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Is Canelo Alvarez ready for Artur Beterbiev?

Canelo Alvarez, Artur Beterbiev boxing photo

By Jim Calfa: Last Friday night, IBF & WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev cleared an obstacle from the path to a fight against Canelo Alvarez in 2022 by stopping Marcus Browne in the ninth round.

Now boxing fans will need to wait and see whether the Mexican superstar Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso feel confident enough to take the fight with Beterbiev.

The body punching that Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) utilized to drop the 2012 U.S. Olympian Browne (24-2, 16 KOs) in the seventh and ninth rounds will have been noticed by Canelo and Reynoso.

Although Canelo is skillful at avoiding headshots, he’s less adept at getting out of the way of body shots. As such, if Canelo agrees to fight Beterbiev, the head movement that he uses won’t help him.

The low connect percentage of Canelo’s opponents won’t apply for Benavidez because he’ll be targeting his body in the way that he did with Marcus Browne and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Whether Beterbiev gets the fight or not will be determined by how confident Canelo and Reynoso are of beating him, and if they don’t think they can win, they won’t fight him.

After being badly burned in their two fights with Gennadiy Golovkin with fans believing Canelo deserved two defeats, he and Reynoso have seemingly changed the way they select opponents.

Instead of continuing to face dangerous guys, they’ve veered in the opposite direction towards safety and certainty. Subsequently, Canelo has done well in his last seven fights since his rematch with GGG, winning comfortably in each of those contests.

Yeah, we’ve heard the jazz from Reynoso about Canelo wanting to build his legacy by going after a fifth division world title against WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu in 2022. Still, a victory for Alvarez over Beterbiev would resonate more with the fans.

Beterbiev is rated #1 at 175, whereas Makabu is viewed as the worst of the cruiserweight champions in a weak division and largely ignored by fans.

It was touch and go in the first half of the fight for the unbeaten knockout artist Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) due in part to Browne’s impressive boxing skills and a large cut that the Russian fighter suffered in the fourth.

“We are ready for any fight,” said Beterbiev after stopping Marcus Browne last Friday night. “We are ready for the best – to be the best, you have to beat the best.

“I feel good. We won the fight. This is boxing, and you never know what can happen,” said Beterbiev.

Interestingly, Beterbiev chose not to call out Canelo last Friday after his win over Browne. That may have been a smart thing for Beterbiev because, generally, fighters that call out Canelo NEVER get a fight against him. It’s kind of odd how that works.

If you call Canelo out, it results in him not fighting you. Of course, in Beterbiev’s case, he’s not called out Canelo, and he’s still not gotten a fight against him.

When Canelo did move up to 175 to go after his fourth division world title, he chose to shopworn 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev, who was old and past it by that point in his career.

Andre Ward said that Beterbiev looked beatable against Browne, but his power looked just as good to this writer. The body punching that Beterbiev did was just as lethal looking as it had been in his fight two years ago against Oleksandr Gvozdyk.




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