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April 15, 2013

By Christian Schmidt

In 1993, the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas became the site of the second most-attended boxing event in United States history when Pernell Whitaker dominated Julio Cesar Chavez in a fight unjusty scored a draw (Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks II was the best attended). Manny Pacquiao fought there twice, including his breakkout fight, a win over the favored Marco Antonio Barrera. The stadium also hosted the first and fourth fights between hometown product "Jesse" James Leija and boxing hall of famer Azumah Nelson. It was where Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. passed his first true test by defeating Ireland's John Duddy, where Oscar De La Hoya continued his rise to mega stardom by KOing David Kamau, and where a young Floyd Mayweather scored a unanimous decision against Larry O'Shields. Boxing icon Evander Holyfield got the nod over Fres Oquendo there.  This Saturday, the tradition continues as Mexico's popular rising star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1) takes on Austin Trout (26-0) for the junior middleweight world championship.

It is safe to say San Antonio's Alamodome is rich in history.  More history is set to be made on April the 20th, but with all of the unpredictable finishes in the past, it makes you wonder what will happen when Alvarez takes on Trout.  Will the heavily pro-Hispanic crowd influence the judges like many thought they did when Whitaker did not receive the decision against Chavez (others say it was not the crowd that swayed the verdict but rather WBC president Jose Sulaiman)?  Will rising Alvarez get out boxed and stopped like the first major promotion put on by Golden Boy when Barerra was upset by Pacquiao, or will the stronger, more favored Alvarez score a solid convincing TKO, similar to what De La Hoya did against Kamau?

Alvarez, nicknamed Canelo, has shown all the signs of being boxing's next big thing.  The boxer has reached stardom at an early age, he is undefeated, has a unique look, shown knockout power, and appears to be the most popular boxer from Mexico, a boxing-crazed nation.  Trout may not be as famous, he's from lesser-known Las Cruces, New Mexico, and has not had the same television exposure, but with his flashy undefeated record, and his recent major upset of future hall of famer Miguel Cotto in Madison Square Garden, Trout proved he belongs on boxing's biggest stage.

Their showdown was originally scheduled to take place on May 4th on the Mayweather-Roberto Guerreo undercard but was moved up by two weeks when Mayweather couldn't agree to terms with Alvarez for a fall bout.

The bout is rumored to be a revenge bout for when Trout went to Guadalajara, Mexico in February of 2011 to defeat Canelo's older brother Rigoberto with all three judges giving Trout the nod with scores of 119-109.  As a result, Trout became the WBA light middleweight regular title holder. Canelo was ringside at the fight, and mentioned he has sour memories of that night.  Canelo said on Showtime's All Access "I felt helpless."

The card is shaping up to be a hot ticket.  According to the Express News, 32,000 tickets have been sold, and promoter Mike Battah is working with Alamodome officials to open up 3,000 more seats.

Both the WBC and the WBA super World championships will be on the line, with the winner being able to claim true world championship status. History will be made at the Alamodome yet again!

The bout will air on Showtime Saturday night April 20th at 10pm ET 7pm PT. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster outlets, the dome box office and

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