So, When Does Canelo Alvarez Get His Credit?

By Paul Magno on January 31, 2018
So, When Does Canelo Alvarez Get His Credit?
He has had a nice, solid career and looks to be more than willing to build upon that base.

When, exactly, does Saul Alvarez get the credit he deserves for a pretty damn solid career and résumé, already at the young age of 27?

In case you didn’t know, I’m the guy who dubbed Saul “Canelo” Alvarez the “Red-Headed Step-Champion” way back in 2012. At the time, I rode the kid hard as a protected fighter who had been gifted a world title and a handful of soft touch defenses. And he deserved the roasting.

But then things changed and, well, I’d have been less than honest if I didn’t acknowledge the good that came after the bad.

The then-22 year-old hungered for a PPV coming out party and signed on for a bout with the much-avoided Paul Williams—until Williams suffered his career-ending motorcycle accident. He also pursued a near-prime James Kirkland, who walked away from a generous offer on the table.

Moving from the “almost” to the “did,” Canelo would twice go against conventional wisdom and the advice of his people to take on the challenges the fans supposedly wanted. Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara were both tough, complex challenges that nobody at the time was all that eager to face. The Floyd Mayweather bout between Trout and Lara was, of course, even more complicated, but a calculated risk given the kind of money involved.

Not too long after that, Canelo fought Miguel Cotto—a challenge that was considered an even-money contest—until, of course, Canelo actually beat Cotto and the serial Alvarez antagonists dragged out their hamper of laments to de-credit the win.

Now, fast forward a bit to the Golovkin bout of last September—a bout that many a dedicated critic doubted Canelo would ever even consider. And even if one had Alvarez losing that fight, it should be beyond debate that the guy more than held his own against the media darling raging beast who was supposed to tear right through a “pretender” and “fraud” like Canelo.

Once again, Alvarez would face a challenge that he was supposedly ducking and one who many thought would expose him as a pure hype job. And, once again, he would prove himself up to the challenge.

But then the raging cynics bellowed that, having dodged a bullet on the scorecards against Golovkin the first time around, there’d be no way he’d go back and do it again…right? As more time passed following the September 16 draw, the cries grew louder about, maybe, Canelo not being so eager to sign off on a rematch—until he DID.

So, now it’s set. Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 on May 5. And the question I have to ask to the boxing world in general, but to the hardcore Canelo critics specifically, is this—When, exactly, does Saul Alvarez get the credit he deserves for a pretty damn solid career and résumé, already at the young age of 27?

Like most fighters, especially those with the ability to generate massive fan interest and the paydays that go along with that drawing power, Alvarez has faced his share of journeymen, retreads, and no-hopers. That’s without question. And when he faces the Matthew Hattons of the world or entices an Amir Khan to move up in weight as a sacrificial lamb, then he deserves piranha attacks from media and fans.

But, on the flip side, let’s give some credit where credit is due.

Alvarez is better than acknowledged and bolder than given credit for. His résumé rates right up there among the best in the sport. It’s time we stopped the nonsense nitpicking and reality-bending lynch mob fandom to accept facts as facts. Canelo has had a very nice, solid career and looks to be more than willing to build upon that base.

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  1. David 03:04pm, 02/05/2018

    As soon as he beats a great fighter like GGG convincingly. Because he really hasn’t any big names yet.

  2. raxman 07:09pm, 02/03/2018

    nor do we have a go at each other when our opinions differ. you don’t get the dick riding, you don’t know boxing diatribes you do on the other site. Some may think of us as mature, but I think we all know that’s not exactly true!!!

  3. raxman 07:07pm, 02/03/2018

    what’s great about this site, beside the writing of the boxing journos, is that its full of true fight fans, knowledgeable fight fans, but what’s more we are fans of boxing that don’t think in order to like one fighter you have to hate on his rival

  4. Pete The Sneak 06:55pm, 02/03/2018

    Toro, Agreed. Absolutely great stuff. One of the main reasons I’ve always loved Good writing, but great Posts. Hope it continues…Peace.

  5. raxman 12:16pm, 02/03/2018

    don from prov - oh yeah I don’t want you to think I don’t rate Canelo as a damn fine fighter. Gone are the days pre Josesito Lopez when he’d been protected, and I know Lopez wasn’t a step up either but that was when he wanted Pdub, then Kirkland and then was set to fight Ortiz (which would’ve been a great fight until Oritz did an Ortiz) but Lopez spoiled that party - no I’m a Canelo fan. and I’ve actualy always been a GGG critic because I loved him as an amateur and felt he took too long to step up his competition but he’s doing it now and because I rate Canelo so highly Ive regained some respect for Golovkin - just not his fight plan.
    you know it could be that they didn’t go to the body because they feared Canelo’s counter punching, now given GGG took Canelo’s best shots like he was the terminator it may well be that the body punching is front and centre for the rematch

  6. don from prov 10:37am, 02/03/2018


    I would not argue with either trainer you point out as someone who could help GGG make a few adjustments.  Only—again—at this point I think that Golovkin has the trainer he is going to have.  I would also agree that Sanchez should have fired Golovkin up for those last three rounds—but who knows, maybe he understood that his fighter didn’t have much left.  And like you, I am no trainer so would only fall back on common sense per cutting off the ring and working the body—Alvarez slipped to GGG’s right most often and some adjustment of Golovkin stepping with Canelo and using his right hand—different speeds, power, type of right—to not let his man just walk away when he wanted would seem to have been called for.  As would the Marciano cliche of a strategy—hit the man wherever you can until you zero in: shoulders, biceps, chest, hips (until the ref stops you)—just hit him.  Punching with Alvarez would have seemed to make sense as well.

    Raxman: Sticking the jab on the belt-line sounds good.  As far as ripping the body, I think that has been the universal question—why did Sanchez not demand body work?  I believe Ted’s point that GGG didn’t appear properly prepared to react to Alvarez stepping off from him brought the conversation around to what responsibility Sanchez bore not only for poor corner work but in poor preparation as well.

    To me, Canelo is a solid fighter. Period.
    He deserves credit for “a pretty damn solid career” and that is fine.
    Golovkin?  He has been fun to watch but there was always, I think, the question of who he’d fought.  And really, how much has he stepped up even now?  Canelo, solid.  And Jacobs?  Look at his record.  Eh!  Not thrilled.

  7. raxman 10:31pm, 02/02/2018

    ted - I scored it the exact same way. 1-3 & 10-12 for Canelo. As you say GGG’s 6 were a better quality - and here is where people get confused when they cry robbery. People tend to judge fights as a whole. but a fighter could win100% of 5 rounds of a fight and 49% of the other 7 but in doing so lose the fight. its like the old popular vote in politics
    And Don from Prov….As for what Sanchez could have told GGG in the Canelo fight? How about go to the body? With the rips but also with the Mayweather style jab right on the belt line - if not during the fight, certainly in camp as part of the fight plan

  8. Doc. 02:22pm, 02/02/2018

    I have judged for many yrs and was a boxer in my youth. I watched the GGG, Alvarez fight many times and GGG out pointed him hands down. A lot wont agree but a Draw did nothing for the sport. Alvarez is a good fighter but gets hit way to much. 7 to 5 GGG. Thank You.

  9. don from prov 11:49am, 02/02/2018


    Here are things I would ask you—

    Golovkin is known as a fighter who cuts the ring off very well.  Do you think his ability to do so is overrated?  If not, why do you think Alvarez ( being no Ali or Benitez) was able to slip away so consistently?  Does it have to do with GGG being slow of hand?  Maybe with the belief in some quarters that GGG becomes arm weary?

    What is it about the Sanchez game plan that you find lacking and what do you feel a better trainer have had GGG do differently?  I am REALLY interested in what you said about the last two rounds and Sanchez being befuddled, so even more specifically thinking about those two rounds, where was Sanchez off and what would a better trainer have been telling GGG?

    Not that it’s likely to happen at this point, but who do you think would be a better fit to train GGG up for the better competition he is finally facing?

  10. Pete The Sneak 11:46am, 02/02/2018

    Great comments/observations folks. This is the shite I love… Just like old times (for a little while) here at…Peace.

  11. raxman 04:12pm, 02/01/2018

    Ted - I couldn’t agree more re Sanchez. Its a case of a fighter being that good on his own that he makes the trainer appear to be doing something special. Sanchez falls into the category with Jack Loew. Or as I used to call him, Jack “double your jab” Loew. Pavlik made that guy. And his entire coaching strategy was to tell KP to double his jab. KP should’ve ditched that guy after Bhop and gone straight to Manny Steward.
    GGG should’ve ditched Sanchez after the Jacobs fight. Danny Jacobs was the first fighter to bring a little adversity to the world of GGG and Sanchez had nothing for Golovkin. That fight was 6 rounds a piece to my scoring. it was only the 10-8 round that gave GGG the fight. You cant rely on GGG getting knockdowns against the level of competition he is now facing. Should he beat Canelo, a Jacobs rematch wont be an easy fight for GGG.  A Jermall Charlo fight wouldn’t be either.

  12. raxman 11:34am, 02/01/2018

    Ted - here’s the thing I’ve learned. you just don’t listen to anything any fighter says. I just watch the fights now and don’t bother with any interviews that way I don’t hear any sooking or sobbing. I learned this when my then fav fighter Krusher Kovalev complained about the first result so much that couldn’t stop complaining even during the rematch, looking for the ref to save his vodka drinking ass from SOG’s ball shots instead of sorting it out himself
    And for me, its not the hooks GGG has to land, he has to let go at the body. what was the unbelievable stat the first time around? 4 body punches the entire fight????

  13. Koolz 06:39pm, 01/31/2018

    after the second draw he will get credit.

    I like Canelo’s horses very very nice!

  14. Hammertime 06:15pm, 01/31/2018

    As soon as he quits acting like a little diva b*tch. I think the boxing world is tired of this whiners.

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