Five Brits recall sharing the ring with Canelo

Five Brits recall sharing the ring with Canelo

Published On Thursday, April 23, 2020By British Boxing News

Canelo is considering coming to the UK for his next fight

As Canelo considers the UK for his next fight, five vanquished Brits recall sharing the ring with the talented Mexican

Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told Sky Sports, "We were considering the UK. It can happen in the next two years. It's about his brand. He wants to become a more international star, not just fighting in the US. He wants to become an even bigger star than he is now. He has fans all over the world and he wants to build on that."

As Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez holds talks to fight at a UK stadium, presumably against Billy Joe Saunders, he has already dismantled five British opponents, who all regard him as elite.

How do the five beaten Brits rate the Mexican superstar?


Matthew Hatton - "Economical"

Canelo, aged 20 in 2011, won his first world championship against Ricky Hatton's older brother. It was Canelo's first headline fight in the US, in California, and he didn't disappoint by dominating Hatton to a unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC super-welterweight title.

Hatton said: It was a hard night where I had to tuck up and bite down quite a lot. I'd watched a lot of him before the fight and saw his wins over the likes of Carlos Baldomir and Lovemore N'dou and he was pretty much having his way with these guys. He caught me with a good shot in the first round and I knew straight away that it was going to be a long night.

Kell Brook was a top fighter who I had to hang on against and tough it out a little, but although I thought Brook was special, it just seemed that Canelo was better and he had a lot more gears to go through.

I think I got the best version of Kell Brook, but with Canelo there was probably another level or two that he could go to. His jab, the way he went to the body, the way he got into position.

He was very economical with his shots and he didn't waste a thing. I always knew watching him that he was a good fighter, but I left the ring that night believing that I'd been in with someone special who would go on to have a brilliant career.


Ryan Rhodes - "Great chin"

Canelo's first world title defence was in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, where he won a one-sided fight by stoppage in the 12th round.

Rhodes said: When the bell went, he did not attack me like we anticipated. Alvarez tried boxing me and tried to counter me, so I had to change my game plan straight away.

He can box, he can have a fight, he can counter punch.

He's pretty fast. A good counter puncher. He does not waste anything, he's very accurate with his punches.

Alvarez does not throw single shots. Everything is three and four, four and five shot combinations together, and every one is a power shot.

A great chin. I hit him with some big shots, it didn't seem to faze him. Alvarez had good head movement and really good reflexes. He's not your typical aggressive Mexican, he doesn't get hit much, and has great movement.


Amir Khan - "A beast"

Khan jumped two weight divisions, a total of 13lbs, to bravely challenge for Canelo's WBC middleweight title but he was overpowered brutally. A vicious right hand knocked Khan out.

Khan said: There's fights I've wanted, like for example the Floyd Mayweather fight - that was talked about for years and years, and didn't happen.

The Manny Pacquiao fight, which was talked about and didn't happen, so you do kind of fall out of love [with boxing].

The reason I took the Canelo fight is because I got quite desperate.

I really wanted a big super-fight and I wanted my name up on the Vegas strip. It's always been my dream.

Should I have taken that fight? Maybe not. It was a massive opportunity for me. I don't regret it.

If I never took that fight I would have always thought 'what would have happened?'

Canelo is a beast. Even if Mayweather came back and took a rematch with him, I think he would beat Mayweather.

Canelo has matured as a fighter and is a better fighter than when I fought him. He is a great fighter now.

I am a mobile fighter so it obviously suited me but eventually he found his range and caught me with a good shot.

He was working out how to stop me and break me down, and obviously I was beating him on points, but maybe he was just waiting for that one big shot.


Liam Smith - "Elite"

Smith lost his WBO super-welterweight title, and his undefeated record, in front of a 50,000-person attendance at Dallas' AT&T Stadium four years ago. A Canelo body shot ended his resistance.

Smith said: He was too sharp for me. He was nicking rounds but expanding energy then, in the sixth when we wanted to turn the screw, he put me down. He landed the good shots at the right time.

There are world champions - then there are elite fighters.

After getting put down in the sixth round I still tried to press forward. I could have settled for a points defeat but I still tried to make the fight entertaining.

He hits fairly well but he's not a massive puncher. He is very accurate with good speed and timing.

Take away the publicity around him, and he's a good fighter. He's experienced at this level - he knows when to take a walk, when to come for me.


Rocky Fielding - "Strong"

Fielding was a shock opponent chosen to face Canelo at Madison Square Garden in December 2018. But a three-round destruction earned Canelo his first belt at super-middleweight.

Fielding said: I tried my best but that's what elite fighters are like. I never shied away from the challenge.

The phone call I got said: 'Canelo wants to fight you', so I said 'yes'.

I dared to be great. I lived the dream but I'll come again, I'll come back.

He is strong. I was catching some shots but he kept coming forward. The body shots? The wind gets taken away. He placed his shots well.

I stood there too long trying to mix it with him and I shouldn't have. I should have kept it long. But I stood there with someone elite, who is strong.


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