Canelo and Floyd—It’s in the Past

By Marc Livitz on August 9, 2017
Canelo and Floyd—It’s in the Past
Golovkin's fighting has endeared him to millions of fans the world over. (Naoki Fukuda)

Neither mind games nor wars of words will derail the upcoming undisputed middleweight championship clash…

Less than six weeks remain until the event known as “Supremacy” gets underway in Las Vegas. On Saturday, September 16, Canelo Alvarez will attempt to make Mexican Independence Day a night to remember as well as cherish when he squares off against Gennady Golovkin. All the marbles, so to speak, in the middleweight division will be at stake, save for the WBO championship strap. This one’s big, as evident by the fact the host venue, T-Mobile Arena sold out in less than ten days and ticket sales for an event in the very same arena set to take place two weeks earlier has apparently lost a bit of steam.

Neither mind games nor wars of words will derail the undisputed middleweight championship clash between a megastar from the boxing crazed nation of Mexico and an unbeaten knockout artist from Kazakhstan. Additionally and much to the credit and allure of the sport, Gennady Golovkin’s fighting style has endeared him to millions of fans the world over.

In his own right, Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KO’s) has much become one of the faces of the sport in its present day. In terms of his status among talent from Mexico, the recent retirement of surefire Hall of Fame lock Juan Manuel Marquez and Canelo’s thorough bludgeoning of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. last May have essentially cleared the rear view mirror of the man from Jalisco state.

In a slight break from the norm, an international media conference call took place much further out than usual from the typical two to three week time frame leading up to a high profile bout. On Tuesday afternoon, Alvarez took part in just such a call with the media. As was the case in May 2015 when Floyd Mayweather finally took on Manny Pacquiao, various news outlets who normally wouldn’t bat an eye at boxing once again felt the need to sink their fingers into the mix. Canelo fielded the usual “how has training camp gone?” and “are you going for the knockout?” queries and all seemed to be going well for the soft spoken redhead from Guadalajara.

Almost four years have passed since the redhead was basically turned red-faced by Floyd Mayweather in a bout coined “The One”, which in terms of the bottom line (liquid) broke records. Of course, it was topped in May of 2015 by well, a lot. In any case, Canelo’s September 14, 2013 bout with Floyd pulled down gross sales of over twenty million dollars and a live gate of 16,146 in paid attendance. That’s about all we can remember about that fight and with good cause. Canelo wasn’t ready and many people were already wise to the fact that he was out of Mayweather’s league. This was all about money, no pun intended. Isn’t it quite comical to see once again how some haven’t learned from past mistakes? What’s taking place on August 26? Are the famous words of philosopher George Santayana so easily forgotten? 

Staying on topic, we’ll return to the call. Typically, a moderator will announce the individual’s name and publication prior to a question being asked. Per the usual, some writers will ask much more than necessary and and at times seemingly forget that other people are in the queue behind them. All of this is expected. Still, a correspondent from a certain giant financial daily newspaper had to proverbially “go there” with Canelo Alvarez.

“It’s been nearly four years since your fight against Floyd Mayweather. How have you changed as a fighter since then?” he asked. We’ll assume that this individual hasn’t watched much of Canelo since his defeat to Floyd and his quick return to the ring against formidable talent. In order, they were Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland. These names make up the first four of the seven fighters he’s faced and beaten since that Fall night in 2013. Of course and ever the cool-headed gentleman, Canelo answered.

“Yeah, I’ve definitely learned a lot,” he said. “I have more experience now. I feel more confident. I’m more of a mature fighter now. Obviously not just that fight, but the fights that followed have got me to this point. But yes, I’ve changed and I learned from it. I feel that I’m more of a complete fighter now. I have more experience and the confidence is probably the one thing that I can point out the most.”

He continued after the same person suggested that his loss was not due to the fact that he was incredibly wet behind the ears, but instead that Mayweather simply disrupted his game plan.

“Obviously in that fight with Floyd, I think the only reason he beat me was because of experience,” he answered. “He had more championship fights under his belt.”

Why is it that some simply cannot leave this fight to history? Yes, it took place too soon but it sure did do well in regard to dollars and cents. This can happen when the nationalistic angle is propped up to immeasurable levels and many are quick to buy into it. It’s a strategy that it’s no way unique to Canelo Alvarez or any particular fighter from any particular country. It’s simply business now, as it was four years ago. Leave it alone and let the kid move on. Let him fight. He just turned 27.

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