Legendary boxing trainer turned analyst, Teddy Atlas, strongly believes one pound-for-pound star is on the decline.
Atlas is never backward in coming forward with his opinions in the sport, and says current undisputed super-middleweight champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is well past his prime.
Canelo, a four-weight world champion, has long been the face of boxing, but 2022 had fans questioning whether he was the same force as years gone by.
The Mexican suffered his first defeat in nearly 10 years when light-heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol, comfortably outpointed him in Las Vegas. In his next outing, although Canelo got the victory, more questions were raised when he couldn’t stop a clearly ageing Gennady Golovkin in their trilogy fight.
After that bout he elected to have surgery on this wrist and returned to the ring on May 6 against Brit, John Ryder. Once again Canelo got his hand raised but wasn’t able to get the statement knockout his fans were expecting.
Speaking on The Last Stand podcast, Atlas made it clear the man once untouchable at the top of the sport is on the way down.
“Canelo is declining. He’s declining.
In his fight with GGG I thought he showed that he was declining with a very old GGG. An old great fighter, but an old GGG – he showed decline.
Against Ryder, and I’m taking nothing away from Ryder, he’s a gutsy, gritty fighter from across the pond and he’s a southpaw and I give him that credit for being a gutsy guy, but does anyone think that Canelo from 5 years ago doesn’t get rid of Ryder? That’s the question. I for one would say he would have.
He throws one punch at a time, he was never that fast with his feet but now he’s even slower at closing gaps. He doesn’t do as much as he used to, he doesn’t put punches together, he doesn’t counter-punch as much and he doesn’t time you as much.
His workload has dropped, that’s a sign of getting old, he doesn’t finish like he used to, he doesn’t go after them when he could, he allows you to survive. It shows me a detiroration not just physically but emotionally and mentally. The urgency has gone, it’s not there anymore, it’s been taken away.”
Canelo wants to rematch Bivol next on the same terms as the first fight – at 175lbs, but unlike their first encounter, the Russian will go into this one as the heavy favourite to retain his belt.