SAN ANTONIO -- Saul “Canelo” Alvarez did his part to create a September super-fight.
Now it’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s turn.
Alvarez defeated previously unbeaten Austin Trout by unanimous decision Saturday night, penetrating the shell of a tactical jab artist who had never been knocked down by dropping Trout early in the seventh round with a straight right to the chin.
“It was a combination of his power, speed and defense,” an impressed Trout (26-1) said after surrendering his World Boxing Assn. super-welterweight belt to Alvarez, the World Boxing Council champion, by scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 118-109.
“I wasn’t following my combinations or finishing my flurries. His head movement was faster than I thought it’d be. I’ll get back in the gym and work on my speed.”
Trout landed more punches than Alvarez, but the 22-year-old Mexican star punctuated his night with his right-handed power, scoring each round’s defining blows that both backed Trout to the ropes and hurt him.
He also entertained, shuffling his feet and bobbing his head to avoid Trout’s punches. Trout landed 154 punches, but threw 769.
Alvarez was marked under the right eye, saying he decided “early on” Trout couldn’t knock him down. Alvarez took a combination to deliver a hard right, backed to the ropes to rally with a combination and prevailed against an older southpaw deemed more skilled at the night’s start.
“I learned a lot this fight,” said Alvarez, who is 42-0-1 with 30 knockouts. “I always felt comfortable and confident and did what I had to do to win.”
That victory paints Mayweather into a corner.
While the unbeaten world welterweight champion still has to beat Robert Guerrero on May 4 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, he’s talked of participating in another major fight in September.
Who makes more sense than Alvarez?
Especially after he flexed his crowd-drawing muscles by luring nearly 40,000 to the Alamodome?
Stephen Espinoza, the Showtime Sports president who earlier this year got Mayweather to commit to a possible six-fights-in-30-months deal, said Mayweather-Alvarez would be “the biggest fight out there.”
Beyond Mayweather’s likely thinking that he can take the 22-year-old to school, Espinoza said Alvarez being susceptible to Trout blows “would certainly encourage Floyd to take the fight.
“It was definitely an exciting performance, but it also showed some flaws that ‘Canelo’ has, and Floyd makes you pay for every single flaw you have,” Espinoza said. “So while I’m sure ‘Canelo’ will get better, I’m sure Floyd was salivating while watching that.
“The time is right for that fight as long as Floyd gets past Guerrero.”
Alvarez made it clear he wants the fight that was denied him when Mayweather declined to sign a stipulation that would’ve made Alvarez his next opponent if the Mexican star fought under him May 4.
“How many times do I have to say it? Mayweather is who I want,” Alvarez said late Saturday night.