When I was a kid, I never cared much about the progress reports we received at the mid-point of the 9-week grading period. I knew my parents would stress out, and stress me out if I was performing poorly in a specific class, but I also knew it didn’t matter so long as I made the grade count on the actual report card.
What I learned from that time was that you can underwhelm now, so long as you’re able and prepared to make things count with a more significant impact later.
This is similar to the situation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez finds himself in now. We know that he is fighting on HBO PPV May 7th, but there is no set venue and no opponent announced. The lack of opponent is not a surprise, even if Golden Boy Promotions (Canelo’s promoter) had an opponent they would likely keep it under wraps a little longer considering we are still several months away from the fight. There is still considerable time between now and the time frame for a press conference to promote the fight.
Still, there is no word on any of the options, although the Gabriel Rosado-Joshua Clottey winner was considered a viable option. However, based on the undertones from those involved it seemed like Clottey was favorited, which makes sense if you go off the theory that as a former Manny Pacquiao opponent Clottey maintains more commercial recognition. It is a thin argument, but considering the fact that Rosado won I think the argument suggesting him is pretty thin other than a Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry storyline.
But who else is in the Canelo sweepstakes? Forget the most likely opponent, I want a list of names in contention. I think the least likely possibility in a top 4 list would be more telling of Canelo’s current predicament than the fighter that actually stands opposite of him May 7th.
However, does it really matter? Well, yes if he is only fighting twice this year without any real plans for his 2016 finale. But if Canelo fights Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin later this year then it doesn’t really matter who he fights now.
The credit Canelo would receive for being the first superstar to get in the ring with Golovkin is more than enough to erase the memory of his handlers attempting to match the start fighter with an ill-conceived opponent for the coveted Cinco de Mayo date.
So, I ask again—does it really matter who Canelo fights? The answer is no, so long as he maintains every intention to fight Golovkin and then actually does go through with the fight later this year.
Furthermore, what will help Canelo’s case and make the choice of a weak opponent for his 2016 debut inconsequential will be the fact that Canelo has continued to fight the tough opponents most assumed he’d avoid. His fights with Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara might’ve been deemed somewhat controversial in its outcome — depending who you ask (I thought he won both) — but what those wins lacked in convincing nature they made up for in reputation. Those fights were like money in the bank, and Canelo’s reputation can always withdraw from the bank.
However, if Golovkin acts as yet another deposit in Canelo’s reputation as a fighter ready to take on all comers, then he will be eating off of those decisions for years to come.
That said, Canelo has proven he is willing to fight the best available before and Golden Boy Promotions has displayed their newfound intentions for delivering the most meaningful fights in boxing for both the sport and the fans’ sake. So, if there is a worthy advisory out there for his May 7th date then you can be certain Canelo will fight him.
The lack of interest in Canelo’s next opponent won’t stem from anything else other than availability and the depth of options.