Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez got the job done last night, yet in pounding out an at times way tougher than expected decision victory over a gutsy John Ryder (an 18:1 underdog going in), Canelo’s latest win has attracted some criticism. The KO win that was predicted by many never came, and Ryder himself said at the post-fight presser how Canelo’s best days have passed him by.
At age 32, and with 63 pro fights on his body, it really is little wonder Canelo is not the same force he once was. But how much has Canelo got left? How much more can the man, who went pro way back in October of 2005, possibly achieve? Fans have heard what Canelo wants next – that rematch with Dmitry Bivol, again at light heavyweight. But this looks like a tough, tough fight for Canelo, just as the first fight was; maybe even tougher.
Can Canelo, 59-2-2(39) beat Bivol? Going by last night’s showing from Canelo, it looks doubtful. Ryder, who fell to 32-6(18) but didn’t fall, is no Bivol, the Russian having far more skill and cleverness. Yet Ryder’s heart and desire kept him in last night’s fight, right to the very end. Bivol had Canelo backing up when they fought in May of last year and the WBA light heavyweight champ will no doubt have tuned in last night. Bivol will have liked what he saw and he may feel like being even more aggressive against Canelo in the rematch.
Might Bivol even stop Canelo in fight-2?
For now, former Canelo promoter and friend Oscar De La Hoya couldn’t resist having a little dig at his former charge/buddy. Remember when there was some serious talk of Canelo, the way he was going – winning belts at four weights, one of only a few Mexican fighters ever to do so, Canelo also making history by becoming the first four-belt ruler at 168 – of overtaking the one and only Julio Cesar Chavez as THE greatest ever Mexican fighter?
Well, Oscar put out a tweet last night that many fans will no doubt agree with:
“Nobody will ever be Julio Cesar Chavez,” De La Hoya wrote.
Agreed. “J.C Superstar” remains where he was, is and always will be: as the greatest ring warrior his great country has ever produced.
But did De La Hoya really have to rub it in, this at a time when Canelo had taken a far smaller purse so he could fight before his people in Mexico?