Sulaiman: Canelo Has Improved Since Mayweather Loss

When Canelo Alvarez was 23, he faced off against 36-year-old Floyd Mayweather. It was a clash of past v. present, as Canelo (53-1-2), with 42 wins at the time, was considered the next big thing in boxing. Even he, however, wasn’t ready for the 36-year-old Mayweather (50-0).

Establishing himself in the light-middleweight division, Canelo was WBC and The Ring Light-Middleweight Champion when he faced off against the WBA Light-Middleweight Champion in 2013. All of his accolades were thrown out the window when the bell rang, as he was outclassed by Mayweather. According to CompuBox, Mayweather landed 232 of 505 punches while Canelo landed 117 of 526. Counter punches helped Mayweather land the majority decision win (117-111, 116-112 and 114-114).

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman reflected on that night inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. He told Stats Perform News that Canelo’s aggressive nature in the fight and overall age affected him then. If he didn’t play his cards right after that fight, he wouldn’t be the man he is today.

“He learned from his mistakes,” Sulaiman stated, via Yahoo Sports. “He fought Floyd Mayweather when he was too young and that could have ended his career.

“But then he focused, he came back, he learned from that fight and now has evolved into a very mature, highly competitive world-presence fighter.”

Following the Mayweather loss, Canelo has gone 11-0-1 in his last twelve fights. Canelo has won the WBC, WBA, IBF, and The Ring Middleweight Titles, while also winning WBO Light-Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight gold. He has won six fights via some form of knockout and has taken out a who’s who of fighters: Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Liam Smith, Daniel Jacobs, and Sergey Kovalev. Following a draw with Gennadiy Golovkin, Canelo beat him in the rematch. Both controversial, this became the series that enhanced the now-29-year-old’s rise to power.

Canelo has several opponents that could very well face him this year. Fights with Billy Joe Saunders and Ryota Murata are on the table. In fact, before the coronavirus, Saunders would have been the next opponent. There’s the third Golovkin fight that may take a while to happen. Trainer Eddy Reynoso also talked about Caleb Plant and David Benavidez.

Signing an 11-fight, $365 million with DAZN, Canelo has options. The fact he was able to get a contract like that shows he has improved since the Mayweather fight. It is something like that that could potentially turn Canelo into the big fighter he was being groomed to become, if he’s not already, when he fought Mayweather all those years ago.

“He’s still building his legacy,” Sulaiman went on to say. “He’s young, he’s active and he’s hungry to be and become the greatest… I think when his career is over, we’re going to have Canelo Alvarez in a very selective list of fighters from history.”

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