Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will defend his WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super middleweight titles when he takes on Jermell Charlo at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
The Mexican comes into this bout with a massively impressive 57-2-2 record to his name, having fought at different weight classes throughout his illustrious career. He faces American Charlo here who is no slouch himself with a 35-1-1 record, so this could be an interesting bout.
Here, we’ll preview this world title fight in the hopes we can help you figure out which way it’s going to go.
Back to his best
Canelo, as he is more commonly known, has put in some memorable defences of his undisputed super middleweight title recently. His 11th round knockout of Caleb Plant put an end to a fascinating battle, before the trilogy match up against Gennady Golovkin ended with a points victory to put that trilogy to bed.
His last fight came in May of this year against the UK’s John Ryder, but that went pretty much as expected as Canelo won by unanimous decision in Guadalajara, Mexico. It hasn’t all gone his way however, sandwiched between those wins was a defeat to Dmitry Bivol who is now the WBA light heavyweight champion. A rematch is almost certainly on the cards for that one.
Charlo’s record is indeed impressive, however he is stepping up two weight classes to make this fight happen and, although he has some backing, it does make him the overwhelming underdog here. The American has never fought anyone anywhere near the class of Alvarez in his career up to date, which makes him a bit of an unknown quantity. That could prove dangerous for Alvarez and his team, however it doesn’t inspire much confidence in the challenger.
Taking on Canelo at 168lbs is incredibly dangerous, as Plant found out last year. Others have fared slightly better, but have still ultimately lost out to the Mexican on points, so Canelo has the scope to let this fight go pretty much whatever way he wants it to. His team are probably seeing this as a stepping stone to the next big fight, but there’s still a job to do and he must focus on the task at hand. We’ve seen plenty of surprising wins in the past in boxing, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
Out of Charlo’s 35 career wins, 19 have come via a knockout. However he faces a man here who has never been knocked out or even officially knocked down in a bout, so he must resort to tactics if he is to be successful. He has a slight advantage in height and reach, so he could use that to keep distance with the jab and carve out opportunities, which is probably his only chance. Given the significant jump up in weight for the challenger, it’s more likely that we’ll see a Canelo knockout here.