Via Sean Jones: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says Canelo Alvarez has earned the right to avoid top boxers like David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo.
One Time Thurman says that Canelo is like a “King” of a country thanks to his achievements. So if he wants to “pick cherries” like Ilunga Makabu, Avni Yildirim, Caleb Plant, and Billy Joe Saunders, he CAN.
Alvarez can fight whoever he wants
It’s hard for boxing fans to relate to what Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is doing in the sport because they don’t see other athletes doing it in the NFL or NBA.
You can’t just decide that you’re going to control the other team’s weight by having a rehydration clause in football or basketball to ‘game system’. ‘ In boxing, Canelo and other famous fighters can do such things. Thankfully, teams can’t pick weaker teams in the NBA and NFL and swap out talented ones to avoid being beaten or weakened.
We see that all the time in boxing with famous fighters like Canelo being able to pick and choose who he wants to fight.
If he chooses not to play David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, or Gennadiy Golovkin, that will be it, and no league can force him to compete with them like in the NFL and NBA.
Canelo vs heavy opponents
“It probably has a lot to do with having [Andy] Ruiz in the camp. It can boost his confidence in the ring and attract the bigger guys, competing with the heavyweights,” Keith Thurman told. Against TV Hub on Canelo, moving to cruiser class to take on Makabu.
“So in his mind, “if I can beat a heavyweight, I can fight a cruiserweight class,” Thurman continued. “That’s my take on why Canelo went into this fight with confidence and how a fighter can execute that type of move with such confidence.
“I think that will play an important factor because if you take a fighter like Ruiz out [Canelo] camp, think where [of fighting Makabu] even from where?
“Who is putting such thoughts in his ears, right? Another thing we know is when you become an undisputed person; you have to pay all the sanctioning agencies.
“People of great caliber and making a lot of money, we never liked paying taxes. We don’t like being taxed three or four ways by sanctioning authorities,” Thurman said.
It is hard to see how friendly Ilunga Makabu is with Canelo when the two meet at the WBC convention.
When it became clear that Canelo would face Makabu next, the WBC champion looked so grateful in a way that made this writer wonder if he was going to give his all in the match.
If you watched the fight between Canelo and Sergey Kovalev in 2019, you know what I’m talking about. Kovalev looks like he’s taking it easy on Canelo and not fighting with as much aggression as he usually does.
Many boxing fans criticized the match, wondering if it had class because Kovalev fought in first gear. The only lap where Kovalev showed up to turn it on for a short while was in the eighth round, and he let Canelo look too small.
I wouldn’t call it a real showdown with what Canelo does against heavyweights like Frank Sanchez and Andy Ruiz Jr.
If you watch a clip of him fighting with Sanchez, it’s not like fighting. Sanchez doesn’t focus on Canelo like he does with a regular pairing partner.
Winning a cruiser title won’t impress
“We knew at some point in the sport a boxer’s name could be on the belt,” Thurman said. “But for ordinary people who don’t know much about boxing, when they hear the word ‘champion’, they understand what it means.
“They don’t have to fully understand and cover what it means to be a world champion in boxing. What is WBA, IBF, they don’t need to understand those things. But when they hear the word ‘champion’, it just rings.
“Canelo, he goes beyond that a little bit. He is the king of Mexico, he is a very proud fighter, he has achieved a lot and he can do whatever he wants. This is what he wants to do, and that is what he will do.
“If he finishes it [capturing a title at cruiserweight], it’s just continuing with the resume among all his other major accolades throughout his career. So from that perspective, a lot of people are looking forward to seeing if he can make this a reality.
“It’s similar to when Roy Jones Jr. become heavy [champion]. His name is Canelo. He has a huge following and brings a lot of excitement. You can tell that he picked cherries a bit, but he learned from the best.
“He was beaten by Floyd, and now he is starting to make money like Floyd when he got that big contract. Are there bigger challenges for Canelo Alvarez? Most definitely,” Thurman said.
Future generations of boxing fans won’t use Canelo’s résumé comb when looking at how many championships he’s won. What impresses fans when remembering a retired boxer is the antagonism they fought.
For example, when fans remember Muhammad Ali, they don’t know how many titles he has won. They remember him for his great battles against Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, and Ken Norton, among many others.
Fans don’t look at how many championships a boxer has won in the past.
They don’t care about that trash. What fans care about is the power of a boxer’s schedule, and I hate to say, Canelo didn’t fight many good fighters in their prime.
Canelo’s recent becoming undisputed champion at 168 is an empty feat because the champions he’s beaten are underdogs.
You could argue that the only two talented fighters in the super middleweight category other than Canelo are David Benavidez and David Morrell Jr, and conveniently, he doesn’t fight both.
Canelo doesn’t have to fight the best
“Are there fights that I really want to see? Most definitely,” Thurman said of Canelo not fighting the guy’s fans who wanted to see his face. “Are there super talented individuals that could cause him problems? Sure. Does he have to do any of that? Is not, absolutely not.
“If he says it’s ‘No bueno,’ it’s ‘No bueno.” If he says, ‘Muy bien,’ so be it. Whatever he wants to do and enjoys doing, and it makes him want to get out of bed and get excited, and it elevates himself and his career; that’s what he will do.
“There may have been a time and a place where he did not belong in the cruiser class. He needs to jump in and jump out of that. You know what I mean?
“So hopefully he’ll jump out and back in and will challenge himself with some of those matches. [David] Benavidez, [Jermall] Charlo’s out there. Boo Boo [Demetrius Andrade] that we haven’t seen about Canelo Alvarez.
“There are so many different styles he has yet to face that I believe those are the most exciting matches in that division that can manifest, but just because of his status and stardom he has can entertain the world in the way he chooses to fit.
“On some level you have to respect that because it’s not overnight, and it takes a lot of work to get there.
“So when a boxer finally gets to that status and class and wants to take hold of it and manipulate the industry a little bit,” Thurman said.
Indeed, Canelo doesn’t have to fight the best, and he does NOT. That’s why you can’t say he’s great because he’s too busy picking the weakest link in champion pick.
If boxing were organized like other sports like the NFL, Canelo would have no choice but to compete with Benavidez, Beterbiev, Morrell Jr, Charlo, Golovkin and Andrade.
If a team decides that they only want to play against 8-8 teams, they will be disqualified from the tournament.
Canelo only plays against people he chooses; it means he doesn’t have to fight the best and can choose whoever he wants. Thurman may be fine with that, but many fans have big problems with that.
Makabu is still a champion
“For me, you can be mad, you can be sad, but then you also have to respect the game,” Thurman said of the soon-to-be cruiser Canelo.
“It is still a champion. The guy got there somehow, somehow. That’s the resume. It’s not every day you see a boxer like Canelo. He fought Floyd at the age of 152 because they won an attractive weight class. He didn’t want to fight at 54, so they fought at 52 or something?
“I think that’s probably the lowest he’s ever had to step on the scale,” Thurman said of Canelo. “I am talking on television. First in Mexico, he started young, and he was a younger guy.
“But once we got to know who Canelo Alvarez really was, the flamboyant, 52nd feel for a cruiser, that was something to really watch. That’s what’s on his record in the history books.
“He’s definitely going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s how I see it. He really just raised his compliments and said, ‘I did this. Who else did it? ‘
“There are not so many people throughout history. You know, there’s probably only been a few names throughout history, less than five that have done such things,” Thurman said of Canelo.
Yes, Makabu is the cruiser champion because he beat Michal Cieslak in 2020. But let’s say Makabu has to beat Mairis Briedis, Lawrence Okolie, Arsen Goulamirian or Yuniel Dorticos to try to claim the WBC’s title. me. In that case, he lost, and he would be a regular contender today.