Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez: What Are the Options for Him Next?
By: Waqas Ali
Mexican superstar and world champion ‘Canelo’ Alvarez delivered a stunning performance when he knocked out Rocky Fielding in three rounds at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
The bout which was attended by over 20,000 spectators in attendance was for Fielding’s WBA ‘Regular’ title which is the minor version of the belt.
British world champion Callum Smith holds the ‘Super’ version of the belt.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Alvarez making his first bout under the 168 pound weight limit/ super-middleweight, started fighting on the inside with Fielding and connecting immense haymakers to the head and body.
Fielding who had the height advantage of 6 feet 1 inches and the reach of 75 inches did not utilise the range and distance of the fight and therefore paid the price.
Each round consisted of a knockdown of Fielding tasting the canvas. Courtesy of body shots.
But now the question remains is what opponent is next for Alvarez (51-1-2)? Is it back to 160 or staying at 168?
Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, believes his boxer is now fully capable of competing against anyone at middleweight or super middleweight.
Canelo will return to the ring on Cinco De Mayo weekend in Las Vegas.
“Canelo fighting at 168 showed he can fight at either 168 or 160. We’ve already set aside the T-Mobile Arena for Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas. We have no opponent whatsoever – zero. We’re not thinking of nobody,” De La Hoya said.
“We’re going to enjoy the holidays and enjoy our families. After the holidays, as a team, we’ll collectively determine who Canelo is going to fight. Whether it’s 168 or 160, there are plenty of challenges out there for Canelo.”
Should he jump back to 160, one of the opponents which could be a good match up for him in terms of styles and techniques is Demetrius Andrade. His record consists of 26 wins (16 KOs) and zero defeats.
In the amateurs, he defeated future world champions like Keith Thurman, Austin Trout and Daniel Jacobs.
The 30-year-old, who holds the WBO middleweight belt has a great sense of style of being cautionary with his combinations and as a southpaw can be a limit for his conventional opponents on landing their jab. His body movement is a positive asset, considering the fact that he is able to move away from any return shots.
Alvarez has not faced a competitive southpaw with lateral foot movement since Erislandy Lara in July 2014 in which he only landed five jabs out of his 97 landing total. A bout with these two would be interesting.
Another opponent is Daniel Jacobs (35 W, 29 KOs – 2 L). His knockout ratio stands at 78%. Jacobs, who holds the IBF middleweight belt, has great utilisation of speed, power and versatility.
He is able to provide thrilling excessiveness of combinations and has rapid foot movement. Likewise with Andrade, this effect of foot movement, quickness of punches and by keeping the range, can be a great effect on their behalf.
His resume of credible opponents consist of, Ishe Smith, Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora (twice), Peter Quillin, Dmitry Pirog & Gennady Golovkin.
In the 168 division, one of the opponents that could be a good match for him is Gilberto Ramirez. He has an exceptional record of 39 victories with zero defeats.
He is the current WBO super-middleweight title champion and has defended his belt six times. He stands at 6 feet 2 ½ inches with at 75 inch reach.
Ramirez is known for his long reach and power. He’s more of a 12-rounded fighter and is able mix and match up his punches. In his last 10 bouts, eight of them were decision wins and only two by stoppages.
His two notable opponents Arthur Abraham, whom he beat for the title and Jesse Hart twice.
Another opponent is Callum Smith. The Liverpool-born fighter has a record of 25 wins and no defeats.
He’s also tall with a height 6 feet 3 inches and a reach advantage of 78 inches. Smith is known for his active punching ability and body shots. Ironically, body shots are also favouritism of Alvarez’s punching of expertise.
Especially the left hook to the body.
This style of fighting could be compatible between the two, considering the height similarity between Fielding and Smith. It could be a question of, could Alvarez wear down the taller man of Smith? How would they react to each other’s body shots?
His notable opponents that he defeated are Rocky Fielding & George Groves.
The final opponent of my choosing is Gennady Golovkin. There is no need to describe the power and chin of him. An exceptional power ratio of 87% and known for activeness, punching ability, calculating puncher and haymaker hunting.
He had a 23 knockout win streak dating from June 2008 – March 2017.
Both fights with Alvarez were close in their respected styles and performances.
With a potential trilogy with GGG, Alvarez stated:
“For me, I feel like on September 15, I showed that I was best. But it was two great fights and if the people want it, we can make it.”
According to a poll conducted by Editinking, out of 6,700 plus voters 49% of them picked Gennady Golovkin to fight Alvarez and 32% of them picked Daniel Jacobs.
Who next for Canelo?
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) December 16, 2018
With regards to what Alvarez’s future he stated:
“We’ll have to see. I have to talk to my team, enjoy the holiday and then I’ll talk to my team. But right now, without a doubt, what I want are the best fights.”