Two undisputed kings fight on the biggest stage in boxing as Canelo Alvarez steps into the ring with Jermell Charlo.
Saul Canelo Alverez is the biggest name in boxing. There might be an argument over who is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, but when it comes to name recognition, pay-per-view draw and crowd attendance, the rest of the boxing world is looking up at the Mexican.
Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) has been there and done it all. He’s stepped into the ring with Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather to be one of the most decorated fighters in the history of the sport. His second win over Golovkin came in September last year and his unanimous decision win over John Ryder in May didn’t make too many major headlines. He knocked Ryder down in the 5th round and dominated throughout. But this is one of his more intriguing bouts in recent years.
By comparison, Jermell Charlo is a relative unknown. He’s the undisputed champion at 154 pounds, is on a five-fight winning streak and picked up an impressive TKO win over Brian Castano in May 2022. Charlo is a name plenty know in boxing but to the more casual fan traveling on the Alvarez hype-train, he’s somewhat new.
Alvarez is a heavy $1.25 favourite but don’t be put off by the price. While Alvarez has made a career and risen the ranks with his speed and athleticism, there’s an argument – a lot of it to do with his weight class – that Charlo is quicker and more athletic. He’s risen two weight classes to challenge Alvarez at 168 pounds. Charlo will bring the speed most fight with at 154 and no doubt make it a large part of his plan to tackle Alvarez.
Record: 59-2-2, 39 KOs
Record: 35-1-1, 19 KOs
Charlo looked his most dangerous against Castano on the counter and when in close, trading punches inside. He’s explosive and hurts his opponents. While he can look somewhat erratic at times, the 33-year-old is more technical with an ability to break down opponents than most would give him credit. The concern around his best moments coming on the counter is that it’s Alvarez’s bread and butter.
He’s able to exploit any openings his opponent gives him with his speed while being equally quick in evading punches himself. It’s the defensive side of things – cutting off the ring, deception and head movement – where Alvarez can make his mark in this one. Charlo might be taller with the longer reach, but it’s nothing Alvarez hasn’t dealt with in the past.
A heavy favourite to win, the expectation is for Alvarez to do it by points or decision at $1.85. He packs a heavy punch but isn’t a typical one-punch knockout artist. Rather, his power wears an opponent down across the full fight. Whether it’s Alvarez breaking down Charlo or Charlo using his speed to make things difficult for Alvarez, this fight is expected to go Over 10.5 rounds ($1.30).
Charlow has won eight of his last nine fights by knockout, but it’s important to note they came at 154 pounds. Alvarez has a strong, strong chin and has never been knocked down in a professional fight pushing a Charlo KO or TKO win out to $10.50.
Alvarez v Charlo Prediction & Tips
Boxing is unpredictable, but it’s difficult to see the fight not going the distance. Alvarez isn’t one to throw the single-punch haymaker to win a fight and Charlo has the chin, speed and reach to at least go 12 rounds even if they aren’t all effective.
Expect Charlo to come out looking to set the tone early. He will want to pick up early rounds knowing how well Alvarez can finish. Alvarez’s power and constant pressure with Charlo carrying extra weight should be the difference in the end, though.
After having trouble with the hand speed early, Canelo Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in round six. Khan was never the same after this. Canelo returns to fight Jermell Charlo this weekend. pic.twitter.com/iXDGnztEOg
— Blaine Henry (@BlaineHenryTFL) September 26, 2023
Charlo is a good fighter and deserves the opportunity but he does lose concentration from time to time. Against a fighter of the quality of Alvarez and in the weight class, Charlo can’t afford to switch off.
The punches to the body and arms will take their toll and have an impact on Charlo’s defence late in the piece. He has the reach to stave off Alvarez, but only for so long as the fatigue builds and the shots keep coming. Alvarez to win by points or decision at $1.85 as the smarter, safer option – all three of his last fights have gone the distance. There is every chance Charlo keeps it close enough on the scorecard that he doesn’t take too many risks late and gives himself a chance by sending it to the judges. It’s unlikely that he can hurt Alvarez but he can outwork him if all things go to plan. However, if we’re looking for a bit of extra value and the excitement of a stoppage, Alvarez finishing it late is the play.
Regardless, boxing will be the winner of the day given the magnitude and hype surrounding this fight.