By Rick Reeno
One of the intriguing factors about the March 8th junior middleweight showdown between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-1-1, 30KOs) and Alfredo Angulo (22-3, 18KOs) - is whether or not Canelo is able to deal with Angulo's constant pressure.
Erislandy Lara, arguably the best boxer at the weight, was unable to hold Angulo off for more than three rounds, before the Mexican puncher caught up with him in the fourth and scored a big knockdown. Angulo would go on to repeat the same feat in the ninth, but then saw his night end early when he suffered an eye injury in the tenth.
Canelo's stamina has come into question in several of his ring appearances. He fights at a measured pace and noticeably slows down in the second half.
Virgil Hunter, who trains Angulo, believes Canelo's stamina issues are directly related to the Mexican superstar's short, muscular frame.
"He is going to always have a stamina problem because of the way he's built. He is very muscular, muscle-bound. His arms and legs are short, so the blood gets to his muscle real quick and his body gets real heavy. That's the way it's always going to be," Hunter told BoxingScene.com.
Angulo is a machine. He continues to press forward in every round, throwing punches in bunches, until he breaks his man or the man breaks him. If Canelo grows tired down the stretch, as he did against a non-pressure fighter like Austin Trout last April, Hunter predicts a very tough and bruising second half for Canelo.
"Let me put it this way, if he's going to knock Alfredo out - he better do it inside of six. He better do it inside of six, because anything short of a knockout or a unfortunate cut [in six] - he's going to have a real nightmarish night, he's going to have a real tough night. He will get asked a lot of questions [in the ring] that night. I'm not afraid of saying that you are not even going to see the same guy who fought Lara, you are going to see a better fighter," Hunter said.
Canelo-Angulo headlines a Showtime Pay-Per-View event from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.