Avila Perspective, Chap. 254: Canelo vs Jermell Charlo in a Battle of Undisputed Champions


By David A. Avila

LAS VEGAS-Less than the usual massive crowd gathered for boxing kingpin Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Jermell Charlo in the desert heat outside of the T-Mobile Arena on Friday afternoon. Usually the weigh-ins are slightly bigger for Mexico’s idol.

Is the declining crowd an indicator of Alvarez fans ebbing belief in his abilities?

Still, on Saturday night, two undisputed world champions from differing divisions will collide as Guadalajara, Mexico’s Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) meets Houston’s Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena for the super middleweight world championship. PPV.Com will stream the clash of champions.

This year has seen a hyper-speed uptick in champions fighting other champions, perhaps the result of watching their female counterparts Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor produce the biggest fight of 2022. This year several marquee collisions were spawned from lightweights to heavyweights.

Or maybe the pandemic lull created a twitch panic among the elite.

Charlo was one of those who had been sidelined while others like Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Naoya “Monster” Inoue and Canelo Alvarez filled their pockets with cash. And others like Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez gained undisputed glory.

Instead of watching on the sidelines, Charlo decided to make his move for greater glory by attempting to dethrone one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, if not the kingpin of boxing when it comes to money.

“If I accomplish this massive goal, it will be hard to top,” Charlo said a few weeks ago during his media workout. “I’ll be in the record book with the greats of boxing for a long time.”

Risks brings rewards.

Canelo, long a member of the boxing elite, has held his position as the box office king for many years now by taking the daunting risks throughout his boxing life.

“Jermell is right, I have nothing to prove. But this time I have something to prove to him,” said Alvarez while in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “He never believed in my skills. He’s been calling me out. Now I have an opportunity to show him my skills.”

Undisputed super welterweight will challenge undisputed super middleweight in a two-division jump not often seen, except for Henry Armstrong, Roberto Duran and Sugar Shane Mosley. It’s the road taken by those who seek to be great.

Both are 33 but the redhead Alvarez has been fighting professionally since he was 15. That’s a lot of bullets in the chamber he has already used. Charlo has height, speed and the ability to adapt to different styles. Stylistically, it’s a battle that makes even the skeptics take pause.

It all depends on Alvarez’s resiliency. Charlo has ring rust, while Alvarez seemingly has lost the hunger. Whose weakness will prove the greater?

“Now is the time for this fight. We’re in our primes and at our best,” said Charlo. “I wanna shake the doubters off and prove to the world why I”m in this position. There’s a reason I made it this far.”

Alvarez remembers being as hungry as Charlo.

“I never overlook any fighter,” Alvarez said. “I know what he’s going to bring and I’m ready.”


Several other notable bouts are included on the pay-per-view card.

Former world titlists and current welterweight contenders Yordenis Ugas (27-5) and Mario Barrios (27-2) battle for an interim title set for 12 rounds.

Super welterweights Jesus Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs) and Erickson Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs) match skills in a match that pits a southpaw veteran against an undefeated southpaw from Arizona. For the past three years Ramos has been moving up the ladder and was last seen pounding out highly-touted Joey Spencer. Can he survive Lubin who nearly toppled Sebastian Fundora?

Doors open at T-Mobile Arena at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.

Lampley is back

Legendary HBO announcer Jim Lampley was hired along with ace reporter Lance Pugmire who will co-host the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez versus Jermell Charlo showdown via viewer chat live on PPV.com.

It’s the same concept used by Monday Night Football that features former quarterback greats Peyton Manning and Eli Manning in alternative programming.

Lampley returns to boxing after a five-year absence following HBO’s yanking of the popular program that vaulted elite boxing to the top behind the likes of George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

The veteran announcer will be live streaming all the action on media platforms before and during the fight action. He was sorely missed by all who follow the sweet science.

Photo credit: Al Applerose