Can Canelo Repair His Reputation?
By: Sean Crose
Things are good yet not so good for Canelo Alvarez. The middleweight/junior middleweight/155 lb weight superstar and (to some, at least) lineal middleweight champ is rich, famous and about to fight yet another world titlist, Liam Smith, in front of an enormous crowd at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in September. On the other hand, Canelo now has been labeled by many as being a duck…and being labeled a duck is never, not under any circumstances, a good thing for a fighter’s reputation. What’s more, some of Canelo’s comments to the press – and let’s be fair here, his English isn’t great when he speaks to the English speaking media – have only served to alienate him further from some fans.
Still, are things meant to terminally be this rough for the Mexican icon? Or will he someday redeem himself in the eyes of his detractors (let’s face it, the man was until very recently one of the few fighters in the modern era who didn’t seem afraid to face a real challenge)? That may actually all depend on two things: whether or not Canelo faces middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin before the Kazakh warrior begins to age significantly and whether or not Canelo will somehow manage to avoid being beaten before such a fight actually materializes.
To be sure, there are some who feel Canelo just isn’t talented or skilled enough to pick up the mantle left by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, respectively. And make no mistake about it, Floyd and Manny are no longer kings of the ring. Even if they were to fight again, it would be more of a novelty than a snapshot of an era. Is Canelo near either man’s caliber, though? While only someone clouded by bias would claim the red headed star isn’t very, VERY good at what he does, there are some legitimate questions regarding the true quality of Canelo’s ring performances.
For instance, in his two biggest twins, Canelo bested an aged Miguel Cotto, and destroyed a known welterweight in Amir Khan. Impressive feats, sure, but how impressive when one looks at the whole picture? What’s more, few will give a win over the game, but widely unknown Smith a whole lot of props. Not when guys like GGG and any number of quality junior middleweights are – figuratively speaking – just a phone call away.
The truth is that Canelo can only completely and thoroughly re-establish his reputation by facing GGG in a timely manner. Even if he were to move on to best top level competition other than Golovkin, the letters GGG would hang over his reputation for as long as Canelo walked the earth. Which would be something no popular fighter would want to have happen.