Canelo Alvarez hasn’t just been boxing’s biggest star but to a large portion of the world, he was also its best fighter. It didn’t quite matter the style that stood before him, at some point, the all-time great would either put his opponents out of their misery or cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
But just when it appeared as though Alvarez’s reign would continue for years on end, Dmitry Bivol had other ideas. Since coming up short last year, Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) hasn’t looked quite like himself. He fought listlessly against Gennadiy Golovkin just a few months later but managed to still pick up the win. It was the same ole song and dance when Alvarez fought John Ryder.
Although he was respected by his peers, practically no one was expecting Ryder to put up much of a fight, let alone reach the final bell. Yet, the British contender picked himself up off the canvas and gave Alvarez all he could handle in the final few rounds before losing a wide decision.
The wins are still being racked up but the performances are getting more and more lackluster. Is it the product of a long career? Some may say yes, but Bernard Hopkins isn’t so sure.
The Hall of Fame fighter turned promoter believes that the answers surrounding Alvarez’s possible slippage will be answered on September 30th.
On the night, Jermell Charlo will take on the heavily popular fighter at 168 pounds. Charlo is as good as they come. He grabbed every world item at 154 pounds and has promised to do the same once he makes his super middleweight debut.
For Hopkins, it’s flat-out hard for him to detect any slippage in Alvarez’s game. Against Charlo, however, Hopkins is convinced that he’ll see enough to make a final assumption.
“This here is really gonna test whether Canelo is declining or like fine wine, it gets better with time,” said Hopkins to Little Giant Boxing. “This fight will prove that one way or the other.”