Saul “Canelo” Alvarez dominated his fight with Josesito Lopez, but this victory does not mean he is ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The WBC super welterweight championship was on the line, but the result was never in doubt. Lopez hit the canvas for the first time in the second round and was knocked down again in the third and fourth rounds.
Alvarez kept his foot on the gas pedal, and in the closing seconds of the fifth round, the fight was ended and Canelo won via a TKO.
After the fight, the 22-year-old was immediately looking towards the future. He said (h/t Associated Press, via Sports Illustrated):
I think I'm improving with each fight. I had a big responsibility tonight to all my fans watching around the world, and I think I did my job. I want the big fights now. (Miguel) Cotto, (Floyd) Mayweather, I'll fight them all.
This victory is another step towards superstardom for Canelo, but jumping into a fight against Mayweather at this stage in his career would be a mistake.
Alvarez’ results are beyond reproach, and he is 41-01 in his career with 30 knockouts, but critics have noted that he has not fought a big-name fighter at their peak. The victory against Lopez does not change this.
Lopez’ rise to a position where he could challenge for a title was completely unexpected. He was losing his fight to Victor Ortiz when he incredibly came back and landed a monster punch that broke Ortiz’ jaw.
Should Alvarez fight Mayweather next?
To fight for the super middleweight belt, Lopez had to gain weight, and his punches clearly had little impact on Alvarez.
Canelo is right to want more marquee matches, but he needs to work his way up to a fight with Mayweather. Taking on the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world before going up against any of the other top fighters in his weight class would be an inadvisable career move.
Cotto would be an excellent opponent, and this would certainly be an entertaining fight. But there is a wide gap between Mayweather and every other middleweight fighter. Canelo would be wise to get more experience before taking on such a difficult challenge.