By Sean Jones: Carl Frampton says he wants to see Canelo Alvarez return to the 175-pound division and take on Artur Beterbiev, who failed to fight when he moved up in weight to go after a belt in 2019.
Frampton doubts that Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) would ever agree to take on the IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), though, as he would be a “bad fight” and a “step too far” for the Mexican star.
Although Frampton isn’t calling Canelo a ‘Cherry-picker’ as many boxing fans have labeled him, he points out that the former Golden Boy star hand-picked the “right guy” by selecting Sergey Kovalev to fight when he chose to go after a world title at 175.
Kovalev had already been twice beaten by Andre Ward and knocked out by Eleider Alvarez by the time Canelo fought him. Additionally, Kovalev was coming off a life and death battle against the raw fighter Anthony Yarde three months earlier in August 2019.
Kovalev was almost knocked out by Yarde. With just three months to recover from that fight, Kovalev took on Canelo in November 2019. The fan’s impression is Canelo was being an opportunist in selecting Kovalev rather than the far more dangerous Beterbiev.
Surprisingly, Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso told the media that he viewed Kovalev as the #1 fighter at 175, which didn’t go over well because he clearly wasn’t the best in that weight class at the time Canelo fought him.
Frampton: Beterbiev would be a bad fight for Canelo
“Billy Joe certainly has a chance because he’s a very good fighter, but I just see Canelo [winning],” said Frampton to Boxing Social on Saunders’ chances of defeating Canelo Alvarez in May.
“A fight that I would like to see but I don’t think it’ll happen because it’s a step too far for him [Canelo] is [Artur] Beterbiev would be a BAD fight for Canelo.
“But weight classes are there for a reason. I think he picked the right guy at light heavyweight like [Sergey] Kovalev.
“He [Canelo] picked [Callum] Smith after the John Ryder performance. I don’t think he would have gone near him before the John Ryder performance.
“I think with Beterbiev, I’d love to see the fight, but I don’t think it’ll happen,” said Frampton in making it clear that Canelo doesn’t want any of that smoke from Beterbiev.
It’s a given that Beterbiev would not only be a bad fight for Canelo, but he would also be a pure nightmare for him. The short punches that Beterbiev throws and his body shots that he excels at would put Canelo at a huge disadvantage.
Canelo prides himself at fighting in close, but that wouldn’t work against Beterbiev. The fight wouldn’t last more than a few rounds if Canelo tries to fight Beterbiev on the inside because he would get hit too much.
Beterbiev would go after Canelo in a way that no other fighter has ever done before, and he would prevent him from taking the rest breaks that he needs.
Frampton is probably right about Canelo never taking a fight with Beterbiev because the chances of him losing by knockout would be too high.
Canelo likes to rest against the ropes when fighting guys that pressure him, and that would be a bad idea for him against Beterbiev.
If Canelo attempted to come forward and pressure Beterbiev the way he did against Callum Smith and Gennadiy Golovkin in their rematch, he’d get chopped apart.
Beterbiev fights well going backward, but it’s highly unlikely he’d back up if Canelo came forward. He’d stand his ground and force Canelo to back off, and that wouldn’t work well for the Mexican star because his mobility wouldn’t be up to snuff for him to escape the pressure the two-time Russian Olympian would be putting on him.
Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum was hoping that Canelo would hold onto the WBO light heavyweight title after his win over Kovalev because he wanted to set up a unification fight between them. Unfortunately, Canelo vacated the WBO belt at light speed. Clearly, Canelo didn’t want to hold onto his title, and you can guess why.
The boxing public was putting pressure on Canelo to take on Beterbiev the moment he defeated Kovalev, as they wanted to see how he would do against the best champion at 175.
They’d seen what Canelo against the worst champion in Kovalev, so they wanted to see how he would do against an elite-level guy in Beterbiev.
Sadly, Canelo gave up his WBO title and dashed back down to 168 to beat up the terribly flawed Callum Smith last December.
Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso called Callum Smith the #1 fighter at 168, which was hard to believe in how poor he looked. Smith fought like a bottom 10 guy rather than a fighter rated #1 by Reynoso and Canelo.
Plant has the best chance of beating Canelo at 168 – Frampton
“Canelo is improving, and it’s mad that he’s still improving. His performance against Callum Smith was brilliant,” continued Frampton.
“I think certainly Billy Joe has a chance, but I just don’t see anyone in that division beating him at this point in time or over the next few years.
“And I really like Caleb Plant, out of them all, would have a good chance. I saw Caleb Plant spar, George Groves when I was in Vegas getting ready for the [Leo] Santa Cruz fight [in January 2017], and I didn’t know who Caleb Plant was at that time.
“And I remember thinking, ‘Who is this kid? He’s an unreal fighter.’ He could only have improved a lot since then. Caleb Plant certainly has a chance.
“I think he probably has the best chance [of beating Canelo] out of the bunch of people that they’re talking about. But I don’t see any of them beating him, though,” said Frampton.
I see Plant totally schooling Canelo, and making him look really bad. It’s surprising that Canelo is willing to fight this guy because he has no chance of beating Plant on paper. These two guys are on different levels.
Canelo won’t be able to copy Plant’s fighting style
Plant is like a better version of Floyd Mayweather Jr, and we saw what happened to Canelo when he went up against him.
Caleb Plant is going to be an extremely hard fight for Canelo, and he could lose badly against these guys. That’s why Canelo is likely to save Plant until last and take the easy fight against Billy Joe Saunders in May.
We’ll likely see Canelo waiting until crowds are allowed back into Las Vegas, Nevada, and he’ll take the fight with Plant to the T-Mobile Arena in that city.
If Plant is unable to knock Canelo out, his chances of winning a decision will quite low, and we could see another Golovkin-eque decision with Alvarez dodging a defeat.
Plant can say no to the idea of Canelo fighting him in Las Vegas, but then again, he probably won’t get the fight.
This will be a good learning fight for Canelo, as we saw how he improved after he lost to Mayweather. Canelo basically incorporated large aspects of Mayweather’s fighting style into his own game.
If Canelo loses to Plant, as many people believe he will, he can learn from the loss, and use Plant’s fighting style to improve his game to a certain point.
Unfortunately, the things that Plant can do inside the ring, can’t be easily transferred over to another fighter, especially someone with stamina issues.
Plant is too fast, too mobile and he throws too many combinations for Canelo to copy him. Canelo’s poor cardio will prevent him from being able to copy Plant ape his fighting style.