By Manuel Lira
Turning pro since the age of 15 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has compiled an excellent 48-1-1 record. Along the way Canelo has beaten multiple ex and current world champions. The 2 division former unified world champion is seen as one of the most popular fighters in the world today. Why is it then that the boxing public has gave so little credit and so much hate to Canelo?
Saul Alvarez is perceived as a ducker and cowardly by some in the boxing community. I will be the first to admit that vacating the WBC middleweight belt in order to avoid Gennady Golovkin (36-0) was a bad decision on the part of Golden Boy. The decision was made because Team Canelo did not want to be “..forced in the ring by artificial deadlines..” The boxing public quickly turned on Canelo after the decision. The move was seen as business savvy by the Canelo faithful, it gave Canelo the chance to prepare and to get acclimated to the middleweight division. After all Canelo has never fought at the middleweight limit of 160 lbs and to almost jump up a division and face the best fighter is virtually unheard of.
Oscar De La Hoya has promised the mega fight in September of this year, DLH has kept his word of Canelo fighting the best in the past. Canelo has faced dangerous and world class opponents in the past when he didn’t have to. Erislandy Lara (23-2-2) is the classic example, a world class technician out of the 154 lbs division, their bout was seen as the classic boxer vs. puncher match. Canelo did not have to face the dangerous Cuban but elected to, beating him by a Split decision. Another example of Canelo fighting the best in the business is his fight against the slick southpaw Austin Trout (30-3). Canelo comfortably beat Trout by out boxing the boxer and showing Knock out power along the way.
As for the GGG fight happening? I do believe that the fight will take place in September 2017 as Golden Boy promised. The fight is sure to live up the hype and produce an instant classic. Golovkin is already the (-350) favorite to win the fight among betting websites. As for how this writer sees it? I see Canelo winning a close decision over Golovkin. GGG simply does not have world level experience under his belt and does not have the formula to beat Canelo. The blueprint to beat Canelo is out there, you beat him by movement and short crisp jabs as did Floyd Mayweather Jr (49-0). Golovkin is more of a stalking boxer that beats people by jabbing and landing big power shots. GGG’s style is perfect for Canelo’s way of boxing. Canelo excels when his opponents constantly come forward and do not move much. I see Canelo counter punching all night long and out boxing him. A lot of attention is paid to GGG’s power but many people fail to see his glaring weakness, defense. As evident in his last fight against welterweight Kell Brook, Golovkin uses very little head movement and bad angles on defense. GGG often gets away with this because of the inferior opponents he has been in the ring with. After Canelo Alvarez gets the ‘W’ versus Golovkin I believe the boxing public will once more get behind the humble 26 years old from Jalisco, Mexico.