Via Sean Jones: By default, Canelo Alvarez wins Warrior of the Year 2021 because he is the busiest of the top boxers, thanks to his popularity. He’s more accomplished as an undisputed 168-lb champion.
With Canelo taking the undisputed championship in super-middleweight, he became the first Mexican boxer to do so.
In the span of 11 months, Canelo fought four times, defeating Caleb Plant, Billy Joe Saunders, Avni Yildirim, and Callum Smith.
On the other hand, Canelo hasn’t been fighting who the US boxing public wants to see him fight in 2021, and that makes it impossible for him to be fully recognized for having become undisputed.
Boxing fans want to see Canelo fight these fighters in 2021:
- David Benavidez
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Jermall Charlo
- Demetrius Andrade
- Artur Betterbiev
- Dmitry Bivol
- David Morrell Jr
No one asked Canelo to spend an entire year becoming the undisputed champion at 168, and the reason why he did is because champions are seen as weak and vulnerable.
Let’s face it; Canelo, being an opportunist, beat the four paper champions by 168 instead of taking the risk by facing Benavidez, Beterbiev, Charlo, Andrade and Bivol.
Is Canelo the greatest Mexican boxer of all time?
“Many times when you are determining who is boxer of the year, a case can be made for multiple boxers,” said Chris Mannix. DAZN. “However, in 2021, I don’t think anyone can argue that Canelo Alvarez is this year’s winner.
“Three fights in 2021 and four fights over an 11-month period. He swept the 168 lb division and became the first Mexican-born boxer to become an undisputed champion. The first boxer to become undisputed in the super middle class.
Sergio Mora speaking on Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. “What he does captures hearts and minds,” That’s how he makes you feel. He carried an entire country [Mexico] on his shoulder.
“It was a lot different in the 80s and 90s when Chavez fought because you didn’t have social media. You’ve got a whole family. I’m speaking for myself in East LA; we will have parties and fiestas. You cannot delete it. It’s very different.
“Awards and historical references. Yes, you can compare. Belts and everything he’s done, Canelo. Yeah, he surpassed him [Chavez Sr] in that sense. Statistically, he surpassed him, but you have to remember how people feel. That’s all I’m saying.
“You can make a case for Canelo on the go, but you won’t appreciate his greatness until it’s over, until it’s over,” Mora said.
I don’t think you can call Canelo the greatest Mexican boxer ever or even the second best because he’s so much a cherry picker. This writer rates the greatest Mexican boxers of all time as follows:
- Salvador Sanchez – #1
- Julio Cesar Chavez – #2
- Carlos Zarate – #3
- Canelo Alvarez – #4
Are Chavez & Salvador Sanchez better than Alvarez?
“When you look back at Canelo’s career, you might say, ‘Well, you know what? He is greater than [than Chavez]. ‘ But in the meantime, you can’t do it,” Mora said.
“He tends to combine boxing skills and iconic status,” says Mannix. “I don’t think Canelo Alvarez can surpass, as you say, Julio Cesar Chavez in the hearts and minds of Mexican fans.
“He may not even surpass someone like Salvador Sanchez in the hearts and minds of Mexican fans, but the question is what can he do to become the greatest Mexican boxer of all time. Grand?
“I think it’s a lot closer than AK and Barak thinks it is right now. What Canelo can do is a simple thing in 2022. Let’s fight and defeat Oleksandr Usyk. That’s the fight I want to see in 2022.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard Usyk say, ‘You know what? I will lose weight for that fight. I even wanted to go back to cruiser class for that battle. ‘
“Uh uh, I don’t want that fight in cruiser class,” Mannix said while being interrupted.
Chavez (107-6-2, 85 KOs) and Salvador Sanchez (44-1-1, 32 KOs) aren’t quite as close as Canelo in terms of championship wins.
Of course, those guys aren’t the type to cherry pick world champions in different weight classes like Canelo did and STILL do.
Salvador, if he lived, would probably set the bar so high that Canelo would never match his record. When you look at the massive amount of work that Sanchez had completed by the time he died in a car crash at the age of 23, it was enormous.
Sanchez takes more risks than Canelo, doesn’t pick cherries, and has never tested positive for a banned PED like he did.
If the shoe was on the other foot and Sanchez was in Canelo’s place, he’d give Gennady Golovkin a trio. He will fight David Benavidez, Artur Beterbiev, Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade.
Sanchez won’t avoid those guys because that’s not the type of fighter he’s used to. He doesn’t avoid risks like Canelo. The same thing happened with Chavez. He would have to face all of those fighters if he were in Canelo’s position.
How Canelo choose his opponent complete stranger for the type of boxers Salvador Sanchez and Julio Cesar Chavez, that’s what makes them great.
Should Canelo Take More Significant Risks?
“I don’t want that war either. People won’t be happy until Canelo is beaten and knocked out,” Mora said as he cut Mannix off before he could finish his thoughts on wanting to see Canelo go to heavyweight to take on Usyk. for his three world titles.
“Guess what? That will also add to the chapter of greatness. Seeing a great man [Canelo] stumble and come back. Every great boxer has had to receive a heavy defeat from Ali to Sugar Ray Robinson to Sugar Ray Leonard.
“That’s what people want. They don’t want a perfectly clean guy at Canelo who beats everyone up all the time. So they wanted him to fall so he could come back to life,” Mora said, unable to hear clearly.
“Sergio, you have the boxing ambitions of Sven Ottke,” Mannix said.
“Who is Sven Ottke?” Mora said.
“An undefeated boxer who doesn’t fight anyone goes back to his prime. We wanted these guys to challenge themselves,” Mannix said.
“No one at 168 has given Canelo a real challenge. I’m not sure anyone at 175 would give Canelo a real challenge. Roy Jones Jr. What did you do to create your legacy?
“He went from 175 to about 200 lbs and fought [WBA heavyweight champion] John Ruiz and became the heavyweight champion. That’s what I wanted Canelo to do,” Mannix said.
Boxing fans would like to see Canelo take more risks with his career, as he has played it safe for the past three years to win titles in the super-middleweight division.
None of the four champions Canelo beat was appreciated by the fans, and you could argue that the one he should be fighting is David Benavidez.
If all Canelo does this year is fight Benavidez, then the boxing public will respect him more than the fact that he became the undisputed tennis player at the age of 168.
Canelo Heavy: Is it asking too much?
“I don’t think we’re asking for too much [of Canelo]. For Usyk to get down to the weight he needed to hit, he would have had to drop 20 lbs to get there from his last fight,” Mannix said. “That would exhaust him.
“Don’t act like Oleksandr Usyk is a giant puncher. When he was in cruiser class, he didn’t really take out anyone. Canelo could lose; no question about it, but is that worth the risk?
“It’s better to lose to someone like Usyk than to fight Junior Makabu in cruiser rank. The question is, what would make Canelo a great Mexican boxer? I think winning a heavyweight title will help you get there. Sergio clearly believes he’s not at that level yet.”
If Canelo wants to be the greatest Mexican boxer of all time, he has to fight at cruiser and heavyweight. Even if Canelo is defeated, he still needs to try.
The only realistic option for Canelo to win the world title in heavyweight is for him to take on IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, but he’ll have to do that soon.
Usyk is unlikely to sustain his heavyweight titles much longer, which means Canelo will need to take on him next year.
Alvarez didn’t win hearts and minds
“Yeah, but that’s not enough,” Mora said when asked if Canelo has done more than Chavez in his career. “Nostalgia and hearts & minds,”: Mora said in what Chavez gave fans.
“Sugar Ray Robinson is one of the all-time greats, but they don’t mention him when they talk about the greatest. They talk about Muhammad Ali because Ali changed his heart and mind.
“What he did for people outside of boxing. He also lost those matches and had to come back. That’s what won hearts and minds. He [Canelo] 23 years old and he has bitten more than he can chew [in his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.].
“He’s great for doing that. Look, I’m sticking to my heart and mind and sticking to my nostalgia. You always remember how they made you feel and how Chavez created an entire community, an entire country, all Latinos and boxing fans.
“He really changed a generation, and that’s what we remember. Canelo is doing it for another generation. I didn’t even say that he [Canelo] better [than Chavez]. It’s just another era,” said Mora
You could argue that Canelo didn’t endear his fans the way Julio Cesar Chavez and Salvador Sanchez did.
At this point, it’s unlikely that Canelo will do so, as he’s about to turn 32 and already showing signs of slipping.