By Chris Robinson
You will be hard pressed to be anyone involved in boxing with as much as enthusiasm for the sport as Harold Lederman.
Serving as an unofficial ringside judge for HBO for over 25 years, Lederman has endeared himself to fans across the globe and his affable nature makes him someone you can’t help but to like.
While in town for Mike Alvarado’s entertaining rematch victory over Brandon Rios this past weekend in Las Vegas, I again caught up with Lederman.
As is often the case during our dialogue, I made it a point to get Harold’s thoughts on some upcoming prize fights, ranging from Nonito Donaire’s clash with fellow junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux to the May 4th Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero tussle and everything in between.
There was one match in particular that seemed to draw the most surprising comments from Lederman, that being the April 20th junior middleweight unification clash between WBC champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and WBA belt holder Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout.
On paper, Trout is looked at as Alvarez’s stiffest test to date yet Lederman isn’t expecting too much of a fight.
“I hate to say this, but I think Canelo’s going to destroy him,” Lederman said bluntly. “I like Austin Trout, I like Greg Cohen, I like the whole team; but Canelo’s something special. He really is.”
In Lederman’s eyes, Alvarez represents the future of the sport.
“Let me tell you something, I really believe, from the bottom of my heart, that Canelo is a star,” Lederman said of Alvarez. “I can’t help saying that. Canelo is a star. He can box, he can move, he can punch. He’s 22 years old and he fights like a veteran that’s 35 years old. He’s a guy that’s just a terrific, natural, great fighter. I love Canelo Alvarez.”
Trout is coming off of his biggest victory as a professional this past December, when he went into New York’s Madison Square Garden and scored a commanding unanimous decision victory over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto.
Lederman gave all praise to Trout for the victory, but simply can’t be swayed in his prediction for his next fight.
“He did impress me against Cotto,” Lederman admitted. “He took on a good fighter and he beat a good fighter and I thought he did very, very well. I just think Canelo’s something special. Cotto, on the other hand, a little bit on the way down. I hate to say it, but that’s what it appears.”