Tony Bellew believes Saul Alvarez needs to improve to maintain his status at the top of the sport.
The former WBC cruiserweight world champion has been critical of the Mexican superstar in the wake of his defeat to Dmitry Bivol in May.
‘Canelo’, having cleaned up at super-middleweight, stepped up to light-heavyweight and lost to WBA champion Dmitry Bivol in what was a shock earlier this year.
And Bellew reckons there will be more to come from the multi-weight king, despite there being areas for refinement.
Speaking to Ade Oladipo on the DAZN Boxing Show, Bellew said the Mexican must do better and perhaps improve his matchmaking:
“He must do better.
“Whether that be the matches he’s making or whatever… If you want to set the standard so high, you’ve got to maintain it and stay there.”
Alvarez returns to the ring on September 17, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, when he meets Gennadiy Golovkin in their trilogy fight at super-middleweight.
Bellew went on to praise Canelo and insist he’s still right at the top of the p4p list:
“He’s amazing, he’s still up there pound-for-pound, even though everyone took him out of their lists as soon as he loses to Bivol.
“Absolutely not, he remains right up there for me, but there are some things that he has to do better. If he’s on his A-game on that night against Bivol, I think he beats him. He wasn’t on his A-game so he has to do better.”
Bellew recently revealed that he is backing Alvarez to beat Russia’s Bivol if the pair are to meet again, but if it is to happen at all, it seems unlikely to be next.
Eddie Hearn, the man who promotes Bivol alongside World Of Boxing, has said that a fight against either Gilberto Ramirez – the Mexican who the WBA installed as the latest mandatory challenger – or Britain’s Joshua Buatsi looks to be next, despite Alvarez’s desire to right the wrong by May 2023.