Mayweather could have ended Canelo’s career – Mauricio Sulaiman

By Boxing News - 05/24/2020 - Comments

By Sean Jones: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says Canelo Alvarez’s career could have ended with his fight against then 37-year-old Floyd Mayweather Jr. seven years ago in September 2013. Mayweather took a young 23-year-old Canelo to school and beat him by a one-sided 12 round majority decision.

Although one judge surprisingly had the fight scored as a draw at 114-114, the other two saw it was a clear win for Mayweather in giving it to him by a 117-111, 116-112 score. Boxing News 24 had Mayweather winning 118-110 over the beleaguered Canelo, who got a couple of mercy rounds at the end.

Canelo and his trainer Eddy Reynoso made the mistake of fighting Mayweather’s fight by boxing him, and not using pressure. With Canelo’s size advantage, he could have walked Mayweather down the way Marcos Maidana did, but Alvarez looked like he didn’t want to get hit.

Canelo’s reluctance to walk through Mayweather’s shots cost him the fight. Who decided for Canelo to box Mayweather rather than slug? If it was Canelo’s trainer Reynoso who told him to fight like that, then he should have dumped him.

Mayweather, who didn’t show much power in the fight, but he dominated Canelo nonetheless in slipping his shots and countering him all night. What made the win more impressive was how Mayweather stayed in the pocket and beat Canelo without using movement.

Afterward, Canelo complained amount the movement that Mayweather used, but he didn’t move much at all.

Image: Mayweather could have ended Canelo's career - Mauricio Sulaiman

Sulaiman: Canelo is building his legacy still

“He’s still building his legacy,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to Yahoo on the 29-year-old Canelo Alvarez. “He’s young, he’s active, and he’s hungry to be and become the greatest. He learned from his mistakes, and he fought Floyd Mayweather when he was too young, and that could have ended his career,” said Sulaiman.

Contrary to Sulaiman’s view of Canelo being too young at the time, he was 23-years-old, and he already had 43 professional fights. At that age and with that many fights, Canelo was more than old enough to share the ring with Mayweather. That’s not why Canelo lost. He just wasn’t good enough to beat Mayweather, and he still isn’t.

The only thing that’s changed with Canelo in his 12 fights since then is he’s gotten a lot bigger. Canelo has packed on a lot of bulk, and his body looks remarkably different than when he fought Floyd. Alvarez now looks chiseled, like a bodybuilder.

Canelo recently fought at light heavyweight at 175 against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev and looked as big as him. Why Canelo chose to move back down in weight is the magic question. Some boxing fans think he’s afraid to fight IBF/WBC 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev and WBA champ Dmitry Bivol. Had Canelo stayed at 175, he would have faced intense pressure to fight those two champions.

Canelo learned from the Mayweather fight

“Then he focused, he came back, and he learned from that fight and now has evolved into a very mature, highly competitive world-presence fighter,” continued Sulaiman in pouring praise over the head of Canelo.

Canelo doesn’t look like he learned from his loss to Mayweather, as Gennadiy Golovkin and Erislandy Lara both appeared to beat the Mexican star. GGG and Lara used the same gameplan that Mayweather did in staying on the outside and jabbing Canelo, and it worked to perfection.

The only difference is the judges didn’t give them the win. Some fans believe that GGG and Lara were both robbed. In Golovkin’s case, he got the business twice in his two fights with Canelo.

Image: Mayweather could have ended Canelo's career - Mauricio Sulaiman

Sulaiman predicts greatness for Canelo

“I think when his career is over, we’re going to have Canelo Alvarez in a very selective list of fighters from history,” said Sulaiman.

This is another area where Sulaiman could be wrong about Canelo. His legacy already tarnished due to his four controversial decisions during his career against Lara, Golovkin x 2, and Austin Trout.

With different judges for those fights, Canelo could have an additional four defeats on his resume.

So instead of Canelo having a 53-1-2 record, he could be 50-5-1. That’s still a good record, but not as good as his current 53-1 record with his four controversial fights.

These things could hurt Canelo’s legacy:

  • Four controversial fights
  • Testing positive for a banned substance
  • Fighting a lot of older guys on the downside of their careers
  • The perception from some fans that he’s ducked the best – e.g., Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol…etc.
  • The perception that Canelo has been protected by his promoters

There are too many areas in Canelo’s career that stick out in a negative way for him to be seen as boxing great. If Canelo fought the best when they were still in their prime, then you could ignore some of the areas on the above list.

Canelo has fought a lot of older fighters 

Canelo fought these guys when they were no longer in their prime:

  • Amir Khan
  • Shane Mosley
  • Gennadiy Golovkin
  • Kermit Cintron
  • Ryan Rhodes
  • Miguel Cotto
  • Daniel Jacobs

The decision by Canelo to fight so many fighters when they were no longer in their prime takes away from his ability to go down as one of the best.

As of now, Canelo is anticipated to fight WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) next. Saunders isn’t in the same league as the talented fighters like Andrade, David Benavidez, Callum Smith, and Caleb Plant. Why Canelo chose to fight Saunders is unknown.

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