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Canelo Alvarez open to facing Tyron Woodley in boxing match

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Dan Ambrose: Superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez says he would be willing to face 37-year-old former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in a boxing match, according to Univision. Woodley, who is coming off of a loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235, has expressed interest in facing Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) in a boxing match. Is this what it’s come to with Canelo?

Although Canelo, 29, doesn’t see the fight with Woodley as a real challenge for him, he does believe it would be a good business level fight. As far as facing Woodley, Canelo says “why not?”

Canelo to follow in Mayweather’s footsteps?

Obviously, there are bigger names for Canelo to fight from the MMA field if he plans on following in Floyd Mayweather’s footsteps in combing through the ranks of UFC fighters for him to pick up easy wins against. Mayweather defeated former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor in a boxing match in 2017.

Despite the fact that McGregor had no experience in the sport of boxing, the Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned the fight as a professional boxing match, and it counted on his record and enabled him to break Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. Mayweather didn’t need to risk his neck fighting someone from the sport of boxing to break Marciano’s record.

With a lot of fans feeling burned from purchasing the Mayweather-McGregor farce and seeing a poor fight, they may not want to dish out their hard-earned money to watch Canelo beat up Woodley. Moreover, there are a lot of boxing fans that have never heard of Woodley, and they might not want to waste their money watching Canelo fight inexperienced wrestler type fighters from a different sport.

You can argue it makes a mockery of boxing. It’s bad enough that professional fighters are now relegated to fighting on the undercard of Youtube celebrity matches between non-boxers KSI and Logan Paul. For Canelo to be fighting an MMA guy, who would be making his pro debut, it would be off-putting for a lot of fans.

Canelo fighting light heavyweight Kovalev on Nov.2

Next month, Canelo is moving up to 175 to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) on November 2 on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Canelo-Kovalev fight is somewhat of a circus level as it is with Canelo moving up 2 weight classes to take on a much bigger fighter than himself. Even though Canelo is arguably facing the 4th best champion at 175, there’s a lot of fan interest in that fight.

Canelo says he wants to make history by winning a fourth division world title. However, a lot of fans view the fight as a situation where Canelo has spotted an old fighter in 36-year-old Kovalev, who looks fragile and utterly beatable due to his advanced age, and wants to take advantage of it. The fans wonder why Canelo isn’t challenging the prime light heavyweight champions Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev or Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Canelo has good options still in boxing for big fights

There’s no need for Canelo to go the Mayweather route by hand-picking MMA fighters with no boxing experience to get easy paydays against. In Mayweather’s case, he was 40-years-old, and likely no longer capable of beating the best at 147 or 154. If Mayweather had to fight a boxer like Errol Spence Jr. , Gennady Golovkin or Canelo to pick up his 50th win, he likely would have lost.

Mayweather looked slow and completely shot when he fought McGregor. You can argue that Mayweather had no choice but to fight an MMA guy for him to win, because he would have likely been knocked out if he fought a high caliber boxer in 2017. But in Canelo’s case, it’s different. He’s not shot, and he has a lot of options for big paydays in boxing.

These are the options Canelo has in the sport:

  • Gennady Golovkin – trilogy match
  • Demetrius Andrade
  • Jermall Charlo
  • Jermell Charlo
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Callum Smith
  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • David Benavidez
  • Errol Spence Jr.
  • Keith Thurman
  • Caleb Plant
  • Dmitry Bivol
  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk

A lot of those guys would probably beat Canelo, but at least he wouldn’t have to resort to fighting MMA guys to get paydays.

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