Though Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is rightly a firm favourite going into his undisputed super middleweight world title defence against Jermell Charlo on September 30, the boxing world is not short of those picking the American to spring the upset.
And Charlo can add one of the most esteemed trainers of all time to the list of those backing him to emerge with the victory.
Legendary trainer Freddie Roach – who cornered eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao amongst others – explained to media recently why he believes the current version of Alvarez “will not be able to handle” undisputed super lightweight champion Charlo.
“Canelo has had an outstanding career. And even though I had Gennadiy Golovkin winning their first two fights, I was impressed with the way Canelo fought him.”
“If Charlo was fighting the version of Canelo before he fought Golovkin, I would favour Canelo. But that’s not the case. This version of Canelo will not be able to handle Charlo.”
“I love the attitude that Charlo brings into the ring. He’s mean and defiant, and better yet, he backs that attitude up with his talent. He cannot be intimidated. He has a great chin and doesn’t get fazed by getting hit. Charlo is downright vicious inside the ring.”
“And while both men can fight, I think Charlo will have too much firepower for Canelo to handle, especially at the higher weight. Canelo needs to stay away from Charlo’s left hook. The question is, can Canelo stay away from Charlo’s left hook? I don’t think he can, which is why I’m picking Charlo by stoppage.”
Roach’s view, that Alvarez is a fighter on the decline, is not an uncommon one amongst observers, mainly due to the Mexican delivering three less than vintage performances in his most recent three fights.
That said, it would still go down as one of the most significant upsets of the year if Charlo was to emerge with the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF 168lb titles.