CANELO ALVAREZ will be aiming to show on Saturday night (September 30) that his last two performances have been nothing more than a blip and not warning signs that his best days are behind him.
The undisputed super-middleweight champion puts everything on the line against another super-welterweight undisputed champion Jermell Charlo at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After underwhelming performances against Gennadiy Golovkin and John Ryder, the knives are being sharpened by Canelo’s doubters. There are questions to answer in Charlo’s corner too, with a 16-month period of inactivity nowhere near any suitable preparation before a fight of this magnitude.
Boxing News contacted a number of figures within the industry to get their predictions on a fight for which Canelo is the odds-on favourite with Bet365.
1. Anthony Farnell (Trainer) – I think Canelo wins by TKO. Charlo isn’t huge for the weight which suits Canelo. His level of opposition is not great having already been beat by Tony Harrison. Not being is not good for him either.
2. Chris Jenkins (British welterweight contender) – Canelo mid-round stoppage for me. Charlo ain’t been active for a long time. I can’t see anyone troubling Canelo. The man is on another level.
3. Charlie Edwards (World bantamweight contender) – I think it will be a close fight between the two. I am edging towards Canelo on points. I believe he won’t have it all his own way, but he will be the more dominant fighter.
4. Billy Nelson (Trainer) – Canelo to win in a very hard fight.
5. Gavin Gwynne (British lightweight champion) – I know Canelo didn’t look his best in his last fight against Ryder, but I believe that’s down to how tricky John is. I think he will be more spiteful in this fight and look to get the job done inside the distance. I’m going for Canelo round nine.
6. Linus Udofia (British middleweight contender) – Canelo UD. Canelo is undeniably on the slide. His speed is fading but he’s still class.
7. Lyndon Arthur (World light-heavyweight contender) – I think Canelo just because he’s Canelo and at super-middle he’s probably the best until he gets old.
8. Lou DiBella (Promoter) – Canelo, but not easily. I don’t think size will be an issue and I think Charlo’s athleticism will keep him in the fight. Still, I have a hard time seeing Charlo hurting or decisioning Alvarez.
9. Kevin Maree (Manager) – I think this is one Canelo has hand-picked. Expect him to be back to his explosive best and put on a show.
10. Michael McKinson (World welterweight contender) – I know Canelo has gone through the weights, but the jump over two weight classes is going to be too much for Charlo. I see Canelo winning in the middle rounds after a one-sided fight.
11. John Ryder (Word super-middleweight contender) – I reckon Canelo by late stoppage. Cagey for a few rounds but Canelo to ultimately get the job done.
12. Callum Smith (World light-heavyweight contender) – Think Canelo wins. As much as he hasn’t looked great in his last few performances style wise Charlo will suit him more.
13. Troy Williamson (British super-welterweight contender) – Canelo points. You can’t back against him can you. He always delivers.
14. Joe Hughes (Former European super-lightweight champion) – I think Canelo wins with a late round stoppage. He’s much more established at the weight and has been fighting at a higher level for a much longer time.
15. Leigh Wood (WBA Featherweight champion) – Canelo. More experienced and back to a weight that suits him. Still one of the best fighters around.
16. JJ Metcalf (World super-welterweight contender) – I think Canelo stoppage after round seven. I think it will be cagey for the first few rounds then Canelo will start to land and take over.
17. Peter Fury (Trainer) – I’ve not seen much of Charlo but from what I’ve read he seems a very good opponent, undefeated so we could see an upset.
18. Gary Jacobs (Former world welterweight title challenger) – This is a great fight. Charlo coming up in weight, best v best. Canelo on points.
19. Ellis Zorro (British cruiserweight contender) – I think Charlo. I believe he’s more hungry and also I think Canelo is maybe slightly on the slide.
20. Liam Walsh (Former world super-featherweight title challenger) – I’m going for Canelo on points. I think we might have seen the best of Canelo, but he will still have plenty enough to beat Charlo.
21. Maxi Hughes (World lightweight contender) – I pick Canelo purely down to experience. He’s boxed top fighters from light-middle to light-heavy and that will be the difference on the night.
22. Richard Farnan (Cutman/trainer) – I’m almost on the fence as you can never really bet against Canelo, this time I am. I think Charlo is going to be big and strong at the weight. He’s a big guy and walks around heavier than 168lbs. He’ll be training at fight weight for most of his camp. He’s not as battle worn as Canelo and he has quicker hands and faster feet. Canelo at times looks for the big punch too much rather than the younger Canelo who would look to out-box you. I’m going with Charlo on points.
23. Tim Bradley (Former two-weight world champion) – Canelo’s relentless pressure and hard striking ability will gradually wear down Charlo both physically and mentally as the fight progresses. This relentless approach will likely culminate in a late-round knockout stoppage by Canelo, solidifying his dominance in the ring.
24. Steve Goodwin (Manager/promoter) – I would say Canelo on points. I think he is sliding, and it may even be contentious but cannot see Canelo getting a decision given against him.
25. Nick Campbell (British heavyweight prospect) – Charlo is a great fighter and I expect it to be a very competitive fight, but I feel Canelo will overpower him as the fight goes on. I think moving up two weight classes will show. Canelo stoppage in rounds eight to ten.
26. Robbie Davies Jr (World super-lightweight contender) – I think size won’t be too much of a factor as Canelo is not the biggest at 168lbs and Charlo was very big for 154lbs. Canelo is more natural at the weight now. Charlo could find himself with limited endurance and movement as it’s a lot to gain. I feel Canelo will win on points. It will be competitive early then Canelo will push the pace and get on top of Charlo.
27. Martin Crossan (British super-lightweight prospect) – I think Canelo does it by knockout. Charlo likes to get into fights. I can see Canelo catching him with a clean counter.
28. Samuel Antwi (British super-welterweight champion) – I’m picking Canelo by late KO. Reason being Canelo is still a top pound-for-pound fighter and history has shown jumping up two weight classes has never been an easy task, especially at world level. I think Charlo will fall short because of the weight difference.
29. Mason Cartwright (British super-welterweight contender) – I think it will be a very even contest and be nip and tuck in the early rounds, but I can see Canelo coming out on top in the later rounds. Canelo points win.
30. Martin Harkin (British welterweight contender) – I think Canelo should win via points. Charlo has had issues with his hands which has kept him out the ring for a while. Should be a good fight with Canelo winning comfortably.
31. Sean McGoldrick (British bantamweight champion) – I’ll go with Canelo, based on how active he’s been and the level he’s boxed at compared to Charlo.
32. Lucy Wildheart (World female lightweight contender) – Canelo KO win within five or six rounds.
33. Duke McKenzie (Former three-weight world champion) – Surely this fight can’t fail to deliver with Charlo moving up not one but two weight divisions. The former undisputed light-middleweight champion sees this as not only an opportunity to fight for the super-middleweight world title, but should he prevail he’s won the lottery. Why? Many still believe that Canelo is the pound-for-pound number one. Canelo is not unbeatable, and the alarm bells should be ringing in his mind because he faces the undisputed champion at light-middle. Canelo should win but not without a scare or two along the way. Canelo wins by unanimous decision.
34. Gamal Yafai (Former European super-bantamweight champion) – Canelo. Boxed at a much higher level consistently. He’s starting to dip now which will make it a closer fight but still expect him to come through on points 116-112.
35. Grant Smith (Trainer) – I think it’s going to be a great fight. I think Charlo will start well but Canelo will grind him down late. So, for me a win for Canelo.
36. Tony Tolj (Manager) – This is a very intriguing fight which I’m looking forward to watching. I believe Canelo has been on the slide in his last couple of fights, yet Charlo has remained inactive for quite some time. I’m back Canelo on a close points decision.
37. Hamzah Sheeraz (British middleweight contender) – It’s a great fight, not quite the Charlo we expected but nonetheless a brilliant fighter. I’ve got Canelo to break Charlo down and take him out from rounds eight to eleven however I see Charlo making a firm fast and sharp start.
38. Matthew Macklin (Former world middleweight title challenger) – I think Canelo. I don’t feel that Charlo has enough firepower coming up in weight to take Canelo out so that’s kinda the puncher’s chance out the window. Although it’s boxing so you never know! And I don’t see him outpointing Canelo. A wide points win for Canelo.
39. Kevin Barry (Trainer) – Interesting fight where Canelo is in the twilight of his career and is taking a page from the Mayweather book. In a fight between two undisputed champions Charlo has been financially enticed, after 16 months inactivity to move up two weight divisions to put his 54 per cent KO statistic on display but Canelo has the cards stacked in his favour.
40. Nathan DeCastro (British super-middleweight prospect) – I think the weight and Charlo’s long layoff will favour Canelo for a win by stoppage although I do believe he is on the slide. It wouldn’t surprise me if Charlo won on points but with the long layoff and the weight difference, it will be a big ask but not out the question.
41. Jordan Gill (Former European featherweight champion) – I fancy Canelo wide on points or late stoppage. Hearing him talking in an interview he seemed very mindful of his short comings against [Dmitry] Bivol, and ambitious to improve and dominate again. I think for this reason we’ll see a masterful performance from Canelo. Charlo jumping up in weight also might play a part, although he’s still big at the weight, I see Canelo established and comfortable at that weight. Good fight, but I expect Canelo to be one or two steps ahead throughout.
42. Terry Lane (Manager) – I think Canelo will probably take a decision. He’s got some miles on him now and will put rounds in the bank. Charlo will try and take his head off, but ultimately will be unsuccessful.
43. Quaise Khademi (British super-flyweight contender) – I got Canelo winning on points or by TKO after the seventh round. I believe Canelo’s experience and confidence will let him take control of the ring and put Charlo on the back foot.
44. Denzel Bentley (British middleweight champion) – This is a tough one. I think I’ve got Canelo, but Charlo definitely has a chance. I think for Charlo to win he has to use his feet and his quick hands. He can’t stand in the middle and have a tear-up with Canelo because Canelo has power but overall, I think Canelo wins on points.
45. Hannah Rankin (Former super-welterweight world champion) – This is a really great matchup. I think Charlo will have his successes and Canelo will have to work hard to get inside that long jab but I’m going with Canelo on points. Canelo is great at picking his shots, finding the body and is good at covering the distance and getting inside with the bigger fighter.
46. Jordan Flynn (British super-featherweight prospect) – I got Canelo on points or maybe even a late stoppage. A great fight but I think Canelo has that bit more to his game and experience with high level fighters.
47. Cyrus Pattinson (British welterweight prospect) – I’m going with the obvious, Canelo by stoppage. I think two weight classes is too big for Charlo even though he looks big he doesn’t have the boxing ability like Dmitry Bivol has to keep Canelo off.
Result: Canelo 44 votes, Charlo two votes, undecided one vote
And for even more industry predictions gathered together by BN press play on the video below.