Every dog has its day, but for Alfredo Angulo, he may have had his last one a few nights ago.
In being effectively maimed by a resurgent Saul "Canelo" Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this past Saturday, someone may have to put a leash on his fight career, even as Canelo's appeared to have been unleashed once again.
In (dare I say) dialing up images of Roberto Duran in the early going, Alvarez looked sensational in his systematic and ultra-aggressive pounding of Angulo in the early going.
The Mexican looked like a legend in the making, coming directly at Angulo - while parrying punches rather well - and pretty much doing whatever he wanted with substance and polished never seen before. It is the type of effort one would expect from any 'would-be-great fighter' coming off of a loss to a bona-fide one.
More questions than answers surrounded Alvarez coming into this match - and for good reason.
This time there was no catchweight of 152lbs, as he appeared comfortable as a full strength super welterweight, perhaps even setting up a title shot with Carlos Molina in the process.
It was reported around the time this fight was announced a few months ago, that Canelo would have 3 firm ring dates in 2014. We know the next is on July 26, and that date makes a lot of sense for a shot at Molina's IBF belt.
But let's get back to his complete ass-whooping and comprehensive assault on Angulo for a second.
This is what you do when you're out to prove you've not only recovered from your 1st defeat - but that you've improved in the process.
Panned by critics, fight fans and scores of his own countrymen following what for many was a lackluster effort against Floyd Mayweather (he seemed much slower and apprehensive), Alvarez was aggressive and assertive from the start.
He displayed excellent ring generalship and footwork in his very forward attack. His punch variety, placement and accuracy was outstanding. I've never seen a better jab from him or committed assault to the body.
Everything was crispier than wings left in the fryer too long.
Angulo was being hit at will, and was basically being "out-Angulo'd" with a skillset he could never dream of. Splicing in defensive intangibles to a game that seemed far more nuanced than the one we saw in September 2013, Alvarez decided to showcase pure boxing skills in the middle stanza, in what felt like an effort to even carry Angulo.
Though it may have appeared that "El Perro" was getting back into the fight, Canelo was merely toying with this man while showing off some new toys. Alfredo Angulo was never in this fight, didn't belong on PPV at all, and doesn't belong in another ring again either.
Brave to no end, he's taken one too many beatings as far as I'm concerned, and can only risk his life at this point. He's the type of fighter who needs to be saved from himself.
Anyone who had a problem with the stoppage the other night should seriously re-watch it. When you get hit with an uppercut from the North Pole - one that is almost announced its coming from a bullhorn - the fight's over. The fighter is officially DEFENSELESS.
Team Alvarez can now turn their attention to IBF champ Molina, coming off of an unfortunate legal circumstance that saw him off the card, and he would certainly be favored in that one. Based on what I saw from Canelo, he stops Molina in what would be a rugged affair.
That would of course set up a possible war with Miguel Cotto, should he upset Sergio Martinez (something I think Cotto will do). Even if that doesn't happen, there's also the possibility of Lara (who he told to his face that he 'could wait'), or perhaps even Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin.
Either way you slice it, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Mexico's top dog, is back, with far more bite than bark.