Jessie Vargas sees middleweight champion Demetrius ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade as the most difficult fighter among the top 168-pounders to give Canelo Alvarez the most amount of problems.
The former two-division world champion Vargas picks the WBO 160-lb champ Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) as being a harder fight for WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) than any of these three top 168-lb fighters:
- Billy Joe Saunders
- David Benavidez
- Caleb Plant
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that Canelo never mentions Andrade as someone that he’s interested in fighting, so we may not ever get a chance to test Vargas’ theory.
Canelo defeated a very looking WBA super middleweight champion, Callum Smit, last weekend in San Antonio, Texas. Alvarez is now planning on fighting in February and likely against his WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim in Mexico.
It’s believed that Canelo will face either IBF 168lb champion Caleb Plant or WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders next May. If Canelo wins that fight, he’ll hold three of the four super middleweight titles, and he’ll be just one away from accomplishing his goal of becoming the undisputed champion at 168.
“I think it’s a chess match because they’re very defensive fighters,” Jessie Vargas said to Fighthype about how a fight between Canelo and Billy Joe Saunders or Caleb Plant would go.
“That’s why I think it’s more of a chess match. He [Canelo] would have to take his time, pick his shots and throw less punches [than he did against Callum Smith] because these fighters would be just looking to counter-punch any mistake he makes.
“So Canelo would want to make sure he doesn’t make any mistakes in being offensive.
“Boo Boo Andrade,” Vargas said when asked who out of Saunders, Plant and Andrade has the best chance of beating Canelo. “Boo Boo Andrade gives him a tough fight because of all of his pedigree.
“He’s a very experienced fighter, a great fighter, honestly to me. I think he’d give him [Canelo] a lot of trouble, but only time will tell. Canelo is definitely one of the greats. I think he’s going to continue to show and prove who he is and what he’s about, said Vargas.
Demetrius, 6’2”, will be a tough fight for Canelo due to his power, speed, size, and ring IQ. Canelo wouldn’t be able to count on Andrade backing up against the ropes and staying there the entire night as we saw from Callum Smith last Saturday night.
In fact, Andrade made it a point in saying during the Canelo-Smith broadest on DAZN that he wouldn’t fight with his back against the ropes for 12 rounds the way Smith did if he got a chance to fight Alvarez.
Canelo knows his limitations, and he’s not going to pick someone with a bad style for him like Andrade. That doesn’t mean that Andrade is the greatest fighter in the 160 or 168-lb division.
Some guys can probably beat Andrade, but he’s got the perfect style to defeat the short 5’8″ Canelo.
Given that Canelo has never shown the slightest amount of interest in facing Andrade during his 15-year career, it’s safe to say that he’ll never fight.
Andrade, 32, is planning on moving up to 168 in 2021, and he could potentially face WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) if he doesn’t get the Canelo fight next.
If Andrade doesn’t get the fight with Billy Joe, he’ll likely stay at 160 for one last defense of his WBO title against his mandatory Liam Williams.
“I’m just very impressed with what he did [against Smith]. 100%, he’s already in that territory,” Vargas said about Canelo when asked if he’s heading towards becoming a ‘legend’ in boxing. “We can’t say it now because he’s still active, and there are so many more years for him to be in this sport, but I say so.
“I’m coming back in February, we’re trying to negotiate the next fight now, but it looks like it’s going to be in February,” said Jessie Vargas about his ring return.
Vargas, 31, is coming off of a 12 round decision loss to Mikey Garcia last February in their fight on DAZN. Matchroom Boxing signed Vargas last year, and he’s fought twice with them against former two-division world champion Humberto Soto and Mikey.
Vargas has been fighting once a year for the last two years, and he’s going to need to increase his activity if he wants to stay relevant.
It will help if Vargas picks up a win or two because it’s been four years since his last victory over a top tier opponent in Sadam Ali. Vargas’ only two wins since 2016 have come against 40-year-old Soto and journeyman Aaron Herrera.