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Ranking The Five Best Opponents For Canelo Alvarez

By: Hans Themistode

The music is playing, but Canelo Alvarez is yet to find a dance partner. 

The four division world champion has been in the market to find a suitable opponent, but no one has taken the bait. As of late, names such as Anthony Dirrell, John Ryder and Sergiy Derevyanchenko have reportedly been in the running. 

While some of those names may gain the attention of fans, the vast majority of them have no interest in what they bring to the table. Regardless of COVID-19 preventing fans from entering arenas, Alvarez won’t be given a pass for facing a soft touch. 

Although his promoter has already watered down his opposition for his September date by stating that Alvarez won’t be fighting a fellow champion, we’ve decided to come up with a list of our own. Since the Mexican star campaigns at three weight divisions, we’ve sprinkled a few names from each weight class to make our list more compelling. 

So with that being said, here’s our list for the top 5 opponents that Alvarez should choose for his next contest. 

5. David Benavidez 

David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) may only be 23 years of age, but the argument can easily be made that he’s the best fighter at 168 pounds. From a stylistic standpoint, Benavidez would be the toughest matchup for Alvarez. With a staggering seven inch reach, the pound for pound star would have a difficult time getting in.

At some point though, the shorter Alvarez will bulldoze his way inside, and when he does, how will Benavidez react? Also, does he have the experience to out box his man from the outside? 

This matchup brings so many questions, but there’s only one way to answer them. 

4. GGG

With two fights already in the books, it feels as though the score will never be settled between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin (GGG). The reason behind it is simple, GGG seems to have gotten a raw deal.

Their first matchup in 2017 left most of the boxing world shaking their collective heads when it was announced a draw. Most believed GGG (40-1-1, 35 KOs) did more than enough to bring in the victory. Their rematch one year later was much closer, but most were inclined to score it either a draw, or a close win for GGG. 

At the age of 38, the former unified middleweight champion has seen better days. And although most would believe that Canelo wins a third fight easily, the storyline and long lasting feud is good enough to see them do it one final time.  

3. Demetrius Andrade

At this point, it’s becoming ridiculous. Two division world champion and current WBO middleweight belt holder Demetrius Andrade just can’t seem to land a big fight. 

He’s always been regarded as one of the most talented fighters in boxing circles, but he has yet to get on the big stage to prove it. Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) has been calling for a matchup with Alvarez for years now. Yet, the four division world champion has said on numerous occasions that Andrade is a boring fighter that doesn’t put any butts in seats. 

Well, with COVID-19 currently running amuck, Andrade doesn’t need to be a draw. Even with Alvarez currently campaigning at 168, Andrade has said that he has no issue moving up in weight. 

There has been a growing narrative around Alvarez. His resume looks impressive but most of the names associated with it were past their primes when he took them on. If Andrade were to hit the Alvarez sweepstakes however, that narrative no longer applies. 

2. Jermall Charlo

There’s something about Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) that leaves fans with more question marks than answers. He’s currently an undefeated world champion and former two division titlist. 

His physique is intimidating and his fighting style makes you question the sanity of anyone who steps into the ring with him. 

Through 30 career fights, he hasn’t come close to losing. His resume isn’t as deep as it probably should be, but he’s fought solid opposition. Julian Williams, Austin Trout and Matt Korobov were all handed one sided losses when matched up against him. With that being said, we still want to see more. 

There is a growing belief that the Houston born Charlo is the best fighter at 160 pounds. His reign at 160 could be truncated however as he’s told multiple media outlets that he would move up in weight in order to get his hands on Alvarez.  

The interest surrounding this matchup would be high, and the fans would run to their television screens in order to see who wins. 

1. Artur Beterbiev

If Canelo Alvarez chooses any of the names on this list, then boxing fans will be beyond satisfied. But if for some reason, unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is chosen, they’ll shed tears of joy. 

For as great as the names associated with this list are, Alvarez would be favored against all them. Well, except for Beterbiev. The hard hitting knockout artist has never met a chin that he couldn’t dent. Alvarez however, is known for not only his impregnable defense but his iron will. 

Unlike every other fighter on this list, Alvarez would have a noticeable disadvantage in terms of strength. The deck will be completely stacked against him from start to finish in this one. But that is exactly why it ranks number one. Canelo Alvarez is regarded by many as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, but he can really stamp that notion with a win over Beterbiev. 

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Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko Fight Preview

By: Sean Crose

Gennadiy Golovkin returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night to face the dangerous Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF world middleweight title. The belt was held by Canelo Alvarez, the man who bested and drew with Golovkin in highly controversial fashion in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Since abandoning the IBF title and moving up in weight to face light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev, however, Canelo has left a golden opportunity for Golovkin and Derevyanchenko – a chance to gain a major world title. The bout will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Many expected Golovkin to face Canelo a third time, but Canelo – who appears to deeply dislike Golovkin – is unwilling (for the time being, at least) to fight Golovkin again.

For his own part, Golovkin has a rather laid back attitude regarding Canelo. Feeling he’s already bested the red haired star, the thirty seven year old believes Canelo simply doesn’t want to get in the ring with him again for what would promise to be another grueling affair. Hence, this weekend’s bout with Derevyanchenko – who himself looked to be Canelo’s next opponent before Canelo decided to move up to challenge Kovalev at light heavyweight. Although Golovkin is the more well known of the two fighters, Derevyanchenko will be bringing his own impressive pedigree into the ring Saturday night.

Boasting a record of 13-1, Derevynachenko has a single loss on his resume, and that was to Daniel Jacobs, who bested the 33 year old Ukrainian in controversial fashion back last October. It was a fight some believe Derevyanchenko won, and the loss didn’t take away from his reputation as a fighter to be reckoned with. Having won all but three of his fights by knockout, the man can obviously hit. He also has the ability to go a full twelve rounds – an important ability in a championship bout.

As for Golovkin, at 37 years of age, the 39-1-1 former world titlist might be aging, but he’s still arguably the best middleweight on earth. The man can cut off the ring and hit with the best of them. Golovkin also carries himself with an icy patience in the ring that can intimidate and break down an opponent. Those who write him off simply because it’s no longer 2013 do so at their own expense. No one is expecting Derevyanchenko to make that mistake. This is the chance of a lifetime for the 33 year old contender.

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