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Canelo Alvarez receives medical clearance to fight in December

Canelo Alvarez David Lemieux Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez has received good news by his doctor to fight in December, according to ESPN Deportes. Canelo received a cut over his left eye in his fight this month against former WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, and there was some concern whether he would be able to return to the ring in three months on December 15.

Without knowing who his opponent will be in December, Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) will be starting his training with longtime trainer Eddy Reynoso in the first week of October to get preparing for his next fight. Canelo, 28, hasn’t been vocal about his next opponent, but it appears that David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) is the one that his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions will be matching him against for the December 15 date.

Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya has floated Lemieux’s name already as one of the leading options for Canelo to fight. The venue for the fight could be at Madison Square Garden in New York. Golden Boy is taking Canelo away from Las Vegas, where he’s been involved in consecutive controversial fights against Golovkin. Golden Boy taking Canelo’s next fight to New York is seen by some boxing fans as a way for Golden Boy to show that their Mexican star isn’t dependent on fighting in Las Vegas for him to win his fights.

Golovkin’s management wanted the second fight in New York, but Canelo chose Las Vegas and he got his way. The negative about Canelo getting his way is his 12 round majority decision victory over GGG in Las Vegas was seen as more home cooking by the boxing public. Canelo is getting very little credit from the public at last due to them feeling it was another robbery in Las Vegas. Canelo would likely draw well if he were to fight in California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas. Canelo might not bring in a lot of boxing fans if he fights in New York, because his fan base is in the western side of the U.S, not on the East Coast.

In hindsight, Canelo and Golden Boy should have seen this ahead of time and chosen a different state to stage the second Golovkin fight instead of sticking the match back at the same venue at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. You can say it was poor planning on Golden Boy and Canelo’s part in not having the foresight to predict what the public’s reaction would be for a decision win for him over Golovkin in Vegas. If Golden Boy selects Lemeiux as Canelo’s opponent, there will likely be little chance of a controversial decision involving their fight. Lemieux is a slow, methodical fighter, who struggles against fighters with speed and/or power. Lemieux was beaten in the past by Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubio.

The World Boxing Council could throw a wrench into Canelo’s promoters likely plans of matching him against a soft opponent in December by ordering him to face his mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) in his next fight.

The WBC was burned by Canelo in 2016 when they ordered him to face GGG. Canelo ignored the WBC’s order and promptly vacated the belt after making a soft defense against welterweight Amir Khan. The WBC might not want to risk having Canelo do this a second time to them, so there’s a potential that they won’t order him to take on the highly dangerous Jermall Charlo.

In some ways, Charlo is even a tougher match-up for Canelo than Golovkin, because the Texas native is faster, just as powerful, and not someone that backs up when attacked. If the judges are going to score a fight between Canelo and Charlo, they’re not going to be able to automatically give it to Alvarez based on him coming forward with his Mexican style. Charlo doesn’t back up in his fights, and he’s going to be meeting Canelo’s attack and looking to take him out quickly like he did Hugo Centeno Jr.

Canelo will need to find a different trick to try and beat a fighter like Charlo, because hanging on the ropes, moving to his left or attacking him head on is going to get him taken out quickly. Charlo is the worst possible opponent for a short fighter like the 5’8” Canelo, who has a lot of bad habits that would get him hurt if he were to face him. You can expect Golden Boy to have Canelo dodge Charlo at all costs for as long as possible.

If the WBC orders Canelo to fight Charlo next, it’s very likely that he’ll vacate their WBC title right away. Golden Boy would then have to make some kind of public statement as to why Canelo vacated the WBC title rather than face Charlo. A move like that would increase Charlo’s popularity in the boxing world because the fans would know that Canelo and Golden Boy wanted no part of facing him. On the flipside, fighting Charlo would greatly increase Canelo’s popularity with the boxing fans because he would be meeting a challenge head on rather than ducking it for two to three years, which many fans feel that he did in the case of Golovkin.

The fans think Canelo waited until GGG got old before he finally agreed to fight him, because he didn’t fight him until he was 35-years-old. That may not sound like an old age for a normal person, but it’s old for boxing. Charlo is only 28, so waiting on that fight won’t help Canelo. It would be better for Canelo to take the fight with Charlo sooner rather than later. It might be harder for Canelo to fight Charlo later if Golden Boy starts matching him against soft fighters like Lemieux.

Canelo’s next fight might not be on HBO. His contract with them has expired, and Golden Boy will test the waters to see if they can find him a better deal before they decide on whether he should re-up or not with HBO.

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