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The Order in King Canelo Alvarez’s Court

By: Kirk Jackson

Canelo’s Court

The newly established king of the middleweight division recently announced intentions to face relatively unknown WBA (Regular) super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding 27-1 (15 KO’s) Dec. 15, to close out an exceptional year of boxing.

Alvarez supporters and critics may question the move to face the relatively unknown combatant campaigning in another weight class, but rulers make decisions at their own discretion and without seeking validation from anyone else.

Dating back to the lineage of kings past, they carved their own course.

Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya – each fighter at some point in their respective careers were viewed as among the best, if not the best fighter outright and viewed as the highest money generating, torch bearers for the sport of boxing.

Canelo now fills the void.

And with the power to generate money, comes the power to manipulate – or control the landscape.
Regarding his recent move with requesting and receiving permission for a voluntary defense along with permission to fight at super middleweight for another world title, Alvarez even smoothed things over with the World Boxing Council (WBC), a sanctioning body he had issues with in the past.

“It’s an opportunity that came up for Canelo and it’s going to be a spectacular close to the year. The WBC is in full support of his decision because we have agreed to that,” said WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán to ESPN Deportes.

“We are living in a different world. I am happy because Canelo is at home (with the WBC). We agreed on this fight taking place at 168 pounds, he will represent the WBC.”

Alvarez is the pulse of the middleweight division, along with neighboring divisions such as junior middleweight (154 lbs.) and super middleweight (168 lbs.).

Fighters at junior middleweight will take the chance of moving up to face Alvarez, just as fighters at super middleweight will move down for the same opportunity of cashing in on the golden ticket that is Alvarez.

This is the same reason Gennady Golovkin sought out Alvarez twice. It’s why everyone wanted to fight Mayweather, De La Hoya, Leonard, etc.

The theory is kill the king, take his treasure and take his position.

Having successfully thwarted off the advance of the last challenger for his position, Alvarez earned some credibility amongst many circles.

He can take an easier challenge without facing too much scrutiny. This is an example of a “Keep busy,” fight.

Alvarez technically fought at super middleweight once, when he easily defeated Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by unanimous decision in their 12-round affair more than 17 months ago at T-Mobile Arena.

Not only does this bout against Fielding keep Alvarez active, but this enables him the opportunity to claim a world title across his third weight division; perhaps serving as part of his plan to eventually match another Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez, as the only Mexican born fighters to win world titles across four weight classes.

The fight against Fielding in New York City and this helps build Canelo’s brand on the east coast. New York is arguably has one of largest markets worldwide, endless advertising opportunities and adds to the luster of Alvarez’s career as this fight takes place at the “Sport’s Mecca,” Madison Square Garden.

In facing Fielding, this further exposes Alvarez to the English audience, which may be important business-wise if Alvarez intends on battling current WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders – who happens to be from England.

The pairing of Alvarez and Saunders is dependent on if Saunders can successfully defend his title against undefeated Demetrious Andrade.

Also varies if Saunders is penalized for rule violations of some sort, because at this point, it’s uncertain if Saunders will even fight Andrade due to recent issues with failed drug tests and bribing drug users.

Also depends if both parties can agree to the site, date, the network platform and money allocation.

The match-making of this particular bout also delays the fight between Alvarez and potential usurper Jermall Charlo 27-0 (21 KO’s).

Charlo is the interim-WBC middleweight champion and slated to face Golovkin next if he and the latter agree to terms. The undefeated former WBC junior middleweight champion is also regarded as the biggest threat in the middleweight division.

Charlo, along with close friend and undefeated IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, doesn’t believe Alvarez wants to fight either of the Charlo brothers.

“They ain’t going to do that.” Spence said to Fighthype when asked if Canelo or Golovkin will face Jermall Charlo. “Too big, too strong, too fast,” Spence said about Charlo. “Jermall’s a big dude and he’s strong. He has a great jab.”

Speaking of Spence, there are rumors swirling in the boxing world he may eventually share the ring Alvarez at some point in the near future.

Which may be a move Alvarez has concocted somewhere down the line.

Whether it’s fighting Golovkin for a third time, fighting relative unknowns such as Rocky Fielding or Liam Smith for example, or potentially facing smaller opponents like Errol Spence or Josesito Lopez in years past, Alvarez makes the moves he sees fit for himself. If his influence affords him that power, who can blame him for utilizing it? Just as Kings across previous periods did, exercising their clout.

To borrow a phrase from the sport of basketball, the ball in his court and the reign of Canelo is in session whether we like it or not.

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