Jim Lampley wants Canelo Alvarez to fight David Benavidez & Terence Crawford to put himself among the greatest Mexican boxers of all time.
The undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo’s impressive victory over Jermell Charlo (35-2-1,19 KOs) last Saturday night makes the former HBO commentator Lampley believe that he’s as good as ever, and he wants to see him take on his WBC mandatory Benavidez and 147-lb undisputed champion Crawford.
Lampley says a fight with Crawford can happen if Canelo can agree to a catchweight of 160. He believes that would make it a doable fight.
The Crawford fight doesn’t look like it’s going to happen unless Canelo changes his mind about not wanting to fight him.
Last Saturday night, Canelo made it clear to the media that Crawford is not in his plans. However, he didn’t rule out the fight not happening in the future.
With Canelo having just fought 154-pounder Jermell, it’s not a good time for him to face 147-pounder Crawford because it would look like he’s focusing on fighting smaller guys.
Canelo hasn’t fought a good 168-pound fighter since his win over Caleb Plant in 2021. His fights since then have been against light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol, middleweight Gennadiy Golovkin, John Ryder, and Charlo.
Canelo is good as ever
“A vintage Canelo Alvarez performance. Jermell Charlo tried and put some pressure on uh Canelo early in the fight, but it really wasn’t about Jermell tonight. This was about Canelo listening to people saying, ‘Oh, he’s on the downside, his skills may be waning,’ and going into the ring and proving he’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Jim Lampley to the Fight Hub TV site.
Charlo isn’t a good enough yardstick to say whether Canelo is just as good as ever, because after all, he was hand-picked from two weight classes below at 154.
If Jermell picked out an opponent from the 140-lb division to defend his junior middleweight titles against, he would be laughed at and criticized. That’s what Canelo did by choosing Jermell from two divisions below 154
.If Canelo isn’t up to the task of fighting the top 168-pounders, he needs to vacate those titles because he’s taken a two-year break from fighting the best in the division since his win over Plant.
“He’s the greatest fighter of his generation, and he’s somebody who is going to rank very high in the overall history of the sport based on performances just like this,” said Lampley.
“I don’t think that Canelo Alvarez is on the downside at all. If people are saying that because of one loss to Dmitry Bivol, they’re
ignoring the obvious.
“That was a matchmaking error. He should never have fought Dmitry Bivol. Too big, too long, and all the skills. It’s just the wrong matchup for him. He’s not a light heavyweight.
“I think he understands that he’s a 168-pound fighter or could probably go down eight pounds and be the strongest middleweight in the world, but he’s not a 175-pound fighter.
“Regardless of how easily he beat Sergey Kovalev a few years ago, he was beating the battered hulk of the former Sergey Kovalev after Andre Ward had softened him up.
“So, I think that we’re wrong if we think that Canelo is somewhere toward the end or on the downside. He won’t say openly, he won’t say categorically that his goal is to be seen as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time, but I strongly believe that is his inner goal. I think that burns like a fire within him.
“So look at what he’s going after. He wants to be seen as better than Salvador Sanchez, who died before we saw the best years of him quite possibly. He wants to be seen as better than Julio Cesar Chavez, who almost made it to a hundred wins.
“There are so many others I could mention. Barrera, Morales, Marquez, all the great Mexican Fighters. This guy wants to be the best of them all, and I think he’s in a position to make that argument.
“He needs maybe a couple more really good wins. He’s fighting in an era rich with talent. He’s beating everybody they put in front of him. Two wins in close fights and then a third win and a mop-up against Gennady Golovkin, that’s unbelievable. It’s phenomenal,” said Lampley.
Alvarez needs Benavidez & Crawford
“One of the greatest assets is his chin, and it helps to set up everything else he does,” Lampley said. “David Benavidez is a logical opponent. He should fight David Benavidez. I mentioned to Crawford the other day that you’re no longer pound-for-pound #1. Most people ranked Terence Crawford pound-for-pound #1.
“Canelo said, ‘That’s not right. I’m still pound-for-pound #1.’ I think he was probably thinking of that tonight, too. There’s a 21-lb gap between Crawford and Canelo, but I think if they could make a deal, find a catchweight, 154, 157, 160, somewhere between 147 and 168, the world would love to see the fight between the ultra-violent Canelo Alvarez and the ultra-violent Terence Crawford. That’s potentially a great fight.
“I don’t think Crawford could effectively go up to 168 without a few fights to get used to it and times running out. If that fight is going to happen, that has to be a negotiation where Crawford is at least able to pull Canelo down to 160.
“Crawford up to 160 might be a bridge too far, but let’s find out. He’s the other fighter who has the skill, the instinct, and has the kind of offensive talent that Canelo has,” said Lampley.