Canelo Alvarez’s former promoter Oscar De La Hoya, wasn’t altogether impressed with his performance last month against Callum Smith on December 19th.
De La Hoya feels that Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) didn’t throw enough combinations in the fight and didn’t give the boxing public their money’s worth by making it exciting.
While Canelo did dominate the previously unbeaten Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) in winning a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision, the fight lacked excitement and drama that we’d seen from the Mexican star in the distant past in his matches against Gennadiy Golovkin, James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto.
Alvarez grabbed Smith’s WBA Super World super middleweight title, and he always won the vacant WBC 168lb title that the World Boxing Council had kindly made available for the fight.
Interestingly, De La Hoya is only now noticing that Canelo doesn’t throw combinations. He’s been a pot-shot fighter for most of his 16-year professional career, but the problem has become more pronounced since he moved up to 168 and 175.
Canelo’s stamina problems are the chief reason why he doesn’t throw a lot of combinations. Alvarez has become similar to Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner with his low work rate, which he can get away with due to his power.
Canelo has decent pop in his punches for a super middleweight. He’s clearly not as powerful as the true 168-pounders like Edgar Berlanga and David Benavidez. Those guys are much bigger punchers than Canelo, and they’re a lot younger.
Canelo should have thrown more combinations, says Oscar
“I obviously would have liked him to have thrown more combinations,” said De La Hoya to Fighthub about Canelo’s win over Callum Smith.
“He could have stopped him if he’d wanted to. I think he did phenomenally, he did a wonderful job, but he needs more work when it comes to letting his punches loose.
“I think he’s very complacent right now,” continued De La Hoya about Canelo. “He’s in a place where, ‘I’m going to throw one punch, a power shot, two shots,'” said De La Hoya.
Oscar may sound like he’s bitter because he’s no longer promoting Canelo, but he’s right about what he says. Canelo could have made the fight easy for him against Smith if he’d attacked him with a flurry of combinations early.
The De La Hoya used to fight during his prime by attacking his opponents with combinations that Canelo needed to fight against Smith.
Canelo doesn’t have the gas tank to fight the way De La Hoya wants him to, and he’s clearly afraid to gas out.
We saw what happened to Canelo when he gassed out in the second half of his two fights against Gennadiy Golovkin and in his match with Daniel Jacobs. Canelo barely escaped both fights without losing.
In the fight with Callum Smith, Canelo looked like he didn’t even want to push a fast pace for fear of him fading.
Canelo got away with his low work rate against Callum Smith because the British fighter looked drained from weight loss. The big 6’4″ Smith doesn’t belong at 168 any longer at this point in his career, and he had nothing left after making weight.
De La Hoya is the gold standard for what Canelo should be shooting to entertain boxing fans and win his fights quickly and efficiently.
As De La Hoya says, Canelo is “too complacent” now. You can argue that what De La Hoya means by saying that Canelo is too “complacent” is code for him being ‘Too lazy.’ That’s what it looks like.
Canelo doesn’t want to push himself because it is draining to fight hard, and there’s always the risk that you’ll get caught by a big shot or you’ll gas out. De La Hoya was always willing to take that risk with his own career, but that’s why he was so great in winning world titles in six divisions.
If Canelo had fought a prime super middleweight like David Benavidez, Edgar Berlanga, or Bektemir Melikuziev, he probably would have lost. Someone like Caleb Plant would test Canelo as well and scorch him with combinations.
It’s only a matter of time before Canelo loses at 168. He’s got age and physics working against him. The guys are bigger, stronger, and younger than Canelo. More importantly, they’re superior to him in the cardio department.
Canelo can delay the inevitable by taking on Avni Yildirim and Billy Joe Saunders in his next two fights. Still, he’s likely to lose when he gets in there with Plant, Benavidez, Berlanga, Jermall Charlo, and Melikuziev.
It would be wise for Canelo to fight Golovkin this year along with Yildirim and Saunders because those are fighters that he can beat. Canelo needs to delay the fights against the talented 168-pounders until 2022 if he’s smart.
De La Hoya wants Canelo to be more like Ryan Garcia
“But at the same time, you have to make sure that the fans are getting a spectacle, and are getting their money’s worth,” said De La Hoya about Canelo not making it entertaining by being too economical with his punches against Smith.
“You have to go, kind of like Ryan Garcia. You go out there and you’re exciting. So other than that, he did phenomenally.
“He’s a free agent right now, so obviously it’s all about the money,” said De La Hoya about wanting to resign Canelo with Golden Boy.
“I’m very positive that we [Golden Boy Promotions] can present to him a very lucrative deal in the near future that will allow him once again to fight under the Golden Boy banner,” said De La Hoya of Canelo.
If Canelo could fight like Ryan Garcia, his star power would shoot through the roof, and he’d become a crossover star like the ‘Golden Boy’ De La Hoya.
I don’t think Canelo can fight like Ryan Garcia, as he doesn’t have the same killer instruct that Ryan has. King Ryan is more like De La Hoya, except he doesn’t throw combinations like he used to.
Canelo could help his career if he not only changed his fighting style but also start speaking English during news conferences and when giving interviews.
We saw the impact Golovkin had recently when he stopped using his interpreter during his last promotion to fight against Kamil Szeremeta.
The media and the fans warmed up to GGG because this was how he’d always been. Golovkin didn’t care if his English wasn’t 100% perfect. He still was willing to try. We haven’t seen that with Canelo, and you can argue that it’s hurt his popularity.