Paulie Malignaggi On Canelo Saying He Won’t Fight Zurdo Because He’s A Mexican: “But He Fought Chavez Jr, Because He Sucks?”

09/12/2022 - By James Slater - Comments

Throughout the years, we have seen so many great Mexico Vs. Mexico ring battles. Wars, slugfests, classic fights. So it’s no wonder quite a few people raised their eyebrows when Mexican star Canelo Alvarez recently said he will not fight Gilberto Ramirez because “Zurdo” is a fellow Mexican. If Ramirez, a talented and exceptionally tall light-heavyweight who is of course unbeaten at 44-0, can beat Canelo conqueror Dmitry Bivol on November 5, the natural fight to make would be Ramirez against Canelo (assuming Canelo comes through okay against Gennady Golovkin in their trilogy this Saturday).

But Canelo says he won’t get it on with his Mexican brother. Do you find this weird? Former champ turned analyst Paulie Malignaggi sure does, as he made clear when speaking with FightHype.com.

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“That’s a bit weird, not to fight a fellow Mexican,” Malignaggi said. “You guys know better than me, but isn’t Julio Cesar Chavez Junior a Mexican? But he sucks! So he fought him because he sucks! But when the [other] Mexicans know how to fight you won’t fight them? You gotta get a better excuse than that or else you’re asking for that kind of criticism. If you don’t wanna fight him, find another reason you don’t wanna fight him. That’s fine. Fights don’t happen all the time, and Canelo’s a great fighter – he doesn’t have to fight everybody. But don’t make that [excuse] up, bro. You got Julio Cesar Chavez Junior on your record, bro!”

It’s tough to disagree with “The Magic Man.” And a little while ago, fellow former champ turned analyst Shawn Porter was also a little curious over the way Canelo said he would not fight his fellow countryman in Zurdo. So is there more to it? Is Canelo looking to avoid Ramirez for an entirely different reason? As Malignaggi said, Canelo can’t fight everyone, yet at the same time, if Zurdo can defeat Bivol, this all-Mexican clash would seem to be a natural fight to make.

Canelo spoke with USA Today earlier this month, and he said he doesn’t want to fight Ramirez because “he is Mexican and I represent Mexico.” Yet as Malignaggi pointed out, Canelo has no qualms about fighting Chavez Jr. It is indeed a strange one, a weird one.

Could it be, that at the end of his otherwise great career, the one thing missing from Canelo’s ring resume will a classic fight against a fellow Mexican, in the tradition fight fans the world over have always loved and admired? “Two Mexicans in the ring guarantees a war,” Ramirez said. Yet Canelo-Ramirez seems to be one Mexican war that will never happen.