CANELO ALVAREZ knows why in his last two wins against Gennadiy Golovkin and John Ryder he under-performed.
The Mexican superstar was speaking at yesterday’s launch press conference in New York for his September 30 clash with Jermell Charlo. In his 64th fight Canelo will defend his Undisputed Super-Middleweight championship for the third time having won the fourth and final belt of his quest against Caleb Plant in November 2021.
The first two defences came against Golovkin, in their trilogy bout last year, and then against Britain’s Ryder three months ago in Guadalajara. Canelo’s performances lacked an edge to them and drew criticism in some quarters as well as opinions that perhaps he is not the fighter he once was.
“It’s good that people are saying I’ve lost a step,” Canelo said yesterday. “It’s fine. I know why I didn’t look as good in my last two fights. I know why and I’m different now. I’m preparing now for a different type of fighter.”
“I’m 100% focused on this fight. Then we’ll see what happens after. Everyone wants drama and for us to fight on this stage, but when two fighters are 100% focused like we are right now, it’s gonna make it a great fight in the ring.
“I have everything that he says he has as well. I have experience and I’ve been in this position a lot of times. That’s why we’re here. We’re going to find out if he’s got enough on September 30.”
Charlo, another Undisputed champion, but at super-welterweight, is moving up two weight divisions in his bid to dethrone the 33-year-old. The American’s trainer Derrick James described Charlo’s challenge as “daring to be great”.
“This is a fight that Jermell Charlo has always wanted,” James said. “It’s the type of fight he’s needed to put him into super superstardom. Canelo is a great fighter with a great trainer, and they’ve been so consistent over the years. It’s hard to do that in boxing.”
The opportunity to face Canelo arisen when Jermell stepped up to replace his twin brother Jermall who had been mooted as the original opponent. However, the WBC middleweight belt holder has been battling mental health issues which has played its part in a prolonged period of activity for the 33-year-old. His brother says now is the time to make his mark on the sport.
“I just want to quiet my haters and doubters and turn non-believers into believers. I’ve watched a lot of great people in the sport of boxing and now I think this is the best moment for me to leave my mark. With two great fighters in there, you get nothing but fireworks. When this fight presented itself, it was a no-brainer to make this happen.
“I’m gonna train my ass off and be intelligent. I know I’m moving up in weight, but who cares? That won’t stop me from getting in there and doing it the way I do it. I’m excited for this moment.”
Yesterday’s presser was full of respect which follows on from the way Terence Crawford and Errol Spence conducted themselves during fight week for their own gigantic welterweight match-up last month. A code of conduct welcomed by hall of fame analyst Al Bernstein who tweeted about the subject yesterday.
“I am on board with shaking hands instead of pushing each other and cursing each other out. I’m good with action INSIDE the ring,” he said.
After the customary face-off to conclude matters Canelo and Charlo exchanged a business-like handshake. Fighting rather than talking is of greater interest to both men and on September 30 fans will hope for another night to remember at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.