Four-division world champion, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, has been praised as the greatest Mexican boxer in the history, but in the same breath, deemed unlikely to ever be adored as much as the iconic Julio César Chávez.
The man making these claims was legendary Mexican-American trainer, Robert Garcia. Garcia has coached the the likes of Anthony Joshua, Marcos Maidana, Nonito Donaire and Jesse Bam Rodriguez since he hung up the gloves in 2001.
Garcia trained ‘AJ’ for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk but was ditched after just one fight with the Brit, as Joshua appointed Derrick James as a replacement earlier this year.
In an interview with ESNEWS, Garcia credited Canelo as the greatest fighter that Mexico has ever produced, but revealed that he will never be seen in the same light as Chavez, in the eyes of his countryman – using recent rumours of negotiation tactics in a proposed clash with Badou Jack as a prime example of why.
“A couple of days ago, I read that he said that they wanted to make the fight twenty pounds under the weight limit, but then you are not fighting a cruiserweight. Yes, you are fighting a cruiserweight champion, that right there [isn’t fair], just don’t fight a cruiserweight.
Canelo is probably the best Mexican that we’ve ever known, his accomplishments are greater than Chavez’s, but the love from the fans, from the Mexicans, no. He is never going to become the superstar that Chavez is.
He is very popular but he is never going to surpass Chavez’s love, the love that fans had for him. Business wise, accomplishments, he [Canelo] already did more than any Mexican has ever done.”
With Jack ruling out a fight against Canelo, the 32-year-old now seems set to take on Jermall Charlo in a defence of his undisputed super-middleweight crown.