Tonight boxing sensation Canelo Alvarez returns to action as he takes on undisputed super welterweight Jermell Charlo in Las Vegas, Nevada. With Terence Crawford and Naoya Inoue getting shine, the Mexican stand out looks to remind everyone why he’s the true pound for pound king.
Canelo Alvarez: Y’all must’ve forgot
Canelo Alvarez stumbled in May of 2022 when he dropped a one sided decision against light heavyweight champ, Dmitrii Bivol. From that point on, Canelo’s grip on the top spot in boxing crumbled alongside his 16 fight win streak. The last time he’d lost a fight before Bivol, Joe Biden was still the vice president, the Boston Marathon bombing had just happened, and The Walking Dead was all the rage.
Since then, Canelo has beat Gennadiy Golovkin in a third match and beat John Ryder in a hard-fought decision.
In the mean time, Japan’s Naoya Inoue unified bantamweight to become undisputed and then moved up to defeat Stephen Fulton to win a world title in his fourth weight class. Just when it looked like Inoue would stake his claim at the best of boxing, Terence Crawford took the world by storm by knocking out Errol Spence and becoming the first person to go undisputed in two weight classes in the four belt era.
Canelo, who is undisputed at super middleweight, is taking on undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo to remind everyone why he was the king of boxing for so long.
Jermell Charlo: Inactivity, weird fights, and being undisputed
Jermell Charlo will jump up two weight classes but at the commencement of the fight, his reign of being undisputed will come to an end. The WBO granted a reprieve on stripping Charlo for not taking his mandatory to make Canelo vs. Charlo a true undisputed versus undisputed fight. Once the bell rings, Australia’s Tim Tszyu will be promoted from interim to true champion.
Charlo’s recent run has been marred by odd fights since 2018. After beating Austin Trout via majority decision, he lost his first fight to Tony Harrison via unanimous decision. Unable to get an immediate rematch, Charlo took on Jorge Cota and knocked him out in three. The rematch with Harrison was set and Jermell Charlo took home the decision win and his titles back.
He returned to competition in 2020 with an eighth round finish of Jeison Rosario then a year later fought to a draw with Brian Castano. 10 months following that, Charlo knocked Castano in the tenth.
Charlo has been inactive for a year and four months since his last fight and that will certainly play a factor in the fight with Canelo. But the biggest factor will certainly be a huge factor. Charlo may be taller but Canelo has the advantage in the power department. That will make Charlo have to deal with the infighting and body work of Canelo as the fight goes on.
With Canelo on one side and Terence Crawford on the other Jermell Charlo has a target on his back. Expect for him to fight like it.
Adding to one’s legacy
Beating Jermell Charlo is simply a legacy building fight for Canelo Alvarez. A -320 favorite, Canelo is taking on an undisputed champion to add his name to the king resume of the Mexican king.
Imagine Charlo’s undisputed resume next to names like Gennadiy Golovkin, Miguel Cotto and Sergey Kovalev. If all goes according to plan, Canelo will look to add Jermell’s brother, Jermall Charlo, and David Benavidez to his list of names, mandatories permitting.
The biggest criticism is that Canelo is taking on a fighter that’s the champion at 154 pounds as a 168 pound fighter. The last time he fought at that weight was in 2016 against Liam Smith.
But upon seeing how Jermell Charlo is taller than Canelo calmed those talks a bit.
Canelo is only 33 years old but in the ring, it doesn’t look it. He’s slowed down in his past few fights, most notably against John Ryder. But giving the benefit of the doubt to Canelo, Ryder is a southpaw and southpaws have always given Canelo trouble.
But Canelo has a few fights left before he starts to really hit a wall. This envisioned career path of Jermell, Jermall, and David Benavidez is the swan song for Canelo. He will future proof his resume by beating these three and a couple of tomorrow’s champions, just as Floyd Mayweather did with him.
But he is still among boxing’s best. Winning in emphatic fashion on Saturday will remind the world that Canelo is still Canelo, one of the best Mexican boxers of all time. He follows in the footsteps of Salvador Sanchez and Julio Caesar Chavez, standing on the shoulders of giants.
Canelo, though young, is now the crafty veteran. Not Roberto Duran fighting Iran Barkley in 1989. But he’s experienced and knows how to use that experience. It’s what makes him great. It’s what makes him the king of boxing.
A win over Jermell Charlo almost assuredly won’t put Canelo back on top of the pound for pound rankings. His loss to Bivol on top of Inoue, Crawford and Usyk’s success probably will block that until Canelo wins for another five years. But a win over Charlo will be a great boost to the legacy of Canelo Alvarez. And 62 fights into his career, building a legacy above the rest is all there is for Canelo.
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