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Artur Beterbiev is genuine threat to Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez, Artur Beterbiev boxing photo

By Max Schramm: Canelo Alvarez may meet his demise if he moves up to 175 and takes on the unbeaten knockout artist & IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.

Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch believes the talented, rugged, and hard-hitting Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) has the ingredients in his game to defeat Canelo.

Thus far, Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) has wisely swerved the two-time Russian Olympian, steering clear of him as if he were a lethal third rail in a subway.

Will Canelo face Beterbiev in 2022?

Many believe that Canelo Alvarez will move to 175 in 2022 after taking on WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu in May.

However, it’s questionable whether Alvarez will face the soon-to-be 37-year-old Beterbiev in 2022 because he’s viewed as the most dangerous of the three champions.

With Beterbiev aging and slowing, Canelo may face the easier mark in WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol, in his first fight in the division in 2022, followed by WBO champion Joe Smith Jr.

Predictably, Beterbiev will be saved for last by Canelo to fight in 2023. Why? Because Beterbiev is still too dangerous for Canelo right now in the present form, but that could change if the Mexican star delays the fight with him until 2023.

Beterbiev will be 38 by then and will likely have slowed enough for Canelo to have a better chance of defeating him.

When Canelo did briefly move up to 175 to fight for a world title, he picked the safer target in the old & washed up Sergey Kovalev rather than face Beterbiev.

By that point in ‘The Krusher’ Kovalev’s career, he was old, shot & past it, having been beaten by Andre Ward x 2 and Eleider Alvarez.

With Canelo’s reputation as an opportunist, it’s believed that he spotted the badly fading WBO 175-lb champion Kovalev, who had almost been knocked out in his previous bout by Anthony Yarde and quickly signed to fight the Russian to embellish his record.

Despite Canelo saying he avoids no one, it was apparent that he avoided Beterbiev when he went up to light heavyweight two years ago in 2019.

ANY of the top 175-pounders = threat to Canelo

Any of the top fighters at light-heavyweight could be a threat to Canelo and certainly at cruiserweight,” said Froch to Sky Sports.

Canelo Alvarez, Artur Beterbiev boxing photo

“You never know if Oleksandr Usyk could come back down to cruiserweight, but I do think Usyk would beat Canelo. He’s too big and too good for him.

“When Canelo stepped up to light-heavyweight, he picked his opponent wisely in Sergey Kovalev, who is nearing the closing stages of his career,” said Froch.

The top fighters at 175 that are a threat to Canelo:

  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Joe Smith Jr.
  • Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez
  • Dmitry Bivol
  • Joshua Buatsi

It’s doubtful that former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) will return to his old weight class to take on Canelo any time soon.

Usyk has some lucrative fights still ahead of him against Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. If he loses both of those fights, he’d be open to fighting Canelo at cruiserweight.

However, by then, Canelo will have already dropped down to 175 or 168 and likely wouldn’t be interested in returning to the cruiserweight division.

Beterbiev with “good chance” of beating Alvarez

If Canelo took Beterbiev in 2022, there’s an excellent chance that he would lose to him. But if he ages Beterbiev by waiting until 2023 or 2024 before facing him, his chances will go up, and he could beat the Russian.

Artur Beterbiev stands a good chance of beating Canelo in a really good fight,” said Froch.

“I don’t think it will be one-sided because Beterbiev is a strong light-heavyweight, he’s the No 1 in the division, and a genuine threat,” said Froch about the Russian fighter Artur being a hard fight for Canelo.

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