Does Canelo Have the Chops to Take on Pac-Man? NGUYEN

BY The Sweet Science ON June 23, 2011

Though the Canelo Alvarez hype machine was already in full gear before Saturday night, his domination of Ryan Rhodes, a respected fighter who was expected to give Alvarez major problems, only served to heighten expectations for the budding star.  Even if the fight was far from a barn burner, Alvarez showed improvements on his already mature game, causing even more stir about how far he can go.

Alvarez had little time to celebrate his twelfth-round stoppage of Rhodes before names were hurled at him regarding potential future opponents.  Among the most frequently mentioned were Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., whose superstar status in Mexico could create major money with Alvarez' popularity within the Mexican market.  Also, other pundits have suggested a possible bout with undisputed middleweight champion Sergio Martinez as an interesting option.  While it's fun to consider how Canelo would fare against Chavez and Martinez, it's hard to imagine Golden Boy cashing in on Alvarez, who is clearly their crown jewel, right now.  Alvarez-Chavez would mean both Golden Boy and Top Rank putting their two biggest investments at risk, and doing so before it could develop into a true superfight.  And Alvarez-Martinez?  Don't believe for a second that Golden Boy is interested in making that fight happen.  And who can blame them?  Alvarez is only twenty-years old, is a natural 154 pounder, and still has much to learn before taking on the likes of a Sergio Martinez.

But, nevertheless, it is still fun to play the part of matchmaker, even if the likelihood of things becoming reality are beyond slim.  It's interesting that in all the talk of potential big fights for Alvarez, perhaps the most entertaining fight to be made has received little mention.

Let's suspend our disbelief for a moment and consider a matchup that would be a guaranteed face-melter:  Canelo Alvarez vs. Manny Pacquiao.  How could this not end up being a classic throwdown?  It would pit two aggressive, skilled fighters against each other, neither of whom would be willing to take a step back.  Both men are totally offensive-minded, and neither of them conjure any memories of Pernell Whitaker, making a high-contact affair a certainty.

And, unlike Pacquiao's last few fights, this one would have a great chance for competitive suspense.

Granted, Alvarez has never faced anything from the same realm of existence as Manny Pacquiao, so there would always be the possibility that Alvarez could fall victim to Pacquiao's killer bee swarm and be added to the ever-growing pile of bodies Pacquiao continues to leave in his wake.  Still, there are some intriguing elements that Alvarez possesses that could feasibly give Pacquiao some trouble.  First, Alvarez is a big 154-pound fighter, and even at a catch-weight, Alvarez would still own a functional size advantage over Pacquiao.  To this point, none of Pacquiao's bigger opponents have really been able to translate their naturally greater bulk into any type of edge over Pac-man.  Alvarez, though, could make his size and strength more of a factor than Pacquiao's previous victims.  Alvarez is not as plodding, methodical, or predictable as Antonio Margarito, and it's hard to envision him being as tentative and gunshy as Shane Mosley or Joshua Clottey.  And if Alvarez could get to Pacquiao's body, a place where Pacquiao admitted Margarito hurt him badly, Canelo's bigger frame and strength could become an increasingly telling factor.

The reality from this fightwriter's perspective?  A fight between the two at this point would probably resemble Pacquiao's matchup with Miguel Cotto, a fight where Pac-man had to eat some hard punches before he could fully assert his pronounced advantages.  Canelo's inexperience against truly elite competition would ultimately lead to his ruin, as would hundreds of lightning-fast punches coming from angles he never knew existed.  Bottom line:  it would be very fun while it lasts.

Admittedly, though, a matchup between Alvarez and Pacquiao at this point would need some mediation even  to be considered a pipe dream.  It just doesn't make sense for either side financially to risk things now.  If ever the stars would align for this fight, it wouldn't be for at least a couple of more years, when Canelo's commercial appeal would be in the neighborhood that would have Pacquiao's braintrust consider him as a viable candidate as a dance partner for Pac-man.  Also, a couple of years might be what it would take for boxing's Cold War between Golden Boy and Top Rank to thaw to the point where each would be willing to risk its meal ticket.  

While the business sense isn't there just yet, the fighting sense just might be.  So, weigh in TSS Universe.  How would a fight between Canelo and Pac-man shape up?

Follow John Nguyen on Twitter for updates and commentary:  @jnguyenboxing

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

brownsugar speaking to Canelo in a fatherly Freddy Roach-like voice..."Whoa son... lets' not get ahead of ourselves"....

the Roast says:


riverside says:

Good article, the fight will not happen anytime soon! people talk like he is no big deal! some say "there are lots of kids that are 20 years old with that kind of talent". WHO? Canelo has excellent timing, good power, size to keep pac man at bay, but not know, I don't see golden boy making that mistake. I say canelo takes on clottey, Mora, or Angulo, Angulo can easily be outboxed and taken out in the later round. kid needs to be Managed carefully untill he is old enough to buy beer

ultimoshogun says:

No way Canelo is ready for Pacman, he'd be be walking into a buzzsaw...I like the idea of a matchup against Angulo, that would be a good indicator of what Canelo's really made of as Angulo would surely test the kid's heart as well as his chin...In my opinion, Canelo will have to dig deep to defeat Angulo. I'm much more interested in Pacman taking on the Ortiz/Mayweather winner.

Radam G says:

WTF! No speakee da ingles. Joke request is too funny long time! Hehehehehehe!

Radam G says:

Now you clearly have it. So well put by Fe'Roz. Dat wuz some righteous spittin! Holla!

brownsugar says:

when the popularity and sentimentality is stripped away, all we're left with a kid who just won a 154lb title from Matthew Hatton, a journeyman welterweight... he's performed marvelously against aging pugs collecting mid-life they tread their way thru the remainder of a professional-life filled with compromise and lowered expectations...But Canelo hasn't hurt himself either by performing with workman-like dilligence that easily makes him a fan favorite.... Like Fe'Roz said carefull matchmaking can shield Canelo from the brutal side of the game.. but for how long!... Arum has seen the writing on the wall and wants to do Canelo vs Alvarez as quickly as possible... before the rest of the division can have at them.....

ali says:

Canelo is no greater threat to Pacquiao than Margarito and the result would be the same buyout faster. The minute Canelo let his hands go he would experience the pain of a barrage the likes of which he's never come close to seeing. The kid is slow. Maybe not his hands but he sets up like a field goal kicker, methodically and predictably.

I think he's being oversold. With clever matchmaking....a la Chavez Junior....the Cinnamon Kid will be around a long time. Move him to fast and he behind to get carved up like a once very poised Fernando Vargas. That BTW is a compliment for anyone that remembers Vargas before his decline.

Canelo defense is much better then Margacheato. Offensively he's not even in the same league as Canelo his puches are much straighter and faster then Margacheato. Now im not saying he's ready for Pac but he would give him alot more trouble then Margacheato.

Radam G says:

WOW, ali! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I won't even try to stratify that one. I'm with Pops Joy May, Marquez, Trainer Beristrain, P4P Top notch Coach Ready Freddie No Joke Roach and everybody esle with a brain about Canelo. He has optical illusionized many ____ among the living with his pugilistic dances with those cadavers outta da Sheol. Is Canelo makin' a Canelostein, or sumptin?' Da redheaded wonderhype has chopped a part more cadavers than Dr. Frankenstien did. Hehehehehe! What a horror show will it be for the _____ _____ when Canelo first fights a warm body. Holla!

FighterforJC says:

Canelo defense is much better then Margacheato. Offensively he's not even in the same league as Canelo his puches are much straighter and faster then Margacheato. Now im not saying he's ready for Pac but he would give him alot more trouble then Margacheato.

Yeah just like Mosley is a lot faster than Margarito. Mosley claimed repeatedly that if slow Margarito was able to hit Pacquiao so would he. Game changer for Margarito is his superhuman ability to take punches. Mosley landed a pathetic 20% against Pacquiao, same as he did against Mayweather. Canelo has a glass jaw. You know it. You're trying to build him up because you realize that he's being groomed to be an opponent for Mayweather down the road as he continues to duck Pacquiao. Start the hype now and by the time Alvarez-Mayweather gets inked, Mayweather's Mindless Minions can start claiming that Mayweather is fighting the most dangerous fighter who ever lived.

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