Is Canelo the New Man?

By Robert Ecksel on October 4, 2014
Is Canelo the New Man?
"He fights 10% of every round and then uses his experience to survive. He’s not exciting."

It’s not as though fighters are lining up to be anointed. Most fighters are focusing on their next opponent…

When Floyd Mayweather reaches 50-0 and retires after having surpassed Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record, someone will have to step up to fill Money’s very substantial shoes.

And who is that someone?

Well, according to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, he’s the guy.

It’s not as though fighters are lining up to be anointed. Most fighters are focusing on their next opponent. Most fighters are not concerned with being the next face of boxing.

But Canelo is not most fighters. He is also, it must be said, considerably more like most fighters that his ostensible predecessor Floyd Mayweather.
Not that it matters.

Having jumped from Showtime to HBO with much fanfare, Canelo has claimed Cinco de Mayo weekend for himself, declaring that Mexican Independence Day ought to be reserved for a Mexican, not someone from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and who’s more Mexican than the freckle-faced redhead from Juanacatlán, Jalisco, Mexico named Saul Alvarez?

I can think of a few fighters who are equally Mexican, but none of them have the star power of Canelo, or are nearly as photogenic.

It’s not as though Canelo is squeaky-clean, despite what was written on Boxing Scene. It’s not as though squeaky-clean matters. The occasional blemish hasn’t lessened Mayweather’s box office appeal, but if the media wants to scrub Canelo’s image to elevate him to boxing’s version of Godhead, that’s what soap, water, and elbow grease are for.

HBO Sports President Ken Hershman, who met with the media at HBO’s offices this week, called Canelo “the future superstar of the sport.” That specificity, however highfalutin, didn’t last, as Hershman let hyperbole get the better of him by saying it was “refreshing” and “compelling” to “hear a fighter talk about not just making money but making history,” as if talking about legacy was as rare as a Greta Garbo sighting.

Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo’s promoter, was no less enthusiastic than Hershman. “Saul Alvarez is the present and the future,” he gushed. “I think what’s happening now is that people are now starting to talk about not Pacquiao-Mayweather. They’re starting to talk about Cotto-Canelo. It’s not the second best fight to be made. Now it’s becoming the best fight to be made.”

To compare a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao to a fight between Canelo and Cotto doesn’t wash. It may be competitive, just as Mayweather vs. Pacquiao might once have been competitive, but the comparison is a facile as it is incorrect. De La Hoya can, however, be excused. He is simply doing what promoters are supposed to do, which is to pitch fights, often at the expense of the truth.

Not willing to leave well enough alone, Canelo had to take a dig at Mayweather, even though Mayweather schooled him when they first met, even though Canelo has no intention of being schooled a second time.

“All his fights he doesn’t take a risk,” said Canelo. “He fights 10% of every round and then uses his experience to survive. He’s not exciting.”

Canelo may be exciting. He may even be boxing’s next superstar. And if his Dec. 6 fight against no-hope Joshua Clottey is any indication, he may be taking a page from the playbook of the man he intends to replace, without even so much as a thank you.

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  1. mallett 07:11am, 10/10/2014

    there is no way he will be the man, not when he fights smaller hand picked welter weights anyway

  2. Darrell 03:07pm, 10/06/2014

    Short answer?  NO.

  3. Matt McGrain 03:31am, 10/06/2014

    I can see three possibilities.
    1) He can keep to 154lbs and has a chance of establishing a legacy, if not one that quite makes him Oscar, although occasional sojourns to the bigger division leave him much admired.
    2) He is forced up to middleweight where the best beat him and he goes down in a not quite Gattiesque blaze of glory.
    3) He goes up to middleweight and drains opponents hungry for a paycheck, simultaneously draining his own popularity in the process.

  4. nicolas 02:12am, 10/06/2014

    When I saw that written, that he fights 10 percent of every round and uses the rest of the time to survive, I thought that was about Alvarez. Alvarez is a big hype job. If he were let’s say from Eastern Europe, and fighting in the USA he would not get the big time exposure he gets. But because he is Mexican, and Mexicans seem to be a big part of the box office in boxing, he is getting that big time exposure and marketing. Also in this talk of this big fight between Cotto and Alvarez, and of course Cotto being Puerto Rican, I can not help but feel that with Golovkin not mentioned in the picture, that in some way this is almost as bad as back in the 20’s when Harry Wills was not given that title shot against Jack Dempsey. Think also about this, if Golovkin were either Mexican or Puerto Rican, they would be breaking down the doors to see him fight.

  5. procopy 11:59pm, 10/05/2014

    For a long time, I just think he’s so overrated. He’s good crushing C listers but I saw him struggle against B-list types.
    GGG is more credible but I think he’s still a bit overrated too unless he starts pounding real A listers and assure those people who already put him to superstardom that he’s the real deal

  6. Koolz 02:48pm, 10/05/2014

    Canelo is a limited fighter.  If he hits the Golovkin Wall that is where he will stop on the floor, face down.

  7. Osiris James 01:51pm, 10/05/2014

    Canelo can only look good against slow sluggers. He should only refer to FM as master after the lesson that he got. Lara gave him the same lesson but he was given the victory. Trout also beat him, so how could he be the man if he can’t beat any of the true master of the sport? His upcoming fight with Clottey smells like someone is being brought in to be a punching bag for the great Mexican hope. As a fan of the sport i can tell you that Canelo is good fighter and he comes to fight but he is most certainly NOT the man, because he has yet to beat the man.

  8. peter 05:55pm, 10/04/2014

    Canelo is a good, but limited fighter. No work or effort on his part will change that. He just doesn’t have the natural ability, particularly for someone in his weight class….BTW, The accompanying photo of Canelo for this article—throwing a wide left hook—is almost identical to a well-known photo of another good, but very limited fighter—George Chuvalo.

  9. Eric 02:55pm, 10/04/2014

    Danny Lopez is more Mexican than Canelo.

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:43am, 10/04/2014

    Just like Rigondeux, Floyd hits just hard enough to make guys like Donaire and Canelo think twice….and while they’re thinking they get potshotted again….. Maidana eats one and just keeps boring in….problem is…. Marcos as well was doing too Goddamned much thinking in the return bout..

  11. Pete The Sneak 08:56am, 10/04/2014

    I like Canelo…He’s a pretty good fighter. But the new face of Boxing? Don’t really think so…I’m the last person to want to defend FMJ, however Canelo had his chance at being GREAT when he fought Floyd and blew it. Case closed. Heck, he didn’t even come close enough competitively for Floyd to even consider having an immediate rematch ala Chino Maidana. Getting a little tired of all these guys that say FMJ doesn’t take risks AFTER they fight him. That’s how FMJ fights. You already know that beforehand, so train for it and see what you can do to make him take risks when you fight him. That’s what Maidana did, and although he lost both fights, at least he had something in his game plan to make it a bit more exciting at times and made FMJ ‘take some risks.’ Not for nothing, but Chris Algieri has a better chance of being the new face of Boxing (yeah, I said it) if he beats Pac Man more so than Canelo will at this juncture…Peace.

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