Canelo, Not Mayweather, Is Fighter of The Decade

Canelo After KO Kovalev
Photo: Steve Marcus

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the Mexican boxing star who has won title fights in 4 weight divisions – most notably light heavyweight – was initially in the running for the Boxing Writers Association of America, a body that heavily favored Mayweather’s narrative and association with Las Vegas. Mayweather was not even active for any of the recent five years in which Canelo clearly dominated and represented the sport.

Alvarez in 2019: Breaking Records

Alvarez was active this year. Against Daniel Jacobs, he exploded offensively and was excellent defensive and ring generalship was second to none. For this, he received a middleweight title for the effort.

Then, in November 2019, Alvarez knocked out a light heavyweight champ in Kovalev for his 56th professional fight.

Overall, Alvarez has been connected to 50 distinct titles during his professional matches. His only loss – to Mayweather – came as a still fresh (as young as Jaime Munguia) boxer who was given the chance based on a catch-weight that in hindsight clearly meant starving the brawler’s physique.

Mayweather Always Favored

Even when inactive and incarcerated over domestic abuse, American writers gushed over Mayweather, failing to note the weird, synergistic relationship between himself and Las Vegas boxing judges in mutliple split decisions where fighters like Maidana, Mosley and Oscar de La Hoya should have gotten more than a nod for fights with Mayweather. There was never even a draw in questionable bouts.

Even so, we would be remiss to not note that the boxer’s defensive style should be applauded. Mayweather was an incredible athlete, but the past 5 years he has been mostly inactive, the exhibition bouts with McGregor and a Japanese kickboxer not withstanding. In our view, 4 years of solid activity during 2010-2019 does not warrant an award from the BWAA, but such is there hope to artificially inflate his status to an Ali, Sugar Ray, etc. a ‘greatest of all time’ accolade when Mexican boxing is also clearly dominating. After all, this is an American association.

Professionals Agree

Acclaimed world titlist and boxing trainer, Robert Garcia concurs with the view that Mayweather does not deserve the title relative to the likes of Pacquiao or Canelo. In an interview with Elie Seckback, the famed coach mentioned the cherry picked events in recent history and business acumen were quite distinct from true boxing merit:

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