What's next for Canelo Alvarez?
Life is good for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. The future hall of famer recently became the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world following his victory against Caleb Plant. The 31-year-old Alvarez now has the options of settling old scores, turning back the challenge of the next generation, or doing the unthinkable and heading to cruiserweight.
Join us as we examine what could be next for Alvarez.
The Golovkin/Murata winner
Canelo’s easiest choice for his next opponent is going to be the winner of the Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata bout on Dec. 29. A third Golovkin fight has long been Alvarez’s biggest anticipated match, but there is no guarantee that the aging Golovkin gets past Murata. Should Murata prevail, Alvarez wouldn’t think twice of taking his talents to Japan to give Murata a huge payday and one last thumb in the eye to Golovkin.
Luring Jermall Charlo to 168
If the Golovkin/Murata winner isn’t available, Alvarez’s budding relationship with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions leaves the door open to a bout with Charlo. Charlo has been vocal about facing Alvarez, and he’s an undefeated champion with no clear direction at middleweight. We’d also mention Demetrius Andrade, but Andrade is just using Alvarez’s name to keep himself relevant while he continues his disappointing career.
Snuffing out David Benavidez
The going consensus is that 24-year-old David Benavidez is the biggest threat to Alvarez’s reign. Benavidez does have all the qualities to trouble Alvarez in the ring, but his lack of discipline and mounting issues outside the ring have stunted his development. As dangerous as Benavidez is now, it’s likely Alvarez would rather face him sooner than later while he’s young, immature and vulnerable. It essentially would see Alvarez assuming the role of Floyd Mayweather in their 2013 fight, with Mayweather handling a still green Alvarez his first defeat before he could get any better.
Running the table at light heavyweight
Now undisputed and virtually unchallenged at super middleweight, a trip back up to light heavyweight is a logical option for Alvarez. Though he runs the risk of fighting in a weight class he’s undersized for, the current crop at light heavyweight isn’t all that threatening. A quick look at the division features a lot of aging or injury-prone fighters. Champions Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr. are no more dangerous than Alvarez’s previous foes, and 36-year-old Artur Beterbiev is rapidly declining. Though he may not repeat his undisputed feat at light heavyweight, Alvarez’s dominance wouldn’t be impeded in a new weight class.
An unlikely stop at cruiserweight
With little to no exposure in the United States, it would be a head-scratching decision for Alvarez to head to cruiserweight. It’s an unnecessary risk, but it would be an unbelievable accomplishment for Alvarez to win a title in a fifth weight class. He would do it in a situation where his disadvantages would be dire, and despite their lack of visibility, the cruiserweights are historically some of the best technicians in the sport.