At 24 years of age, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez(44-1-1, 31KO’s) has already tested his mettle against one of the best fighters of this generation in Floyd Mayweather(47-0, 26KO’s). When they met in 2013 Canelo was comfortably outboxed by the classy and as yet undefeated American, but still emerged from the losing effort with much credit just for getting in there with a master.
On May 9th he will face the perennial puncher James Kirkland(32-1, 28KO’s) in Houston, Texas, and he was in the gym preparing for that bout when a representative from Esnewreporting.com asked him about the man Mayweather is allowing to challenge his reputation next; Manny Pacquiao(57-5-2, 38KO’s).
“Pacquiao has fought the best, the best in the world. He’s at the end of his career, but he still continues to be a great fighter with experience.”
The only name noticeably missing from Pacquiao’s resume is Mayweather’s, and they will meet on May 2nd -just one week before Canelo and Kirkland do their thing- in what is sure to be the most luminous extravaganza boxing has seen in quite some time. Regardless of the result Pacquiao’s name will still be worth it’s weight in gold afterwards, so Canelo was asked whether he would be open to fighting the most adored Filipino on the planet.
“It would be an honour to fight Pacquiao with all due respect. It would be an honour to fight a legend like him.”
An honour and a huge payday. Despite the fact that Canelo and Pacquiao seem to be moving in different directions in terms of weight, with Canelo creeping up to 160 .lb. and Pacquiao allegedly going back down to 140 .lb., some sort of compromise could surely be made with many millions of dollars on the line. This is all speculation at this point, but who wouldn’t want to see these two fight? If the new year has taught us anything, it is public demand garners results, eventually.
But the caveat is this; Canelo must beat Kirkland if he is to continue throwing his name out for super-fights against names like Pacquiao. It doesn’t matter what happens to Pacquiao against Mayweather; he’s already carved out a formidable legacy and a lot of the people I’ve seen make a pick are siding with Mayweather anyway. He will barely lose any standing. If Canelo loses to an inconsistent, though admittedly dangerous, fighter like Kirkland, phrases like ‘limited’ and ‘not as good as I thought’ will begin to be associated with him, even though he’s nowhere near his thirtieth birthday. If that starts to happen, his value will decrease and will take him a long, long time to reattain the reputation he has now.
Every fight Canelo takes has such huge ramifications; he is the poster-boy for the seemingly struggling Golden Boy Promotions and a huge attraction for HBO. None of the entities that are tied to his career can afford for him to start looking average just as he is setting down some solid foundational blocks for his own legacy.