Former welterweight champion Keith Thurman believes Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has earned the right to pick and choose his opponents - even when it appears that he's taking a path that's less risky.
Back in November, Canelo became the undisputed super middleweight champion when he knocked out Caleb Plant in Las Vegas.
Canelo is now potentially going to move up in weight to challenge WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu, who still have to overcome a mandatory defense against Thabisu Mchunu later this month.
There are some critics who feel Canelo is taking on the easiest champion at cruiserweight, which was a similar criticism when the Mexican star moved up to light heavyweight in 2019 to stop Sergey Kovalev for the WBO title.
Thurman has no issue with Canelo's calculated selections in the ring.
He also feels Canelo learned his tactics from one of the best, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Yeah [he's cherry-picking his opponents], but so what? He’s Canelo! The people love him. He's got a huge following. He’s brought tons of excitement. You can say he’s cherry-picked a little bit but he's kinda learned from the best. He got beat by Floyd and now he’s starting to make money like Floyd," Thurman told Fight Hub.
"Are there greater challenges out there for Canelo Alvarez? Most definitely. Are there fights that I would truly love to see? Most definitely. Are there super talented individuals that might be able to give him problems? Definitely. But does he have to do any of those things? Absolutely not.
"Whatever he wants to do, what he likes to do, what makes him want to get out of bed and excited and elevate himself and his career, that's what he's going to do. There's many different styles that he's yet to face that I believe are some of the most exciting fights in that division that could manifest.
"But just because of his status and his stardom he gets to entertain the world in the way he chooses fit, and at a certain degree you just have to respect that, because it takes a lot of hard work and effort to build yourself up to get to that level. So when a fighter finally achieves that level and that status and they want to hold onto it and manipulate the industry a little bit, to me you can be mad, you can be sad, but you've got to put some respect on the game too."