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Canelo Alvarez – The quest begins

Canelo AlvarezBy Mr. Pennington: They say the merit of a man is judged not by being knocked down, but how he gets up. After Saturday’s main event between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul ’Canelo” Alvarez, a lot of question have been answered. As my father would say “the make-up is off the pig”, basically meaning now that all the build- up and hype is over, we can finally see what we really have in Alvarez.

One thing we found out Saturday night is that Canelo is not the one, but being 23 isn’t so bad either already reaching the pinnacle of the sport.

For Alvarez in my estimation, there are a few tough lessons that have been learned that may not be easy to swallow. One, he is not a god sent boxer who’s only matter for creation was to dethrone Floyd Mayweather. Another thing I hope Canelo is learning is boxing is not a sport of celebrity. It is a sport that requires some of the highest levels of mental fortitude. It is a sport where the daily workouts endured can defeat a fighter before he ever steps foot in the ring. That said, Canelo must forget about his national celebrity, and dedicate his total focus to the craft.

The hardest lesson learned for Alvarez this past weekend if you ask me would be the realization that boxing really is a business. The writings on the wall, if Alvarez has the ability to see the forest from the tress, he can easily see that he has been misled a bit. If you want to create an image of a fighter who’s a big puncher, you line him up against smaller past primed fighters that still have a name.

We seen this experiment with Jeff Lacy years ago, it really nothing new to boxing. Canelo had been given the yellow brick road to stardom, what I see hard to swallow about that is knowing the man who guided the whole process to the end, but in the end, was suspiciously not there.

Maybe it’s the skeptic in me, but if I’m Canelo this morning, I’m thinking “where the hell was Oscar”. After all, Oscar made the fight happen, supported Canelo to the utmost, and gave the kid a great amount of confidence repeatedly telling him he has the goods to defeat Mayweather. If your 23 and the great Oscar Dela Hoya says you can win, then dam it, you can win. But a week out, the man that you likely confide in for a source off inside knowledge, the man that has been there, and done that, mysteriously goes to rehab and won’t be at your fight, I can see how that could be a letdown.

After that thought passes, I would then think to myself if I’m Canelo “man, I was really out of my league, I wonder if they knew that all along”. The next thought that follows can be very disappointing to a young man who at 23 can be rightfully naïve. “Did they just market me for my good looks; build me only to cash out in the end”. I’m not sure what Canelo is thinking this morning, but I think he’s smart enough to connect the dots and at least question himself.

Hopefully, once those emotions are processed and filtered out, Canelo will be lefted standing with new perspective in the sport of boxing. He now knows he’s not the one, he knows he’s not some heaven send to change boxing as we know it. He knows his hair is red, and it doesn’t symbolize him being something different, it’s just red hair. So what to do now, I say get back in that gym and go hard Mr. Alvarez. Leave the girls alone, they have their time and space, stop playing with your hair so much, fight at a weight that’s comfortable, and give the fans what they want.

I believe Alvarez still has as story of greatness to be told, for some fighting Floyd symbolizes the end, but for Alvarez I see it as a great beginning. But from here on Saul, we don’t want to see you walking the yellow brick road to the belts; we want to see you fight. We want to see you fight the best at your weight class like the Lara’s of the world. If you can do that for us, we are still waiting with open arms for you to be a hero, but now you must fight for it.

I will end with something else my father likes to say “taking the easy way out is really the hard way”. Mayweather fought many top opponents before ever getting to the pinnacle in 2007 versus Oscar. Eleven years an undefeated pro and had to buy his way out of his contract all in hopes of finally being able to get a shot. Canelo on the other, not so much, the easy road led to some hard lessons to be learned, my hope is Saul pulls out and becomes a better man from this.

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