Canelo Alvarez is expected to take a considerable risk with his career by facing unbeaten Jermall Charlo for his May 7th fight on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend. Canelo vs. Charlo will create a lot of interest from boxing fans, as it’s the first high-caliber opponent Alvarez has faced since his rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin in 2018.
Since that fight, Canelo has taken a four-year break from fighting elite-opposition and has been focusing on fighting belt holders from Europe for the most part.
Charlo, 31, has been asking for a fight against the Mexican star Canelo for years, but he’s been ignored by the superstar until now.
Canelo had been planning on moving up to cruiserweight to pick off the flawed weakest link in Ilunga Makabu, but something made him change his mind about going in that direction.
It could be that Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso are listening to the backlash that they’ve received about their interest in facing Makabu.
The Mexican star Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is rumored to be facing the undefeated former two-division world champion Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) at 168 on pay-per-view.
Canelo is taking a huge step up in class
For Canelo, 31, this is a big step up in class from the marginal opposition he’s been feasting on since his controversial win over Gennady Golovkin in 2018.
For the last three years, Canelo has been facing middle-of-the-road opposition in easy money record-padding fights, which he claims he’s been fighting to strengthen his legacy.
Many boxing fans believe the valid reason Canelo has been fighting guys like Sergey Kovalev, Avni Yildirim, Caleb Plant, and Billy Joe Saunders is to avoid the talented opposition that could beat him.
Canelo is expected to face Jermall next
“Charlo, it looks like he’s going to fight Canelo next with the way it’s trending at the moment,” said Chris Mannix on Boxing with Chris Mannix.
“Charlo is undefeated and can sell the fight, and it’ll do a good number on pay-per-view. I don’t have any optimism that he’s going to win because I haven’t seen him beat anybody at 160 or above that is even close to Canelo’s level.
“I thought for a while in looking at opponents for Canelo, Jermall in looking at his style and what he brings to the table, has one of the better chances of beating Canelo of his recent opponents,” said Corey Erdman.
“Because of his adaptability, because of his jab, because of his ability to counter punch with power.”
Charlo has an excellent chance of beating Canelo because of his counter punching ability, power, and, more importantly, his high punch output.
Even when Canelo was younger, he was never capable of throwing many shots without his need to catch his wind and rest.
But now that Canelo has gotten older and is fighting at 168, he’s become a pot-shot type of fighter in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. mold. Unlike Mayweather, Canelo doesn’t possess an active jab that he throws to keep his opponents off.
Nowadays, Canelo stalks his overmatched opposition around the ring, looking to nail them with heavy shots that he puts everything into.
It’s helped Canelo that he’s been facing paper champions and washed-up fighters one after another.
Canelo’s recent wins:
- Caleb Plant
- Avni Yildirim
- Rocky Fielding
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Callum Smith
- Daniel Jacobs
- Sergey Kovalev
Jermall will be super motivated for Canelo
It’s fair to say that Jermall will be significantly improved from what we’ve seen from him in his recent performances against Montiel, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Dennis Hogan, and Brandon Adams.
You got to go back all the way to 2018 to when the last time Charlo put in an impressive performance with his second round knockout victory over Hugo Centeno Jr.
In all of Charlo’s fights since that victory, he’s looked lackluster, and perhaps a big reason for that is he’s lost motivation.
It’s challenging to get motivated when you’re fighting no-name opposition and expected to win every time out, and that’s the case with Charlo.
“People close to Charlo told me not to look at the [Juan Macias] Montiel fight because he’d really get up for the Canelo fight,” said Mannix. “But in addition to not facing quality opponents in the last five years, he’s been inactive,” said Mannix about Jermall Charlo.
“He’s only fought once a year for the last two years. Canelo was out there running through the super middleweight division in 11 months. He’s sharp.
“If this had been four years ago when Charlo moved up to middleweight, and he fought [Matt] Korobov and Brandon Adams were in the mix, if he’d taken this fight [with Canelo] three years ago, I might have understood that a little bit.
“But now, if you believe that Charlo is going to be a better version of the guy that fought Montiel, and that was not a great version of Charlo.”
I’m afraid I have to disagree with Mannix. Charlo WILL be a lot better against Canelo Alvarez than what we’ve seen from him because he knows he has to raise his game, and there will be a lot of attention on him.
“That’s also what is scary about Canelo. We don’t often see this when a fighter has reached a pinnacle of the sport in terms of being its biggest draw,” said Erdman. “Usually, when guys get to that point, they’re kind of in the autumn of their careers.
“Because by the time it gets to that point because it takes that long to get to that point of marketability and notoriety that you’re kind of on the downswing.”
“What’s scary about Canelo is that you can make the argument that he’s still an improving fighter. Every time we’ve seen Canelo lately, it seems like Canelo has been a little bit better.
“So this is not a situation where Canelo is up there and is getting a little bit older, and there are these guys waiting to pick him off at the right time.
“I don’t know that’s the case. Maybe Jermall hasn’t improved, but Canelo is. It’s hard to believe that Charlo is going to be a better version to the guy we saw against [Juan Macias] Montiel, which was not a great version of Charlo.”