By Robert Morales
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez of Mexico fights under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. He will be making the first defense of his junior middleweight title Saturday when he takes on Ryan Rhodes of England in Mexico (on HBO). On paper, it seems Alvarez could have an easy time of it.
Rhodes, 34, is 45-4 with 31 knockouts, but he has never held a major title and he has fought exclusively in the United Kingdom against opposition unknown to anyone outside of it. But Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer, said he is genuinely uneasy about this fight.
"I'm very nervous," he said. "You look at a fighter like Ryan Rhodes, he's a veteran, he has a punch, he's a skilled fighter. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose. That is what makes any fighter dangerous."
Rhodes - a southpaw - has not lost since dropping a 12-round decision to Gary Lockett in a battle for a fringe belt in July 2006. But Rhodes' 10-0 record with eight knockouts since then includes one guy who was 16-23, another who was 4-4 and yet another with a 3-1 mark.
That said, Schaefer said some writers have told him Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KOs) is going to lose this fight