By Dan Ambrose: Shawn Porter says Canelo Alvarez has been showing signs of decline for the last three to four years, and he feels that Terence Crawford & Jermell Charlo have a shot at beating him.
Shawn sees Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) as having the size, skills, and talent to defeat the Canelo he’s seen in his last four fights.
Porter feels that Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) is using the same game plan fight after fight, even when it’s clear that he needs to adapt. He’s not, and he’s having problems winning his fights, needing to rally to win.
He couldn’t do that against Dmitry Bivol, and he may have the same trouble against Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) on September 30th.
Porter thinks Canelo will likely beat Jermell, but it’s not a given because this guy is bigger, fresher, faster, and he’ll be using movement, which is pure kryptonite for the Mexican star.
The Caleb Plant fight in 2021 is when Porter first noticed that Canelo was beginning to show signs of decline, as he struggled in that fight until coming from behind to score a knockout in the 11th round after the Tennessee native gassed out.
You can go back even further to the Billy Joe Saunders fight, where Canelo showed signs of deterioration because he was getting worked by the British fighter until he stopped him in the eighth round.
Canelo showing decline
“I think if anything, you just have to get your mind out of the space of who’s stronger. Boxing ain’t just about strength, you know? Who’s smarter, who’s more athletic, who’s faster, who’s got more stamina, who’s got more experience, and the list goes on,” said Shawn Porter to Fight Hub TV when asked if Terence Crawford can beat Canelo Alvarez & Jermell Charlo.
“You add all that up, and you would actually think, ‘Well, a lot is actually on Terence’s side. I actually think that a fight between Terence and Canelo will be really interesting.
“I think that Canelo is not who he was three, four years ago, and I really wouldn’t say he’s declining, definitely not fast, but his career is definitely not doing this [ascending], and it hasn’t done this [stayed on the horizontal path] in two or three years.
“So obviously, it ain’t a fast decline, but Canelo is certainly not who he used to be. He has been in a lot of fights, three wars with GGG, and saying all that to say, I think that a fight between Terence Crawford and [Canelo] would be interesting and definitely will be competitive.
“No, the fight before [Dmitry] Bivol,” said Porter when he started seeing Canelo begin to decline. “When you look at the fight between Caleb Plant and Canelo Alvarez and you say, ‘Well, Canelo did everything he always does, and eventually he caught up to Caleb Plant and knocked out Caleb Plant.’
“That eventually never came with Bivol. So when you see that eventually never comes, you see that in the fight with Bivol that Canelo came to the ring with the same game plan that he had been using fight after fight. The only difference is eventually never came. So if eventually never comes, then what does he do?
“You fast forward, and he got the same fight against GGG. He just was just younger, fresher than GGG, and he beat GGG, but he fought the same fight that he fought three times against the same person.
“You didn’t do anything different three times, and then you see again eventually came with Ryder. But the fight with Ryder, I’m all for a good competitive fight. I’m all for that, but when you are Canelo, you’re supposed to separate yourself and show why you are Canelo Alvarez.
“Eventually came against John Ryder but eventually, if it doesn’t, then what?” said Porter.
Canelo = old dog that can’t learn new tricks
“So now we’re looking at a faster, fresher, great legs, great stamina, great game planning in Terence Crawford, and then we’re even why are we talking about Terence Crawford and Canelo, not Canelo, and Charlo?” said Porter.
It’s evident that the 36-year-old Crawford, although three years older than the 33-year-old Canelo, is the younger fighter of the two, with fresher legs, superior stamina, and a better ring IQ.
Canelo has been using the same game plans since his fight with Rocky Fielding in 2018, and if this is due to trainer Eddy Reynoso, then he needs to dump. However, it’s more likely that Canelo is like an old dog that can’t learn new tricks and is incapable of changing.
“So look at the Charlo fight. I think Charlo he’s going to need movement,” said Porter. “Let’s talk about the facts. You need movement against Canelo. You need a fast work rate against Canelo, and you need a great jab against Canelo, and you got to get to Canelo’s body.”
We saw how the 41-year-old faded Gennadiy Golovkin kept Canelo’s offense bottled up in their trilogy match last September, and he came close to beating him despite being completely shot.
If GGG had thrown a few more punches earlier in the fight, he would have won. It was surprising how easily Golovkin neutralized Canelo’s offense with movement, and he’s GGG has never been a mover before.
“Then you got to keep Canelo off of you. I think the fight with Canelo and Charlo; I think it’s interesting,” said Porter. “I do think that Canelo wins that fight, but it remains to be seen.
“What you don’t want to do though if you’re Canelo Alvarez. This is going to work to his disadvantage if you look at this fighter at 154 and you say, ‘Well, he’s moving up to 168. He can’t punch as hard as me. He can’t punch as hard as such and such,’ but if we’re being realistic, Charlo doesn’t walk around at 150.
“He doesn’t live at 150, which means he doesn’t train at 154. He doesn’t live at 154, so he doesn’t train at 154. He probably trains at 168-ish, which means his body won’t be foreign to performing at that weight class, which means he’s going to be strong at that weight class,” said Porter.
We saw how much bigger Jermell was compared to Canelo during the two-city press tour. That’s how they’re going to look on September 30th.
Canelo looks like a fighter that should be fighting at 154, not super middleweight, which is why he’s having so many problems. The guys at 168 are basically light heavyweights that boil down to fight at super middleweight.
If Canelo wants to extend his career, he needs to fight no higher than 160, which would be ideal for him because that division is barren of life.
Crawford’s speed will be key
“This is more than likely a strong 168, cutting down to 154,” said Porter. “Exactly. What I’m saying is that it evens itself out. “When you look at Terence Crawford, you can imagine he’s probably training at 160. He’s probably training around 160, 155, or 160, which means his body is not foreign to be as high as 165, even 168.
“So, yeah, he doesn’t come to the ring on fight above 170. Canelo does, but then again, you’re saying, ‘Hey, the faster, quicker, lighter fighter, who more than likely has power and strength at that weight class because he is naturally, his man, his body’s weight is that weight class.
“He’s cutting down to 147; he’s cutting down to 154. So, I think those are the things that people don’t know, and they overlook certain components of a fight because they don’t know those things.
“I hate talking about the ever-type conversation. I definitely like the era conversation, and it’s no shame to be the best of your era, of your
generation,” said Porter.