Paulie Malignaggi believes the undisputed super-middleweight bout between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Jermell Charlo this weekend in Las Vegas won’t make it to the final bell.
Charlo enters the fight of his life against Canelo, a longtime feature on pound-for-pound lists and current four-belt 168 champion. He will jump up two divisions for the challenge, leaving his own undisputed title at 154.
Speaking to Casino Alpha, Malignaggi said that, despite observations that Charlo was naturally taller, the weight jump will take its toll.
“People say that Charlo looked bigger at the press conferences. Yes, but Canello is filled in better at the weight class, he got there slowly and he’s hurting guys at that weight class.
You don’t know how Charlo’s power is going to translate at that higher weight. You don’t know how carrying around the extra weight is going to affect Charlo’s footwork and Charlo’s ability to move around the ring. And of course, the mental psychological stress.”
The former two-weight world champion does however believe Charlo ‘has the physical tools and talent’ to pull off the upset, but that it comes down to much more than just that on fight night.
“Charlo is too emotional – he’ll land a double jab right hand, for example, and the crowd will go crazy and instead of being in and out after that combination, he’ll stay there and look to throw the hook and body shots.
Before you know he’s trading instead of being in and out. He’s trading instead of getting your shots off and exiting the pocket.
And so, if you’re susceptible to making rash decisions emotionally in the moment, then Canelo fights are even more risk to you because Canelo crowds are the biggest crowds in the sport, at least in this hemisphere, so he has tools, but mentally he would have to become something that we haven’t seen yet from him. I think Canelo gets him late [by KO].”
The undisputed 168lbs bout tops a strong card on Showtime PPV in the US and as part of the regular DAZN subscription in the UK.