Skip to Content

Is Canelo Alvarez Taking a Risk with Jermall Charlo?

Heorhii Rysak

In a recent development, Canelo Alvarez has expressed interest in potentially facing Jermall Charlo in his upcoming fall fight, alongside WBC cruiserweight champion Badou Jack.

Charlo’s activity has been limited since his intense clash with Juan Macias Montiel in 2021, raising concerns about his current form at this stage of his career. Seizing this opportunity, Canelo believes Charlo’s skills may have deteriorated due to inactivity, making him susceptible to the Mexican star’s prowess.

Shift in Plans: Alvarez’s Rematch with Bivol Unlikely

While Canelo and his promoter Eddie Hearn initially sought a rematch against Dmitry Bivol in September, their plans have shifted. Speculation suggests that Canelo never truly intended to face Bivol again following their previous encounter, recognizing the slim odds of a victory. This reluctance was further evident in Canelo’s previous decisions to skip rematches with Bivol. Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) and his manager/trainer Eddy Reynoso met with Charlo’s manager Al Haymon a week ago to explore the possibility of a fight, as reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN.

The extent of Canelo’s seriousness regarding a bout with the inactive Jermall remains uncertain. Given that Jermall has not fought since 2021, a two-year hiatus, it could be a risky move for Alvarez to proceed with this matchup. Ideally, this fight should have transpired three years ago when Charlo was actively competing and in his prime. At present, Canelo’s pursuit of this fight may be deemed futile, as interest in this particular matchup has waned over time. If Canelo were to schedule a fight against the 33-year-old Charlo, there is a possibility that Charlo could withdraw from the bout due to various reasons, including his past struggles with “mental health” issues. Consequently, it remains to be seen if Canelo is willing to take a gamble on Charlo’s ability to complete the training camp and ultimately step into the ring.

Promising Prospects: Alvarez’s Potential Fight with Badou Jack

On the other hand, Canelo’s prospects of securing a fight against 39-year-old WBC cruiserweight champion Badou Jack appear more promising. Negotiations for this match are underway with Skills Challenge Entertainment in Saudi Arabia, offering Canelo the opportunity to become a five-division world champion in that venue.

In his pursuit of a fifth division world title, Canelo Alvarez faces the prospect of taking on the soon-to-be 40-year-old Badou Jack, albeit at a catchweight of 175 lbs. While this may not be the most heroic path for Canelo, it appears to be the only viable route to achieve his goal. The other champions in the cruiserweight division possess formidable skills that would likely outshine Canelo, similar to what Dmitry Bivol did in their previous encounter. Considering the significant financial incentives that the Saudis would offer, it is understandable that Canelo would be enticed by the potential payout, which surpasses the risks involved in a rematch against Bivol.

Canelo Alvarez

Canelo’s most recent fights have been promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, and his triumph over Caleb Plant in November 2021 was showcased as a Showtime pay-per-view event under the banner of PBC. However, attempts to contact PBC for a comment have gone unanswered at this time.

Another option that Canelo has is facing Badou Jack, the current WBC cruiserweight titleholder. Jack’s manager, Amer Abdallah, has a longstanding relationship with Skill Challenge Entertainment, a boxing promotion led by Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz and based in Saudi Arabia. This connection could potentially pave the way for a lucrative opportunity for Canelo in his pursuit of a fifth-division world title.

Obstacles and Weight Issues: Finalizing the Bout with Badou Jack

According to Amer Abdallah, manager of Badou Jack, significant progress has been made in negotiations for a proposed fight between Jack and Canelo Alvarez. Key aspects such as the approximate date and financial terms have been agreed upon for a potential bout to take place in Saudi Arabia in October.

It is noteworthy that Alvarez has shown a keen desire to compete in Saudi Arabia and had a ringside presence during Andy Ruiz’s rematch against Anthony Joshua in Riyadh in December 2019. In the cruiserweight division, the maximum weight allowed is 200 pounds. Jack, a former super middleweight titleholder and light heavyweight contender at the age of 39, weighed in at 198.75 pounds for his most recent bout and has consistently remained above 198.5 pounds since June 2021.

Abdallah acknowledges that finalizing the agreement is contingent upon resolving the weight issue, which has been a point of contention during negotiations. While the hurdle of reaching a consensus on weight remains significant, both parties are engaged in ongoing discussions to find a suitable resolution. Abdallah emphasizes the importance of adhering to the cruiserweight division limit of 200 pounds, rather than fighting at the lower light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds.

In his most recent outing, 32-year-old Alvarez successfully defended his undisputed super middleweight championship by outpointing John Ryder in a Mexico homecoming. This fight marked his return to the ring following left wrist surgery in October, and it took place in front of an enthusiastic crowd of over 50,000 fans in Guadalajara.

Canelo Alvarez

During the buildup to his recent fight and in its aftermath, Canelo Alvarez expressed his intention to pursue a rematch with Dmitry Bivol of Russia in September. Alvarez suffered a clear defeat at the hands of Bivol in May 2022, marking his first loss since his 2013 encounter with Floyd Mayweather.

The proposed rematch with Bivol, for which Jermall Charlo was also considered, would have been Alvarez’s second bout at the 175-pound weight class. However, Alvarez’s plans have taken a different direction. Following his victory over Gennadiy Golovkin in September 2022, a fight that is part of his customary schedule reserved for Mexican Independence Day Weekend, Alvarez had initially set his sights on a rematch with Bivol.

However, Bivol recently confirmed that the rematch will not take place in September. In response, he stated that if Alvarez genuinely wants to face him, he should directly reach out to Bivol’s team to discuss the fight. On the contrary, Bivol plans to stay active by scheduling a fight in the upcoming fall and has set his sights on challenging Artur Beterbiev for the prestigious undisputed light heavyweight championship.

In the lead-up to his bout with Ryder, Alvarez insisted on a rematch with Bivol at the 175-pound weight limit, while Bivol expressed his preference for a return match at 168 pounds to contest Alvarez’s four titles. As the negotiations between the two fighters have reached an impasse, Alvarez is now exploring new opportunities and potential opponents for his next fight.

According to Vadim Kornilov, manager of Dmitry Bivol, he stated to ESPN on Friday that Canelo Alvarez desires a rematch on the same terms as their previous fight, which Alvarez lost. Kornilov expressed his belief that when a fighter genuinely wants a rematch, they usually do not request identical conditions. He suggested that if Alvarez truly had an intense desire to avenge his loss, he would have fought GGG and Ryder first, instead of engaging in discussions with representatives of other fighters such as Charlo, Benavidez, and Berlanga. Kornilov further claimed that Alvarez and his team are deliberately avoiding Bivol, as they are aware of the challenges he presents.

David Benavidez, ESPN’s second-ranked super middleweight following Alvarez, has been actively pursuing a fight against Alvarez in September. However, his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, revealed that Benavidez is moving on after receiving no response to an offer made to Alvarez’s trainer and manager, Eddy Reynoso. Lewkowicz expressed his disappointment, stating that he had sent the proposal through multiple channels, including email, text message, and WhatsApp, and believes there is no way it was not received. He further criticized Reynoso, suggesting that he is solely concerned with preserving Alvarez’s legacy and wants him to retire without experiencing any losses. Lewkowicz emphasized that in the sport of boxing, anything can happen, and Alvarez could potentially be defeated by someone of lesser stature than Benavidez.

Sources suggest that the package offered to Alvarez for the Benavidez fight could have surpassed $60 million when factoring in international TV rights, gate revenue, and pay-per-view earnings. The matchup with Benavidez is highly anticipated by fans. In Forbes’ recent ranking of the highest-paid athletes, Alvarez was placed fifth, with an estimated earning of $110 million in 2022.