Home Boxing News Jim Lampley questions Canelo Alvarez’s hunger ahead of Jermell Charlo clash

Jim Lampley questions Canelo Alvarez’s hunger ahead of Jermell Charlo clash

Canelo Alvarez after defeating Caleb Plant. Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

Questions have been raised about Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s motivation ahead of his defence of his WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super middleweight title against undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 30.

Mexican superstar Alvarez 59-2-2 (39) turned pro 18 long years ago, grinding away as a teenager in the back blocks of Guadalajara against more experienced pros.

For more than half his life, the 33-year-old has been trading leather for pay cheques.

Eventually, that has to take its toll.

Former longtime HBO boxing broadcaster Jim Lampley believes we might be reaching that tipping point when Alvarez takes on 33-year-old American Charlo 35-1-1 (19), a 15 year pro in his own right.

“We’re reaching the stage of Canelo’s career at which you have to begin to question, ‘all right, what now creates the hunger and how well can he access all that hunger?’,” Lampley said to FightHype.

“He’s wildly rich, he has managed his life very well up to this point. He managed his ring career with brilliance right up until the moment when he decided to fight a bigger, longer guy [in WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol] and wound up biting off more than he could chew.

“So now he’s into this sort of no man’s land of ‘what fight do I choose which might still impress my public and won’t damage my reputation because I’m going to win it while I am tiptoeing around the subject of whether I’m going to fight Dmitry Bivol again?’

“He made the Bivol mistake. Now he has to deal with it one way or the other. I still believe that I pick Canelo Alvarez to beat Charlo, but some of that comes from the fact that I knew [Terence] Crawford a lot better than I know [Errol] Spence.

“I know Canelo a lot better than I know Charlo. I didn’t call any Charlo fights while I was still at ringside on the microphone, so I’m not equipped to judge him in the same way.

“I’m not an expert, in other words, with regard to that. But I am an expert on the general career progress of Canelo Alvarez, and once you have established that you’re capable of losing and you have been clearly beaten in a fight that you chose because you thought you were going to win it, now you’re in a whole new psychological territory.

“You know all sorts of new uncertainties are introduced. Taller, longer guys. He ran up against it when he chose to fight a taller, longer guy. He couldn’t get inside of Bivol the way he had against every other opponent other than [Floyd] Mayweather and so I don’t blame him for looking at [David] Benavidez and saying, ‘let me find somebody who’s a little bit more my height’.”