Critics have been commenting on the recently signed bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Jermell Charlo. One of those critics seems to be former two-division world champ and current ESPN analyst Timothy Bradley.
The recent Hall of Fame inductee believes that Charlo, the unified four-belt junior middleweight world champion may be in over his head against Alvarez, the unified four-belt super middleweight world champion.
“I think any fight is competitive. When you have a guy that possessed the type of mettle that both these guys bring into the ring and have accomplished over the years. I mean, Charlo’s no slouch,” Bradley told Fighthype.com. “He knows how to fight, he knows how to operate inside that ring.
“Canelo, on the other hand, is the same thing. He’s the cash cow of boxing. Whether you say he’s fought tough opposition or not, he has over 16 World Championships, and that’s for a reason.
“So you got to respect Charlo for taking this fight. He’s, believe it or not, he’s a smaller man. I understand he has the longer reach, but he’s a smaller man. There are no ifs or buts about it. There’s no doubt that Canelo is more robust in every single way.”
Bradley feels that, while the skill level is there with Charlo, moving up two full weight classes may be too much.
“He’s shown over the years he can take a punch,” added Bradley. “He’s been in there with light heavyweights, for Christ’s sake, so it’s going to be tough for Charlo. Although he does have the reach, he does have boxing ability. We saw a little bit of that when he fought against [Brian] Castano the second time around.
“He stayed off the ropes for more parts of the fight than the first time around. So he was able to make adjustments, and he has a good jab, and he has really good fundamentals.
“He has a great right hand, solid left hook, and a full arsenal of punches. But again, he’s still a 154-pounder. Castano was able to back him up and put the pressure on him. That’s what Canelo does. Think about that.”
Bradley asserts that Canelo appears to be at the tail-end of his career, but that he still will prove to be too much for Charlo because of, again, the weight difference.
“Canelo again, and I continue to say this. With all due respect, he’s at the tail-end of his career. He really is. You can tell his body’s starting to get tired. You can tell that he’s less inspired, and this is the type of fight that he should have had years ago when both these guys were in his weight class.
“There’s this thing in boxing that we sometimes overlook. It’s timing. I’m talking about timing when a fight is being signed, sealed, and delivered, and I feel like he’s getting Charlo at the right time.
“He’s well oversized, this guy. He’s stronger, can take a punch, can deliver a punch. He’s shown that he has a definitely great defense coming behind the high guard. He does various pull counters and goes down to the body well and sets you up, and sets traps.
“Canelo’s crafty, man, and that’s the reason why he’s been successful. He’s extremely crafty. He should win this fight, hands down. Canelo should win this fight.”
Alvarez and Charlo are set to meet September 30 at a venue to be announced. Billed as “Undisputed vs. Undisputed,” the fight will be the first bout in the four-belt era between fully unified world champs from two different weight classes.