Shawn Porter: Beterbiev is “EASY fight” for Canelo Alvarez
By Dan Ambrose: Shawn Porter came away unimpressed with what he saw from IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev with his ninth round bludgeoning knockout victory over Marcus Browne on December 17th, and he’s now predicting an “EASY” win for Canelo Alvarez should he move up or down to 175 to challenge the Russian fighter.
Porter attributes Beterbiev’s two-knockdown ninth round knockout win over the 2012 U.S Olympian Browne to that of the American, making it easy for him by standing stationary from the fifth round on.
Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) still hasn’t said whether he’d be moving up to 175 to go after Beterbiev and the other two light heavyweight champion’s world titles.
Without addressing why Canelo hasn’t already taken on Beterbiev or David Benavidez, Porter sees this as a slam dunk win for the Mexican star.
Hearn wants Canelo to fight at 175 in 2022
Promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s going to speak with Canelo and his trainer Eddy Reynoso to try and convince them to focus on becoming undisputed at 175 in 2022.
For now, Canelo is planning on fighting WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu on May 7th, a move that would make the Mexican star a fifth division world champion if he wins.
The former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter says that Canelo’s superior hand speed and counter-punching will enable him to beat the lower Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) to the punch and outland him 2 to 1.
Porter isn’t saying how Canelo will keep Beterbiev off him. As we saw in the Russian fighter’s wins over Browne and Oleksandr Gvozdyk, he wears his opponents down with pressure, forcing them to defend constantly and deal with his powerful body shots.
Beterbiev’s inside fighting ability will be a new experience for Canelo because none of the guys he’s fought during his career have possessed any ability to fight in close.
Usually, when Canelo is on the inside, he is getting the better of his opposition, but it would be a different situation against Beterbiev.
Canelo will be getting hit hard to the head and the body. It’s unclear how long he’ll last under the nonstop body & head assault from Beterbiev.
Porter says Beterbiev didn’t look skilled
“He had to turn on athleticism because of the cut,” said Shawn Porter to The Porter Way Podcast on Beterbiev, needing to fight harder after he was cut in the fourth round by a head-butt against Browne.
“I don’t know what was said in the [Beterbiev] corner, but we all know if we’re bleeding before the end of four rounds, this is going to become a no contest. So, I feel like immediately [Beterbiev went on the attack of Browne].
“Was that the first round or the second round? I thought in the second round, this dude [Beterbiev] is stalking with a lot of power, and I know what that can do to you both physically and mentally.
“I’m like, ‘Okay,’ but I didn’t see much skill, I didn’t see much speed, and I didn’t see a lot of punches [from Beterbiev] in the first round anyway,” Porter said.
Beterbiev possesses that George Foreman type of power in which he looks like he’s not throwing with a lot of force, but in reality, he’s landing with massive power.
The real problems for Canelo are the body punching, inside fighting, and the continuous pressure that Beterbiev will be putting on him.
Canelo’s stamina is below par, significantly limiting his punch output and forcing him to take plenty of rest breaks. He takes those breaks against the ropes or by using movement.
Beterbiev won’t let Canelo take his breaks, and he’s going to be working his body the entire time, knowing that he can’t avoid those types of shots. Thanks to his upper body movement, Canelo is second to none in avoiding punches to the head, but he’s very average in avoiding body shots.
In Canelo’s two fights against Golovkin, he would look at the referee for help when the Kazakh would hit him to the body to make it seem he was getting hit with shots on the back area.
Golovkin was even warned at one point by the referee for a body shot that was clearly in the legal portion. After that, Golovkin stopped throwing to the body.
If Canelo attempts the same thing with Beterbiev, looking at the referee for help when he starts getting hit to the body, it’s doubtful it will work.
Beterbiev isn’t going to change his game the way Golovkin foolishly did just because Canelo is trying to play the referee to keep him from taking painful body shots.
The short, powerful punches that Beterbiev can throw on the inside will be a nightmare for Canelo because he’s not going to be able to avoid those shots by moving his head.
With Beterbiev at point-blank range, he’s not going to miss Canelo, and he could quickly wear him down, especially when going to the body.
Browne folded almost immediately
“Even in the second round up until he [Beterbiev] got cut was a lot of the same with Marcus Browne doing what he should have been doing for the entire fight with movement, speed, stepping around, keeping it at a distance, keeping it easy,” Porter continued.
“Once the cut happened, a sense of urgency from Beterbiev came on, and then out of nowhere, this is what I saw, Marcus Browne sort of changed his style.
“He [Browne] started to try and sit there and take shots as opposed to using his feet, using his movement the way that he was, and keeping the fight on the outside.
“I thought Marcus Browne made the first two rounds very easy,” said Porter in his view that Beterbiev was getting dominated early.
“Then the sense of urgency of Beterbiev stepping it up, throwing more punches, and being more aggressive but with offense, as opposed to just stepping forward. It seemed like Marcus Browne folded to that almost immediately,” said Porter.
Browne folded in the fifth because he was getting hit with body shots from Beterbiev, and it would have been over with quickly had he continued to move while taking hard punches to the midsection.
Beterbiev had a stationary target
“Don’t forget, though, that in order to land a body shot or at least a solid body shot, a guy has to be there stationary for you to land a solid shot, you know?” said Porter when told that the reason Browne folded so quickly was due to the body shots Beterbiev began nailing him with in the fourth round after sustaining a nasty cut.
“Beterbiev, once he started using his hands, he understood that he had to, he started to use athleticism and punching from angles and things like that. I thought it was cool,” Porter said in praising Beterbiev.
It sounds like Porter didn’t watch the Beterbiev vs. Browne fight on ESPN+. Had he watched the contest, he would have known why Browne stopped moving suddenly in the fourth.
He was getting hammered to the body from Beterbiev, even while moving around the ring.
It’s difficult for fighters to brace for body shots when they’re moving, and that’s why Browne stopped because Beterbiev was spearing him with hurtful shots while he was circling the ring. Had Browne continued to move in the way that Porter wanted him to, he would have been stopped in the fourth or fifth.
Browne was moving just fine in the first four rounds, but his ability to move disappeared after Beterbiev began targeting his body in the fifth round.
In reaction to the constant body shots from Beterbiev, Browne backed up against the ropes in the fifth round and was hit with a storm of heavy punches in the closing seconds.
The referee could have stopped the contest during that round because Browne took terrible punishment to the head and body. Again, it sounds like Porter didn’t watch the Beterbiev-Browne fight because he would have known why Browne stopped moving in the fifth if he’d watched it.
Porter = Beterbiev “Easy fight” For Canelo
“I think Canelo’s experience will allow him to do what he needs to do, fighting off the back foot [against Beterbiev],” said Porter.
“I don’t think Canelo is the kind of guy that will just come into the ring with, ‘This is who I am, and this is what I do, and I’m going to beat you.’
“I think now; his experiences will allow him to see, ‘Oh, okay, that’s how I have to beat that guy. That’s what I’ll do to beat that guy.‘ I think his experience will allow him to accept the fact that, ‘I have to fight off my back foot a little bit more. This guy is a little bit bigger than me.
“‘Yeah, he’s got a lot of power, but I can make him walk into some stuff, and I can beat him to the punch every time.’ I think it’s a relatively easy fight [for Canelo],” said Porter.
It sounds like wishful thinking on Porter’s part in saying that it will be an “easy fight” for Canelo against Beterbiev.
If it were as “easy” as Porter says, Canelo would have hand-picked Beterbiev in 2019 when he moved up to 175 to fight for a world title instead of the over-the-hill 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev.
Beterbiev had TWO titles, not one like Kovalev, and he was already viewed as the #1 fighter in the 175-lb division.
But instead of Canelo fighting Beterbiev, he went after the easy mark in Kovalev, who had already been stopped by Andre Ward and Eleider Alvarez.
It’s the same thing we’re about to see with Canelo going up to cruiserweight.
Rather than fighting the best in that weight class in Mairis Briedis or Lawrence Okolie, Canelo is starting the weakest champion in Ilunga Makabu.
The short punches that Beterbiev throws on the inside will be brutal for Canelo to take for any length of time without folding up shop in a similar fashion as we saw with Browne.
Beterbiev made an excellent fighter in Browne look weak, but he’s anything but soft.
Browne is one of the best fighters in the 175-lb division, but he fell apart from the body shots and pressure that Beterbiev put on him.
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