Is Canelo Alvarez slipping enough for Jermell Charlo to win?

By Boxing News - 09/20/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez has clearly slipped a little in the last two years to where he was in 2021 when he captured the undisputed super middleweight championship, but he’s not lost enough for him to lose to Jermell Charlo on September 30th.

Bernard Hopkins is giving Jermell an 85% chance of beating Canelo, which sounds crazy because he has so much stacked against him.

Canelo has the size and power, and you got to figure he’ll get the nod from the judges for any close rounds due to him being the Face of Boxing.

Jermell’s best chance of winning is by knocking out Canelo, and that’s unlikely to happen. Alvarez has never been knocked out or even dropped during his career, and he’s been in with much bigger punchers than Charlo.

The Mexican superstar Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) has the technical knowledge that creates huge problems for Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who will be coming up in weight two weight classes and giving away weight.

Ultimately, what could hurt Jermell’s chances of winning the fight is his 17 months of inactivity. That’s way too long to be out of the ring for a fighter hoping to upset Canelo, especially a guy needing to go up 14 lbs to try and achieve that.

Canelo still wins

“I’m picking Canelo to win this fight for a number of reasons. I agree. We’re going to have very competitive spots in this fight. Charlo is really good. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, especially offensively,” said Chris Algieri to ProBoxTV, picking Canelo Alvarez to defeat Jermell Charlo.

“His offense is very beautiful. He’s got really good style and technique, and he’s a prototypical boxer/puncher. He’s got really good boxing technique, and he can punch really well, and he’s become a really good puncher/finisher in the second half of his career,” said Algieri.

Jermell has looked good against the opposition he’s faced, but he’s not fought any elite-level fighters during his long 16-year pro career. He’s glided through a long career fighting exclusively B & C level fighters and has never stepped it up against dangerous guys like Canelo.

Jermell’s best opponents:

Austin Trout
Jeison Rosario
Brian Castano
Tony Harrison
Erickson Lubin
Vanes Martirosyan
Demetrius Hopkins
Gabriel Rosado
Denis Douglin

“But in analyzing these two guys in this fight,  I’ve become a lot more excited in this fight, feeling Charlo is going to be very competitive,” said Algieri.

“Has Canelo slipped? Sure. He’s 33. Father Time is real. He’s had a very long career. We always talk about chronological age vs. ring wear. I believe the man turned pro at 15-16 years old, and he’s been in a lot of long fights. He’s been in tough fights.

“He’s got great defense,  which is a testament to his ability, but a lot of training camps and a lot of sparring. He’s an old 33 when it comes to wear & tear on his body for a boxer.

“But as far as 85% chance of him winning, I  just don’t agree. Bernard, I respect the hell out of you, but I don’t agree with that. Does he have a chance to win? Absolutely. If Charlo does win, I don’t want people to blame Canelo for slipping because the man is jumping up two weight classes. He’s been inactive,” said Algieri.

85% chance of Jermell is wacky, and you got to wonder if Hopkins has his feet firmly planted on the ground, coming up with that estimate.

Charlo does have a chance of winning, particularly if Canelo performs like he did in his last two fights against John Ryder & Gennadiy Golovkin. Canelo blamed his hand injury for his off performances in those fights, and perhaps he’s right. If not, he could lose to Jermell.

Jermell deserves credit if he wins

“He’s jumping up two weight divisions to fight the face of the division in this biggest stage possible,” said Algieri. “If he gets the win here, I’m not blaming it on Canelo slipping. I’m blaming it on Charlo being an all-time great.

“To be an undisputed in two weight classes. He’s undisputed at 154. The two men [note: Jermell only beaten once in his career, not twice] to beat him, he returned to defeat them by KO. That’s a big deal. So he’s beaten every man that he stepped foot in the ring with.

“If he goes up two weight classes and beats Canelo Alvarez to be undisputed in two weight classes, already he’s historic. So, let’s not start the narrative that Canelo is slipping. So if Charlo is to get the win, let’s not take his flowers away before he gets them,” said Algieri.

Jermell will certainly get credit, but it won’t necessarily be historic, given how poor Canelo has looked in his last three fights.

A lot of boxing fans forget how much punishment Canelo took in his loss to the much bigger WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol last year.

Canelo took a bad beating in that fight and ate punches from a fighter that he had no business being inside the ring with. The reason Canelo hasn’t looked good lately may be a result of the beating he took from Bivol.

If that’s the case, Jermell has a chance of winning if he doesn’t get clipped. Canelo’s power is still quite formidable, even if he is shot.

Alvarez not naturally bigger

“Canelo has been bigger at this weight longer than Charlo. He’s stepping up in that way, Charlo is,” said Teddy Atlas. “Let’s not forget that Canelo is not naturally this size. Canelo started a lot lower than he is now.

“He started at 140 pounds, then he went to 147, then he went to 154,  and then he went to 160. He picked his spots really well because when you’re the guy when you’re the chosen one, you can pick your spots better than someone like Chris Algieri, who had to fight whoever they put in front of him at that time and make the most of it.

“So, I’m just saying that when we talk about the weight, I back off that a little bit because Canelo is not the naturally bigger guy.  He’s become the bigger guy, but I don’t know that he’s the naturally bigger guy,” said Atlas.

Jermell looked a lot bigger than Canelo during their kickoff pressure conference when the two stood for a face-off. If Jermell puts on a lot of weight for the fight, he could enjoy a size advantage inside the ring on the night, and that should make it interesting.

“I favor Canelo, but will it be a competitive fight? Will it be a better fight than people first thought it was going to be when they first made the fight?’ said Atlas. “Yeah, I think so.  Will it be a fight where Canelo will have moments where he’ll have a difficult time with Charlo? I think maybe so, yeah.

“85%, no, I’m not buying that. Does he have a chance to win? Yes, of course, he has a chance to win. If you put a gun to my head, I probably pick Canelo by split decision. It sounds good.

“85%, that’s a real chance. I don’t know if I give him 85, but I would agree with Bernard, believe it or not. Of course, Canelo is the golden boy, the engine that drives boxing. He gets all the favors; he gets all the gifts if there has to be a gift given out. He’s going to get it,”  said Atlas.

Canelo slipping

“Again, he’s the guy that brings the money and lays the golden eggs. He’s been good,” Atlas continued. “I think he’s been overrated and made into a little bit more. I think he’s lost a few fights in his career. I think he lost to Lara. I definitely think he lost his first two to GGG, but I digress.

“That’s water under the bridge. I do think he’s slipping. I think he’s shown.  You got to remember this guy has been a pro since he was 16. He’s been around a long time.

“I do think he’s slipping. He showed it in his last couple of fights against guys a couple of years ago; he would have gotten rid of, especially in his last fight,”  said Atlas.

You can’t blame Canelo for not knocking out John Ryder because this guy has a steel chin, and he’s been in with Callum Smith, a guy with arguably better power than Alvarez. Ryder wasn’t dropped by Smith. Against Canelo, Ryder was knocked down in the fifth round and in bad shape.

“Bivol is a different thing,” said Atlas. “Bivol is just a great fighter, a tremendous fighter, a tremendous technician. But he exposed him in some way. His fights after that showed some slippage. I agree with Bernard.

“Charlo has problems, too. He has been inactive, but he might have a little more juice in the tank, a little more lively right now than Canelo is at this period of his career,” said Atlas.

YouTube video