Tonight at the MGM Grand, one of the great Basilicas of World boxing, a pugilistic civil war shall take place between two Mexican warriors aiming for redemption, and maybe even greatness.
In one corner stands Saul Alvarez, whose last visit to a boxing ring saw him dethroned and mastered by the best pound for pound fighter of the last decade, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Alvarez, the red-headed matinee idol with dynamite in each hand and one of the most popular fighters within Mexico, faces the powerful and relentless Alfredo Angulo.
While Angulo is the older man at 31 years of age, it is the younger Alvarez who has had the busier career as he steps into the ring for the 45th time since turning professional at the tender age of just 15 back in 2005.
Since then, his career has experienced an continuous upward trajectory due to his matinee idol looks, the red hair and his ability in the squared circle, which has seen him defeat the likes of Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Kermit Cintron, Carlos Baldomir and interestingly, Miguel Vazquez, who is now holds the International Boxing Federation’s portion of the Lightweight crown.
Angulo, like his younger opponent, is also coming off a loss. That came in a ten round thriller against the highly skilled and much avoided Cuban Erislandy Lara in which he sent the highly talented Cuban Light-Middleweight star to the canvas twice before swelling around his left eye forced the stoppage in one of the best fights of 2013.
Due to immigration issues, Angulo has not been as active as Alvarez.
Angulo possesses the greater power having defeated 18 of his 22 victims by knockout.
However, he has not fought the quality of opposition that Alvarez has faced in his professional career to date and has only been beyond the 10th round three times as a professional due to his power, while Alvarez has been into the 10th round and beyond sixteen times.
Alvarez has been the full twelve round championship distance seven times which will make Alvarez a strong betting favourite amongst the fight fans who be placing a wager on this eye catching civil war.
An all-Mexican fight rarely, if ever, fails to entertain, as Erik Morales showed in his legendary trilogy with Marco Antonio Barrera, which saw 36 rounds of brutal back and forth, while Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez served a four stage series of fights that could have carried a health warning such was the naked savagery
Heading back in into the 1970s, there was a four round classic between big hitting bantamweights Carlos Zarate and Alfredo Zamora, with Zarate getting the KO win.
Come fight night, it is expected the younger, smaller and more technically gifted Alvarez will look to start fast and assert his dominance against the bigger and more powerful Angulo by working off his jab and firing rapid combinations
While Angulo will look to cut the ring down, working Alvarez’s body before testing the chin of the Mexican starlet.
It shall be a tough endurance contest but Alvarez will emerge victorious although battered against a strong and determined Angulo.