Canelo insisting on his 3 big name options for 5/5: Will he end up with another small guy?
By Chris Williams: WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez despite never having proven himself at 154 lbs and 147, is insisting on fighting one of three opponents – Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto or Sergio Martinez – he’s picked out for his next fight on May 5th. He’s been ordered by the World Boxing Council to fight the winner of the Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan WBC 154 lb eliminator bout, which takes place on Saturday night, but it doesn’t look like Alvarez is going to do that.
With Alvarez not likely to fight the Martirosyan-Lara winner the scenario I see happening is the WBC not doing a thing when Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions ignoring the WBC orders for Alvarez to fight the Lara vs. Martirosyan winner, leading to Alvarez fighting either another smaller fighter dragged up from the welterweight division or an old lion with a name that’s lost his ability to fight. Alvarez’s chances of getting that big name that he wants to fight on May 5th are slim and none. Martinez will be fighting in Argentina, Miguel Cotto will be coming off of a loss to Austin Trout, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn’t going to fight Alvarez, period.
The fight thing for Alvarez to do would be to fight the Lara-Martirosyan winner since the WBC has ordered the fight. I can understand Alvarez wanting to fight one of those guys, but he’s not proven that he deserves to fight them yet.
The way that Alvarez and Golden Boy are rushing into a fight with Mayweather, Cotto and Martinez without Alvarez having proven himself at either 147 or 154, it looks like they’re to cash out before Alvarez is exposed by someone good at 154. That’s the way it looks like to me. Say what you will about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., he at least proved himself at 160 by taking on the top names in the division. I don’t see that happening with Alvarez.
What will be really sad is if Alvarez doesn’t get the top three fighters that’s listed, and then still chooses to bypass fighting the Lara vs. Martirosyan winner on May 5th. I’d hate to see 39-year-old Ricardo Mayorga dragged out there to fight Canelo Alvarez on May 5th instead of Lara or Martirosyan if Alvarez can’t get his top three choices for an opponent. Somehow I can see that happening.
Golden Boy wanted Alvarez to fight in December because his fight last September was an easy one agaisnt a light welterweight in Josesito Lopez and Alvarez didn’t get hit all that much. But Alvarez said he was going to sit and wait 8 months until one of his big names were available. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Alvarez could end up having wasted the 8 months if Golden Boy can’t line up one of those three big names that he wants. 8 months down the drain.
Alvarez is only 22, but if he’s doing this thing at this age it’s not hard to imagine a future where he’s just sitting and waiting for the big fights and ignoring title defenses. Of course, that’s kind of how the game is played by some of the top fighters now.
Belts lose their meaning for these guys as they get huge paydays and then don’t feel like defending their titles unless it’s against another big name for a ton of money. It’s good for them that they’re doing this, but for the sport because it prevents other fighters from getting their chance to get a payday and to make for for themselves. It turns boxing into a small clue where guys ignore titles and just look to fight a small set of fighters over and over again. We’re seeing that with Manny Pacquiao fighting Juan Manuel Marquez multiple times.