By Ken Hissner: After covering the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s defeat by WBA World Super Light Heavyweight champion Dmitrii Bivol Saturday my first thoughts were has “Canelo’s” bubble finally popped?
I followed “Canelo’s” career early without seeing much of him due to his impressive record. When he was scheduled to fight Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., I was looking for another possible win but didn’t think he won a single round despite losing by a majority decision. Even in the last round, it did not seem like he knew he needed a knockout but he did not look desperate enough to seek one.
“Canelo” rebounded with seven wins, with the Erislandy “American Dream” Lara fight being a split decision that some found controversial being one that probably deserved a rematch. Five months later, in his next bout, Lara won the WBA World Super Welterweight title defeating Ishe Smith.
“Canelo” would move up in weight to win the vacant WBC World Middleweight title though only weighing 155, defeating Miguel “Junito” Cotto only to give it up after one defense to gain the WBO World Super Welterweight title stopping Liam “Beefy” Smith that he would not defend moving up in his next fight defeating Julio “JC.Jr” Cesar Chavez Jr. weighing 164.
Then came “Canelo’s” biggest break, which I call his “biggest gift,” ending in a draw with WBC, WBA Super, IBF, and IBO World Middleweight title Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin in September of 2017. I had Canelo up 3- 2 in rounds when all of a sudden “GGG’s” power set in putting “Canelo” on the run for the last seven rounds that seemed like a lopsided win for “GGG.” The judge that had “Canelo” up 118-110, if I’m not mistaken, was suspended by the Nevada commission for a month.
It would be a year before “Canelo” returned to the ring after healing his wounds, while “GGG” had a title defense eight months later, with the rematch against “Canelo” to follow four months later. “GGG” made what I considered a major mistake in the rematch was going from boxer-puncher to a boxer, losing a majority decision which I agreed with if not a draw.
“Canelo” would next go onto with the WBA World Super Middleweight title in his next fight. Then returned to make his only defense of his WBC, WBA, and IBF titles not against “GGG” but newly won title IBF champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, who had been defeated by “GGG” in a previous close decision.
“Canelo” would never fight again at middleweight which in my opinion was why he never wanted a third fight with “GGG.” The win over ‘GGG” seemed to gain “Canelo” the title of Pound for Pound the best while “GGG,” though remaining unbeaten since that defeat which is his lone one in his career, barely remained in most top ten pound-for- pound best lists by most.
“Canelo” would follow the Jacobs fight with a win over WBO World Light Heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, never to defend that title but returned to super middleweight, making four successful defenses.
After three and a half years since “Canelo’s” second fight with “GGG,” it was announced he would finally give the latter a rematch in September, pending the outcome of his now loss to WBA Super World Light Heavyweight champion Dmitrii Bivol.
Bivol is now rumored to meet the June 18th winner between WBO champion Joe Smith, Jr. and WBC and IBF champion Artur Beterviev which would eliminate any talks of a no sense rematch with “Canelo” at least at this time.
Would the loss by “Canelo” to Bivol give him another excuse for not giving “GGG” another long-deserved rematch instead one against one of his top contenders for his four belts?
“GGG” just won a unified title match over WBA World Middleweight champion Ryota Murata in April. WBC World Middleweight champion Jermall “Hit Man” Charlo is scheduled to defend his title on June 18th against Maciej Sulecki, who in 2019 lost to current WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, who isn’t scheduled for a defense at this time. Why a Charlo and Andrade match wasn’t made with the winner fighting the “GGG” and Murata winner wasn’t in the works makes me wonder.
If the “Canelo” and “GGG” fight goes as scheduled in September and “GGG” is the winner will he stay at super middleweight or return to middleweight? Andrade has agreed to fight “GGG” for some time, while Charlo hasn’t until recently. That would make sense for another unification match at middleweight. Both Charlo and Andrade have also announced they are willing to move up to super-middleweight to challenge “Canelo.”
I have to admit I was pleased to see “Canelo” lose because by winning, it might give him yet another excuse to avoid the match with “GGG” by staying at light heavyweight though he didn’t defend that title after winning it in the past but returned to super middleweight.
Only time will tell what the future now holds for “Canelo” with the loss to Bivol. One would think the match with “GGG” would go on as scheduled, but for this writer, seeing would be believing if that match is made.