Canelo Alvarez Crushes Matthew Hatton With Dominant Performance

March 6, 2011

Anaheim, California -- Saturday’s matchup between Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and England’s Matthew Hatton was not only a super-welterweight bout for the history books, but also an entertaining, albeit lopsided fight. More importantly perhaps, it gave insight into the abilities of Mexico's most recognized rising star.

From a historical standpoint, the twenty-year old Saul Alvarez became the youngest fighter to win the 154-pound title, taking that record from Fernando Vargas and earning the WBC belt with his unanimous decision victory over Hatton.

Entertainment-wise, the raucous pro-Mexico crowd witnessed Matthew Hatton coming to the ring with the Karate Kid’s “You’re the Best” playing loudly. Funny enough, Canelo Alvarez followed with his own 80's tribute, entering to Rocky IV’s “Burning Heart.” Despite the music, Hatton proved to be no Daniel LaRusso or Ivan Drago once the bell rang.

Alvarez immediately established himself as the busier guy in the ring, landing an impressive 294 of 626 punches (47%), compared to only 138 of 546 (25%) punches for Hatton.

But those numbers only tell part of the story, as the bigger, stronger Alvarez pounded his smaller opponent with brutal combinations and a patient approach. Although Hatton did show heart in weathering Canelo's punching barrages and occasionally returning fire, he lost every round on all three judges' scorecards, 119-108.

In fact, the only reason why Alvarez did not pitch a complete shutout was due to a crafty veteran move by Hatton in Round 7.

After Alvarez hit Hatton on the break, Hatton went into his best Hollywood acting routine and fell to the canvas.  As a result, a point was deducted from Alvarez, and the round ended up being scored 9-9.

Rounds 2-7 were the most insightful into the career of young Alvarez, as he demonstrated his full arsenal. In Round 2, Alvarez showed a superb uppercut that proved to be a fast, strong, and accurate weapon. He would later follow up those uppercuts by displaying an effective double left-hook combination to Hatton's head and body.

Canelo's left hook to the body was reminiscent of Julio Cesar Chavez, and seemed to stop Hatton in his tracks when it landed flush.  Moreover, his powerful left hook to the head reminded this writer of Oscar De La Hoya.

Unfortunately, Canelo also resembled De La Hoya in the later rounds, as his stamina looked to be an issue. Perhaps those stamina problems were due to Alvarez not making weight and arriving in less than top condition for this fight.

With the win, Alvarez improved to 36-0-1, while Hatton fell to 41-5-2.

What We Learned From This Fight

Despite stamina issues, the heavy-handed Alvarez is the real deal. This HBO fight was the doorway to mainstream American name recognition for Alvarez, and perhaps a springboard to future million dollar pay-per-view bouts.

He is also fan-friendly and exciting to watch.  In the 7th round, the crowd became bloodthirsty, as Alvarez took the bout's intensity to its highest peak when he tried to finish Matthew Hatton. Despite failing in that respect, Alvarez confirmed that he can thrill fans and is undoubtedly on his way to the top.

More importantly, at a time when many of Mexico's biggest names are past their prime, Alvarez is now firmly entrenched as Mexico’s number one rising star.  Saturday's bout was against a virtually unknown opponent who would be unrecognizable but for his more famous brother, and still, Canelo filled the seats with 11,674 enthusiastic fans.   We look forward to more exciting fights with this charismatic young star.

By Jose Romero
Contributing Writer for

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