In all we do on Earth, WE get to choose the path we walk. Picking opponents isn’t new in any non-team sport. But for all choices there are consequences. And in sports, that is nonstop Monday morning quarterbacking. Canelo Avarez along with his team led by Eddy Reynoso have chosen the path they want to take. With some help from WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, it’s now as good as signed contracts.

Make no mistakes about it, Canelo is daring to be great. However, because picking opponents isn’t new; he’s going about it in a questionable manner. Going from junior middleweight to now cruiserweight is an impressive accomplishment. Especially if beating solid fighters, which is his modus operandi basically. When he leaped up to light heavyweight going after Sergei Kovalev, was he facing the most feared, most dangerous fighter in the division? No. Especially after Andre Ward wrote the book on how to beat “Krusher”.

There’s a laundry list full of fighters with solid arguments on why they should be next for the pound-for-pound king.

The one thing that has to be remembered clearly is he wants to fight three times a year. So if the stars align, everyone will get their turn at “red panty night”.

The List Of Names Grows And Grows

David Benavidez is the second best super middleweight, and right behind him is 37-year old Anthony Dirrell; which is his only eight-ball. In fairness, Benavidez should be the next man up. He’s usually a ferocious puncher, who now gets a crack at a 168-strap. Sulaiman has agreed that he should fight for an interim-title since he’s not getting the Canelo fight. However; over 12-rounds, it would be a safe bet that Canelo would break him down.

At 160, there’s a slew of fighters that want him. Jermall Charlo checks off all the boxes. He has the name recognition to be on the poster, he loves playing the role of heel, and above all else, between the ropes; he’s very dangerous. But he can punch himself out, and then get picked apart. GGG would love one more shot at him, Jaime Munguia is justas dangerous as the rest of the young guns. Demetrius Andrade could hang around in a fight with Canelo for about six-rounds.

If Canelo chose to truly go undisputed in another division, he’d have a hard time back at light heavyweight now. He might be able to take out Joe Smith Jr, the way he did Kovalev. And he may have a speed advantage in most matchups. However, both Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev have him beat in the power department.

Picking Opponents Isn’t New

While choosing to push himself up to cruiserweight is admirable, you can see the playing field is being angled. Sure; Ilunga Makabu Junior is a solid fighter, but he’s not the scariest in the division.

The African fighter is a slow starter, much like Canelo is. However Alvarez is taking mental notes, Makabu just takes a while to warm up. It does have an aura of a fight that might be boring for three to four rounds, as both look to sit back and counter. Or at least try and try again to set traps up against the ropes. Tony Bellew proved that Makabu can go down, and Canelo might use that fight as a blue print.

Makabu, the very soft spoken fighter was very happy to learn he’d be fighting Canelo; but he was hand-picked. He mentioned it would be nice if they fought in the congo, and do what Ali and Foreman did. He also said:

“I can say he’s crazy. Because he wants to challenge a dangerous man now. But he’s a man. He wants to step in front of someone heavier than him, a cruiserweight. He must make the journey. I’ll be waiting for him. Canelo is the best in the world and I think in my heart I can do it!”

With the WBC dropping it’s weight to 190 hurts their champion, as he has another 10-pounds to cut, and 10-less that Canelo needs to put on. And by round three; that’ll become an even larger part of the story. It’s not like he’s challenging Mairis Briedis or Lawrence Okolie.

There’s two even bigger things that boxing fans should think about. One; fighting three times a year, without “unnatural” help, how does Alvarez get back down to 168; and fast. Secondly and even more of a possibility; what happens if Canelo wins. Does he look to defend once, which pushes everyone else back. Or more worrisome, does he roll the dice and go after a smaller heavyweight?

Don’t laugh, this is boxing, and stranger things have happened. It would be the first time though he couldn’t just walk into a division and title chase. Once again though, picking opponents isn’t new. The move to cruiserweight is respectable, but unless it’s a “beat someone, and look for more blood in the division”; it is a one-and-done farce. If he did this in the reverse order, it would mean more, and be respected more, and goofed on less. Clean out the divisions you rule, then climb up should be the mission statement from the boxing organizations, but as they say “money talks, and b***s**t walks”.

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About Author

Cyclone

Cyclone, considers himself the Chris "MadDog" Russo of combat sports. He got the nickname in 1984 after riding the roller coaster multiple times, and then made it his professional name. He's been officially covering combat sports since January 2017 when Chael Sonnen fought Tito Ortiz. Cyclone's been lucky enough to do some regional mma play-by-play. Loving to entertain since childhood, he continues to round out his schedule as a comedian, actor, producer, and show host. Away from the "bright lights", he enjoys cooking, fishing, and gambling. A lover of animals Cyclone hopes to one day return to working at an animal shelter.

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