LAS VEGAS – Canelo Alvarez believes he has established himself as the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
The accomplished Mexican contended Tuesday that it’s difficult to argue against the resume he has built on his way to winning world titles in three weight classes. The 29-year-old Alvarez has decisively defeated Miguel Cotto, Daniel Jacobs and an aged Shane Mosley, owns narrow victories over Gennadiy Golovkin and Erislandy Lara, and has lost only to former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
That’s more, Alvarez argued, than Terence Crawford or Vasiliy Lomachenko have accomplished in their celebrated careers. Crawford (35-0, 24 KOs), the WBO welterweight champion, or Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), the WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion, are ranked atop most pound-for-pound lists.
Alvarez explained his stance on his pound-for-pound status with a group of reporters Tuesday following his “grand arrival” at MGM Grand.
“I’ve done better than they have,” said Alvarez, who’ll challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night. “I’ve done things that are better than they have done. It’s never really not allowed me to sleep, to not be No. 1 pound-for-pound. Because at the end, there’s somebody who puts you there. Maybe those people don’t like me, and they’ll never place me at No. 1. The only point here is I felt No. 1 my entire life. That’s why I have reached where I’ve reached. Ever since I started my profession, I felt No. 1. And I continue feeling the same way. And I continue training as though I were No. 1, and I’ll continue doing that my entire life.”
BoxingScene.com has Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) at No. 4 on its pound-for-pound list, behind the top-ranked Crawford, second-rated Naoya Inoue and third-ranked Lomachenko.
The Ring magazine – owned by the company, Golden Boy Promotions, that represents Alvarez – ranks Alvarez No. 3 on its list. The Ring has Lomachenko at No. 1 and Crawford at No. 2.
ESPN.com lists Lomachenko at No. 1, Crawford at No. 2 and Alvarez at No. 3.
Crawford’s critics insist that the three-division champion hasn’t beaten a high enough level of opposition to warrant securing the top spot. Lomachenko’s skeptics typically point to that three-weight champ’s split-decision defeat to Orlando Salido in his second professional fight 5½ years ago.
“Of course, history, your resume, that’s what places you at No. 1,” Alvarez said. “There can’t be anything else. [A fighter] that embraces fights, history, and who you fight, championships – everything.”
Alvarez will attempt to capture a championship in a fourth division versus Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs). The WBA middleweight champion is a 4-1 favorite to beat the 36-year-old Kovalev, even though he is four inches shorter than the Russian veteran and will make his light heavyweight debut in a main event DAZN will stream live from MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.