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Canelo says Golovkin should be the one worrying

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Eric Baldwin: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 33 KOs) vacated his WBC middleweight title this year in a move that many boxing fans feel was done to avoid him having to face the dangerous unbeaten knockout artist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs). Canelo still hasn’t moved up to 160lbs, but he says he will in time. Canelo says he wants a fight against Golovkin, and that he should be the one that is worried.

Canelo feels that he can adapt to anything that is presented to him inside the ring against Golovkin or any middleweight in the division. Canelo has a fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view and BoxNation from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. If Canelo wins that fight, he could be making the move up to middleweight in his next fight on December 10 on HBO.

“Any day, anytime; when the negotiations are done and the fight is done, I will be ready. They need to worry about it, not me,” said Canelo to about Golovkin. “I’m not worried at all about going to 160lb. I’m a strong fighter; I’m a fighter who can adapt to my surroundings.”

I don’t think Team Golovkin is worried about Canelo going to 160. I think they’re more worried about Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy delaying the fight until Golovkin is older, and no longer the fighter he is today. Golovkin and his team are ready to take the fight with Canelo right now while the interest is still there from the boxing world. The fight would be huge news if it takes place right now or in 2017.

If Golden Boy and Canelo wait until Golovkin is 40-years-old before they make the fight, then the interest in the fight could drop off to the point where it’s just another fight between Canelo and another aging star. We saw Canelo fight Shane Mosley when he was his 40s. We saw Canelo fight an old Carlos Baldomir and Miguel Cotto. If Canelo is going to wait until Golovkin is older before he fights him, he’ll likely win, but the money from the fight probably won’t be as much as it would be right now if they made it.

“I have always known what he has and what he does not. He had an opponent who moved a little and we saw what we saw,” said Canelo. “I have never worried about him or others. I have been fighting the best; I am just 26 and have fought in the biggest arenas. I have no regrets, I want that fight and it will happen.”

Canelo obviously hasn’t always been “fighting the best” like he says. Look at some of Canelo’s recent fights against Amir Khan, Cotto, James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo. Those aren’t the best. Cotto wasn’t the best middleweight. He was arguably a paper champion when he fought Canelo last December. Golovkin was seen as the best fighter in the 160lb division while Cotto was the WBC middleweight champion. Kirkland and Angulo are fighters that were relevant seven years ago in the 154lb division, but neither of them is nowadays. They were not “the best”, and Canelo still fought them.

If Canelo wants to get the boxing fans off his back about them thinking he’s ducking Golovkin, then he should give the fans what they’re asking for by agreeing to fight Golovkin. By waiting and stringing it out, Canelo is taking nonstop criticism from the boxing world. It’s bad news for Canelo to be dumped on for him vacating his WBC middleweight title and not taking the fight against GGG. Canelo should get it over with once and for all.

By talking about his weight and saying he’s not grown into the middleweight division, it gives the fans the impression that Canelo is avoiding the Golovkin fight for fear of him getting exposed by him and losing by a knockout. Canelo’s brave words that he’s using aren’t convincing the fans that he’s not avoiding GGG in order to take easier fights against guys like Liam Smith and Amir Khan.

The problem is the fight fans don’t understand why Canelo moved down in weight from 155 to fight Liam Smith rather than staying at middleweight or at least fighting the better known 154lb fighters like the Charlo brothers, Erislandy Lara, Julian Williams or Demetrius Andrade. With Canelo’s fight being on HBO pay-per-view this Saturday night, he would have been so much better off if he had fought one of better known junior middleweights than Liam Smith. That fight just makes boxing fans think that Canelo is padding his record with an easier fight.

“I can’t tell you now what I will be like at 160 as I don’t know yet. We will see in a couple more fights in how I feel and look. We will see what comes,” said Canelo. “I will say this one more time. They need to worry. They need to make something happen.”

Golovkin isn’t worried about fighting Canelo. He’s only worried about whether he’s going to be avoided by him for a long time. That has Golovkin worried, because he obviously wants to take the fight while he’s still relatively young.

Canelo, 26, should be worried about his fight this Saturday night against Liam Smith, because it looks to be his toughest test since his questionable win over Erislandy Lara in 2014. Smith has better credentials than many of Canelo’s recent opponents Amir Khan, James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo. Miguel Cotto is obviously rated higher than Smith, but it’s unclear whether he could beat him, because Smith is younger, bigger and he has a lot of punching power.

Canelo will likely be big at the weight when he does eventually move up to 160. If Canelo is rehydrating into the mid-170s and low 180s right now with him fighting at 155 and 154, he’ll have more room to rehydrate up in weight to higher weights. That’ll be a potential disadvantage to Canelo’s opponents at middleweight like Golovkin, who comes into his fights around 170.

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