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Canelo was completely outclassed by Mayweather in September.
In the lead-up to his showdown with Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand in September, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez developed quite the following. At a pre-fight event, his promoter Richard Schaefer described the phenomenon as "Canelomania," and it was hard to disagree with him.
At each stop along the ambitious 10-stop promotional tour in the Summer, thousands of adoring fans greeted Canelo. Being from the fighting-crazed nation of Mexico certainly helped, but Alvarez, with his youth and good looks, also drew many new fans into the fold.
But then he lost badly to the best fighter in the game.
In the ring after the fight and at the post-fight press conference, Canelo was visibly dejected. Ironically, Mayweather who got in his ear and attempted to cheer up the man whom he had just thoroughly dismantled.
It wasn't so much that he lost. Many expected that he would, but worse for him was that Money completely shut him out—at least to those watching with working eyes (sorry, judge CJ Ross). Save for a few moments in the first round or two, Canelo was never in the fight and mounted virtually no effective offense against his elusive foe.
How he rebounds from such a devastating mental and physical loss will tell us a lot about his character and ability to become an elite pound-for-pound fighter.
The good news is that he's still only 23 years old. The bad news is that he's always been hyped as so much more than that. His return bout should come against someone who will challenge but not overwhelm him. There's no reason for him to jump into the deep part of the pool again this quickly.
Erislandy Lara has been mentioned as a potential opponent, but it's unfair to expect Canelo to face Austin Trout, Mayweather and Lara in consecutive bouts. He'd be better served by trying to regain a belt at 154 pounds by taking on the tricky but not overly threatening Carlos Molina.