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Azad Championship Report - Saul Alvarez scores unanimous decision over Austin Trout


By Gabriel Montoya

Before an announced crowd of 39, 427 at San Antonio, Texas’ Alamodome, junior middleweight champions Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 42-0-1, (30) and Austin “No Doubt” Trout, 26-1 (15), put on an exciting, tense, and much closer than the scorecards showed fight Saturday night. When it was over, Trout saw his first defeat and Alvarez got his past his first true test as a professional, adding Trout’s WBA title to his own WBC version. Judge Rey Danseco had it 115-112 Alvarez. Judge Oren Shellenberger scored the bout 116-111 and Judge Stanley Christodoulou scored the bout a ridiculous, downright criminally inept 118-109 for a unanimous Alvarez victory.


In any case, the fight was competitive from the start. While many people tabbed Trout as Pernell Whitaker to Alvarez’ Julio Cesar Chavez in an attempt to draw a parallel to that epic battle twenty years ago in the same venue, it was Alvarez who was displaying slick head and upper body movement to showcase a defense many didn’t know he had. Trout seemed to be the aggressor, using volume punching and a steady jab to get range and keep it throughout. He also displayed solid defense. What separated them, however, was the fact that Alvarez hurt Trout a few times in the bout while Trout appeared unable to do so to Canelo. In pro boxing, damaging blows, even there are fewer of them, generally win the night.


Trout said afterward that he had prepared for a different fighter, having felt that Alvarez was going to come right at him and be aggressive before the mostly pro-Alvarez contingent. But the Mexican fighter dubbed “Canelo” for his red hair and freckles, showed wrinkles to his game that many did not expect from the 22 year-old unified champion.

The bout was nip and tuck with both asking the question “What do you prefer” to the judges: hard punches that come few and far between (Alvarez) or volume punching that seems to dictate the action but is not exactly accurate (Trout).


The bout featured open scoring meaning the scores were announced every few rounds. It also featured openly awful scoring. After 8 rounds, Christodoulou had not given a single one to Trout, who out-landed Alvarez in total punches 154 to 124 in the fight. Alvarez landed more power punches, according to Compubox which is not an official scoring device but more of an approximation of how a fight went. Alvarez landed more power punches by a margin of 96-95. Trout had the edge in jabs, landing 59 to 28. Perhaps the judges took into account that overall Trout only landed 20% of the estimated 769 punches he threw while Alvarez landed 29% of his estimated 431 punches thrown.


In the seventh, Alvarez landed a hard right hand that backed up Trout on wobbly legs that failed him as he tumbled to the canvas. He rose on shaky legs but got them back soon enough and by round’s end, it was Alvarez backing up.


After the eighth, the scores were announced as 78-73, 76-75 and the abysmal score by Christodoulou of 80-71. It was clear that despite the tight action, effort of Trout and fact that he came into the bout a champion, he never had a chance on at least one scorecard. Christodoulou’s scores need to be reviewed, at the very least.


After the scores were read, Trout and his corner knew he needed a knockout to win and he responded accordingly, becoming even more aggressive and taking chances. Alvarez, knowing he had the fight in the bag, continued his slower pace, picking his spots and taking few, if any, risks.


The bout was an excellent exhibition both of what is great about boxing (the two warriors adjusting and fighting hard in a competitive bout before a sold out, raucous card) and what keeps it in the dark ages of sports (Christodoulou’s scoring and the lack accountability surely to follow).


Stanley Christodoulou likely will work another big bout. More than likely that future performance will once again highlight the mediocrity he calls his ability to properly score a professional boxing match. Maybe he once was good at this but it becomes clear with each fight, those days are long gone, in this writer’s opinion.


Austin Trout no doubt will return. He lost with class, dignity and passion. In all likelihood, he will be a champion again.


Saul Alvarez, now a unified champion, finally has the respect to go with his acclaim and drawing power. The franchise known as “Canelo” is a young but legitimate one that should keep boxing fan fires fueled for years to come.

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