Canelo not worried about making 154
By Dan Ambrose: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) is rumored to be having problems getting down to the 154 pound weigh-in limit for this Friday’s fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Canelo is confident he’ll make the 154lb limit. His pictures this week show a gaunt fighter looking very thin and nothing like the normal Canelo that we’re all used to seeing.
More than a few boxing fans think Canelo might come in heavy at the weigh-in this Friday. Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher has already said that if Canelo doesn’t make weight, then there will be no fight. That’s a pretty big statement from him, because it would look really bad if Smith pulled out of the fight because of Canelo being a few pounds potentially over the limit. It could be some gamesmanship on Gallagher’s part to make Canelo worry and work harder to get down to the 154lb limit.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
“At 155, I feel really good. At 155 when I have been fighting, he morning of the weigh-in I wake up at 154. One pound, yes, its 1lb but I feel really good right now,” said Canelo via Fightnews.com.
If Canelo feels that he can make 154 without any problems, then it begs the question of why he hasn’t been fighting at that weight for the last three years. Canelo has been fighting at a 155lb catch-weight in all of his fights since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Canelo has also fought three old timers among the five fights he’s faced since the Mayweather fight. Canelo fought Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo. Those are all older fighters that have seen better days in their careers. We haven’t see Canelo fighting guys like the Charlo brothers, Julian Williams, Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs and Liam Smith. With the exception of Canelo’s fights against an older 35-year-old Cotto and Erislandy Lara, it’s been guys that he was able to beat on size, power and youth. I’m not saying that Canelo potentially couldn’t beat the Charlo brothers, Andrade, Jacobs, Golovkin and Williams, but it sure would be nice if he would try to. It would be a HUGE upgrade in Canelo’s opposition if he were to start fighting those guys instead of the relics from the past that he’s been fighting or the smaller welterweights like Amir Khan.
“Liam Smith is an opponent that will bring the fight. So it should be a nice fight, definitely. Liam Smith is strong, he comes forward. He fights, he exchanges so we will give the fans a great fight,” said Canelo. “I’ll come out start winning from the first round, start adapting. He’s a strong opponent and he’s coming to win.”
Canelo always starts fast in his fights, and that could catch up to him on Saturday night with Smith taking advantage of his aggressiveness. This is the first opponent that Canelo has fought in quite a while that has had the punching power and the size to brawl with him. Cotto was too tiny to slug with Canelo. We saw that last November when Cotto came into the ring in the low 160s for the fight, and appeared to be much smaller/lighter than Canelo.
It looked like Canelo had a significant weight advantage over Cotto. Trainer Freddie Roach estimated that Canelo weighed 185 pounds on the night. That meant that Cotto had to deal with a fighter with a 20 pound weight advantage. Smith says he’ll be coming into the ring on Saturday weighing in the low 170s, and he’s not worried about Canelo outweighing him after he rehydrates. Smith says he thinks Canelo will rehydrate to no more than 175 pounds. However, if he does rehydrate to the 180s, it’s not going to be a problem, says Smith. He doesn’t think Canelo will have any real advantage if his weight shoots up to the 180s after he makes 154. That’s a lot of weight for Canelo to carry around after he rehydrates.
We’re talking almost 30 pounds of weight to suddenly put back on. That’s got to be hard to do and then participate in a potentially long 12-round fight on Saturday night. Canelo’s weight might not be an advantage for him if he comes in too heavy, because Smith has been fighting at the same weight for a long time. He’s comfortable in the weight class. Smith hasn’t been fighting at 155 like Canelo, and he thinks that it could be really hard for him to carry the weight around if he forces him to work hard for a full three minutes in each round. Smith thinks Canelo will labor with the weight.
When asked if he’ll move up to 160 after the fight to start campaigning as a middleweight, Canelo said, “I don’t know. We have to win first and then we will see what comes next.”
It’s too bad Canelo can’t tell the boxing fans right now that he plans on moving up to middleweight to get ready to fight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin for his IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC 160lb titles, because I believe it would help sell more pay-per-view buys for his fight against Liam Smith this Saturday on HBO PPV. The way to create news and interest in the Canelo-Smith fight is to let the fans know what direction your career will be heading in for your next fight.
With the way Canelo is doing it, he sounds like he doesn’t know himself if he’ll move up. What does that tell you about Canelo? You’d like to think that he really wants to move up in weight so that he can take on Golovkin, but it sounds like he’s torn between staying at 154 where it’s somewhat safe and moving up to 160 to take on the bigger guys that could potentially give him problems. Canelo’s career as we know it might hit a dead end when he moves up to middleweight, because Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs will be huge problems for him potentially. I believe that’s why Canelo is so uncertain about whether he should move up to 160 or not. Once Canelo makes that move, he would potentially be ending his days as a pay-per-view attraction after he starts losing to the top guys in the middleweight division.
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