Cinco de Mayo weekend is always reserved for the most special boxer on the planet; the man who is usually recognized as the pound-for-pound greatest in the sport. In previous years that was Floyd Mayweather, but now he has passed the baton on to his one-time victim Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The Mexican warrior’s latest defeated foe was two-time world champion Billy Joe Saunders who, despite putting up a good fight for eight rounds, eventually succumbed to the superior power of the ginger destroyer.
Talk of Canelo going up to fight at heavyweight was once laughed at by many observers, but that no longer appears impossible. The Mexican has now cleared out every weight class from middleweight all the way through to light-heavyweight.
Here we take a look at the men who could still pose some semblance of a threat to a boxer who, despite boasting a lengthy 59 fight pro record, appears to be at the peak of his powers.
Temptation of UFC Crossover
Crossover fights between combat sports stars only tend to happen if the protagonists are coming to the ends of their careers, or because the money on offer is too good to pass up and the betting odds are firmly in their favor.
For now, it would be highly unlikely for Canelo to entertain the idea of a crossover bout, but there are social media influencers with bigger mouths than brains who may one day tempt the Mexican into an easy payday. There are certainly some fantasy match-ups out there for Canelo, either in a boxing ring or an UFC octagon, for the sort of event that would have odds makers scratching their heads and fans checking the likes of FanDuel sportsbook reviews to see which online provider is giving the best value.
Ultimately it may take something as bizarre as a crossover fight for Canelo to actually taste defeat for only the second time in his illustrious career.
He appears to be more intent on beating up on YouTubers and hapless Japanese fighters than making a serious comeback to the sport, but there is no doubt that Mayweather will not like Canelo being talked about as the heir to his throne. It would be a shame to see Mayweather return to risk his unbeaten record but, even at the age of 44, he would still cause Canelo serious issues.
Artur Beterbiev – Light Heavyweight Who Packs a Punch
This Russian machine is one of the most feared and avoided fighters on the planet, having knocked out every single one of his 16 professional opponents. He certainly has the size and power to push Canelo back, although he did show signs of weakness last time out against Callum Johnson, which could give Canelo the confidence to take him on. Beterbiev could be the logical step for the Mexican once he has collected all the belts at Super Middleweight.
Caleb Plant – The Last Remaining Super Middle
Having laid waste to Saunders, the only super middleweight world title not in Canelo’s collection is Caleb Plant’s IBF strap. Much like Saunders, Plant has fought no one even remotely in the league of Canelo, but he does have one of the best left hooks and jabs in the sport. If the Tennessee native trained like a beast for the fight of his life, then he could certainly cause Canelo problems.
Gennady Golovkin – A Trilogy That Must Happen
Their first fight was widely seen as a case of daylight robbery, as Canelo was handed a points decision against this feared power puncher from Kazakhstan. The second fight between the two could have gone either way, with Canelo coming out on top yet again. With most boxing fans seeing the spoils being shared one-a-piece, it would seem only right for Canelo to entertain a third fight, especially seeing as Golovkin is now 39 years of age.