Trainer Robert Garcia says he thinks that Saul Canelo Alvarez is unbeatable at 160 and 168 despite the controversy surrounding his two fights with Gennadiy Golovkin and his ultra-slim resume at 168. Canelo’s experience super middleweight consists of wins over these two fighters:
- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. – catchweight fight at 164
- Rocky Fielding
It’s unclear whether Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) will ever fight at 160 ever again, seeing that his last contest was at 175 against Sergey Kovalev. When the lockdown ends, Canelo is expected to face WBO 168-lb champion Billy Joe Saunders in a unification.
Alvarez hasn’t faced the talented 168-lb champions yet
Canelo will have his WBA secondary super middleweight strap on the line for that fight. Saunders is considered the weakest of the champions at 168. As many fans believe, the talented guys are WBC champ David Benavidez, IBF champ Caleb Plant and WBA Super World belt holder Callum Smith.
It’s unlikely that Canelo will ever fight the hard-hitting David Benavidez due to him being on a different network than him. Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya recently said that he’d never face Plant because he told the media that he wouldn’t be able to face him in May because he needed to recover from his previous fight. Caleb Plant was never offered the fight with Canelo, and yet De La Hoya said he blew his chance.
“Right now, I think Canelo, pound-for-pound, he’s the best,” said Robert Garcia to Fino Boxing. I think Canelo is unbeatable at 160 and 168. Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, I just pick Canelo.”
It’s challenging to imagine Canelo beating Benavidez or Plant. Those guys have styles that bad for Canelo, and they’re both considerably taller. It’s one thing Canelo taking on a passed his best WBO 175-pound champion Sergey Kovalev, and another thing taking on guys in their primes like Benavidez and Plant.
Canelo isn’t the best at 168, and don’t think he ever will be. Benavidez and Plant would almost surely beat him, and Callum Smith would be a tough fight for him. That would be a 50-50 affair.
Robert picks Lomachenko to beat Teofimo
“I think he does have what it takes, but I still think Lomachenko wins by decision,” said Robert when asked whether Teofimo has a shot at beating Loma. “But he [Teofimo] does have what it takes.
He’s confident, he’s a world champion, so that gave him a little more confidence. He’s got power, he’s got excellent skills, and I think he does have an excellent chance. I just think Loma is a little bit better to win a decision, but if we see all of Lomachenko’s fights, he got dropped by [Jorge] Linares,” said Robert.
WBA/WBC [F]/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and IBF champ Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) were supposed to fight in May in New York, but their unification match has been postponed due to the world events. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is still hoping to put that fight together in 2020, but we’ll see if that’s the case.
The longer this match takes to put on, the better the chance of Teofimo winning. He’s already the bigger, stronger, faster, and the younger guy. The punishment that Lomachenko has taken in his recent fights at lightweight has made it clear to him that he needs to move back down to 130. It might be too late for Lomachenko if he faces Teofimo, and gets beaten.
The key to this fight is whether Teofimo follows the blueprint created by Orlando Salido in how to beat Lomachenko by throwing to the body. You don’t beat a guy with head movement by throwing upstairs. Salido is an old school fighter, who ignored Lomachenko’s head and ripped him with body shots all night. It was so bad that Lomachenko was holding on and looking completely flustered.
Teofimo can hurt Lomachenko
“Most of the fights that he’s had against so and so, and the few Puerto Ricans that he’s fought, he does get hit,” said Robert said of Lomachenko. “He does get tacked up, and he comes up with bruises on his face.
“So he does get hit. I think Teofimo is much stronger than all of those guys. If Teofimo lands the right punch, he could hurt him and finish him. Can he? I think he can, but I still pick Loma. I like Teofimo and his dad. They’re cool.
“They come over to my gym and spar. They’re great people, but it might be a little bit too soon for the Loma fight. Even though after that, Loma might come up in weight or come down to 130, and he’ll get another title, and he’ll be champion again.
“There’s no doubt that he’ll be a great one. One loss won’t do much to him. He could still come back and be a superstar the way he is,” said Robert.
There are no questions that Teofimo can hurt Lomachenko with anything he throws. If he connects with a headshot that lands cleanly, he’ll hurt Lomachenko and have him staggering around the ring as he did to Richard Commey.