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Carl Froch: Only Crawford gives Canelo Alvarez problems

Image: Carl Froch: Only Crawford gives Canelo Alvarez problems

By Jeff Aronow: DAZN commentator Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch surprisingly believes that welterweight world champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is the only one that can give Canelo Alvarez problems IF the two of them weren’t so far apart in weight.

With Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) fighting at 168, he would roughly enjoy a 20+ pound weight advantage if he fought Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) if the two were to fight.

Froch says he doesn’t see anyone else capable of giving Canelo problems at 160 or 168, not even David Benavidez, Gennadiy Golovkin, or Jermall Charlo. Some boxing fans believe Canelo has already lost twice to GGG and is running scared of him, Benavidez, and Charlo.

The former IBF/WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Froch (33-2, 24 KOs), who retired while still in his prime in 2014, doubts that Canelo will return to the 175-lb division ever again after getting a taste of the power of Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

For that reason, Froch isn’t bothering giving his view of what Canelo’s chances would be against light heavyweight champions Artur Beterbiev, Dimitry Bivol, and Joe Smith Jr.

Froch: Only Crawford gives Canelo problems

“The only other fighter that can give Canelo any sort of trouble at all is unfortunately in a different weight division, Terence Crawford,” said Carl Froch to Fighthype when asked which fighter gives Canelo problems.

Image: Carl Froch: Only Crawford gives Canelo Alvarez problems

“He’s the only guy with any class and ability to do something with Canelo because of how good he is and his variety of work. But Terence Crawford is too small. But who would you put him in with? There’s no one,” said Froch about Canelo.

“Benavidez and Charlo, Canelo is not a light heavyweight, he’s not going to go back up there,” Froch said in seemingly not realizing that Jermall Charlo fights at 160 and Benavidez at 168. “Benavidez and Charlo are top fighters.

“I think he’s [Canelo] going to stay around this division [168] for now. He fought [Sergey] Kovalev at 175, but he was a fading Kovalev. I think he tasted them shots at 175 and thought, ‘I’ll get back down.’

“Yeah, he [Benavidez] can still make 168. It would be a good fight, but I can’t see these fighters giving him enough trouble to get the win, I really can’t, but they’ll give him [Alvarez] a match.

“There’s a couple of fighters out there that will give him a fight. But you’re talking about people to beat Canelo. I can”t see him getting beat,” said Froch.

Crawford’s lack of size and his questionable chin would put him at an extreme disadvantage against Canelo. It wasn’t a good sign recently seeing Crawford get dropped by the heavy-handed Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

Even in Crawford’s last fight against Kell Brook last November, his face was badly puffed up after just three rounds.

If Brook could do that to Crawford’s face after just three rounds, you can imagine what Canelo would do to him with bigger shots over the course of a 12 round fight.

The way to beat Alvarez is by outpointing him

“He’s not that busy,” Froch said about Canelo. “When you’re boxing and outmanuevering him, he’s not that busy.

“He’s loading up with those big powerful shots early on, which pay dividends later.

Image: Carl Froch: Only Crawford gives Canelo Alvarez problems

“If you can withstand that pressure early on and then box and put shots together, the only way to beat Canelo is to outpoint him in a tricky fight. So if anyone has the ability to do that, Chris Eubank Jr in a few years, maybe.

“I don’t know if he’s [Canelo] the best,” Froch continued. “He had to maneuver himself around an awkward Billy Joe Saunders.

“But he’s had some great ones against Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Kovalev at light heavyweight, and Gennadiy Golovkin twice.

“They were debatable, disputable decisions, but he did what he had to do against a top, top fighter that night. I can’t see him [Canelo] getting beat. It’s difficult to find someone to beat him,” said Froch.

It’s impossible to knock out a fighter like Canelo because of his head movement and strong chin.

Canelo’s opponents are forced to take power off their shots so that they can land with more accuracy against him, and a lot of them are afraid to load up because of his ability to counter them.

The only guy at 168 that would have a chance of stopping Canelo is former WBC super-middleweight champion, David Benavidez. He unloads on his opponents with flurries of shots and doesn’t seem to care too much about what’s coming back at him.

If Benavidez can wear Canelo down with his high work rate and flurries, he could stop him the way he did his last opponent Ronald Ellis.

Froch would have liked to fight Canelo

“I look at these fighters and think that I can get in there with them, but realistically, I’m 43-years-old,” Froch said. “I had my career. It would always be nice to see a prime me against a prime whoever.

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“You always wonder. He’s a powerful man, Canelo. He’s a devastating punching. Sometimes you look at him and think, ‘Are you even out of second gear tonight?’

“He just started to crank it up in round eight and round nine. There was another 12 minutes left, and that’s a long time when you’re in there with someone like Canelo.

“Is he the IBF champ?” said Froch about Caleb Plant. “It’s a unification fight for the undisputed [168-lb champion] if it happens.

“I like him [Plant]; he’s classy. He’s got good boxing skills and movement. He can cetainly give Canelo some problems.

“Canelo is a dominant force at 168. I just wish I was fighting at 168. I’d give him some smoke.

“And I’d try and box and move and beat him as he comes. I’d stand and have a fight with him, and that could be my demise because he’s a powerful man,” Froch said.

A prime Froch might have been too much for Canelo to deal with, particularly with his power, size, and combination punching. Canelo has a meager work rate since moving up to 168 a few years ago. Froch would be a real problem for Canelo.

Even now, Froch is a young 43, and he looks like he hasn’t aged apart from gray hair. He looks like the same youthful fighter he was when he retired.

Carl’s weight is still where it was before, and he looks like he could return to the ring and give anyone in the 168-lb division massive problems. With many retired fighters coming out of retirement, Froch would be the ideal guy because he looks virtually the same as he did when he last fought in 2014.

You’ve got to believe that the power is still there for Froch, as well as his ability to punch in combination. The boxing brain will be the same for Carl, and that’s what made him such an excellent fighter.

You can a fight between Froch and Canelo would sell incredibly well, and it might a big enough to sell out Wembley Stadium.

Canelo – Saunders was difficult to score

“It was difficult to score because Billy Joe was busy, landing shots in quite a few of the rounds,” said Froch about the Canelo vs. Saunders match.

“He was having success landing shots, and if you land more shots than you get hit with, then you win the rounds.

“But it’s how you assess and score the heavy hands of Canelo Alvarez. When he’s landing big shots to the body and backing up Billy Joe Saunders, he looks like he’s in control and dominating.

“But his [Saunders] punches were landing, and there were a couple of rounds where he had succesful rounds.

“Yeah, he was doing well,” Froch said about Billy Joe doing well in the middle of the rounds. It’s subjective scoring. Chris Mannix, who was right beside me on DAZN, had Billy Joe winning by a couple of rounds.

“I had Canelo by two rounds, but you couldn’t really argue. You have to look at this as the fight game and the hurt business.

“Canelo was in control of the fight, really, backing up Billy Joe and landing big blows.

“He was hurting him, and ultimately, he busted up his eye socket. So that’s what got him the win ultimately,” said Froch.

Saunders turned it on in the middle rounds to win at least three, which make the fight 5 rounds to 3 in the eyes of many boxing fans when the bout was halted after the eighth.

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