Paulie Malignaggi slams Canelo Alvarez for choosing Jermell Charlo for September 30 fight

07/02/2023 - By Jeff Sorby - Comments

Paulie Malignaggi thinks Canelo Alvarez reached a new low in cherry-picking Jermell Charlo from the 154-lb division for his September 30th fight on Showtime PPV after his attempts at fighting his brother Jermall Charlo came up empty.

Malignaggi says Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) should have fought David Benavidez because at least he competes in the same division at 168, and he’s been his WBC mandatory for over a year.

Canelo recently signed a three-fight deal with PBC for $100 million+, and it’s rumored that the three fights that have been agreed on for the Mexican star are in this order:

1. Jermell Charlo
2. Jermall Charlo – *provided personal problems taken care of
3. Errol Spence Jr

Malignaggi admits that he never thought Canelo would ever fight David Benavidez, but he still would have preferred that he stuck with fighting opposition from his own weight class at 168 rather than combing the 154-lb division to select the thin Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who hasn’t fought in 14 months and has been dragging out his broken left hand a lot longer than boxing fans would have liked.

Malignaggi says he wanted Jermell to stay at 154 to defend against his WBO mandatory Tim Tszyu because that would be a massive “super fight” that he and the boxing public have waited to see.

Paulie says that with the huge money that Jermell will make from the Canelo fight, he’s no longer going to have the ambition to return to the ring to take a risky fight against Tszyu.

It’s quite possible that with the millions that Jermell will make from fighting Canelo, he’ll sink further into the inactivity that we’ve been seeing from him since his biggest career win over Brian Castano last year.

If Malignaggi is upset now, just wait and see who Canelo winds up facing, Jermall and Spence, in his next two fights.

Canelo playing it safe

“Not only did this guy give us great fights, really good fights against really good opponents as far as to have to unify the title, but he’s going to have to keep defending and against good fighters as this weight class keeps producing good fighters,” said Malignaggi on Paulie TV in talking about Canelo choosing Jermell Charlo for his next fight instead of David Benavidez.

“Nope, bring in Canelo Alvarez, and he ruined the whole thing for us,” said Malignaggni about his belief that Jermell will stop taking risky fights against the top challengers at 154 after his big payday against Canelo on September 30.

What’s interesting is how fighters that make mega-millions fighting Canelo stop fighting frequently, and their careers go down.

These are five notable examples of fighters that have seen their careers sink after they tasted Canelo money:

  • Sergey Kovalev
  • Daniel Jacobs
  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • Caleb Plant
  • Gennadiy Golovkin

“I respect the fact that he’s a big sell, a big star, and a very good fighter, Canelo,” said Malignaggi. “Listen, I admit it. He’s a very good fighter, but why can’t boxing enforce the fights it wants?

“The fights within the way classes that would make the best matchups and, in turn, give the fight fans the best matchups and the best fights. You actually get the bang for your buck. You wouldn’t just have to pay for the fight.

“You actually get your entertainment value for the fight. Now we’re not going to get it because, honestly, does Jermell really have a reason to defend against Tim Tszyu?

Jermell lacks the size

“Whether he [Jermell] wins or loses against Canelo, he’s going to make so much money he’s not even going to care about taking another risk against Tim Tszyu. I don’t know what else to say. I’m just going by my basic reactions right now.

“What do I think about Canelo vs. Jermell Charlo? It’s two very good fighters that are two weight classes apart. What is there to say? What is there to break down about this fight?

“If they were the same exact size, I’d probably pick Jermell to be the favorite, but they’re two full-weight classes apart. Two, bro. Do you know what that means? It’s a lot of difference. Two full weight classes of a difference.

“This is the lot for Jermell to overcome. Not to mention, of course, the politics of any kind of Canelo fight that you have to overcome to begin with. I don’t know, man.

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