Max Boxing

Memo to Canelo Alvarez: Stop being a diva

John J. Raspanti writes about the apparent hypocrisy of Canelo Alvarez

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Canelo Photos by Top Rank
Canelo Photos by Top Rank

"I’m very upset and ashamed with my fans, to be unfairly stripped of my belt by the IBF, but especially when I did not have the knowledge of the agreement that GBP match maker had signed."

I chuckled when I read this statement from Canelo “The Franchise Champ” Alvarez—deemed so by the WBC.


Canelo treated unfairly?




Just so we’re clear, I don’t dislike Canelo. He’s a good fighter and all that. What I dislike is hypocrisy.


Canelo won his first world title in 2011 over a much smaller fighter, Matthew Hatton. How it was deemed a championship fight is anyone’s guess. But it was, and Canelo walked with a title belt. Seems more than fair to me, although, perhaps, unfair to Hatton.


In 2014, Canelo engaged in five consecutive “catchweight” fights.

He then dropped a pound and won the junior middleweight title from Liam Smith. He was back in the catchweight division for his next fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Many fighters have engaged in catchweight fights. Sugar Ray Leonard did it. So did Manny Pacquiao. There are many things worse in boxing. The difference is, they didn’t complain when something didn’t go their way.

Canelo has been calling the shots for years. He only hides behind his trainer and promoter when it suits him. Like now. Blaming Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions for the collapse of negotiations is akin to punching someone when his hands are down.


Unfairly? What about his victory over Erislandy Lara? Many feel he lost that fight. Canelo got the decision. Same goes for his match with Austin Trout. The running gag is nobody can beat Canelo by decision. Especially in Las Vegas.


Just ask Gennady Golovkin.

If anyone has been treated unfairly, it’s him.


Golovkin toiled away in virtual obscurity in Europe, winning a title (in Russia) that few respected, and then became something of a folk hero with more titles due to his modest ways and heavy hands. He was just over 30 when he fought in America. Many fighters avoided Golovkin like the plague when he reigned over the middleweight division. He scored 23 straight knockouts and held world titles in the division for eight years.


Canelo was doing his “catchweight” thing while Golovkin was steamrolling opponents. Golovkin, old school all the way, was ready to fight. Apparently, Canelo was not. What was he waiting for? The offer was there. The money was on the table. Canelo, and promoter de La Hoya, were waiting for “Mother Nature” to do her thing on Golovkin. Make him older and more vulnerable.


That became obvious when Golovkin, then 34, struggled against the much smaller Kell Brook three years ago. Not that Brook isn’t a good fighter. He is, but it was apparent that Golovkin had lost a step. After Golovkin edged Daniel Jacobs, the Canelo versus Golovkin fight was on.


Not a prime Golovkin, but a guy with 400 amateur fights and 30 plus pro bouts. In some ways, the strategy of waiting for Golovkin to get older was brilliant, but was it fair Canelo?

When Canelo and Golovkin threw hands almost two years ago in Las Vegas, the bout was intense, competitive, and close.


Canelo started fast; he was obviously the quicker fighter. Surprisingly, Golovkin, the aggressor the entire evening, looked nervous and tentative in the early going. He didn’t find himself until near the end of the third round. Alvarez worked the body, while Golovkin stuck out his jab.


Golovkin was in full stalk mode in the middle rounds. In boxing terms, he was walking Canelo down. Golovkin landed a big right in round six, but ate a counter hook. He popped Alvarez with jabs and hooks. Golovkin appeared to be in control until Alvarez dug deep and found his second wind. This was gutsy. He rattled Golovkin with a solid right hook in round 10. Alvarez connected with a sweet lead right to the head and left hook to the gut in round 11. Golovkin stopped him in his tracks with his own hook.


Round 12 featured more pugilistic intensity. Alvarez tagged Golovkin with a sharp uppercut. He scored with a combination. Golovkin fired back, landing a number of shots.


Many ringside writers had Golovkin winning the fight. Judging from home, I also gave the edge to Golovkin. Judge Don Trella scored the fight 114-114, and Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin. The 118-110 score by Adailade Byrd was a flat-out joke.


The super fight was a draw. A second fight had to happen. It almost didn’t when Canelo tested positive for Clenbuterol. But he was only suspended six months so the rematch went down one year later.


Money is always the boss.

The sequel was 12 rounds of intense and unrelenting war. Canelo seemed to have the edge through nine rounds, but this time it was Golovkin, loaded with pride and desire, who came on in the later rounds. His rally had the crowd on their feet until the final bell rang.


Canelo was (of course) judged the winner by a split decision. The debate raged on who won for days, but nobody debated the inner fortitude that each fighter brought to the ring.


To be fair (that word again) I judged the fight a draw. Canelo took the fight to Golovkin and earned his respect the best way a fighter can, in the ring.


A third match may be in the works, although Canelo said no way. Golovkin replied that he doesn’t want to fight Canelo in Nevada. Reportedly, Canelo is still annoyed at some of the Golovkin’s remarks after he tested positive for steroids. The irony is they were friends once. Sparred together, but that was a long time ago.

What is fair, and right, is that it will likely be Golovkin who fights Derevyanchenko for the IBF strap. Canelo? He could end up meeting Dennis Andrade, whose style could cause problems.


I know, not fair.


Karma is a bitch, isn’t it, Canelo?



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