Tale of the Tape: Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo
We look at how Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, stacks up against fellow undisputed titleholder Jermell Charlo ahead of their championship bout Saturday in Las Vegas. Odds courtesy of theScore Bet.
It's been 16 months since Charlo stepped into a boxing ring, and he's got the biggest fight of his career standing in front of him in his return.
"Iron Man" is set to square off against the Mexican legend Alvarez in a highly anticipated bout between two undisputed champions, with Alvarez's super middleweight titles on the line.
The 33-year-old twin brother of WBC middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo is moving up 14 pounds and two weight classes to challenge "Cinnamon," who ran rampant through the super middleweight division to capture all the gold in less than a year.
"This is my moment to make non-believers believers," Charlo said on Showtime's All Access. "I'm the underdog. That's got to give you that fire, put that chip on your shoulder. It's a thrill to me. To go and prove all the haters and doubters wrong."
Charlo also worked his way through a division to become the undisputed champion and admitted he's determined to take down Alvarez and become undisputed in two weight classes - although his WBO junior middleweight title will be stripped as soon as he enters the ring after not facing mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu. But this bout is more than just a chance to earn money and gold for Charlo. It's about getting respect.
"This is something I strive for," he said. "Something I wanted years ago when I was younger. I know it didn't just work its way out, but now it's here."
The last two years have been a bit of a roller coaster for Charlo. He had two spectacular fights with Brian Castano - a draw in July 2021 and a TKO victory in May 2022 - before injuries postponed two scheduled bouts against Tszyu.
Despite Charlo's inactivity, the orthodox fighter out of Texas feels ready to conquer "King Canelo" and should be a tough test for Alvarez due to his aggressive attack and power.
"If I accomplish this massive goal, it'll be hard to top. I'll be in the record book with the greats of boxing for a long time. I'm so dialed in as far as my team and everyone around me. I just need to get in the ring and do what I have to do," Charlo said at a media workout earlier in September, according to Fight Sports.
And why wouldn't the gifted boxer feel ready? Charlo enters with a 2-inch reach and height advantage, which should allow him to pack more of a punch with the added weight of going up to 168 pounds.
Alvarez looked solid against John Ryder last May but hasn't won a fight by knockout since a TKO victory over Caleb Plant in November 2021. However, he doesn't appear worried about Charlo one bit.
The Mexican sensation recently said he felt "like a beast" after having "one of my best camps" thanks to fully using his left hand, which he had surgically repaired and contributed to Alvarez losing punching power in recent bouts.
If Alvarez's power is back to where it was when he laid out light heavyweights like Sergey Kovalev, Charlo's interior is most certainly in for a beating. Alvarez's body-punching ability is among boxing's elite.
Will Alvarez conquer another challenge and add to his legendary resume? Or will Charlo take down the "Mexican Monster" and become a two-division champion in his own right?
We'll find out Saturday when it all goes down at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.