Should Canelo return to 154 if he ducks Golovkin fight?
Jeff Aranow: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez says he wants his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions to continue working on negotiations for a fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Canelo hasn’t officially ducked the hard hitting Kazakhstan fighter yet, but there’s a very good chance we could see that in the near future.
Canelo giving up his WBC middleweight title this month was the first hint that he might choose to avoid facing Triple G. The other hints were Canelo saying he’s still a 154lb fighter and that he won’t fight a middleweight at the full weight of 160lbs.
If Canelo does choose to swerve around Golovkin, then he most definitely need to move back down to junior middleweight and start facing those fighters once again. If Canelo continues to fight in the middleweight division at his own special weight of 155 and face other middleweights not named Golovkin, it’s going to make Canelo look really bad in the eyes of his fans.
The only way Canelo can escape the criticism is for him to start fighting junior middleweights again. Canelo can’t keep fighting welterweights without becoming the laughing stock of the sport in the eyes of a lot of fans. The only strategic move Canelo can make to escape criticism about ducking Golovkin is to fight at 154, not 155, and to fight the Charlo brothers [Jermall and Jermell], Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara and Liam Smith.
Canelo will need to show that he can fight the best junior middleweights if he’s not going to fight Golovkin. Canelo cannot keep fighting over-the-hill junior middleweights like James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo. Canelo should have never fought those guys in the first place because they were not relevant fighters at the time he fought them.
Canelo fought Angulo and Kirkland five-six years after they stopped being major players in the 154lb division. Instead of Canelo fighting Kirkland and Angulo, he should have already been fighting the Charlo brothers and Demetrius Andrade.
If Canelo faces Golovkin in 2017, I think the fans will forgive him for ducking Golovkin in 2016. However, it would still likely require that Canelo having moved down to 154 and fought the best fighters in that weight class rather than staying at 155 as I said and avoiding Golovkin.
Canelo cannot wait until Golovkin is nearing 40 before facing him if he wants to be become a major star. Canelo is popular now, but he can become so much more popular if he takes the Golovkin fight now rather than avoiding him until he’s old, gray and feeble.
“That fight’s going to happen. It has to happen because it’s one of those fights like back in the day,” said boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard to Hoop Jab. “It’s a fight that either fighter could win.”
Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy are seen by some boxing fans as the major impediment blocking a fight between him and Golovkin. If that’s the case, then Canelo will need to be assertive and demand that they setup the fight with Golovkin. It’s Canelo’s career, not there’s. He’s the one that is going to be seen in a bad light if he fails to fight GGG and continues to fight welterweights much lighter than him or old past their best junior middleweights.
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