Ex-opponent Ryan Rhodes has picked old world title nemesis Saul Alvarez to overcome his latest challenge as the Mexican prepares to face compatriot Alfredo Angulo at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.
Rhodes, 37, was stopped in the twelfth and final round of his 2011 WBC title shot against the young superstar after the Briton stepped up to challenge ‘Canelo’ on his home turf in Jalisco, Mexico.
The Yorkshireman, who is now a respected coach, is backing the 23 year-old to put his recent defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. firmly behind him and inflict a fourth loss on the hard-hitting Angulo in Las Vegas.
“I really don’t think the Mayweather loss will effect Alvarez as he is a very young and a confident fighter,” Rhodes exclusively told World Boxing News.
“At the end of the day, Alvarez has taken the best fighter on the planet right now the full distance and only lost on points.”
The Golden Boy promoted clash is being billed as ‘Toe-to-Toe’ as both fighters are known for their ferocious power and uncompromising come-forward styles, and Rhodes sees no other route that Alvarez and Angulo can take as they exchange blows at the first bell.
“I think we are one hundred percent going to see a ‘Toe-to-Toe’ battle as the title suggests as Angulo only knows one way and that’s to wear you down and throw bombs,” said Rhodes. “And with both him and Alvarez being proud Mexicans, they love to have a fight.
“I see Angulo being in front early on in the fight with his aggression and determination, but Alvarez will be slick, countering and trying to land his own power shots. Angulo and trainer Virgil Hunter may have a gameplan early on to try something different, but once Alvarez starts landing his fast counter-punches and power shots, I believe Angulo will revert back to what he knows.
“It maybe that Angulo hasn’t been with Hunter long enough for the trainer to fully get into his head and change his technique or his long-term mentality.”
Angulo, 31, was stopped by Erislandy Lara in his previous outing as a horrific facial injury prevented ‘El Perro’ from continuing past the tenth round despite a spirited performance, and ultimately Rhodes sees those fragilities coming to the fore once more against ‘Canelo’ tonight.
“Even though I see Angulo trying to set the pace early on and pressuring Alvarez, after three or four rounds Alvarez should get into his rhythm and be timing his shots and picking Angulo off.
“Alvarez’s fast accurate power punching will be enough to frustrate Angulo in the mid-rounds, and under that pressure, his old cuts or maybe that swollen eye may resurface and I see him getting stopped in rounds seven to nine.”
Canelo v Angulo is live on Showtime PPV in the US and BoxNation in the UK. To subscribe click BoxNation.
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