By Dan Ambrose: Tim Bradley says he likes the choice of Jermall Charlo as the next opponent for undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez to face on May 7th because it’s a fight that makes good”business sense.”
PBC is reportedly offering Canelo, 31, a one-fight deal to face Jermall (32-0, 22 KOs) in his next fight, which would be a PPV match. That’s one of two offers Canelo has on the table for him to consider for his May 7th date.
The other is a two-fight deal from Matchroom to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in May and then Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in September on the Mexican holiday weekends.
It’s a big decision for Canelo to make, and he seemingly can’t go wrong either way.
Ilunga Makabu is still an option for Alvarez
Of course, Canelo could elect to stay with his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso’s idea of facing WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu on May 7th, as long as the native of Congo defeats his mandatory Thabiso Macunu this Saturday, January 29th, in their fight in Warren, Ohio.
That would be an unpopular choice should Canelo & Reynoso decide on facing Makabu (28-2, 24 KOs), but they’re used to it now.
The last four years have been one disappointing choice after another for Canelo, so it would be the norm for him if he were to face the 34-year-old Makabu next to try and become a five-division world champion.
Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) wouldn’t need to be the one that promotes the fight all by himself, doing all the interviews and coming up with great soundbites.
As good of a fighter as Canelo is, he’s constrained when it comes to marketing his fights with his trash-talking. If he fights Jermall, he can let him do most of the heavy lifting in promoting the contest.
Bradley says Jermall Charlo is a good choice
“The Charlo fight makes perfect sense. Charlo is coming up from 160 to 168 pounds and has tremendous punching power at 160 pounds. That power makes him dangerous,” said Tim Bradley to ESPN.
“Business-wise, Charlo makes a lot of sense,” Bradley continued about Jermall being a good option for Saul Alvarez to fight on May 7th. “He can sell this fight too, not leaving all of that responsibility on Alvarez.”
There’s no question that Jermall Charlo would be an excellent choice for Canelo if he wants to create interest in his next fight and make a lot of money on May 7th.
When properly motivated, Jermall is one of the best fighters in the sport. But when Charlo isn’t motivated, you see the type of performances that he produced against Juan Macias Montiel and Matt Korobov.
Given that there’s the potential of Canelo losing this fight and possibly getting knocked out, it’s unlikely that he’ll agree to the offer to face Jermall. Although this match would rejuvenate Canelo’s listless career, he’s not likely to take it because he’s become a non-risk taker.
Bivol will give Canelo issues
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Bivol would give Alvarez a run for his money,” said Bradley.
“Bivol might be a problem for Alvarez. Alvarez likes to face opponents who stand in front of him, and he has his unique way of getting them to overdo it early and gas out.
“That’s when Alvarez takes over. He marches forward, being the boss in the ring. Alvarez has a high guard, he’s [Bivol] defensive, and he tries to counter.
“But you can make Alvarez miss, and if you can make him pay for every miss, you have a chance,” said Bradley.
This is a fight that Canelo will have a lot of trouble with, but Bivol hasn’t looked good in the last couple of years.
If this were the Bivol from 2019 that took joe Smith Jr. to school, Canelo would be in a world of hurt on May 7th. Unfortunately, Bivol has looked less than exciting in his last three wins over these fighters:
- Umar Salamov
- Craig Richards
- Lenin Castillo
Those are fighters that Bivol should have been able to destroy, but he didn’t fight with any energy in any of those matches and wound up winning dull decision victories.
We know from Canelo’s past fights that if you leave it up to the judges, you’re likely going to be disappointed at the scoring.
For that reason, Bivol’s chances of victory over Canelo are limited. As such, Canelo may choose him if he decides to accept one of the two offers he was given this week.
Ultimately, I don’t think Canelo will agree to either of those offers because there’s too much risk involved.
What he’ll likely do is take the match that his trainer/manager Reynoso wants him to choose against Makabu for May 7th.
That fight is too easy for Canelo, and he’ll capture his fifth division world title to impress future generations of ultra-hardcore stat-obsessed fans.