The middleweight division is currently as talent-rich as it it confusing. Just who is the top dog at 160? It would seem to be a relatively easy question to answer: the world champion is the best. But Canelo Alvarez, recently promoted to something called the “franchise champion” at the weight, may well be leaving the 160 pound division behind him in his next fight, perhaps for good.
There is nothing set yet, but plenty of chat suggests Canelo will indeed move up to light-heavyweight and a challenge of 175 pound champ Sergey Kovalev, in September. Who knows if a victorious Canelo would ever come back down to 160. In the meantime, we have two unbeaten champions at middleweight who can each lay claim to being the best at the weight. Demetrius Andrade, the WBO boss, and Jermall Charlo, the full WBC champ due to Canelo’s new status, both won last night – Andrade pitching a shut-out over the tough Maciej Sulecki and Charlo winning a wide decision of his own over Brandon Adams – and both guys want the same thing: a shot at Canelo.
Failing that, or as well as, both men want to fight former world ruler Gennady Golovkin (who just might be the best middleweight in the world still). But will either man get the big opportunity they deserve?
Charlo, 29-0(21) is a superbly gifted boxer and he has been beating quality fighters for the past three years or so. Interim WBC champ since last April, Charlo cannot be ignored and one would think, hope, he will get his chance as long as he remains unbeaten. But then Andrade, 28-0(17) and the WBO ruler since last October when he picked up the vacant belt, might be even better than Charlo.
Yet to put a foot wrong, Andrade has looked sensational in some of his fights; last night’s in particular. With so much talent ready, willing and waiting for him at 160 – these two unbeaten champions as well as GGG – it would be a real shame if Canelo did jump ship and say adiós to the middleweight division.