Canelo Alvarez v Jermell Charlo – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

Four weight world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will put the WBC, WBO, IBF AND WBC super-middleweight titles on the line this weekend as he takes 154lb king Jermell Charlo at the T Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.

For the first time since 2019, Charlo will enter the ring as challenger and the American is stepping up two weight classes in his pursuit of greatness.

For the last decade, Canelo has sat on top of the boxing world and at times has looked untouchable. As the sport’s biggest attraction, the spotlight is always firmly fixed on the Mexican but it is a role he thrives in and he has embraced his role as a superstar both inside and outside the ring.

Although a controversial failed drugs test in 2018 will always cast a shadow over the career of Canelo, his record of 59-2-2 (39KO) is simply unheard of in modern boxing and as he closes in on his 64th professional outing, he will be keen to remind the boxing world that he is still the best fighter on the planet.

For many years, it was hard to argue against Canelo being the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world whether you believe he legitimately took performance enhancing drugs or not. By becoming a four-weight world champion, unifying multiple divisions, and becoming the first man in history to be undisputed champion at 168lb, he earned the right to sit on the throne but boxing is a fickle sport and with one defeat and two underwhelming performances in his last three fights, the consensus is Canelo is not the fighter he once was.

At 33, it’s slightly unfair to say Alvarez is past his prime but in his defeat to Bivol (at light heavyweight) and his following to fights against an ageing Golovkin and perennial contender John Ryder, there was evidence that the Mexican was slightly slower in both offence and defence. There is an old saying in boxing that ‘Father Time’ is undefeated and if Canelo has outstayed his welcome in professional boxing, he could find himself in dangerous territory this weekend.

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Standing across the ring, Jermell Charlo is a supremely talented individual who has dominated the light middleweight division but there is still a sense that ‘Iron Man’ is yet to fulfil his potential. He, along with his twin brother Jermall, are as famous for antics outside the ring as they are inside and that has ultimately stopped him becoming a dominant force in the sport.

Interestingly, Jermell has not had his brother around during this fight camp as they are no longer on speaking terms and he is insistent that he is more focused than ever. If he does turn up in Las Vegas 100% focused, he has the skillset to upset Canelo and breathe new life into his career.

The one negative for Charlo heading into this fight is his inactivity. He has not fought competitively since May 2022 and it is a huge ask to take on Canelo after almost eighteen months of being on the side-lines. There may not be much between these two fighters when it comes to skill but Canelo has always been an active fighter and that swings the momentum hugely in his favour this weekend.

These two are elite operators so this fight will be a spectacle for the purist but it often comes down to the small details at this level and as the more professional, more active fighter, Canelo Alvarez is at an advantage. He may need to work hard for his victory but the Mexican can get the job done via the judges’ scorecards (5/6).

JORDAN NEILD

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PROFIT/LOSS (SEPT 2023): LOSS -22.85 points

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Author: Eugene Morris