Saul "Canelo" Alvarez takes on Matthew Hatton in a super-welterweight title fight next week, but today, Sunday February 27, the fighters will meet fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures in Anaheim, California.
The fighters are in their final stages of preparations for the WBC sanctioned title bout that is scheduled for next Saturday night March 5 at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Hatton is the less well known brother of former welterweight champ Ricky Hatton, former light-welterweight and welterweight champion, who got struck by a lightning bolt of good fortune when the WBC announced last week that its vacant belt would be awarded to the winner of Alvarez-Hatton.
The belt was vacated by Manny Pacquiao after his victory over Antonio Margarito in late 2010. It was Pacquiao who demolished Ricky Hatton in 2009 after which Matthew's brother has not donned a pair of gloves for another professional fight. Matthew is not ranked in the top 10 in the WBC super-welterweight division and it was a bit of a surprise that the fight would be sanctioned as a title bout. But Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, handled by Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, is not only worthy, he is the WBC #1 ranked contender in the 154 pound weight class.
Alvarez is a Mexican phenom who at 20 years of age has become one of the hottest attractions in boxing. His nickname "Canelo" translates into the word cinnamon and was given to him to denote the flaming red hair on his head. Canelo's fan base in Southern California is huge with the Mexican population in the region but it is deserved. His energy, punching power and star quality were seen in all their glory in September 2010 when he fought Carlos Baldomir on the undercard of the Sugar Shane Mosely vs. Sergio Mora fight. Alvarez KOed Baldomir in the sixth round, becoming the first fighter to do that to the former WBC welterweight champ.
The Mosley-Mora fight was a yawner until the action picked up in the late rounds and when the sold-out crowd at the Staples Center saw Alvarez re-enter the arena after his post-fight media chores, the chant rang out: "Canelo, Canelo, Canelo". It seemed that all eyes were on the young fighter rather than on the action in the ring.
Today, Sunday February 27, Alvarez and Hatton will make an appearance at the Anaheim Marketplace - La Placita (1440 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805)
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