Tim Bradley says Jermell Charlo can exploit Canelo Alvarez’s weakness in uppercuts if he’s willing to put himself in harm’s way on September 30th.
Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) has an excellent uppercut that he occasionally throws, but he doesn’t use this punch nearly as much as he should because he likely doesn’t want to get close enough to his opponents to get clipped.
In Charlo’s fights at 154, he often has a huge size advantage over his opposition after he rehydrates, so he doesn’t need to use uppercuts to win fights.
Against Canelo, Jermell will need to pull every tool out of the toolbox for him to have the best shot at winning because he’s not going to be able to jab & throw potshots, thinking he’ll KO him or win a decision.
Bradley noted that John Ryder repeatedly nailed Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) with uppercuts. Ryder wasn’t afraid to throw uppercuts because, unlike Jermell, he’s comfortable on the inside and doesn’t worry about getting hit.
It’s too bad Bradley won’t be in Jermell’s corner on September 30th because he could light a fire under his backside if he fails to exploit Canelo’s main weakness. Although Jermell has a good coach in Derrick James, the fact that he’s not using all the weapons he can to win fights suggests that there could be a training issue.
Canelo’s fatigue problem
“That’s why he gets tired, and it’s kind of like embedded in him, and that’s the way he’s been trained, and he’s kind of gotten away from that slick Canelo,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype about Canelo Alvarez loading up on all his shots nowadays, which causes him to gas.
“Although I know it’s still in there if he needs to bring it back in spots. But for the most part, he fights the same way every single fight I’ve seen of him in his last five times. More than that.
“He’s fallen in love with it [his power] and just looking for just one punch. The one-hitter quitters. Every shot is hard, bro. It’s a death blow. Everything, and it’s crazy because I look at that, and I see so many holes in his game, but it’s working for him.” said Bradley.
Canelo became obsessed with his power game after knocking out Rocky Fielding in 2018. From that fight moving forward, Canelo stopped throwing combinations, choosing to load up on single shots, looking for highlight-reel knockouts like the ones we saw against Fielding, Amir Khan, and Sergey Kovalev.
Is Jermell Charlo vulnerable to being knocked out by Canelo? That’s a good question. Given that Jermell is moving up two weight classes and has never fought at 168, it’s possible.
“Tank kind of adopted that Canelo type of style where he’ll put his high guard up, and he’ll take a few rounds off, and he’ll let you beat it on him and let you be comfortable, and then try to lower the boom on you,” said Bradley.
“Canelo is Tank’s favorite fighter or he said it was his favorite fighter. So yeah, and then Canelo used to use his footwork in lateral movement, and he’s going away from that. Now that he’s gotten a little bit older, he’s going away from that.
“Now you see Tank, and he moves laterally, gets in position, and then he’ll strike with combinations. So that was more of the older Canelo, the more, the younger Canelo from maybe five-six years ago, that type of Canelo, and you’re seeing that with Tank.
“But yeah, as far as the power goes and the single punch, yes, but I just feel like Tank, his accuracy, and his explosiveness is on another level, even more so than Canelo’s.”
Jermell’s height won’t help
“Some guys are accustomed to fighting taller guys because they’ve been fighting big guys their entire career,” said Bradley. “Canelo’s that type of guy. He doesn’t mind the taller guys. He has an advantage because although you do have the longer arms, it takes you more time to get your arms back to your face to block punches.
“So it opens up opportunities for his explosiveness and his slips. So when he slips, that arm is off back here, and so when you get it back, he’s already countered. It actually helps his offense.
“So although Charlo is the bigger guy, taller guy, and when I say bigger guy, that just means taller, it doesn’t mean that he’s a bigger man. It just means that he’s just taller and longer in reach.
“He’s going to be at a disadvantage when he faces Canelo because Canelo likes his guys tall like trees, and he can chop them down. He can chop them down to the body. A lot of surface area down to the ribs area that he can target, especially up the middle and around the side,” said Bradley.
Canelo vulnerable to uppercuts
“I can tell you one place where I see Canelo vulnerable, and it’s crazy because in his last fight, you saw Ryder exploit it, and it worked. It was the uppercut,” Bradley said.
“It was the uppercut, splitting that guard, and it worked, and I know Charlo has an uppercut, and I was hoping he would throw it more often when he fought against Castano, but he didn’t. He threw it occasionally, and then when they threw, it landed.
“You could see Castano was like, ‘Damn!’ Canelo being a smaller guy, you got to use that uppercut, and I understand that you got to do it at the right time because you don’t want to get caught when fully extended with the left hook from Canelo. But he gives you a lot of opportunities when you isolate them on the outside with the jab, sticking, keeping them busy, and keeping him having to reset his feet.
“When you watch Canelo, and I want you guys go and watch this what watch his films when he’s marking marching forward, he’s breaking the rule, he’s breaking the footwork rule.
“So conventional wisdom of boxing is you push off your back foot, and you step forward with your front foot, and then you bring your back foot up. Canelo pulls his front foot back foot up first, and then he steps forward.
“He pulls his back foot up first and then steps forward when he’s attacking. He’s literally not set to punch there when he’s pulling his back foot up first, putting himself in, I would say, in harm’s way when he’s marching forward.
“If you go and you watch Bivol fight, you will see Bivol made them pay for that because he wasn’t set. His base was not set. You’re lifting up that front foot, and you’re putting a lot of when you’re lifting you’re moving forward with your back foot first, bringing it close, and then you’re stepping forward. Now you have all your weight on your front foot, so you’re stuck kind of stuck in the mud.
Bivol was just letting his combinations go and then moving, and then Canelo had to reset, step over, and he’d try to attack and do the same thing, and Bivol would always get off and do the same thing.
“So you can keep Canelo resetting, you can keep him on the outside, but again, he’s the bigger man. Charlo is going to start getting tired, and he’s going to wear down Charlo,” said Bradley.