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Canelo looking HUGE but slow for GGG fight

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin


By Dan Ambrose: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) has been putting in a lot of demanding work in getting ready for his September 16 fight against IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs). Clips of Canelo’s recent workout with his trainers have surfaced on YouTube, and it’s noticeable how shredded the Mexican’s star’s body is.

Canelo’s physique looks both bigger and more chiseled than it’s been in the past. Unfortunately, bigger does not always mean better. Canelo has packed on more muscle weight, but his power hasn’t increased and his hand speed has really taken a huge hit. Canelo is much slower now. Whatever chance Canelo had of beating the 35-year-old Golovkin just went out the window with his decision to bulk up for the fight.

Canelo looks heavier now, and SLOWER than he was in the past. That’s obviously bad news for Canelo. But what’s obvious when looking at Canelo throw punches is his lack of power. He’s clearly not increased his punching power from when he was fighting at 154. He’s bigger, yes, but slower and without any increased punching power.

I’m not all that surprised that Canelo isn’t hitting harder, because it’s common for fighters not to add power when they bulk up with muscle weight the way that Canelo has.

Things I noticed about Canelo’s workout video:

– Canelo looks slower

– No increase in power

– Too bulky and short for him to be elusive or mobile against GGG

– Slightly tired looking. More bulk = increased work for the heart. This is not good for a fighter like Canelo, who has poor stamina to begin with. With the added muscle weight, Canelo will need additional rest time against the ropes on September 16 against Golovkin. Canelo’s goose will be cooked if he’s forced to take more frequent rest breaks to let his heart recover from pumping blood to all that extra mass he’s carrying around. Canelo seems to be training for a short-term event instead of a 12-round fight against Golovkin. Above all, boxing is a cardio sport, and Canelo does not he’s ready to fight hard for 12 difficult rounds. If Canelo is forced to fight 3 minutes of every round against Golovkin, he’s going to gas out quickly.

– Canelo’s dramatic change to his physique is coming at the wrong time in his career. When you’re about to face one of the best fighters in the middleweight division, you don’t make huge changes to your physique by bulking up. You stick with what got you to that point. Canelo should have trained like he was still fighting at 154, because that’s a weight class where he was at his best. When Canelo is lighter, he’s much faster and more elusive. That’s the way he needs to be against Golovkin. It would be far easier for Canelo to carry around a lighter weight than for him to bulk up to what appears to be 180 lbs. He looks to me to be around 180 right now. That’s too much weight for Canelo to be carrying around.

Canelo and his training team have made major blunders in the past for fights. I’ve not been impressed with the decision making for Team Canelo with their game plan for various fights. For example, in Canelo’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, he boxed him instead of using his superior size and punching power to pressure the 36-year-old fighter.

Despite the blueprint being out there in how to fight Mayweather, Canelo chose to box him instead of applying pressure. Jose Luis Castillo is the one that created the blueprint in how to defeat Mayweather. Castillo didn’t get credit for beating Mayweather in his first fight, but he beat him in the eyes of the boxing public. Castillo kept Mayweather pinned to the ropes for 12 rounds, using a high-volume punch output to get the better of him.

Canelo didn’t use that approach to fighting Mayweather. Canelo boxed him from the outside, and was totally dominated. You’ve got to put the blame on Canelo and his trainers for choosing the WRONG game plan for that fight. They were slow in having Canelo adapt his fighting style to correct the mistakes he was making in that fight. It wasn’t until round 9 that Canelo finally got his act together and started to apply pressure. It was too late by then.

Canelo had already lost the first 8 rounds of the fight, and he needed a knockout to beat Mayweather. That wasn’t going to happen. Canelo’s current training for Golovkin is just another example of his training team making a BIG mistake by having him bulk up and focusing on increased size at the expense of speed. It’s very dumb of them in my view. Instead of working with the things that got Canelo to his impressive 49-1 record, Team Canelo is tinkering with his physique by having him bulk up for the second most important fight of his career.

Rule 1 for a world class fighter: You don’t change what’s worked for you in the past when facing a talented fighter. Canelo should have kept his weight down and focused on speed. Instead, he’s opted to add weight, thinking it will help him against Golovkin. It won’t. Golovkin is naturally incredibly strong. He doesn’t need to bulk up for him to be a powerhouse. Canelo and his team seem to believe that by adding muscle weight, it will make him powerful like Golovkin. I’m sorry but that’s not how it works in boxing. You either have punching power or you don’t. You can lift weights all you want in training for a fight, but it’s not going to increase your power and turn you into another Golovkin. If anything, it’ll make you slower and cause you to need more rest breaks against the ropes, which is what we’ll likely be seeing from Canelo on September 16.

Here are Canelo’s flaws:

– Poor stamina

– Zero mobility

– Short for 160 lb. division

– Vulnerable to the jab

– Limited reach due to arm length

– Unable to fight on the outside

– Needs constant rest breaks

– Only fights in brief spurts

Punching power comes more from a fighter’s natural frame. It’s a combination of tendons, bone structure, muscle, speed and natural strength. When a fighter bulks up the way that Canelo has, it generally doesn’t do much for their power. It makes them slower, as we see from watching Canelo workout, but not more powerful. That’s not good for Canelo, being that he needs more power for him to compete with Golovkin. Canelo looks about as powerful as WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in my estimation. Canelo appears to be far below the most powerful punchers in the division in Golovkin, David Lemieux, Danny Jacobs, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Like I said, in training for the Triple G fight, Canelo would have been better off staying the same size as he was when fighting a 154. Canelo looked good in his fight against James Kirkland on May 9, 2015. At the weight Canelo came into the Kirkland fight, I believe he was the best he will ever be during his career. Every fight since then, Canelo hasn’t looked as good. However, in the Kirkland fight, Canelo needed rest breaks against the ropes, and he looked tired a couple of times during the short 3 rounds of furious action.

It’s too late now though. Canelo can’t get his weight down to where he had it for the Kirkland fight in just 3 weeks. There’s not enough time for Canelo to strip off all the unnecessary muscle weight that he’s packed on for his fight against Golovkin. It would be crazy for Canelo to try and rapidly lose muscle with 3 weeks to go, and he’s not going to do it anyway, as he seems to think being bigger will help him beat Triple G.


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