Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is recognized as the No. 1 boxing champion, but who could become the Mexican star’s biggest threat? The jury returned its verdict …
Canelo became the undisputed super middleweight champion this year, extending his dominant era, and the four-weight king will now be looking for a new challenge in 2022.
But could the ledger for the pound suffer a shock setback in a precarious stint to cruiserweight, or a risky return to light-heavyweight?
It’s fabulous that Canelo challenges himself in all ways, in all its forms. For me personally, Canelo is a case where we’re going to take advantage of him while he’s here, because he’s a very, very special fighter.
Artur Beterbiev is a dangerous proposition in the light heavyweight. He overcame a horrific cut to continue his knockout streak against Marcus Browne this month on Sky Sports.
Oleksandr Usyk returning to cruiserweight could be Canelo’s biggest threat. Yes, Canelo can win a world title against Ilunga Makabu, but if Usyk gains weight, he has already proven himself as the undisputed king of this division.
I don’t see anyone beating Canelo from middleweight to half-heavyweight. Maybe Beterbiev could be a threat, because he’s a beast and he’s proven himself as a good fighter.
If Canelo cannot control and deter a fighter with his speed and power, then he will undergo a more difficult test. It would have to be someone willing to take what Canelo has to pull off his own big shots.
Beterbiev could possibly hurt Canelo and absorb what he comes back with.
Canelo could go too far in the weight divisions and could be his own biggest threat. I think there are fighters that are too big and too powerful for Canelo. It’s hard to bet against Canelo, but, yes, there are some people who are always dangerous for him.
There is also a question mark over his first fight against Gennadiy Golovkin, which ended in a draw. GGG is still potentially a threat if Canelo ever returns to middleweight.
Any of the best light heavyweight fighters could be a threat to Canelo and certainly the cruiserweight. You never know if Oleksandr Usyk might return to cruiserweight, but his eyes are on the world’s biggest division, which is the heavyweight. But I think Usyk would beat Canelo. He is too big and too good for him.
When Canelo transitioned to light heavyweight, he wisely chose his opponent in Sergey Kovalev, who is nearing the end of his career. But Artur Beterbiev has a good chance of beating Canelo in a very good fight. I don’t think it’s going to be one-sided, as Beterbiev is a solid light-heavyweight, he’s the No.1 in the division and a real threat.
Height and weight are the biggest threat to Canelo. If he steps up to cruiserweight, they’re big opponents up there. He could then fight Ilunga Makabu and people suggest he’s an easy opponent for Canelo, but he’s not. Makabu can strike. I know he’s not the tallest of the guys, but he’s still pretty big, he hits hard and he’s tough.
But if Canelo goes to light heavy, I think he can beat Artur Beterbiev, really. Dmitry Bivol is someone who could prove to be quite embarrassing for him. Bivol is a sharp shooter, he has good legs, which could be a challenge for Canelo. These light heavyweight guys are a threat, but I still think Canelo can find a way to win.
Canelo might be his biggest threat. He may be biting more than he can chew as he goes up to cruiserweight. Me, as a former cruiserweight, I’m a little insulted that this little man is coming into our weight division. Any worthy cruiserweight will think, ‘No it isn’t!’.
That’s why people like Oleksandr Usyk are willing to come back to cruiserweight to prove it. You will have a number of cruiserweights like Makabu, which are beatable. But then you have other cruiserweights that Canelo should never beat in a million years. Canelo’s biggest threat might be himself.
You need power to get Canelo’s respect, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough. Canelo is so smart, he’s so good, and I don’t see anyone bothering him, especially not in the super middleweight.
David Benavidez lingers between super-middleweight and light-heavyweight. He’s a very well-educated fighter, but he needs to be more disciplined. You will need a lot of discipline for Canelo’s fight.
The best light heavyweights like Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev would be a real test for Canelo.
He’s about fighting Ilunga Makabu at cruiserweight and Canelo is probably beating him all day, but all of a sudden you’re in a different type of fight. Usyk would be way too big for him, but I doubt Usyk will ever return to cruiserweight now.