As in most things in life, great success tends to create greater challenges. The career of the current face of boxing is proving to be no different.
2010 seems like just yesterday, boxing fans and journalists alike were eagerly anticipating a then 20-year-old ginger prospect to finally step up his level of competition. With the exception of his fight with Floyd Mayweather, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez continued improving and defeating his opposition.
However, with each success, the critics became louder. It seemed as if with every victory, there was always some boogeyman in the shadows that Canelo was accused of ducking. It became evident early that no matter who this kid beat, it would never satisfy critics. Mosley, Trout, Lara, Kirkland, Cotto, Chavez, Golovkin, Jacobs and Kovalev. With each of these fights, we witnessed 4 phases from critics and fans:
Before the fight: Prior to a fight being officially announced, Canelo is accused of avoiding a fighter, being scared, etc.
Fight build up: Critics claim that this is the opponent that will finally expose Canelo.
Immediate reaction following fight: Excuses are thrown out in abundance, everything from contracted weight to questioning the other fighter’s age and skills. An endless campaign to discredit Canelo’s victory.
Post fight: Find new fighter to accuse Canelo of ducking, restart cycle.
Over the last decade, we have witnessed Canelo overcome challenges in the ring, winning titles in four weight classes along the way. Personally, I feel that Canelo is almost always in a lose-lose situation with the press and believe he’s known that since beating Golovkin.
Since signing his massive $365 million contract with DAZN, Canelo and his team constantly find themselves in a new predicament. DAZN put up a ton of money, so they are obviously expecting a speedy return on their investment. This is proving to be problematic in terms of selecting opponents for Canelo.
While Canelo himself, a proud Mexican fighter, wants to fight and beat the fighters who majority of hardcore boxing fans and journalists view as the best, Golden Boy and DAZN have their own interests in mind. Golden Boy, whom I deeply respect as a promotional firm, is in a tough position. It is no secret that Canelo is the company’s golden goose; their goal is to weigh the risk/reward aspect of making a fight.
Golden Boy is stuck between wanting to appease their superstar by getting him fights with the best fighters, while also satisfying DAZN who is looking at this from a marketing standpoint. This presents a massive conflict of interest between all parties involved.
Canelo wants to be challenged and prove himself against the best critics claim he is avoiding, names like, Callum Smith, Dmitry Bivol, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo or Billy Joe Saunders. Golden Boy wants to minimize risk, opting for fighters that they know Canelo can beat. DAZN wants the biggest fight possible, regardless of whom the opponent is or what weight class they campaign at.
This presents a new challenge, as there is not an opponent that is to the satisfaction of all three parties. Out of all of the potential opponents that have been rumored, none would be satisfactory to all three of the parties involved.
In the coming years of Canelo’s contract is going to be a never ending conundrum that unfortunately the majority of the fans will place the blame on Canelo Alvarez.
No matter what, you can’t please everyone.
Source: Nick Phillipowsky