidence.
“I myself am not too sure about that as Alvarez seems to have a very strong character and style-wise this is a much better fight for him as Angulo is tailor-made.”
Prior to the Mayweather disappointment, ‘Canelo’ was well-fancied to become the first to defeat the great money-maker, which makes it hard for Hatton to see past another victory for the former unified light-middleweight champion at the weekend.
“It should be a great spectacle if you look at Angulo’s come-forward aggressive style, but I expect Canelo to use his ring intelligence and just stay that one-step ahead during the fight,” said Hatton.
“I expect Canelo may well have to have go through a few rocky moments in the fight, but eventually his better skills will tell and for me, he will force a stoppage just after halfway.
“It’s a fight not to be missed though and the fans are in for a real treat. I, for one, will not be missing this fight!”
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