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Freddie Roach: “This version of Canelo Alvarez will not be able to handle Jermell Charlo”

Jermell Charlo. Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

As the intriguing clash between undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell ‘Iron Man’ Charlo 35-1-1 (19) inches closer, more big names in the boxing industry as coming forward to tip a Charlo win.

The 33-year-old Texan is jumping up two full weight classes to take on the 33-year-old Mexican superstar at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 30. History is littered with examples of these type of big weight jumps ending badly.

But what makes this fight especially interesting is not just the fact that Charlo is listed as four inches taller than Alvarez, but also the belief that he is closer to his physical prime.

Critics point to Alvarez’s last three fights as proof. He lost a close decision on points that should have been wider against WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol 21-0 (11) in May last year. He returned to the ring in September, winning a close but clear-cut unanimous decision victory over faded former champion unified middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin 42-2-1 (37) in their trilogy bout. In May, he turned back the challenge of game Brit John Ryder 32-6 (18) by unanimous decision in Mexico.

Renowned trainer Freddie Roach believes that he has seen enough signs of Alvarez’s decline that he thinks Charlo will not only defeat him, but win by knockout.

“Canelo has had an outstanding career,” Roach explained. “And even though I had Gennadiy Golovkin winning their first two fights, I was impressed with the way Canelo fought him.

“If Charlo was fighting the version of Canelo before he fought Golovkin, I would favor Canelo. But that’s not the case. This version of Canelo will not be able to handle Charlo.”

Victory would be something of a boilover for Charlo with many bookmakers offering odds of around 3/1 or more. And although he has won by knockout in eight of his past 11 bouts, Alvarez has never been stopped.

But even iron chins don’t last forever and Roach thinks Charlo can find a way through to crack it open with his signature punch.

“I love the attitude that Charlo brings into the ring,” Roach said. “He’s mean and defiant, and better yet, he backs that attitude up with his talent. He cannot be intimidated. He has a great chin and doesn’t get fazed by getting hit. Charlo is downright vicious inside the ring.

“And while both men can fight, I think Charlo will have too much firepower for Canelo to handle, especially at the higher weight.

“Canelo needs to stay away from Charlo’s left hook. The question is, can Canelo stay away from Charlo’s left hook? I don’t think he can, which is why I’m picking Charlo by stoppage. I can’t wait for this one.”