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Leonard Ellerbe questions Canelo Alvarez’s level of opposition, wants him to fight Benavidez, Charlo & Plant

Image: Leonard Ellerbe questions Canelo Alvarez's level of opposition, wants him to fight Benavidez, Charlo & Plant

By Sean Jones: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe wants to see Canelo Alvarez start fighting quality opposition instead of the lesser guys he’s been routinely matched up against since 2018.

Ellerbe notes that Canelo has NOT been fighting the type of opposition he and the fans want to see him fight lately.

He’s not knocking the talent of guys like Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, Rocky Fielding, or Callum Smith, but those aren’t the type of fighters the fans want to see Canelo fighting.

Those fighters were like cardboard props, hauled into the ring to make Canelo look good.

What happened to Canelo?

On the surface, it looks like Canelo has been hand-picking his opposition ever since his grueling controversial win over Gennadiy Golovkin in 2018.

The second GGG fight took something out of Canelo in terms of his ability to take risks. It was like a fork in the road that Canelo had reached when he fought GGG for the second time.

If Canelo had gone to the right, he would have continued to entertain fans with fights against David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, David Morrell Jr, Demetrius Andrade, and Artur Beterbiev.

Canelo took a detour instead of taking that path in his career, deciding to unify the 168-lb division, which just happened to have four weak champions holding the belts.

We’ve seen Canelo fighting, Fielding, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, and Avni Yildirim for the last three years.

Ellerbe slams Canelo for cherry-picking

“I think he’s a tremendous fighter, but I still say Terence Crawford,” said Ellerbe to Fighthub about him viewing Crawford above Canelo in the pound-for-pound list.

Image: Leonard Ellerbe questions Canelo Alvarez's level of opposition, wants him to fight Benavidez, Charlo & Plant

“I know he’s been inactive, and it takes nothing away from Alvarez because the levels of the guys that he’s fought recently is what it is,” said Ellerbe about Canelo’s opposition not being great recently.

“You got to call it what it is. Come on, man. Let’s face it. We’ve known who he’s fought recently, and it has nothing to do with him being a great fighter because I truly think he’s a great fighter.

“But there are guys out there that will give him a better run for his money than the few guys that he fought recently. It’s not saying that he avoided any of those guys. I’m not even insinuating that, but I‘d like to see how he matched up with Plant, [Jermall] Charlo, Benavidez.

“I’d like to see those kinds of fights. I don’t want to see Yildirim and no knock against Saunders. I don’t want to see those kinds of fights.

“I know what it’s like to fight a big, strong, athletic fighter who ain’t going to back down, who is going to continue to bring it and is willing to exchange and is going to be on his a** all night long.

“I know what that’s like,” said Ellerbe in slamming Canelo for his weak opposition.

How do you defend Canelo in this case when you see him choosing to fight flawed fighters like Saunders, Yildirim, Rocky Fielding, and Callum Smith instead of the talented opposition?

Why did Canelo choose to unify the 168 lb division when it’s loaded weak champions, which the U.S boxing public had no interest in seeing him fight?

It’s great to win titles, but it doesn’t mean anything when you get to the level where Canelo is at.

What’s more important is to fight the very best and making sure that you’re giving the fans the fights they want to see. Let’s be real. Canelo hasn’t been doing that.

Fighting Yildirim, Saunders, Fielding, and Callum Smith? It just looks like Canelo is taking ‘bum of the month’ type easy fights to milk his contract.

Canelo showing power he never had before

“Canelo is a very good fighter, but things are different now. He was a guy at 47, 54, and he wasn’t a puncher,” said Ellerbe about Canelo.

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Now, all of a sudden, he’s walking through guys at 68 and 75, so things are different now. He’s a tremendous fighter, though,” said Ellerbe.

Canelo’s power has seemingly gone through the roof since he moved up to 168, and it looked even better when he bulked up to 175.

But he also hasn’t fought anyone particularly talented in either of those weight classes, so you can’t get too excited about Alvarez’s wins.

Canelo’s victories at 168 & 175:

  • Sergey Kovalev – 175
  • Callum Smith
  • Avni Yildirim
  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • Rocky Fielding

It seems apparent that Canelo is being maneuvered like a chess piece, swerving the dangerous opposition at 168 and 175 to avoid getting beaten.

The naive boxing fans, who don’t have their eyes open, have no problems with the way Canelo is being matched.

But if you know anything about the sport, it’s painfully obvious that Alvarez is being put in with weak paper champions and guys like Yildirim that has no business challenging for titles

Those are not great fighters, none of them, and it’s unclear whether Canelo is purposefully avoiding the talented guys. It sure seems that way.

The fighters Canelo SHOULD be fighting at 168 & 175:

  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Dmitry Bivol
  • Gilberto Ramirez
  • Joe Smith Jr
  • David Benavidez
  • Carlos Gongora
  • David Morrell Jr
  • Edgar Berlanga

Plant beats Canelo says Ellerbe

“He can’t beat Caleb [Plant] because Caleb has all the wrong things for him. Trust and believe that,” said Ellerbe in saying Canelo is not good enough to beat Plant.

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“What you guys have only seen are glimpses of Caleb Plant because everybody rises to the occasion of the level of the opponent that they face.

“But given the opportunity on the big stage against a big name, and styles make fights.

“He [Plant] has everything he needs to beat Canelo. Y’all say he can’t punch, but he can punch.

‘He’s a tremendous boxer; he has great defensive skills. More importantly, he’s a thinking fighter, and people tend to miscalculate those types of things.

“I think that’s one of the biggest advantages going into the Canelo fight. That’s just my opinion,” said Ellerbe.

One would give Plant, 28, a good shot of beating Canelo if he’d beaten some solid 168-pounders like David Benavidez, Carlos Gongora, and David Morrell Jr instead of the weak fodder-level fighters he’s been facing.

The best wins on Plant’s pro resume have come against these fighters:

  • Jose Uzcategui
  • Rogelio Medina
  • Vince Feigenbutz
  • Caleb Truax

Plant can’t beat Canelo if PBC and Matchroom aren’t able to negotiate a fight between them. Unless they can get past the stall point in their negotiations, which seems unlikely, Canelo won’t fight Plant on September 18th.

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