SAN ANTONIO – Eddie Hearn doesn’t envision anyone beating Canelo Alvarez anytime soon, not unless the ambitious Alvarez agrees to face an opponent simply too big and too strong for him.
The four-division champion continued to thrive last month four full weight classes above where he made his pro debut as a 15-year-old junior welterweight in October 2005. Alvarez, 30, dominated previously unbeaten Brit Callum Smith in their 12-round, 168-pound title fight, which Alvarez won decisively on all three scorecards in the main event of a seven-bout card at Alamodome (119-109, 119-109, 117-111).
The Mexican superstar has now legitimately won world titles at 154, 160, 168 and 175 pounds. His chin has remained one of his best assets, even when Alvarez moved all the way up to light heavyweight.
He took Sergey Kovalev’s hardest punches without incident in November 2019. Alvarez ended what had been a competitive fight when he knocked Kovalev unconscious in the 11th round to win the WBO 175-pound crown at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The 6-feet-3 Smith couldn’t faze Alvarez with any of his punches, either. Unlike Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs), who was considered past his prime and had been stopped by Andre Ward and Eleider Alvarez before Canelo Alvarez knocked him cold, Smith hadn’t been beaten before he squared off against Alvarez.
“It’s gonna take something, you know, a bit like Lomachenko, where he had to almost go to a weight class really to get beat,” Hearn said during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “You know, he was a featherweight, a super featherweight [and then a lightweight]. And with Canelo Alvarez, you know, he [was] a welterweight, probably a light middleweight who went to middle. Now he goes to super middle. You know he can make 160. But, you know, he has to take the big challenges. And, you know, I saw some names like Bivol and Beterbiev and, you know, you have to go out, completely outside of your weight class and comfort zone to beat Canelo Alvarez.”
Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is the IBF and WBC light heavyweight champion. Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) owns the WBA “super” light heavyweight title, though Bivol has said he’d be willing to move down to the 168-pound limit to battle Alvarez.
Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) seems determined, however, to become boxing’s undisputed super middleweight champion. He won the WBA “super” and the vacant WBC belts by defeating Smith (27-1, 19 KOs), but he’d need to beat IBF champ Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) and WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) to become the fully unified champion in the 168-pound division.
Alvarez also maintains that he is willing to finally fight Gennadiy Golovkin a third time in 2021. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) retained his IBF and IBO middleweight titles by stopping Poland’s Kamil Szeremeta (21-1, 5 KOs) after seven lopsided rounds Friday night at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
“You know, I mean, you saw Golovkin – two tremendous fights [versus Alvarez], very, very close,” Hearn said. “Can Golovkin do that again? Can the movement of Billy Joe Saunders cause him enough problems? But you’ve gotta hit him hard to keep him off. You know, Callum punches hard, but couldn’t put a dent in him, really, at any time. And, unfortunately, when you’ve got a fighter as good as that, who has a chin like that, it makes it very difficult.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.