So much for the criticism on which weight class does Saul “Canelo” Alvarez belong to. That’s because Alvarez himself answered that question at a press conference on Tuesday.
Weight was one of the key issues discussed when Canelo Alvarez and his May 7 opponent Amir Khan dropped by New York City to promote their upcoming bout. And when the topic switched to the highly anticipated Middleweight title unification bout with Gennady Glolovkin, Alvarez said:
“I’m not a middleweight. I’m a super welterweight. That’s my weight class. I wanted to fight this time for some sort of title at super welter.”
Much has been said about Canelo’s love of fighting at 155 pounds. After losing to Floyd Mayweather at a catchweight of 152 pounds, he’s fought his last four bouts at 155 and that included his November 21, 2015 victory over Miguel Cotto where he captured the Lineal and WBC Middleweight titles. The problem was that the winner of that bout was instructed by the WBC to fight Gennady Glolovkin next and after the camps of Alvarez and Glolovkin failed to reach an agreement, they were both allowed to take separate fights before discussing again. So GGG decided to take on IBF mandatory challenger Dominic Wade on April 23 while Canelo chose to fight Khan on May 7.
Alvarez and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya have always insisted that the Golovkin fight will eventually happen. But at the same time, they continue to refuse to fight at the middleweight division limit of 160 pounds. Said Canelo:
“Look, I’ve given many concessions. I’ve given up many advantages. I’ve done it throughout my career to get to this point where I’m at. One thing I’m not going to do, I’m not going to give up any concession or any advantages to GGG. I’m in the position where I deserve and I’ve earned my spot.
While we all have to agree that Alvarez has earned his stripes, we disagree that fighting at 160 pounds would be conceding an advantage to Gennady Golovkin. That’s because 160 is the middleweight limitd and that’s where middleweight bouts should be fought at. Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran were middleweights. Those four legends never insisted to fight each other at 155. So why should Canelo?
Since Floyd Mayweather retired last September, Alvarez has been touted as the man to take over the PPV throne. The Cotto-Canelo bout generated 900K PPV buys, the first time a bout not involving Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya hit the 900K mark since Mike Tyson versus Lennox Lewis in 2002. That says a lot about Canelo Alvarez’s drawing power. But that doesn’t mean he can do what he wants to in the negotiating table.
If Alvarez wants to fight at 155, then let him be. Hell, he can even create his own weight class and call it Caneloweight. No one would criticise him and we’re pretty sure, guys (or divas) like Cotto would love to fight him there. But he cannot cling on to the Middleweight title if he does not want his opponents to fight at 160 pounds. He may be the sport’s most marketable star, but he cannot hold it hostage at his preference.
Canelo Alvarez should relinquish the middleweight title because he just admitted that he isn’t a middleweight fighter. If not, the WBC should strip him of the 160 pound title and let the real middleweights fight for it. But instead of doing that, the WBC even glorified Canelo Alvarez :
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) January 11, 2016
During the same press conference, Golden Boy Promotions Vice-President Eric Gomez also said this about Alvarez:
“There’s a big misconception, people keep calling Canelo a middleweight. Look at his record. The highest he ever fought was at 155. He can still make 154 comfortably and he said it all along: Whenever his body feels that he has to make the change and jump, that’s when he’ll do it. He’s not a middleweight. The only reason he became middleweight champion is because he wanted to fight Miguel Cotto.”
The only reason why people are calling Canelo Alvarez a middleweight is because he is the Lineal and WBC Middleweight champion. Not only are those two 160 pounds titles, they are perhaps the most prestigious of the 160 pound jewels. If he doesn’t want to be called a middleweight, then he should give up those belts. After all, didn’t Gomez say the only reason he has both is because he wanted to fight Cotto.
Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy have spoken. It’s time to end this 155 pound madness. Let the true middleweights fight for the Middleweight title and let the divas fight month themselves.