Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Liam “Beefy” Smith: The fight that nobody asked for
By J. Calderon: In an utterly predictable move, Golden Boy Promotions announced that former WBC Middleweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will be facing WBO Jr. Middleweight Champion Liam “Beefy” Smith on Sept. 17. Already, there has been a massive backlash on social media, with fans bombarding Canelo’s page with GGG memes and claiming to have abandoned ship.
Now, the point of view of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya and Vice President Eric Gomez is simple: maximum reward for minimum risk. “Canelo” has already denied being a full-fledged middleweight, so moving back to 154 lbs. and fighting for a Jr. Middleweight title makes perfect sense. However, “Canelo” has claimed to be unable to make 154 lbs since his win over a weight drained Alfredo Angulo in 2014.
To make matters worse, “Canelo” isn’t even fighting one of the better fighters in the Jr. Middleweight division such as Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, or The Charlo Brothers. Any of those aforementioned fighters stand a legitimate chance of giving “Canelo” not only a loss, but a bad loss, where he would find himself out-skilled and out-boxed.
Now, rumor has it that “Canelo” and WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin have agreed to fight in the fall of 2017. Many boxing fans are naturally skeptical and unconvinced since “Canelo” has “agreed” to fight “GGG” in the past. Personally, I will not be convinced until “Canelo” signs a contract. Regardless, this represents yet another “black eye” for boxing and another unsatisfying and frustrating experience for the boxing public. “GGG” now finds himself between a rock and a hard place, as Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders have also graciously declined to face him in the fall. This leaves him with two options: face Chris Eubank Jr. in a little interest keep busy fight, or move up to 168 lbs. and fight WBC Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. “GGG” would be seen as the clear favorite in either of those fights.
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) June 24, 2016
“GGG”, is it worth waiting another full year for “Canelo” and Golden Boy Promotions to marinate the fight, and risk “Canelo” ducking the fight all over again through an unreasonable 90/10 split or a catchweight handicap? Also, risking that age will get the better of him and his performance slowing down enough to make it a much less competitive fight like we saw in “The Fight of the Century.” “Canelo” has even been shamed by the Mexican fans and Mexican boxing media who have elevated him to where he is now. It is no secret what “Canelo” and Golden Boy Promotions are doing to the boxing public in force feeding them unwanted mismatches against lower weight class opponents and hyping up the mediocre opposition as a legitimate threat and selling it on PPV. Hey, as long as “Canelo” knocks them out and looks good it doesn’t matter who he fights right? “Canelo” and Oscar De La Hoya seem to have taken his built-in Mexican fan base for granted and will be in for a rude awakening when their fight brings in 100-200K PPV buys and loses money on Mexican Independence Day weekend, the most profitable holiday of the year in boxing. Oscar De La Hoya risks even more of an embarrassment if Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. decides to spite him and hijack the date by facing WBC Welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a smart businessman and knows that no matter who he fights, he could give Oscar and “Canelo” a good run for their money. The only winner in this case- Liam “Beefy” Smith.