Canelo Alvarez – A Serious Professional In Less Than Serious Times
By: Sean Crose
Canelo Alvarez has begun training camp for his most difficult challenge to date. Oh, his 2013 battle with the iconic Floyd Mayweather may have been an herculean task, but Mayweather, masterful though he may be, has never been known to inflict physical damage – at least not the kind of physical damage middleweight honcho Gennady Golovkin is known for dispensing. And so, with a September 16th date lined up for him to do battle with the Kazakh terror, Canelo is prepping for the fight of his life. Yet the Mexican star’s fight for recognition has never been an easy one. Indeed, potholes have perpetually kept popping up in the man’s path.
For, although Canelo is enormously popular in his native Mexico, large swaths of the American public – and presumably the global public, as well – aren’t particularly familiar with who the guy is. Oh, Canelo’s name may ring a bell, but it is certainly not a household name…not like Mayweather’s. Or Manny Pacquiao’s. Or even another red haired fighter ‘s – Conor McGregor’s. No, Canelo’s is a name for the purists. Sure enough, the UFC’s McGregor has – along with former foe Mayweather – taken much of the energy out of Canelo’s upcoming throwdown with Golovkin. This is a shame, of course, as Canelo-Golovkin is a true superfight, while Mayweather-McGregor is the sporting world’s equivalent of cotton candy.
Still, people like crap. No, they love crap. And so, Canelo-Golovkin, which might have actually enticed the general public at large, is now relegated to the margins while people gorge themselves delightedly on a fight which frankly should never have been made to begin with. In truth, though, it might actually all be for the best. For it appears people want personality over competition. In other words, Floyd and Conor ,whose personalities are as large as they come, may literally be incapable of letting the public down when they meet on August 26th. People won’t be paying to see a fight, after all. They’ll be paying to see Floyd and Conor and not much else.
Canelo and Golovkin, on the other hand, have only craftsmanship to offer. Neither one speaks English well and both seem like nice guys. Add in the fact that they both take the sport of boxing respectfully and seriously and it’s easy to see why most wouldn’t be interested in their wares. It’s like offering vegetables at a donut festival. No matter how good those vegetables may taste – no one’s going near them. Except of course, for the health nuts. And really, that’s what we hard core boxing fans are these days – health nuts wandering aimlessly about an endless donut festival, where there’s always room for another one or two more dozen crullers.
Therefore, Canelo sits on the margins with those of us who follow him, too much of a grownup to be loved, not enough of a clown to be adored, but respected enough by people whose respect – if I do say so myself – is worth earning. This is a shame, of course, for the man looked as if he were ready to take up the mantle of boxing’s biggest star after the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight finally faded from memory. Unfortunately, however, that was simply not to be the case.
Such things happen when you’re a serious professional living in less than serious times.