A Fractured Thumb Will Keep Canelo From Fighting Until 2017
By: Sean Crose
Accusations of ducking and cherry picking aside, it’s hard to argue that Saul Canelo Alvarez didn’t look magnificent on Saturday night as he took apart true warrior Liam Smith on his way to winning Smith’s WBO super welterweight title. Employing a sustained body attack that would make Mike McCallum nod his head in approval, the Mexican star completely dismantled his British opponent.
Impressive, to be sure, but not without cost. Canelo stated after the fight that he had hurt his hand. And, sure enough, on Monday it was announced that Canelo had indeed fractured his thumb and will be out of commission for six weeks.
That means a bout in December is no longer a viable option for Alvarez. Six weeks of healing certainly doesn’t mean the man will be able to fight again in a few short months, after all. What this means for HBO, which has already had a light boxing year to put it mildly, remains to be seen. Word was that Canelo would appear on the network for his next bout. With a PPV match pretty much certain for May, it’s difficult now to say if and when he Canelo be featured on pay cable – as opposed to pay per view – again.
To be sure, Canelo’s overall future was uncertain to begin with. While he has an enormous fan base, he also now has many detractors due to the fact that he gave up his WBC middleweight title rather than face middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin. A bout with Golovkin is supposed to go down next fall, of course, but in truth, there’s no guarantees when it comes to Canelo and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. With all this in mind, news of Canelo’s broken thumb only adds to the overall air of uncertainty that surrounds the man.
The good news in all this, of course, is that neither Canelo nor his opponent suffered serious injury on Saturday – boxing can be an exceedingly dangerous sport, after all. The timing of Canelo’s injury could have been worse, as well. Had his thumb been injured in training for the assumed December bout, for instance, time, money and fan disappointment could have been a major factor. As it stands, however, both Canelo and fight fans will just have to wait for his injury to heal. What will happen after that, of course, remains to be seen.