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Canelo vs Charlo: Mexican champion on downslide but has enough left to fend off challenger

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez was the person in boxing. The face of the game.

He nonetheless is with regards to making and producing cash.

But it surely when involves in-ring efficiency, to steal a phrase from legendary American broadcaster Howard Cosell about Muhammad Ali, Canelo isn’t the person he was.

Not even shut.

Even Canelo’s most ardent followers can be hard-pressed to argue that Terrence Crawford, Naoya Inoue and Oleksander Usyk haven’t eclipsed the Mexican celebrity with regards to the pound-for-pound rankings by way of their latest sensational performances.

Now, Canelo is about to tackle the undisputed mild middleweight champion Jermell Charlo – the youthful of the equivalent twin boxing champions – on Sunday.

However can Canelo flip again the clock and placed on a P4P efficiency? Will he add one other scalp to his glittering profession?

Let’s take a more in-depth look:

Canelo: Nonetheless nice, however slipping

Make no mistake, the 33-year-old Canelo remains to be a prime fighter.

However Canelo, who started his profession as an adolescent and has racked up a powerful 66 fights together with 59 wins and simply two defeats, has been combating for 20 years.

Just lately, boxing watchers have seen rising indicators of slippage.”

Proof of Canelo’s downslide could be gleaned from the opponents he has chosen to face over the previous few years – Callum Smith, Avni Yıldırım, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, Gennady Golovkin, John Ryder, Sergey Kovalev, and Dmitry Bivol – and his performances towards them.

Golovkin at 40, was effectively previous his time when Canelo beat him of their third bout (arguably Canelo’s solely clear victory towards the Kazakh legend).

Kovalev, on the time he confronted Canelo, was a pale shadow of the ‘Crusher’ Kovalev who stood tall towards Andre Ward.

Only one identify stands out after a perusal of the checklist of Canelo’s latest opposition – Bivol, the Russian skilled who took Canelo to high school in Might 2022.

Dmitry Bivol handily defeated Canelo Alvarez in Las vegas although the judges had the battle far nearer than it must have been. AP

The remainder are stable fighters however the outcome was by no means actually doubtful.

In higher days, Canelo would have dispatched his most up-to-date opponent Ryder – an excellent British skilled boxer – within the first half of the battle.

As a substitute, Canelo, regardless of knocking Ryder down and looking for a KO all night time, solely managed to defeat the Brit by Unanimous Resolution.

It was hardly a classic efficiency in entrance of a baying 51,000-strong residence crowd in Mexico’s Guadalajara.

Charlo: Younger and hungry

In the meantime, his opponent, Charlo is a younger, hungry fighter.

Charlo, who has suffered only one defeat in his 35 bouts, is one other good fighter.

However he hasn’t confronted anybody even near Canelo’s caliber.”

Worse, Charlo is leaping two entire weight divisions – from junior middleweight to tremendous middleweight – in a sport the place each pound could make the distinction.

Whereas Charlo is a talented boxer, he has been accused of making a gift of far too many rounds in his fights.

Canelo vs Charlo Mexican champion on downslide but has enough left to fend off challenger
Jermell Charlo has by no means confronted a fighter even near the caliber of Saul Canelo Alvarez. AP

He has additionally at occasions struggled to place away his opponents – hardly a assassin’s row themselves.

There are two questions that should be answered.

The primary – can Charlo harm Canelo?

Whereas the younger champion has good energy in his fists – he has knockouts in simply over half of his 35 fights – he doesn’t have the firepower to place Canelo in peril.

The Mexican champion up to now has displayed a cast-iron chin – most impressively absorbing blows from the thunderous-punching Golovkin with nary a change of expression.

The second – can Charlo win rounds towards Canelo?

That’s an excellent query.

Or maybe to place it one other means – will judges award Charlo rounds towards boxing’s golden goose?

Whereas Bivol laid out a transparent blueprint for beating Canelo – stick and transfer, stick and transfer – judges nonetheless had the battle far nearer than it had any proper to be at 115-113 in favour of the Russian.

Prediction

So, how does a Canelo-Charlo match play out?

It’s that previous adage once more – a boxer’s energy is the very last thing to fade.

Whereas Canelo has seemingly made it a behavior of listening to the ultimate bell and he’s by no means been the fleetest of foot, he nonetheless has loads of dynamite in his arms.

Bivol, at 175 kilos, was just too large for Canelo to inflict any actual harm – dimension in boxing actually, actually issues – and much too slick to go away himself open for Canelo to catch him with mixtures.

The Mexican champion was decreased to loading up towards Bivol and throwing one shot at a time in a determined try and bail himself out – which solely left Canelo much more gassed in direction of the latter half of the battle.

In addition to, there’s a wild card – ring rust.”

Canelo, who fought in Might, has had 9 fights up to now 5 years.

Canelo vs Charlo Mexican champion on downslide but has enough left to fend off challenger
Saul Canelo Alvarez has been much more lively than Jermell Charlo over the previous few years. Picture courtesy: @Canelo

Charlo, in the meantime, final fought in Might 2022. He’s has had simply 5 fights over the previous 5 years.

Whereas one may argue Charlo, who is identical age as Canelo, is the ‘fresher’ fighter, his lack of exercise over the previous yr may come again to hang-out him.

To be truthful, Charlo appeared exceedingly sharp in his final outing towards Brian Castano – a back-and-forth bout he ended with a single, perfectly-timed kill shot within the 10th spherical.

Plus, there’s Charlo leaping up weight courses – which didn’t work out too effectively for Cuban maestro Guillermo Rigondeaux towards fellow nice Vasyl Lomachenko.

Guess on the Mexican warrior to catch the American late – and put Charlo away for his first KO shortly.

Decide: Canelo by late stoppage

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