Canelo Alvarez is the NEW Golden Boy says Kellerman
By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez has become the new ‘face of boxing,’ taking over as the new Golden Boy in place of superstar Oscar De La Hoya, according to Max Kellerman of ESPN. Canelo has quickly earned the #1 spot at the top star in boxing in North America with his performances against Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland.
Canelo’s willingness to take risky fights is what sets him apart from the top elite fighters in this era in boxing. The controversial decisions that Canelo has been given has ignored due to the bravery that he’s shown in taking on the best. Canelo sets a high bar with the type of opposition he faces, and he expects his opponents to do the same.
Kellerman notes that IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) gets help from judges at times with his questionable wins over Golovkin, Austin Trout and Lara, but he feels that’s something that goes with the territory of being the Golden Boy, A-side, “network’s house fighter” and his “promoter’s cash cow.” Kellerman admits that he thought Canelo should have lost his first fight against Golovkin in 2017, but he believes that he deserved the victory against him in the rematch, as well as in his fights against Lara and Trout.
”Daniel Jacobs is an exciting middleweight prize fighter, a little better than Austin Trout at 154, in my opinion,” Max Kellerman said to ESPN. ”He’s maybe a little bit better than Erislandy Lara and Trout at 154 are smaller than Jacobs. GGG is a probably a little better than all of them, and he’s a big middleweight. Golovkin isn’t just good or excellent. He’s great. Very few fighters can go through five fights with those four fighters without a loss. Canelo is one of them. Yes, Canelo was lucky to get a draw in his first fight with GGG, and the second fight was also close. The truth is, he didn’t beat Jacobs by all that much. So sure, he certainly seems to get the benefit of the doubt with the judges. You know what? I thought he beat Trout and Jacobs, close. Yes, I thought he beat Lara too. I thought if anyone deserved a decision in the GGG rematch, it was Canelo. I aint playing favorites. I agree he lost the first GGG fight, and practically got shutout by Floyd Mayweather on the night that one judge had it a draw laughably. But that’s how it usually works with the network’s house fighter, with the promoter’s cash cow, with the A-side, with the Golden Boy. The deck is usually stacked in his favor. Canelo is the Golden Boy,” Kellerman said.
What Kellerman fails to mention is that Canelo has SERIOUS stamina problems that limit him to being basically a six to seven-round fighter. Canelo fights well in rounds 1 through 5, and then faded from rounds 6 to 11. He then fights well in the 12th. Canelo is a six round fighter. It’s hard to include Canelo among the best when he can’t fight hard for a full 12 rounds. He’s a good fighter, but for him to be able to be called a great, he needs to improve his stamina. Canelo almost lost to Daniel Jacobs last Saturday night, and he’s not a great fighter. Canelo won the fight by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112. Those scores are close to the scores that Golovkin got for his 12 round unanimous decision win over Jacobs in 2017. GGG beat Jacobs by the scores 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112.
The part where Kellerman mentions Canelo getting through his fights against the likes of Golovkin, Trout, Lara and Jacobs without a loss has to be seen as a case of him being able to use his status as the A-side to get favorable decisions that might have gone the other way if he wasn’t considered the Face of Boxing.
”Canelo is the Golden Boy first, because he can fight his ever-loving ass off,” Kellerman said. ”When he was a teenager, he was a Youtube sensation, playing to packed houses in Mexico, there to watch him beat up grown men. Now a decade later, he’s out-boxing the rangiest and cagiest, and out-fighting the roughest and toughest in the whole wide world. Canelo is the Golden Boy second, because as a top fighter in Mexico, he has a built in fan base. There is no larger or more rabid fan base in the world. Thirdly, he’s good looking, which plays to the Madison Avenue crowd with his Under Armor endorsement deal, and with his red hair, he’s got an unusual look, an Irish looking Mexican prize fighter. Canelo’s promoter Golden Boy, so named, because the boss is the Golden Boy himself. De La Hoya’s appeal was based on his excellence, of course. He brought home the Olympic gold medal, after all. But also the fact that he’s good looking of Mexican heritage. Oscar was of Mexican American heritage, and because of that, and because he was a pretty boy, he had some proving to do before he was accepted by the Mexican fight crowd. If you’re so tough and willing to show it, which you better be in order to win over the hardcore fight fans, why are your facial features still where they’re supposed to be? Canelo is tough and willing to show it, and not apologizing that he has those James Toney skills to hit you more than you can hit him, and slippery, slips punches and counters a guy. There have been great Mexican fighters that were great draws like Julio Cesar Chavez, and Marco Antonio Barrera. But until now, there hasn’t been a genuine Mexican Golden Boy, the glamour fighter with crossover appeal, and the biggest boxing star outside of heavyweight Anthony Joshua in the world,” Kellerman said about Canelo.
Canelo has accomplished a lot, but he still hasn’t cemented himself as the best in the middleweight division, let alone the best at 168. Canelo still needs to prove that he’s better than Golovkin, because their two fights were controversial. It’s too bad that GGG is 37-years-old now, and not in his prime. The fact that Golovkin was able to fight well enough to keep the boxing public split in their opinions of who should have won the first two fights between them suggests that Canelo might not be as great as Kellerman thinks he is.