The road Canelo Alvarez is traveling is one that Floyd Mayweather was once on. The disrespectful comments, the constant chastisement, and the so-called “cherry-picking,” labels all sound familiar.

Most recently, the 33-year-old was lambasted for choosing to face Jermell Charlo, a fighter who campaigns two full-weight divisions below him. Mayweather, after taking countless arrows, notices that Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) is being given the same treatment. Although they haven’t always been the closest of friends, the former five-division champ admits that Alvarez has already demonstrated his greatness over and over again.

“You proved yourself already,” Mayweather told “You proved yourself.”

In 2013, a baby-faced 23-year-old Alvarez believed that his time had arrived. The best way for him to prove that he was officially the man to beat was to go through Mayweather. That, of course, was a failed mission.

To a large extent, Alvarez has fought and defeated some of the best fighters around. Wins over Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Caleb Plant, and a long list of others are applauded by Mayweather. Still, the consensus in boxing circles is that Alvarez must eventually face David Benavidez.

At times, Mayweather has also expressed those sentiments. Alvarez though, has never ruled out a future clash between them. For now, he’s giving his undivided attention to Charlo.

At the age of 33, most fighters would be considered in their physical prime. In the case of Alvarez, however, with over 60 pro fights under his belt and nearly 20 years of experience, many are of the belief that he’s lost a step or two. From Mayweather’s point of view, he doesn’t see any slippage, just an all-time great fighter who’s already stamped himself as one of the best ever.

“You fought a lot of great fighters. You tested yourself, you went up to numerous weight classes. Canelo is a great fighter.”