Philippines, 09 Dec 2023
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Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo: Can’t Knock The Hustle

Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo put it all on the line in an event billed as undisputed versus undisputed on Showtime PPV this Saturday night. Jermell Charlo is daring to be great and you can’t knock the hustle because at the end of the day every fighter would jump at this opportunity. Canelo Alvarez has heard the chatter making the rounds across the boxing world saying he lost a step and is no longer the same fighter. To top of this highly anticipated night of boxing the undercard is deepest we’ve seen in a long time featuring a great co-feature in Jesus Ramos vs. Erickson Lubin.

Canelo Alvarez has nothing to prove which is evident with one look at his resume in a sport he’s been active as a pro dating back to his teenage years. Canelo seemingly is not done with his career recently claiming to want to extend his career for another 3-5 years. In his last 3 bouts many boxing experts think Canelo isn’t the same fighter he was in say 2020-2021. Now that doesn’t equate to Canelo being over the hill or a shell of his former self like some folks will tell it.

This boxing junkie has seen a slight slip in his performance in the last two outings. I personally don’t chalk up the Dmitry Bivol loss to losing a step because that came down to style and fighting at light heavyweight didn’t help his case. Some point to not being able to get the stoppage versus John Ryder who’s only knockout loss came in 2015. It would be silly to assume Canelo should’ve stopped an iron-chinned Gennadiy Golovkin. Let’s also be fair Billy Joe Saunders never looked good at 168 and Caleb Plant had one solid win on his resume before fighting Canelo in 2021. Yes he is on the back-9 but definitely not well past his prime like some would have you believe. It must at least be mentioned that injuries could’ve played a role in his “slow down” as well.

Jermell Charlo earned this shot at greatness and the big payday that comes along with fighting a heavy hitter in the sport like Saul Alvarez. In his last time out Jermell put it all together in a display of skills, power, and discipline. Yes one could say he lost to Brian Castano but Mell ran it back and got the knockout. This boxing podcaster thought he beat Tony Harrison in their first meeting. That said Mell was down on my scorecard in the rematch but once against Charlo delivered a KO in the clutch. Much has made and for good reason about Mell moving up not one but two weight divisions. Let’s dive into the multiple keys to victory for both men.

When it comes to size Canelo has more girth and width to his body than Charlo having boxed at or above super middleweight for a long time. Similar to everyone Canelo Alvarez’s fights, Jermell will be the taller man sporting almost 3 inches of reach as well. Adjusting to the weight is the biggest question for Jermell Charlo heading into this super fight on Saturday. Contrary to some media folks and boxing fans, as a reminder Canelo wins fights at 168 because of his skill not from his size. He has proven he can break down boxers to the body and for the most part looks to set up power punches but it’s not due to just his size.

Facing outside boxers in BJS and Caleb Plant, Canelo clearly wasn’t going out of his way to win rounds in the early goings. Saunders had some success but it was Plant that won more rounds along with making it deeper into the fight. Canelo has a good jab and should probably use it a little more instead of loading up on heavy shots early on. Breaking down a 154-pounder to the body will certainly be on Canelo’s mind as he looks for the perfect power punches to land. As stated previously, Canelo is not a shell of his former self nor is he all the way passed it. However, when facing a fellow elite level boxer, even a slight downside or loss of a half step can be the difference.

Jermell’s best path to victory is going back to his old style of boxing on the outside at distance combined with landing meaningful punches for the judges to witness. Lead or counter power shots mixed with an active jab is a requirement. Using footwork and his natural length advantage all while scoring points to win the rounds is ideal. Ever since Charlo found his punching power under the tutelage of trainer Derrick James, he tends to get too picky with his shots instead of looking to be more active. Jermell’s jab mixed with movement whether that’s pivoting, circling, or taking steps back will need to be the establishing item from round 1.

Charlo can’t get caught on the ropes for long spells nor can he fall in love even for a minute with his power punching. On that topic Charlo can’t load up with combinations either especially if he’s stationary in front of Canelo for too long. The body adjustment for super middleweight is something we may get a feel for during Friday’s weigh in. Will Jermell be able to retain his speed? How much power or at least pop will Mell bring up two divisions? Like Alvarez, Charlo has a great chin but once again does it hold up at 168? The last item is Jermell’s hand injury which is probably healed up and ready to go. The worrisome part is the fact that Charlo hasn’t fought since May 2022 and how will that effective his sharpness?

Charlo will get off to a good start moving on the outside scoring those points and then resetting. When Canelo gets close look for a quick clinch and/or pivot from Charlo. Canelo will be patient and stick to targeting the body while he searches for openings to land big eye catching punches to the head. Don’t be shocked to see this as a 3-3 or even 4-2 Jermell at the halfway point. Gas tank is never Charlo’s issue while at times we’ve seen Canelo slow down a bit. However that extra weight matched with movement will be a thorn in Charlo’s side at some point one can assume.

There are too many variables that have to be damn near perfect for a somewhat inconsistent boxer in Charlo. I could see my scorecard reading 8-4 or 7-5 but that won’t be enough to beat Canelo. Don’t get me wrong laying down some doe for Charlo as an underdog is well worth it. Jermell by decision is more realistic than via knockout and it would be a higher plus numbers than picking him to win outright.

My Official Prediction is Canelo Alvarez by Decision.

Podcast Link: Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo Preview & Predictions! #JoyceZhang2 Recap! 09/26 by RopeADopeRadio | Sports (

Side Note: This Showtime PPV card is absolutely stacked leading the way is the co-feature between rising contender Jesus Ramos and the dangerous Erickson Lubin. Plus, Ugas vs. Barrios and a major test for 20-year old Elijah Garcia taking on the hardnosed Armando Resendiz who’s only 24 but a bit more experienced. All and all the “A” sides will be tested for example we have to see where Yordenis Ugas is at after taking real punishment versus Errol Spence and now out of the ring for well over a year.

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Chris Carlson.

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