By: Hans Themistode
From a distance, Demetrius Andrade admits the names plastered to the resume of Canelo Alvarez look awfully impressive. Having faced some of the best fighters the boxing world has ever seen, the Mexican product continues to knock off name after legendary name.
Yet, for the WBO middleweight titlist, he simply wants everyone to look at the age in which Alvarez has fought them. There’s no doubt that he has compiled a good body of work but great? Andrade isn’t willing to go that far.
“Listen, the biggest stars that he fought, Sugar Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto – they were 40 years old and on their way out,” said Andrade during an interview with Brian Custer on the Last Stand Podcast. “Maybe they fought one more time after that and they were done. They were never in their prime.”
While Alvarez has always been amongst boxing’s elite, his rise to the consensus number one spot pound for pound ultimately began in 2019. Alvarez spent the first half of the year unifying middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs before moving up two weight divisions to take on then WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
The win for Alvarez seemingly ended all debate surrounding who was boxing’s number one pound-for-pound star. Unlike most who praised Alvarez for his win, Andrade’s response was a ho-hum one. With Kovalev on the backend of his career, the former two-division belt holder believes the win for Alvarez was no big deal.
But, having fought less than stellar competition throughout the entirety of his career, Andrade knows good and well that everyone who listens to his criticism of Alvarez will point to the names smeared on his own resume. Yet, in his opinion, the circumstances aren’t the same.
“Kovalev wasn’t what we knew from back then. It’s a good resume, those are good names but did he fight those guys in their primes? How you pound for pound but you’re not fighting the best guys today? You fought GGG (Gennadiy Golovkin) at 37 years old. You’re not fighting none of these guys in their prime. When I say something, they go back and try to ridicule my situation. I don’t have a Miguel Cotto to fight right now, I don’t have a Kovalev to fight right now. I don’t have these guys and these guys probably wouldn’t want to fight me anyway.”
Currently, Alvarez is in the midst of training camp as he prepares to take on WBO super middleweight belt holder Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th. Alvarez, who holds the WBA, WBC and Ring magazine titles, continues his quest to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all-time.
But while many will commend him for attempting to win every world title at 168 pounds, Andrade views what Alvarez is doing as easier than it looks. Having won the vacant WBC title against Callum Smith, along with his WBA and Ring magazine belts, Andrade never believed the British product would trouble Alvarez in their matchup this past December.
However, Andrade notices something. At no point did Alvarez appear interested in taking the WBC title before it was vacant. He believes that’s because the former belt holder in David Benavidez would have proven to be a tough out. Yet, the moment Benavidez was stripped of his world title due to his failure to make weight, Alvarez jumped on the opportunity.
The manner in which Alvarez won that 168-pound title, paired with the seemingly contradicting words of the Mexican star, further fuels Andrade’s belief that Alvarez isn’t taking on great fighters when they are smack dab in the middle of their prime.
“Look at the situation we’re in. When David Benavidez had the belt, he made a mistake and didn’t make weight. Canelo went and found the easy route. Then he says he never wants to fight another Mexican countryman in his life. Bro, you fought (Julio) Chavez. You would fight a Mexican if you need to.”