One could say that the super middleweight division hasn’t been one of the most exciting in boxing’s history but credit must be given to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for making it interesting.
In over a year, Canelo has beaten all three champions in the division en route to becoming the first ever four-belt undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing’s history.
The super middleweight prowess started for Canelo in December 2020 when he defeated Callum Smith to win the WBC and WBA super middleweight titles.
Five months later, he unified his belts against Billy Joe Saunders and added the WBO title after retiring the British boxer.
In another splendid fashion, the Mexican has dispatched IBF titlist Caleb Plant to win all four belts in the first-ever undisputed super middleweight championship.
Canelo has risen to become the world greatest fighter in recent times and his latest performance against one of the best in the division has solidified his status.
At this stage of his career, it will be very difficult for anyone in the division to stop him. The only thing you can do is to compete but to beat him would require an extraordinary performance from an opponent.
Possible trilogy with Golovkin
Despite being clear in my mind that he is the best at Super middleweight, I believe he has an unfinished business with Gennady Golovkin.
The Kazakh drew and lost once to Canelo during a fierce two-fight battle in September 2017 and 2018.
Both fights to me were controversial decisions which went in favour of Canelo to the dissatisfaction of the Kazakh great.
Canelo looks to have moved on after his win over Golovkin but a trilogy showdown between the pair could put matters to rest.
I don’t see Golovkin having a chance against Canelo at this time when the latter is on a different level in the sport.
It will take Golovkin more than an extraordinary performance to stop Canelo and at 39 years, I don’t see that happening.
But for the sake of the sport, the trilogy must take place to settle all the controversies surrounding their two bouts.
What next for Canelo?
Canelo doesn’t have anything left to prove in the super middleweight division after becoming an undisputed champion on Saturday.
I keep wondering if he would prefer to move to light heavyweight to challenge fighters having won a title at that division in 2019.
We have to wait to know his plans going forward but before he moves up in weight, he must consider a third bout with Golovkin.
Canelo can also move up to light heavyweight to challenge the likes of champions Joe Smith Jnr (WBO), Artur Beterbiev (WBC and IBF) and Dmtry Bivol (WBA) as he looks to cement his legacy as a four-weight division champion.
But in all these, Canelo has a score to settle with Golovkin and must ensure he does that before retiring from the sport.