By Dan Ambrose: Tim Bradley was not impressed with Canelo Alvarez’s victory last Saturday night against a hand-picked 154-pounder, Jermell Charlo, and he says should have been able to knock him out given the lack of resistance he was met with and his power advantage.
Bradley states that Canelo (60-2-2, 39 KOs) needs to focus on the guys from his weight class, David Benavidez, and he should agree to face Dmitry Bivol at 168 because he made excuses about the weight after his loss last year against the WBA 175-lb champion.
It’s about time that Canelo finally faces Benavidez and rematches Bivol because he’s really veered away from fighting cutting-edge since last year.
The cherry-picking he’s doing has become obvious to people who have their eyes open and know what the Mexican star is doing.
Tim notes that Canelo views himself as one of the top fighters in boxing, but he’s not doing what the other top is by putting more energy into scoring knockouts to impress the fans.
Bradley points out that the top guys that Canelo feels he is above, Naoya Inoue & Terence Crawford, find a way to knock out their opponents by fighting hard, throwing combinations, and going all out to get the stoppage. We didn’t see that from Canelo, who threw a lot of single shots against Jermell.
When Canelo did throw combinations, it was two or three shots and not the sustained combos that he needed to get Jermell (35-2-1, 19 KOs) out of there last Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Bradley says he didn’t see the improvements in Canelo’s game boxing fans say they do. It was the same Canelo that he’d been a year ago, throwing single shots and showing fear of gassing out due to his poor stamina.
Fans should be mad at themselves
“Look, his brother [Jermall] was supposed to fight him. Now, his brother probably would have put up a better fight than him, but he stepped in because bigger brother wasn’t ready,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype about Jermell Charlo taking the fight with Canelo Alvarez due to his brother Jermall not being ready to take the contest.
“He didn’t want to take him on. So, he said, ‘Damn, it’s a golden opportunity
for me to make 20 million or so dollars. Shoot, I can’t pass this up. I know he’s three to weight division or two weight divisions above me.’
“What do you expect? I’m not mad because I already knew [Jermell wasn’t going to win]. So I’m not one of those ones like, ‘Oh, I want my $85 back.’ If you are silly enough to buy that fight to pay for that mismatch that I’ve been saying.”
What Bradley doesn’t understand is the average fan is a casual, and they’re easily fooled. Hence, Canelo is able to get away with fighting beatable opposition like Jermell, John Ryder, Billy Joe Sauders,41-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin, and Avni Yildirim.
“If anybody’s mad, you should be mad at yourself,” said Bradley. “Be mad at yourself. Ain’t no point in being mad at anybody. If anybody, if you want to choose to be mad at somebody, you should be mad at Canelo, not Charlo.”
A champion as popular as Canelo can game the system by defending against anyone else, and the sanctioning bodies won’t give him any gruff about it because of his star power.
“Everybody is saying that Canelo’s back. Come on, man. That’s the same Canelo we’ve always seen,” said Bradley. That’s the same Canelo that’s been fighting three years ago. Think about that because when I look at his style, it’s the same.
“He’s tactically damn good, and he does similar the same tactics over and over. He’s skillful, and when I say as far as skillful. He uses the high guard, and he uses the pull counter. He’ll pull counter you.
“If he would have stepped on the gas a bit, and he would have let his hands go and been a little bit more violent and took a little bit more risk himself, he probably could have got him up out of there.
“Everybody saying, ‘Oh, well, such and such was defensive, he was so defensive. He was running around the ring.’ The only thing is that he didn’t throw enough punches,” said Bradley about Jermell.
Canelo needs to raise his game
“So, you couldn’t knock out a guy that was 14 pounds below your weight. Although it is a little bit more difficult when the guy is there to survive, but what about what about the guy [Paul] Butler that Inoue fought who was there to survive?” said Bradley.
“What did Inoue do? He tried everything, and then he finally opened him up and finally stopped him. Those great ones, that’s what they do. If Canelo is considered great, he needs to do great things.
“I understand you could be the cash cow, I get that, but man, if you want to remain in that top five, bro, there are some requirements. You get the same requirements as the rest of the top five.
“We were talking about some months ago. If Terence doesn’t do this to Errol Spence, he’s not going to be number one. Inoue is going to be number one, and Terence went out there and did what he had to do.
“You saw the result. Now he’s number one, but we’re saying the same thing about Inoue. ‘Hey, Inoue got to do something spectacular in order to keep his spot. Bivol has got to do something spectacular to keep his spot, and the list goes on.
“Usyk has got to do something to keep his spot. These guys are doing what they are supposed to do, but Canelo, this was a showcase fight. This was a showcase fight for you. Literally handpicked.
“You was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’ll take that,’ and they’re saying he looked good, he looked better than ever? When you don’t get any resistance coming back at you, of course, you’re going to look impressive.
“Of course, you are going to look strong. You’re the stronger man; you’re the bigger man; everybody was saying Charlo was the bigger man. He sure wasn’t the stronger man. He wasn’t a stronger man at all,” said Bradley.
Alvarez should fight 168-pounders
“So everybody got to take a step back, man, take a step back. We want to see Canelo again,” said Bradley. “We want to see him against somebody his own size, somebody that’s I’m going to punch back at him. We want to see him against Benavidez.
“We want to see him against Bivol at 168. We don’t want to see you at 175 against Bivol. We want to see you at 168 for all your straps at 168 because obviously, when you fought, Bivol was quote unquote this is the excuses that everybody makes. ‘Oh, Bivol was too big. He was daring to be great. He went up in the weight class.'”
It’s very unlikely that Canelo will risk fighting Benavidez or Bivol because he obviously knows he’ll lose to those guys. Benavidez is Canelo’s WBC mandatory, but he still won’t fight him.
You can’t count on the World Boxing Council to order Canelo to defend against Benavidez because they obviously know that if they try forcing him to follow rules, he could vacate.
As for Bivol, he already volunteered to come down to 168 to make things easier on Canelo, but he doesn’t want to do it.
“Okay, fight him at 168 and beat him. Make that wrong and make it right. Fight Bivol,” said Bradley. “Fight Benavidez. Benavidez is tough, gritty, and hungry. He ain’t going to come and lay down. He is going to come and fight. Win, lose, or draw; he’s coming to fight.
“Remember, styles, temperament, and on this occasion, weight makes fights. So, the style of Charlo, his temperament, you can see it through the whole lead-up. Charlo lost this fight when he signed the contract.
“When the fight was made, he lost the fight, and then going through the whole press tour all the respect, he was out of character. Anytime you see somebody out of character, there’s a problem there,” said Bradley.
Jermell looked so grateful to Canelo for being given the payday, and he wasn’t about to get on his bad side by trash-talking. Like a lot of fighters that get blessed by Canelo, Jermell didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds.
“What is it? Is it stress? You don’t believe in yourself? He ain’t been in the ring in 16 months. That himself is so hard to deal with as a fighter, that inactivity,” said Bradley about Jermell.