By: Hans Themistode
There is currently a long line of contenders circling around the block for a shot at Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs).
The cinnamon headed champion has been linked to Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Sergey Kovalev, Jamie Munguia, Callum Smith and of course Gennady Golovkin. Each fighter believes that they should be next. Every single one of their claims are legitimate, but Canelo can only choose one. Who exactly should get chosen is the real question.
Thankfully for Canelo we’ve decided to help him with such a decision. Below is a list of each man and where his ranking should be in terms of the radar of Canelo Alvarez. Whomever is chosen will have earned their shot, while the others will have to wait on the sidelines.
6. Jaime Munguia
Although Jaime Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs) is an undefeated belt holder at the Jr Middleweight division, he ranks last on this last. Munguia struggled mightily in his last two contest. At just age 22, he still has plenty of time to improve. A matchup against Canelo Alvarez at this point would be career suicide. He brings power and a never say die attitude, but against Canelo that won’t be nearly enough.
5. Gennady Golovkin
It may come across as a shock to see the former unified champion Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) so low on this list. It’s been well documented the ring wars that these two have shared. One could argue that Golovkin deserved the nod in both contests. Instead he had to settle for a draw and the first loss of his career.
As a champion for close to a decade, Golovkin deserves another opportunity, however, a third fight between the two wouldn’t exactly excite the fans now would it? That’s not to say that he isn’t deserving, but how about we get a few more fresh matchups in before we revisit a possible third showdown.
4. Callum Smith
In December of 2018, Canelo successfully moved up to the Super Middleweight division and made quick work of Rocky Fielding. In doing so, he became just the ninth Mexican born fighter to win a world title in three weight divisions. Although that is quite the accomplishment, many have placed an asterisk by it. Fielding held the WBA Regular title. Callum Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) on the other hand holds the full title.
If Canelo wants to quiet his naysayers who believe that he only went up to Super Middleweight to take on a weak challenge than he should take on Smith next. The problem with this matchup is that although Smith is terrific fighter, he is relatively unknown and brings very little in terms of a fanbase. Still, if Canelo wants to bring credence to his claim as a three division world champion then he needs to take on Smith to end the debate.
3. Demetrius Andrade
The WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17 KOs) has been calling for a big fight for years now. No matter how many times he has asked, he has never been able to land one. Following his terrific performance against Maciej Sulecki where he completely shut out the former title challenger, Andrade may finally get his wish for a big fight.
Canelo has confirmed that there has been talks of a unification clash between the two. Andrade has just about everything that you need in order to become a star. His personality is infectious and boxing ability is outstanding. He just might be next in line to take on Canelo Alvarez.
2. Jermall Charlo
Houston native and huge puncher Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) successfully defended his WBC crown for the first time against the unheralded Brandon Adams. It was a dominant performance, one that has put Charlo on the radar of Canelo.
Many have anointed him as the next great American champion. It’s easy to see why. His brash attitude followed by his aggressive style in the ring has lead to eye catching performances. The WBC belt holder has been calling out Canelo Alvarez for years but to no avail. Luckily for Charlo, he might soon get his wish.
Before a few weeks ago, a proposed matchup between unified Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and current WBO Light Heavyweight title holder Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) would have seemed ludicrous. Now, it not only seems possible but likely. Canelo hasn’t just floated around the idea of climbing up two weight divisions to challenge Kovalev for his title but he seems to want that fight next. The unified Middleweight champion would be at a decided disadvantage in just about every category. Height, weight, reach, power, you name it and Kovalev holds the significant edge.
That is exactly why this bout ranks number one on our list. Unlike Canelo’s bout against Rocky Fielding where although Fielding was the bigger man, Canelo was the much better fighter, in this contest it would be something else entirely. Canelo has made a career of taking on the toughest challenges, but this would truly be his daring to be great moment.