Saul Alvarez – Boxing’s Most Deserved Champion
By Angel Flowers: There is a reason Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is the only boxer left that can command pay-per-view dollars unlike most of his peers; he dares to challenge himself. Alvarez has already been in the ring with three future hall of famers such as Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Shane “Sugar” Mosley and Miguel Cotto, despite being only 25.
No other boxer in history can boast such accomplishments at such a young age as Saul Alvarez when you look at how he did it. After winning the World Boxing Council junior middleweight vacant title, Alvarez, despite numerous warnings, took on Austin Trout in order to unify the belts, which he later lost to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Despite the fact Mayweather was considered the top pound for pound boxer in the world, Alvarez was willing to go down in weight from his natural 154 to 152 to make a fight that he would be seen as a huge underdog.
After doing this, Canelo went up in weight to meet WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and won the fight last November. Canelo then started fighting at his normal weight class again taking on and beating Liam “Beefy” Smith at 154.
Canelo is unlike his peers; he realizes to eventually become the ‘A’ side of a fight, you have to spend time at being the “B” side, which is the reason he was able to make fights with Miguel Cotto, Floy Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley. During his last fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Liam “Beefy” Smith, Canelo was seen by over 18 million people in Mexico and did over 300k in pay-per-view buys on HBO fighting a guy the average U.S boxing fan had never heard of despite being him a champion. Contrast this with the supposed middleweight king Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, who during his only pay-per-view fight of his career against David Lemieux last October pulled in an abysmal 150K despite being in a title unification bout and having new pound-for-pound kingpin Román “Chocolatito” González also on the card. The problem with champions like Golovkin is that they are not challenging themselves to get better; the people want to see their heroes in tough fights not the cakewalk certain boxers have been doing.
Too many fighters are worried about losing their undefeated status instead of taking tough fights. Acting in this way is why these fighters will need to take on someone who can draw to get good paydays instead of relying on their own name and accomplishments. I don’t think it’s any secret that you will probably never see Golovkin fight anyone like former super middleweight champion Andre Ward; likewise, you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman to fight anyone like unbeaten contender Errol Spence (21-0, 18 KOs). Both of those fighters will likely never see the popularity or money Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao or even Miguel Cotto enjoyed during their heyday. If the current crop of champions would challenge themselves I think we could see a new golden era of boxing, as for now the way boxers are acting I can’t see it so it is impossible to determine how great they are or might be.
The only boxer other than Canelo that I can see becoming a draw is WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and that is only because he has went out and fought the tough fights. Despite being only 25, Gilberto Ramirez has already beaten future hall of famer Arthur Abraham for a world title and has repeatedly called out GGG to prove he is as great as he says he is. I am certain once Zurdo determines there are no big fights at 168 I expect him to move up to light heavyweight instead of staying in his same weight class his entire career like Golovkin is doing.