By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez’s decision to face a series of easier fights against lesser opposition has resulted in him being downgraded below Terence Crawford on Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe’s list for the pound-for-pound.
Canelo’s decision to fight what many boxing fans saw as paper champions in Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, Rocky Fielding, and Sergey Kovalev has hurt his standing with Ellerbe and many boxing fans.
Ellerbe says Canelo could have been fighting better opposition, but he’s chosen to take the easier fights for some reason. Is that a sign of Canelo losing confidence in himself, or is he trying to follow in the Floyd Mayweather Jr style of picking his opposition carefully?
Ellerbe says he’d like to have seen Canelo fight these guys:
- Caleb Plant
- David Benavidez
- Jermall Charlo
Dan Ambrose would add Artur Beterbiev, Dimitry Bivol, Joe Smith Jr, Carlos Gongora, and Gennadiy Golovkin to that list above.
Although WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) hasn’t been active lately in the last year and a half, he’s not shied away from fighting the best.
Say what you want about Crawford; he at least is trying to get fights against Errol Spence Jr and Manny Pacquiao.
Crawford has recent fine wins over these talents:
- Kell Brook
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Amir Khan
Canelo facing less than the best lately
“I still say Terence Crawford,” said Ellerbe to Behind The Gloves when asked who he rates as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter.
“I know he’s been inactive, and that takes nothing away from [Canelo] Alvarez, but the level of the guys he’s fought recently, you got to call it what it is.
“Let’s face it; we know who he [Canelo] has fought recently, and it has nothing to do with him being a great fighter because I truly think he’s a great fighter, but there are guys out there that will give him a better run for his money than the few guys he just fought recently.
It’s disturbing to see the level of opposition that Canelo has chosen to fight in the last three years.
Ever since Canelo’s controversial win over Golovkin in 2018, he’s chosen the easier path with his opposition. The rematch with GGG may have taken away Canelo’s confidence because ever since that fight, he’s stopped taking risks.
Ellerbe wants Canelo to fight Benavidez, Charlo & Plant
“It’s not saying that he’s avoiding any of those guys, I’m not insinuating that, but I’d like to see how he matches up with [Caleb] Plant, [Jermall] Charlo, [David] Benavidez.
“I’d like to see those kinds of fights. I don’t want to see [Avni] Yildirim, which is no knock against [Billy Joe] Saunders.
“I don’t want to see those kinds of fights because I know what it’s like to fight a big, strong athletic fighter, who ain’t going to back down and will continue to bring it, and is willing to exchange is going to be in his a** all night long, I know what that’s like,” said Ellerbe.