By Dan Ambrose: Bernard Hopkins says Jermell Charlo will test whether superstar Canelo Alvarez is still in his ascendency or a faded fighter Saturday night.
Hopkins is giving the upset-minded Jermell an 85% chance of defeating Canelo in their headliner this Saturday, September 30th, on Showtime pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Given his lack of size, 17 months of inactivity, and how he struggled in his fights with Brian Castano & Tony Harrison, Jermell would appear to be over his head talent & size-wise against Canelo.
Canelo must dominate Jermell
If Canelo labors to a victory or loses, it would indicate that he’s over the hill because this should be an easy victory for him.
When a fighter hand-picks an opponent from two weight divisions below them, as Canelo does with Jermell, he must make easy work of them.
You can’t throw Jermell Charlo in the ring with the killers at 168, like David Benavidez & David Morrell Jr., and expect him to last long against either one.
It would be like feeding time for them if they were fed an easy mark like Jermell, who would be too small, too weak & especially too old for Benavidez or Morrell.
If Canelo loses or barely scrapes by the 15-year professional Jermell on Saturday, it would be a good idea for him to go for the cash-out fight against 36-year-old Terence Crawford, who has been beating the drum nonstop lately, talking up a fight with the Mexican warrior.
Crawford would still likely jump at the chance to fight Canelo, even if he loses to Jermell. At this point, it’s just business.
Jermell fight will prove a lot
“This here is really going to test whether Canelo is declining or like fine wine, it gets better with time,” Hopkins said to the Little Giant Boxing social platform about Canelo Alvarez’s fight with Jermell Charlo, determining if he’s still at the magnetar level or is at the supernova stage.
“This fight will prove that one way or the other.”
Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is a good 154-pounder but doesn’t belong at 168. So if he can beat Canelo or give him a lot of problems, it’ll clearly indicate that the pound-for-pound fighter is on his last legs.
It’s already obvious from Canelo’s last three fights that he’s lost a lot from his game, and no, it’s not because of his hand issue that he’s looked so bad.
Alvarez is showing wear & tear from his grueling wars with Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant, Dmitry Bivol & Gennadiy Golovkin.
The 33-year-old Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) hasn’t looked like the same guy he used to be in recent fights, and that’s not likely to change, even though he maintains that he’s now 100% for this fight.