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Canelo and the illusion of greatness

Image: Canelo and the illusion of greatness

By Mohamed Horomtallah: Being a Canelo Alvarez fan is not an easy task! I like his skills, his style of fighting and the fact that he seems to improve with every fight. He is the biggest attraction of the sport.

But rather than just being the face of boxing, I would’ve also wanted him to have the face to cement a legacy, a real one, and go down in history as an all time great.

Unfortunately, this is not the case at the present time.

Canelo’s decision to move up to cruiserweight next and challenge the never heard of Ilunga Makabu is pointless.

If the goal is to conquer a new division, there is nothing to “conquer” in facing and, more than likely, beating the weakest link in the division. This is nothing more than a heavier version of Rocky Fielding.

I have nothing against Makabu as I respect those who do step into a ring but to hear him say “Canelo is the best in the world and I think in my heart that I can do it!” tells me everything I need to know about this fight.

Canelo is giving me the impression that he’s confusing boxing with statistics! Winning a belt just for the sake of adding another title to the collection is farcical. It’s like winning a championship without facing the best teams in that sport. It is, and I’m carefully choosing my words, ridiculous!

I was very excited when Canelo became undisputed on paper at the 168 pounds division. Yes, on paper! Any kind of boxing fan knows that he did not legitimately win the WBC belt. It was vacant and it belongs to David Benavidez, the final boss of the division.

I entertained the thought that Canelo was going to face him next to validate his undisputed status but I was obviously mistaken.

Image: Canelo and the illusion of greatness

I was rooting – and hoping- for Canelo to sit on the throne of greatness but his latest move has forced me to take the red pill and its effects kicked in fast, raising many questions in my mind :

  • Has Canelo clearly separated himself from the top competition he faced? No. Too many close and controversial fights.
  • Did he use catch weights, rehydration clauses and other advantages before fights? Yes. The great ones don’t depend on you being weak for them to be strong.
  • Did he benefit from favorable judging? Yes.
  • Did he face the best fighters in each division he campaigned in? No.
  • Did he introduce us to complete strangers? Yes. Thanks to him, I now know thee more human beings in Rocky Fielding, Avni Yildrim, and Makabu.

It seems that more and more analysts are taking the red pill. Teddy Atlas, Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Tyson, to name a few, share the same views. I commend them for their bravery because Lord knows it takes courage to speak the truth and the backlash that comes it.

It’s a disgrace to see some prominent personalities in boxing, be it renown journalists, fighters or sanctioning bodies praise Canelo’s latest move and equate it with making history.

It’s not making history. It’s making up history. It’s being a jack of all trades and a master of none. Beating a shot Sergey Kovalev, fresh off a hard fight, does not make Canelo a legit champion at the 175 pounds division.

They say numbers don’t lie but in Canelo’s case, they do.

The other day, I was (gently) mocking Teofimo Lopez for posing next to Canelo as a fellow undisputed champion but even though he still has one belt to go, he faced some of the best in his division, back to back to back and after seeing how Canelo is operating, I wish I could apologize to Mr. Lopez in person.

Canelo needs to represent the proud and brave Mexican people and give them the glory they are used to and deserve.

How high would Canelo be on the all time greats list if he faced Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Artur Beterbiev, Dimitry Bivol, and Gilberto Ramirez? Sky high and he will shut down the critics once and for all.

It’s not too late for him to do the right thing and clear out his respective divisions, by facing the best and nothing but the best.

Until that becomes a reality, he’s just selling us an illusion. Greatness is never achieved when playing on easy mode.

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