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Arum: It’s NOT fair for Canelo to fight Artur Beterbiev

Artur Beterbiev Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Sean Jones: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says it’s “NOT fair” for Saul Canelo Alvarez to be expected to face IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev if he beats WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2. Despite the fact that the 5’11 1/2″ Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is shorter than the 6’0″ Kovalev and weighs approximately the same after he rehydrates, Arum still believes that it’s not fair for Canelo to fight him.

Arum not saying anything about Kovalev vs. Canelo being an unfair fight

Interestingly enough, Arum in’t talking the fairness issue when it comes to Canelo fighting light heavyweight Kovalev. If it’s unfair for Canelo to fight Beterbiev, then why wouldn’t it be unfair for him to challenge Kovalev? It doesn’t make sense unless one is looking at it from the point of view of Kovalev looking over-the-hill, and vulnerable. A lot of people think Kovalev is shot at 36. Assuming that’s the case, why is Canelo fighting him rather than someone that’s still in their prime like Beterbiev?

From the perspective that Kovalev is on the downward slope of his 10-year professional career, one can argue that is’ NOT fair for him to have to face a still prime version of Canelo. If we’re talking about fairness in boxing, why isn’t anyone saying it’s not fair for Kovalev to fight Canelo while he’s in his prime? Likewise, no one is talking about Canelo waiting until Gennadiy Golovkin was 35-years-old before fighting him.

Unfortunately, unfairness in boxing is the standard, and it always has been. Promoters tend to match their fighters up with guys that they’re certain that they can beat. The rare occasions where promoters are willing to put their fighters in risky matches tends to be when they’re competing in world title eliminators or fighting for a belt. In those cases, they can’t avoid matching their guys against the best.

Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) faces WBO light heavyweight champ Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lot is being made of Canelo moving up two weight classes to take on the bigger fighter Kovalev.

Fans wonder why Canelo chose Kovalev instead of Beterbiev or Bivol

The casual boxing fans admire Canelo for making this move to fight one of the three light heavyweight champions. However, the hardcore fans realize that Canelo has picked the weakest link among the champions at 175, and they want to see him fight Beterbiev or even WBA champion Dmitry Bivol. Arum doesn’t see it as fair for Canelo to fight Beterbiev though, but he isn’t saying anything about him fighting Kovalev for some reason.

There is no excuse for Canelo NOT fighting Bivol or Beterbiev for their titles. If Canelo beats Kovalev, then he should be expected to fight Beterbiev or Bivol, should he not? Canelo can’t wait until their nearing 40 to fight them, because he’s not young enough to wait them out. Bivol is 27, whereas Beterbiev is a young 34. Beterbiev is fighting like someone in their mid-20s rather than mid-30s. His punching power is so good that he’s a fighter that will remain dangerous even into his 40s if he chooses to stay in the sport that long.

At this point, it’s going to be hard for Canelo to move back down to 160, because there aren’t any real big names in that division. He’s already beaten Golovkin, and deemed him as NOT a challenge for him to fight in a third match. Moreover, Golovkin’s last fight against Kovalev made it clear that he’s no longer the guy that he once was. There’s no one else for Canelo to fight at middleweight that will excite the boxing public. Matchroom promote Eddie Hearn wants Canelo to fight WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, but the fans don’t want to see that fight. There’s no demand for Canelo to fight Andrade.

Arum says Canelo vs. Beterbiev isn’t a fair fight

“If Canelo wins, I don’t think it’s fair to Canelo to fight a guy [Beterbiev] that big. Gvozdyk fought very, very well, and we have a lot of light heavyweight fights that we are doing,” said Arum in discussing options for Beterbiev’s next fight.

The question is why shouldn’t Canelo be expected to fight Beterbiev IF he beats Kovalev on November 2? If Canelo beats Kovalev, there’s nothing wrong with boxing fans wanting the Mexican star to face the uncrowned KING of the light heavyweight division in Beterbiev. It’s not logical move for Canelo to make in the division. If Canelo gives up the WBO 175-lb title, and moves back down to 160, he’ll be showing weakness in the eyes of fans. There’s no other way of looking at a move like that Canelo other than to view it as him dodging Beterbiev.

Alvarez wants opposition that present a challenge for him

Canelo has recently been saying that fighters like Gennadiy Golovkin doesn’t present a challenge to him any longer. If that’s the case, then Canelo needs to stay at light heavyweight and fight someone that WILL present a challenge. Beterbiev is the guy that Canelo must face for him to back up his words. Beterbiev is a textbook example of a challenge for someone like Canelo. Right now, many of the knowledgeable boxing fans think Canelo picked Kovalev because he’s getting old, and showing signs of being on the decline. Canelo could prove himself to those fans by taking on Beterbiev

Andre Ward says Canelo Alvarez would NEVER fight Beterbiev

“No,” said Ward when asked by Fighthype if Canelo should fight Beterbiev if he gets passed Kovalev on November 2. “Listen, the move from Golden Boy and Canelo to fight Kovalev right now. You’d didn’t hear them talking about wanting to fight Kovalev when he was undefeated. You didn’t hear them talking about fighting Kovalev when he had one loss. When he had two losses.

“It didn’t happen until he had three losses, and he looked the way he looked against [Anthony] Yarde. So it’s calculated. So he’s still taking a risk, Canelo, but it’s calculated. That’s not a calculated risk,” said Ward in pointing to the ring where Beterbiev just dismantled Gvozdyk. “That’s just stupid. Canelo would never do that [in taking on] Beterbiev, and Oscar [De La Hoya] would never do that,” said Ward.

Ward is exposing Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions by revealing that they make “calculated risks. It’s hard to argue that Ward is wrong about Canelo taking calculated risks instead of “stupid” ones. If Canelo selected Beterbiev to fight right now, he would be admired by the boxing public more than ever, but it would be a “stupid” risk. Ward NEVER fought Beterbiev, and he didn’t fight Bivol either. Did Ward see those fights as “stupid” risks as well. Ward retired at 33.

“No, it didn’t surprise me,” said Arum when asked if he was surprised at the big shots that Gvozdyk took in the fight. “Gvozdyk is a hell of a fighter. He takes a good shot. If you keep getting hit like, it’s going to wear you down,” said Arum.

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