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HITS and MISSES: 'Bigger and Better Things' for Canelo and More

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  • HITS and MISSES: 'Bigger and Better Things' for Canelo and More

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    By Kelsey McCarson

    It was the last big-fight weekend in the United States, so there were plenty of HITS and MISSES to consider this time around. The boxing world saw Canelo Alvarez defeat Callum Smith on DAZN, Gennadiy Golovkin return from his hiatus to win a mandatory title defense the day prior, and plenty of other fights, too.

    Here are the biggest HITS and MISSES from another weekend on the boxing beat.

    HIT: 'Bigger and Better Things' for Canelo Alvarez

    Canelo Alvarez dominated Callum Smith on Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Alvarez's patient, clever and powerful counterpunching was just too much for the previously undefeated Smith to handle.

    Where the likes of myself and our TSS editor Arne Lang thought enough of the 30-year-old Englishman to predict he would present all sorts of problems for Alvarez, the Mexican superstar completely flipped that script from the opening bell.

    Despite the previous promotional line that Alvarez was already a four-division world champion, his big win on Saturday night over Smith finally netted Alvarez that honor in reality. Alvarez has now won at least one of the four major alphabet titles in four different weight classes. Alvarez is only 30 years old, and he's already worn belts at 154, 160, 168 and 175.

    It's an incredible accomplishment. He's already the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and he could be on his way to doing even bigger and better things.

    MISS: Boxing's Absurd World Championship System

    During the immediate aftermath of the fight, I was so annoyed with DAZN's Brian Kenny and his assertion that somehow Alvarez had only become a three-division champion by beating Smith that I devoted a big part of my reaction on YouTube to the fight to that topic.

    After a couple days of thinking about the issue longer, though, I realize it's silly for me to be mad at Kenny over something so confusing.

    Boxing's world championship system is incredibly complicated and quite absurd. That Kenny added to that confusion on Saturday night by taking a very personalized stance on the topic is something that exactly fits into the overall structure of the sport. Almost every single boxing fan has to do this because the present circumstance makes little sense.

    There are alphabet titles, made-up lineal championships and even titles offered by media panels. That's just too many, and the list of people claiming to award world championships in the sport seems to grow by the day.

    Hopefully, that can change someday soon.

    HIT: Gennadiy Golovkin's Impressive Dedication

    Gennadiy Golovkin defended his IBF middleweight title against mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta on Friday night on DAZN, and it went just about how everyone expected it would. Golovkin knocked Szeremeta down four times during the seven rounds until the fight was stopped.

    While Golovkin vs. Szeremeta wasn't nearly the fight people wanted to see for one of the biggest superstars in the sport, it should at least be noted that the 38-year-old is still somehow competing in the same 160-pound division in which he started his career nearly 15 years ago.

    Golovkin's dedication to fitness and constant improvement to form under relatively new trainer Johnathan Banks is a case study in an old dog staying younger than he could be otherwise by attempting to learn new tricks.

    "GGG" might not be what he used to be, but he's still one of the best fighters in the world.

    MISS: Everything About Showtime's Card on Saturday Night

    Showtime had a boxing card on Saturday night as well, and the only people I saw posting about it on social media were the people who work for Showtime, boxing writers who drew the short straw to cover it, and a handful of hardcore bettors who had money on the line.

    Here we have a television network needlessly segmenting an already relatively small audience for a fight that fell through anyway. Nonito Donaire was originally supposed to face ex-titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez for the vacant WBC bantamweight belt. But Donaire tested positive for COVID-19, so Reymart Gaballo got the nod instead.

    Gaballo surprisingly pulled the upset in the fight via split decision. There have been cries of robbery all over the internet about it, so what ultimately transpired was the awarding of a world title in a fight nobody planned and hardly anybody watched.

    The people who did watch were angry over boxing shooting itself in the foot again with bad scorecards. Well, unless they were among the small number of bettors who backed the underdog for the upset.

    Regardless, boxing could use less events like this one all the way around.

    HIT: Eddie Hearn's Big Plans on Undisputed Best Fight for 2021

    Matchroom's Eddie Hearn told the media in San Antonio on Saturday night that Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury had "verbally agreed" to face each other during the summer of 2021.

    That bit of news came on the heels of Hearn revealing the day prior that Joshua and Fury would consider ditching their alphabet belts if the various sanctioning organizations, particularly the WBO, were going to stand in the way of crowning the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.

    That's an amazing turn of events in a short period of time.

    To go along with the WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk revealing he would happily wait for the winner of Joshua vs. Fury, it does seem like the biggest and best fight that can be made in boxing is actually going to happen.

    More importantly, one of boxing's most powerful promoters made a public stand against the silly political machinations the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF sometimes engage in that ultimately hurt the sport.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Canelo didn’t flip the script.

    I had it sent to me and published it as my prediction. 😎