By Sean Jones: Some fans believe Canelo Alvarez is an overrated guy and an example of a fighter who picked his opposition when they were out of their prime.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
It’s easy to understand why people view Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) as not being a true great and unworthy of all the praise given to him. He’s a good fighter, but you can’t help thinking he’s a manufactured product.
The way Canelo’s management has matched him it’s allowed him to avoid many losses in his career and turned him into a fabulously rich fighter.
He’s like the 168-lb division’s version of Gervonta Davis, a fighter who has been matched weakly his entire career.
They’ve been VERY careful avoiding the dangerous guys that would expose him as Floyd Mayweather Jr. did, and instead, they had him take the easy road.
Fans criticism of Canelo:
- Fighting opposition out of their primes
- Swerving these fighters: David Benavidez, Artur Beterbiev, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Artur Beterbiev, David Morrell Jr.
- Waiting until Gennadiy Golovkin got old before him
Canelo’s loss to Dmitry Bivol was a mistake on his part, as he likely thought he was past it after his four consecutive lackluster performances.
Older fighters Canelo fought:
Alvarez gives up when falls behind
“Canelo, if you noticed when he falls behind in a fight, he mails it in. Have you seen Canelo in a fight where he falls behind and he’s, ‘Let me go for it.’ You haven’t seen that. You’ve seen him twice get dominated, and both of those times, he mailed it in as the fight was still progressing,” said Paulie Malignaggi to the ProBox TV site about Canelo Alvarez being overrated.
“‘We’re going to take the L tonight, and we’re going to go the distance, and we’re going to figure it out next time.’ He’s a great fighter. I’m not telling you he’s not great, but you can be overrated when you’re discussing the all-time great conversation, and you probably don’t belong in the best Mexican fighter ever conversation.
“You can belong among the great Mexican fighters but not the best Mexican fighter. The fact that conversation is happening where the overrated part comes in. Certainly, people can have that opinion about a lot of fighters.
“Some people don’t think Mayweather belongs in the all-time great conversation, even though he had a 50-0 record.
Canelo not fighting top guys in their prime
“The top fighters in the history of the sport have chased top fighters in their primes consistently. I feel like Canelo looks for top fighters, but he doesn’t chase them in their primes.
“He actually looks to avoid them in their prime and then tries to get them at a different point. That doesn’t mean that he ended up catching somebody in their prime when he didn’t realize it. For sure, he was looking to catch Mayweather late in his career and
“He was figuring it was a win-win situation. ‘If I win, I beat a top guy pound-for-pound. If I lose, I lost to a top guy pound-for-pound.’ That was Canelo early on.
“As he moves along. The avoiding Golovkin after the second fight was almost unforgivable, considering that he probably didn’t beat him in either of the first two times. He got that decision and then ran away with it.
“If he lost the second fight, he would have been asking for a third fight, and Golovkin probably would have given it to him because there would be so much money on the table. They probably would have fought three times right away at that time.
“Because he got the win over Golovkin, he ends up making the guy wait until he’s 150 years old and then gave him the third fight and basically collected a check.
“You got to give the guy [Canelo] credit. He is among the greats as far as generational fighters that come along, but then you look at the list that Teddy Atlast just gave. Salvador Sanchez was like 21 years old [correction: 23], and he was chasing guys in their prime.
“He took Azumah Nelson on three weeks’ notice, and he knocked out Wilfredo Gomez. Talking about fighting [Alexis] Arguello. Talk about fighting guys in their prime. Salvador Sanchez was gunning for him. He had a scope on everybody in their prime.
“He wasn’t just looking to collect a check. ‘I want to see how great I am.’ You can talk about Chavez’s first 40 fights had a lot of cab drivers there, but ultimately, he took on some tough fights, and he knew how to be behind, as the Meldrick Taylor fight showed, and stay believing in the win and got a knockout late in the fight. Granted, it was a stoppage that I don’t agree with, but he got a big win,” said Malignaggi.