By: Hans Themistode
Terence Crawford has always been a supporter of Canelo Alvarez.
Just last month the WBO welterweight belt holder was sitting front row and center as he watched the Mexican star dismantle mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim via third-round stoppage at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida. Alvarez is currently scheduled to take on Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th, in an attempt to unify the British native’s WBO super middleweight championship with his WBC, WBA and Ring magazine titles.
While they have fought at different weight classes, Crawford has kept close tabs on the career of Alvarez. Although most have praised him for the numerous world titles he’s poached from several fighters, Crawford has noticed a trend when it comes to the type of opponents Alvarez has fought.
To be as blunt as possible, Crawford believes Alvarez is avoiding fighters of a certain racial group.
“When you look at Canelo’s career, it’s like he’s shied away from the black fighters,” said Crawford during a recent interview on SiriusXM Boxing. “I think the black fighters give him the most problems.”
In terms of African American fighters, Alvarez has fought a long list of them including Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout and most recently – Daniel Jacobs in May of 2019. Still, Crawford is under the impression that the dominant performances that Alvarez has put on display during the course of his career will come few and far between if he continued to lace up his gloves against African American boxers.
More than anything, Crawford seemingly has an issue with Alvarez ignoring two fighters in particular.
“He’s shied away from Jermall Charlo and (Demetrius) Andrade for a long time.”
Both Charlo and Andrade have long called for a showdown against Alvarez. On numerous occasions, they have both been in an ideal position to take on the Mexican star. In September of 2016, Alvarez stopped Liam Smith to capture his WBO Jr middleweight title. Before that occurred, however, Andrade held the WBO crown but was subsequently stripped due to inactivity.
Andrade hoped that Alvarez would fight him soon after but instead, the Mexican star opted to drop the title and face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at a catchweight of 164 pounds before officially making the move to the middleweight division.
In the case of Charlo, the surly knockout artist captured the WBC interim middleweight crown in 2018 with a second-round knockout victory over Hugo Centeno Jr. Several months later, Alvarez would win the full title against Gennadiy Golovkin. With Charlo holding the interim belt, he held the number one position to challenge Alvarez.
While the Houston native pushed for the fight to become a reality, Alvarez was instead stripped of his title and awarded the “Franchise” belt. That in turn freed him from making any mandated title challenges.
All along, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has claimed that Alvarez reached out to him to become “Franchise champion,” not the other way around.
Although Crawford believes he is shying away from both fighters, trainer of Alvarez in Eddy Reynoso, stated last year that a showdown between both Alvarez and Charlo has to happen.