Why should Mayweather fight Canelo at 154?
By Dan Ambrose: There are a lot of fans of WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez coming out of the woodwork saying that the more popular and much accomplished Floyd Mayweather Jr. should move up in weight to 154 to accommodate Canelo so that he doesn’t have to put in an effort to lose some weight to get down to 147 to fight Mayweather.
They reason that it’s easier for Mayweather to gain weight than it is for Canelo to lose weight. Their argument is centered on the grounds that Mayweather has fought twice at 154 in his 17-year pro career and that’s enough for them to feel he should have no problems coming up in weight.
I don’t really agree with that reasoning because it’s not as if Mayweather will be fighting a 154 pound Canelo on September 14 if he were to say yes to the fight. If that’s all Canelo were to weigh for the fight then Mayweather would sign in a second. The problem is Canelo isn’t really a true junior middleweight.
At 172, Canelo is really a middleweight/super middleweight in size, and he’s squeezing down to 154 by losing lots of water weight so that he can get the bigger fights against welterweights [147 pounders] by having them come up in weight to 154 and then enjoying a huge weight advantage over them.
Canelo is doing what former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has been doing for a while now by melting down to fight guys much lighter than himself. But in Chavez Jr’s case, he fights the guys in the division that he melts down to. With Canelo, he melts down from the upper 160s to 172, and fights guys in the welterweight division in a lot of cases instead of guys at 154.
It’s understandable why Canelo would want to stay close to the welterweight division because from that vantage point he can potentially pull guys from the 140 and 147 pound weight classes to come up and fight him at 154, except he won’t be anywhere near 154 when he fights the guys. He’s going to be really heavy and will have a huge weight advantage over them.
I think Mayweather is going the right thing by asking Canelo to come down to 147 if he wants to fight him, but I would go one step farther by making sure that Canelo agreed to a rehydration clause to keep him from rehydrating over 154. It’s too easy for fighters to dehydrate down 20 to 30 pounds nowadays and then quickly put the weight back on to enjoy a nice comfortable 20+ weight advantage over their smaller opponent.
It’s also a lot easier for a fighter to do this when they’re as young as Canelo. If Mayweather doesn’t want to find himself potentially facing a 170+ pound Canelo on September 14th, then he’s going to need to ask him to come down to 147 and then agree to a rehydration limit of no more than 154 because that would give Canelo a four pound weight advantage over Mayweather, who comes into his fights at 150.
If four isn’t enough of an advantage for Canelo then he can always go fight guys like Josesito Lopez and Matthew Hatton, and I’m sure they’ll be fine with fighting Canelo at junior middleweight and having to deal a much, much heavier Canelo.