Canelo Alvarez sparring Oscar Valdez

By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez lent a helping hand to fellow teammate Oscar Valdez on Sunday to sharpen him up for his title shot against WBO super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt (37-1 33 KOs) in two months from now on December 12.

Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) posted a short clip of him and Canelo sparring, and he looked good in dealing with the upper body movement from the Mexican star.

Canelo made it tricky initially for Valdez to land anything, but he figured out that he had no defense to his left hook, he rained that shot on him repeatedly.

Valdez solved Canelo’s matrix defense

Canelo is good at moving out of the way of shots thrown down the middle and right-hand shots, but he’s useless when it comes to blocking left hooks.

Valdez was teeing off on Canelo with his left, and he looked silly, trying to move away from them. Canelo finally gave up and stood straight up and covered his face while Valdez hit him with everything but the kitchen sink.

Canelo seemed tired by the end of the clip, and you could see it clearly. His gas tank was empty and he needed a breather.

Image: Canelo Alvarez sparring Oscar Valdez

Even though Canelo wasn’t throwing many punches, he tired out from moving his torso to avoid shots.

Valdez, 29, is too experienced to be thrown off by the upper body movement that Canelo was using during the session. What Valdez really needs is Canelo to go on the attack the way that Berchelt, 28, will be doing on December 12th because he’s not a defensive fighter.

Alvarez learned from Mayweather

All the upper body stuff that Canelo showed off was his own thing, learned from his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2012. Canelo uses the upper body movement when he wants to catch breathers because he generally gasses out easily, and he’s often fighting on fumes in the second half of his bouts.

Valdez needs sparring partners that can accurately imitate the fighting style that he’ll be seeing from Berchelt. Someone that would be good for that job would be newly crowned WBO featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete, who is aggressive and goes after his opponents with both hands like Berchelt.

YouTube video

Former WBO featherweight champion Valdez needs a lot more help than what Canelo shows in the video here.

Canelo’s defensive work won’t help Valdez other than to give him some exercise in throwing punches and attacking a moving target. If Valdez ever fights Vasily Lomachenko, then Canelo’s sparring help will work for him.

Valdez moved up to 130 last year after vacating his WBO 126 title when Shakur Stevenson was on his doorstep looking for a title shot. Giving up the WBO title was a wise move by Oscar because he would have been over-matched against Shakur.

Valdez should have targeted Herring

It’s a questionable move for Valdez to be challenging Berchelt for his WBO super-featherweight title in his third fight since moving up to 130.

Rather than taking on Berchelt, Valdez should be targeting WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring.

That would be a winnable fight for Valdez, and an easy one to make. Herring and Valdez are both with Top Rank.

The problem is, Valdez has looked incredibly poor in his fights against Adam Lopez and Jayson Velez. Oscar wasn’t impressive enough in either of those fights to take on a talented champion like Berchelt.

Image: Canelo Alvarez sparring Oscar Valdez

It could be that Valdez is taking on Berchelt just for the payday rather than him believing he can win because it’s not looking good for him. If a light puncher like Adam Lopez could deck Valdez, just imagine what Berchelt will do.

I didn’t see trainer Eddy Reynoso around during the clip. He’s usually messing around with those Styrofoam pads that he uses when training his fighters. He moves the Styrofoam polls/pads to simulate punches.

Alvarez has lost a lot of size

Canelo looks a lot lighter than before. Unless my eyes are deceiving me, Canelo’s heavy bodybuilding muscles have atrophied away, and he now looks the way he did when he fought Rocky Fielding two years ago in 2018.

The way Canelo looks is better for his small frame because he seems faster and more agile than he did when he was all bulked up for his fights against Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev.

Canelo was ripped to shreds like a bodybuilder going into a contest. It appeared odd for Canelo. If you’ve seen how Canelo’s physique has looked his entire career, it looked way different since his first fight against Gennadiy Golovkin in 2017.

There’s no word yet when Canelo will be fighting again. With Canelo’s litigation case, it could eat up the rest of 2020, and possibly even parts of 2021 if it drags on.

Image: Canelo Alvarez sparring Oscar Valdez

What would be a real nightmare is if Canelo doesn’t fight in 2021 due to the case still not having been resolved. Canelo is a good fighter, but he might not be the same guy if he misses two entire years without fighting.

Golovkin would like to fight Canelo in 2021, but we’ll have to see what happens with his lawsuit.