By Dan Ambrose: The Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo undercard is loaded with some interesting names for this Saturday night’s card on Showtime PPV.
Granted, virtually all the fights on the undercard are slanted in favor of the more talented fighters, the A-side guys being moved towards world titles, but the matches are still competitive ones on paper.
If the main event contest between undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) and Charlo, who is moving up from 154, fails to produce excitement or be competitive, the undercard matches will keep fans from grumbling too much.
Canelo-Charlo complete card
Yordenis Ugas vs. Mario Barrios
Jesus Ramos vs. Erickson Lubin
Elijah Garcia vs. Armando Resendiz
Terrell Gausha vs. KeAndrae Leatherwood
Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Isaac Rodrigues
Frank Sanchez vs. Scott Alexander
Curmel Moton vs. Ezequiel Flores
Justin Viloria vs. Angel Barrera
Abilkhan Amankul vs. Joeshon James
Bek Nurmaganbet vs. Abimbola Osundairo
Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela vs. Yeis Gabriel Solano
The ONLY fight on the undercard that is competitive on paper is the junior middleweight bout between Jesus Ramos & Erickson Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs.
That fight will be a war and ultimately unveil the future star of the 154-lb division, 22-year-old Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs). Lubin has taken a lot of punishment in his fights with Sebastian Fundora, Terrell Gausha, and Jermell. He’s kind of the sacrificial lamb in this bout with Ramos.
37-year-old former WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) hasn’t fought since losing his title via a tenth round eye-injury stoppage loss to Errol Spence Jr. a year and a half ago in April 2022.
Former WBA light welterweight champion Mario Barrios (27-2,18KOs) has lost two out of his last three fights and looked terrible in losing to inactive past his best Keith Thurman last year in February.
Barrios, now fighting at 147, snapped his losing streak by beating second-tier fighter Jovanie Santiago by an eighth round knockout earlier this year. Mario didn’t look good despite winning.
Four years ago, Barrios captured the WBA 140-lb title, beating Botirzhon Akhmedov (9-3,8 KOs) by a narrow 12 round unanimous decision.
Barrios didn’t beat anyone good to capture his WBA belt, so it’s not surprising that little 5’5″ Gervonta Davis was able to snatch the title away from him by an 11th round knockout in 2021.
Who knows what Ugas has left after that grueling fight, which saw both guys that an enormous amount of punishment?
Spence certainly didn’t look like the same guy in his recent fight against Terence Crawford, and one could conclude the same thing could happen to Ugas.
Is Canelo washed?
Ideally, Canelo should be fighting the top dogs from the 168-lb division rather than going the circus route by defending against a fighter from two weight classes below him at 154, but that shows the state of the Mexican star’s self-confidence after three consecutive dismal performances since last year.
Canelo is obviously questioning his ability to defeat the killers at 168, like David Morrell Jr., Demetrius Andrade & David Benavidez. So, instead of fighting them, Canelo reverted to facing a guy from a division far below his weight class by selecting 154-pounder Jermell.
“Around so quick. Feels like a bit of a lack of hype, but all the hype comes on fight week, and I’m sure it’ll be massive next week,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to the Boxing News Youtube channel about the Canelo vs. Jermell fight this Saturday night.
“I think Canelo looks pumped. I think he wins the fight by late stoppage, but I think it’ll be a good it’s a good fight. Charlo is a very talented fighter.”
Jermell isn’t going to stand there and let Canelo chop him down for a knockout like Caleb Plant, and some of the other fighters have. If Canelo wins, it’ll be by a decision in a tough fight.
What Hearn fails to realize is the knockouts have dried up for Canelo since his fight with Plant in 2021, and he’s looked like a shot fighter ever since that contest.
“I do think he’s too small, but he can really fight, and I think if Canelo’s not the same fighter, he’ll struggle.”
“Yeah, I think Canelo would be too strong for him, to be honest. He’s a good fighter,” said trainer Tony Sims. “Canelo and people say that he’s not the fighter he was, but he’s still got really fast hands.”
Canelo still has quick hands & enormous power, but he’s only effective if his opponents stand directly in front of him, and Charlo won’t oblige him on Saturday night.
“He’s changed his defense over the years to putting pressure on you with his gloves up,” said Sims. “He puts you under pressure and waits for you to make a mistake, and he hits you with quick countershots.
“He’s very strong, and he punches hard. So I think I think Charlo will be in the fight in the early rounds, but I think he’ll wear him down and knock him out eventually,” said Tony, predicting a win for Canelo.