Canelo Alvarez is in his fighting prime now, and the 30-year-old believes he is the best fighter in the world. The sole loss on Canelo’s record, as everybody knows, came when he was 23 years of age when he was comprehensively beaten via decision by Floyd Mayweather. As we approach Canelo’s May 8 fight with Billy Joe Saunders, the Mexican superstar was asked by Graham Bensinger, who would win, prime Vs. prime – Canelo or Mayweather?
Canelo shot back his reply instantly: “If we were both at our prime, our best prime, he wouldn’t want anything to do with me. Nothing. I’d knock him out,” Canelo said.
Canelo had said many times how he lacked in experience when he fought Mayweather back in 2013, that the loss made him stronger, that he has the experience now. There is, of course, zero chance of a return fight, with 44-year-old Mayweather happy and content to siphon off a ton of easy money by engaging in exhibition bouts, joke fights, freak shows – call them what you want. But prime Vs. prime, Canelo against Mayweather is a very interesting fight.
Canelo agreed to come in at 152 pounds when he fought Floyd almost eight years ago but in a prime Vs. prime fight, with Canelo at a full 154, maybe the Mexican would have proven too strong for Mayweather. But to be fair, Floyd was at his peak down at welterweight. It’s a tricky hypothesis as a result. There really could not have been a fight between a prime Canelo and a prime Mayweather, simply as the two peak versions of both greats were operating at different weights. Canelo might be the best he’s ever been, and he’s a super-middleweight. Floyd was the best he ever was when he was a welterweight.
In any case, judging by Canelo’s emotions, the loss to Mayweather still hurts him. Sure, it “didn’t kill my dreams,” as he said to Bensinger, but the defeat still bugs Canelo. Mayweather, as Chris Arreola said a day or so ago, caught Canelo at the right time. When inexperienced and agreeing to drop those two pounds, Canelo was taken to school in more ways than one by Floyd.
Prime Vs. Prime couldn’t have happened between these two, though, because they were so differently sized when in their primes. But yes, if Canelo and Mayweather did fight at either middleweight or super-middleweight, maybe Canelo would have knocked Floyd out. But Mayweather would never have let that happen. Canelo is perhaps correct with both his statements – Mayweather wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with him when he was in his prime, but if he had, Floyd would have been KO’d.
Mayweather began his career as a super-featherweight, Canelo as a light-welterweight.