Saul Canelo Alvarez felt crazy when he decided to move up two classes to face light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Saul Canelo Alvarez has a unique understanding of what Jermell Charlo is trying to do.
Four years ago, the Mexican legend was training to move up two divisions. Saul Canelo Alvarez moved up from the middleweight limit of 72.5 kilograms, when he beat Daniel Jacobs in May 2019, to the light heavyweight maximum of 79.3 kilograms for Russian boxer Sergey Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title.
However, Canelo, who is 172 cm tall, suspects that Charlo is less worried about competing in the 76.2 kilogram super middleweight class for the first time on Saturday night, compared to when he challenged Kovalev. Charlo is 182 cm tall, 10 cm taller than Canelo.
Canelo is 10 cm shorter than Kovalev, whom he knocked out in the 11th round in a competitive fight in November 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “I think he will do well because he has great height and he is a strong fighter,” Saul Canelo Alvarez told BoxingScene.com after their final press conference on Wednesday at the MGM Grand.
“To do that for me is crazy, isn’t it? But I think he will do better (in) the 69.8 kg class because maybe he will have difficulty gaining weight because he is big. But I don’t know. He accepted the challenge like I accepted the challenge beforehand, and that was it,” he continued.
The 33-year-old boxer dropped to super middleweight for his first fight after defeating Kovalev. He lost his second fight at light heavyweight to Dmitry Bivol in May 2022, but Canelo Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) has no regrets about moving up two divisions to challenge himself against Kovalev.
“For me, it was crazy because I’m not that big,” Alvarez said. “But I feel great. I feel strong.”
Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who is the same age as Canelo, has never weighed more than 70.3 kg in his 37 professional fights. The undisputed super welterweight champion told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday that he will probably come in at a slightly lighter weight of 76.2 kg when he steps up to the Nevada State Athletic Commission scales on Friday afternoon outside T-Mobile Arena.
“Weighting shouldn’t be a problem,” Charlo told a small group of reporters after Wednesday’s news conference. “It feels good. I kind of felt it, but didn’t really feel it. You still have to work to gain (weight) and come to the same weight as him.”
Guadalajara’s Canelo Alvarez is the 4-1 favorite to win the 12-round, 76.2 kg championship bout at T-Mobile Arena. Houston’s Charlo will end a 16-month layoff caused largely by two fractures in his left hand, injuries he suffered during a sparring session days before last Christmas.