Roy Jones Jr. has a few words of advice for Canelo Alvarez as it pertains to the latter’s multi-weight class ambitions.
The 31-year-old Alvarez has been a middleweight and junior middleweight for most of his career, but he caught the weight-jumping bug after he moved up to the 168-pound division in 2020 and subsequently unified all the belts with a stoppage over Caleb Plant this past November. Since then, Alvarez has floated the possibility of moving up to the cruiserweight division, possibly against titleholder Ilunga Makabu. Alvarez also made a brief appearance in the light heavyweight ranks, in 2019, when he stopped then titleholder Sergey Kovalev to win a belt.
One legend in the sport knows all about the intimate travails of hopscotching between weight classes, Roy Jones Jr. The soon-to-be Hall of famer was recently asked if Alvarez should be concerned about dropping back down in weight, in the event he does decide to fight as a cruiserweight, where the limit is 200 pounds.
Jones famously moved up from the 168 pounds to the heavyweight division to face John Ruiz for a title; Jones won by unanimous decision. Afterward Jones dropped back down to the light heavyweight limit to face Antonio Tarver in a title bout, winning a disputed decision, but the drastic weight loss clearly had an adverse effect on his performance – and his body. Jones would lose his next three bouts in the weight class, two of which were rematches with Tarver.
Jones cautioned Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) about the potential pitfalls of moving down in weight to quickly, recommending a more incremental approach.
“Depends on how much muscle [Alvarez] puts on,” Jones said in an interview on the most recent segment of CompuBox TV’s Inside Boxing Live. “Don’t go back to [168 pounds], for sure, especially if you go to 200 [pounds]. Now if you go to 190, you might go back to 168. But if you go to 200, forget about 168 for a while. Then go back to 175, maybe, and then give your body two years or a year or so to rest from that dropping weight, then you come back [down to 168 pounds] and fight.
Jones, however, made it clear he admired Alvarez’s ambition. He was also not shy about taking some credit.
“I took the bar and set the bar even higher. Now it makes other people go out and have something to reach for…I gave them something to reach for, you feel me?” Jones said. “If you gon’ dominant, dominate from bottom to top. Don’t dominate just where you at, dominate all the way up to show that you really are dominant. Dominate weight class after weight class after weight class. That proves that your not just dominant in your weight class but you’re dominant in the game. I dominated the game.”
“The type of fighter [Alvarez] is, he has the capability to do it,” Jones continued. “I wouldn’t advise everyone to do that. But there are sometimes guys who come on that are special. Special guys can do special things.”