This will be the first time that two undisputed champions face off, with both fighters bringing different skill sets into the fight. Here are the key takeaways heading into the fight, which will prove decisive over who comes out victorious.
Charlo arguably faces the toughest test of his career as he takes on Alvarez at his peak weight class. The narrative heading into the fight is that Alvarez’s power may prove too much. In Charlo’s last fight, the American was being outpunched by Brian Castano before he stopped the Argentine in the 10th round. As for Alvarez, he has not fought below 168 since his win over Danny Jacobs in 2019. That has also been accompanied by a move up to light heavyweight on two occasions, showing Canelo’s ease with the weight.
Meanwhile, the defensive skills will equally be as important. Canelo’s struggles have been against fighters who can box, move and counterpunch. It is no surprise then that defeats to Floyd Mayweather and Dmitry Bivol followed. While Charlo will have to move in and out of range, does he have the mental discipline to do it? That is where the additional weight could play a factor, especially down the stretch with Canelo’s body attacks.
So in order to win, Charlo will have to do something no one has done. That is to stop Alvarez. Although Charlo has turned into a knockout artist since his time with Derrick James, as shown by four stoppages in his last five fights, it was ultimately at 154. Meanwhile, Canelo’s chin has been proven against big hitters, such as GGG and Sergi Kovalev, who had failed to stop the Mexican, spelling trouble for the American. In addition, Canelo has stopped former world champions at the weight, including Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders. The key for Charlo, therefore, will be to avoid exchanging too much.
The upcoming fight is significant as it could spell the end of either fighter’s career. Canelo, who handpicked Charlo to fight him by requiring the latter to move up two weight classes, must win decisively to prove he is not on the decline. The loss to Bivol and the failure to stop an older GGG and then John Ryder suggested Canelo was not the same fighter despite his wrist surgery.
If Charlo is able to withstand Canelo’s punching power and perform well at the higher weight, it could be a career-defining win for him. However, if he is badly hurt in the fight, it may affect his ability to perform at his previous weight class of 154 pounds.
Roy Jones Jr. was not the same fighter after dropping back down to light heavyweight following his win over John Ruiz for the WBA heavyweight title. The same occurred when Oscar De La Hoya dropped down to a catchweight of 145 to face Manny Pacquiao. Not only did he retire from the fight, it was the last of his career.
And to round things off, Mike Tyson’s career declined following his loss to Lennox Lewis. Stoppage defeats to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride marked a sour end to an otherwise illustrious career. Both Canelo and Charlo are taking a significant risk in this fight, and the outcome could have major implications for their future in the sport.
“I think Canelo should beat him. Overpower him… But Canelo is not moving his head anywhere. That other guy was hitting him. And that gave him the confidence, he believes he can hit Canelo,” Mike Tyson
“To jump one weight class is good, but to jump two is a little bit difficult. It’s a more significant amount of weight. You don’t know how your body is going to react to that. That’s why guys usually go up a couple of pounds and add a couple of more pounds to see how their bodies are going to react… You’re going to take that 14-pound jump and you’re going to see what happens. That’s dangerous because you don’t know how your body is going to react to 14 pounds more. Can you carry that for 12 rounds? Can you take a punch like that for 12 rounds?” Roy Jones Jr.
“[Alvarez is] going to break him down. It’s not going to be easy. Charlo is very elusive and knows how to use his feet. He’s going to maybe give Canelo trouble. But you have to think about Charlo jumping up two weight classes. It’s not going to be easy. Canelo is a solid at 168. He’s a hard puncher. Eventually, it’s going to catch up with Charlo. I just feel that Canelo must knock him out to impress. I think Canelo’s last fights have been a little shaky. We all know that. And he knows that. If Canelo comes out and knocks out Charlo, it’s a win-win for everybody,” Oscar De La Hoya said
“This is a three-fight deal and it ain’t supposed to end on the first one. This is the business of boxing, and I’m betting on the business… The only way Charlo wins this fight is by knockout… This fight goes seven rounds or less,” Shawn Porter
“Canelo is too strong, but then again, looking at Canelo’s last few fights, you can see that he is aging a little bit. He is been getting caught a lot more, he got beat by Bivol. Canelo still has that X factor that he’s always had,” Amir Khan
“I think that Canelo wins that fight with Charlo. It won’t be an easy fight. Charlo can box and he’s tall and he’s a good fighter. But, I think Canelo should win, that’s kind of like the safe [pick],” Mikey Garcia
“Well, Canelo will beat him easy… Little Charlo? No. Canelo will probably knock him out in six or seven rounds,” Bob Arum
“Everything I’m hearing from Saul in the build-up to this fight is he’s going to be too big and too strong for Charlo, to be honest with you. But Charlo’s a very good fighter… Canelo Alvarez will stop him actually late in the fight. I guess he has a little bit to prove when you look at his last three performances, Bivol, Gennady and Ryder, but don’t forget he had wrist surgery,” Eddie Hearn
“I like the Charlo fight. It’s two years late, but I still think it’s a good fight. Charlo is a dangerous guy… I give Canelo the edge in that fight. Not just because of the layoff but two years is a long time. To go right into a fight with Canelo, that’s a big ask,” Chris Alergeri
“[Charlo] has a legitimate chance. He has an 85% plus chance of beating Canelo. Why? Because, to my understanding, he’s not going in there to prove something, which would fall into Canelo’s hands. But he’s going to go in there and let him know, establish in the first round that he belongs. He’s tough and he’s going to show him that his time came and gone. Canelo has to be shown that he has slowed. He ain’t gonna surrender and think, ‘I’ve slowed up so I’ll act like it.’ He has to be shown, and that has to be early,” Bernard Hopkins
“This is all about Charlo. I am really impressed with where Charlo is right now. I originally went with Canelo, but then I looked at videos of the last two or three fights for each guy and I was very impressed with what I saw from Charlo and did a 180 on my selection,” Freddie Roach said
“I’ve got high confidence in Charlo, it’s going to be a good one though… If I was leaning, I’d lean a little bit more towards Charlo. They’ve been wanting this so bad, a lot of people have been wanting Canelo so bad. This is the moment in time for them to prove themselves now that they have him,” Deontay Wilder
“Charlo is gonna beat him. Not saying Canelo is underestimating him but yes, I believe he is. Jermell is way too athletic for Canelo. He’s fast, has good footwork, a nice jab — which I think is key — can punch, throw combinations, give angles and can box. He’s big and he has a good chin,” Kermit Citron said
“I think he is a legit upset prospect. Mainly because he is a lot taller than Canelo. I think he will carry the extra weight well. The fight will come down to two factors. Can Charlo make Canelo respect his power? Not that he needs to down him down or hurt him, but can he hit him hard enough where Canelo cannot just walk through his punches? Is he strong enough to hold his ground on the inside? Obviously, he is going to try and box but can he hold his ground when they do engage? If the answer to those questions is yes, I like Charlo’s chances,” Billy Lyell said
Where And When
The card starts at 8pm ET. The ring walks for the main event should take place approximately at 11pm ET.
FIGHT SPORTS NETWORK:
Pan-Asia-Pacific (excluding China, Japan, Australia, Nz)
India and Sub-Continent
Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde
FIGHT SPORTS MAX:
India and Sub-Continent