There are more questions than ever surrounding Canelo Alvarez. Once viewed as the consensus best fighter in the world, the Mexican star has seemingly been passed up by the likes of Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue, Oleksandr Usyk, and a handful of others.
Leonard Ellerbe, however, isn’t so sure that the 33-year-old has fallen off a cliff. By and large, according to the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Alvarez simply hasn’t shared the ring with some of the world’s best lately. In his last three appearances, Alvarez came up short against Dmitry Bivol and looked lackluster when matched up against Gennadiy Golovkin and John Ryder. Of those three fighters, Ellerbe doesn’t see anything special about them.
Although many, including promoters Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn, vehemently disagree with Ellerbe’s take on Bivol, according to Mayweather Promotions figurehead, the current WBA light heavyweight titlist isn’t some sort of generational talent with otherworldly skills.
“The level of opponents that he’s faced haven't been the elite fighters,” said Ellerbe to FightHype.com as he described Alvarez’s recent string of opponents. “Bivol is a solid guy. No disrespect, he’s not an elite fighter. He's a solid fighter, he’s good.”
Bivol, who not only defeated Alvarez but also took care of business vs. Gilberto Ramirez, won the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Year award - just one of the countless accolades he walked with last year.
Still, regardless of how flawless he’s been throughout his career, Ellerbe is convinced that Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) will be dealing with an entirely different animal when he takes on Jermell Charlo in the coming weeks on September 30th.
Charlo, of course, has spent the last few months in the weight room as he packed on the pounds in preparation for his 168-pound debut. Unsurprisingly, Ellerbe is backing Charlo. He isn’t, however, sleeping on Alvarez. To a certain segment of the boxing world, Alvarez, who started his career in 2005 at the age of 15, has ostensibly lost a step. To the current undisputed super middleweight kingpin, he isn’t interested in being mendacious. He knows that he hasn’t looked his best as of late, something he attributes to, at least in part, a bothersome wrist injury.
With just a few weeks remaining before Alvarez makes his return, Ellerbe is urging Charlo to keep his guard up. While he’s looked a bit listless at times, Ellerbe is fully expecting Alvarez to come out guns blazing on September 30th.
“Canelo is coming to that fight with a chip on his shoulder. He’s coming off an injury and that explains why his last couple of performances haven't been what the public would expect. I think with this fight right here, he’s gonna lay it on the line. I think we're gonna see the best version of where he’s at right now.”