Monday, December 28, 2015

Canelo May Be Over-Hyped, But He Shouldn't Be Hated

Some of us can't figure out why people are so wild for Alvarez.

So yes, Canelo Alvarez gets himself a ton of love both inside and outside of the boxing industry. Just today, in fact, ESPN named him Fighter Of The Year. Why this is, I must confess, is beyond me. Canelo had a good year for himself, but I have a hard time believing top honors should be his - especially when Floyd bested Manny and Tyson trumped Wlad. Still, popularity apparently means a lot to people and Canelo is nothing if not popular at the moment.

Here's the thing, though - there's a flip side to this coin. And right now people are tiring of Canelo, of the fact that he doesn't seem eager to fight GGG, of the fact that he seems on the verge of being a catchweight king, of the fact that, as Dan Ambrose of Boxing News 24 points out, his performances are overly impressive  to ringside judges. Such things can rankle true blue fans, after all  and can lead to resentment. Indeed, the criticism being lobbed at the man right now is justified, in my opinion.

But, still -  I don't think the guy should be hated.

First off, it's ridiculous to hate anyone. More germane to the subject at hand, however, Canelo has done nothing yet to prove himself worthy of scorn (though he now is certainly worth keeping a wary eye on). If he passes on a fight with Golovkin in 2016, THEN there will be something to get angry at. He hasn't passed on that match, though, and even though I think the wait for Alvarez-Golovkin is BS, I also think Canelo has proven himself too brave a warrior in the past for people to start writing him off entirely.

Austin Trout. Floyd Mayweather. Erislandy Lara. Miguel Cotto. These are not easy opponents to step inside the ring with. It takes courage to face such challenges, no matter how well one is being compensated. So no, I do not think this is a man who should be thrown into the same category as Adonis Stevenson and Danny Garcia - at least not yet.

And until proven to be less than what he has led us to believe he is, we fans should refrain from bashing Canelo. Sure, he's a bit over-hyped at the moment, but that's through no fault of his own. That's something worth keeping in mind. Also, how many contemporary fighters have been so eager to prove themselves as often as Canelo has? Fans should cut him a little slack - at least for the time being.

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