Who Should Canelo Alvarez Face Next?
By: Hans Themistode
Before Canelo Alvarez is given the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the fruits of labor, he is immediately bombarded with the same tiresome questions.
After ripping away both the WBA and Ring magazine super middleweight titles from British native Callum Smith, Canelo Alvarez has a long line of competitors claiming to be the only one suitable to knock the Mexican product off his high horse. While Alvarez has spent the past two years campaigning in three separate weight classes, there simply isn’t a clear cut choice in terms of someone who would be favored to take him down.
With that being said, we’ve done our best to put together the three best options for the four division titlist to mull over for his next ring appearance.
Squeezing back down to the middleweight division seems a bit unlikely for Alvarez at this point in time. But that doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t look to head eight pounds south in the near future. If he does, the obvious name for him to face would be long time rival Gennadiy Golovkin. With two unbelievably close contests already in the books, a third would close the chapter between the two once and for all.
With that being said, at the age of 38, while he’s still great, Golovkin simply isn’t what he used to be. A matchup between the pair would more than likely result in one way traffic in favor of Alvarez. Should he take on WBC titlist Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) however, the results would be something else entirely. For Houston’s Charlo, he dwarfs Alvarez and has the sort of punching power that may deter him from bulldozing right in.
It’s a matchup that Alvarez would still be favored in, but still, Charlo would give him one helluva fight.
Just a few weeks ago, this wouldn’t have been on this list as the two were close to finalizing an agreement to face off. Yet, things fell through due to various reasons. Sure Alvarez just made easy work of the much bigger Callum Smith, but in facing Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) he would present the pound for pound star with different problems entirely.
When it comes to the 168-pound landscape, former two time world champion David Benavidez is thought to be the biggest threat to Alvarez. Yet, that just isn’t the case. The 24 year old undoubtedly has fast hands and huge power but he’s slow on his feet and comes straight ahead. Stylistically, those sorts of fighters have been easy pickings for Alvarez.
In the case of Plant, he’s much more in the mold of an Erislandy Lara, a pure boxer who gave Alvarez all sorts of trouble when the two met in 2014. Granted, Alvarez is a much different fighter now, but still, coming straight ahead against a counter puncher as good as Alvarez just doesn’t seem like the way to beat him.
Canelo Alvarez has never had an issue facing men who were bigger and stronger than he was. But, when it comes to unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev – he’s much bigger and much stronger then anyone Alvarez has ever faced.
In short, Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) has frightening power. When previously discussing David Benavidez and his tailor-made game for Alvarez, Beterbiev would fight him in the same manor. The difference however, is that Beterbiev isn’t the sort of fighter you want to sit in the pocket with and exchange punches with.
While this would quite possibly be the toughest fight of his career, Alvarez has already reiterated that the super middleweight division is where he feels the most comfortable. With that being said, team Canelo has also expressed a desire to face the best, and in terms of Artur Beterbiev, there gets no better than him.