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Canelo to Kamaru Usman: You want the payday, but sit down, it’s not your turn yet

Canelo Alvarez isn’t ignoring the talk of a crossover fight with UFC champ Kamaru Usman, but he’s not taking the bait yet, either.

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Canelo Alvarez isn’t ignoring Kamaru Usman’s call-out
Canelo Alvarez isn’t ignoring Kamaru Usman’s call-out
Photo by Matt Thomas/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Canelo Alvarez is set to return to action on Saturday, May 7, when he’ll face WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol, looking to add to his collection of belts which currently includes his undisputed championship at super middleweight.

Canelo has also been called out in recent months by UFC champion Kamaru Usman, and has engaged with it a little bit. This week, Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz did some fairly limp trolling on social media, pointing out, uh, Bivol’s lack of Instagram followers, and Canelo did respond:

But the dialogue has continued, as it will do. Jake Paul, who is working this week to promote the Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano fight on Saturday, chimed in with a troll assist to Abdelaziz and Usman, which only works if you let it, because the whole thing is really dumb.

Usman himself replied to Canelo on Twitter, and Canelo didn’t ignore him, either:

There is no question that Canelo vs Usman would be a money-maker. The question is what it does for his actual legacy, not a created legacy that relies on social media interactions, the importance of which will fade over time. Floyd Mayweather’s second-biggest fight ever in terms of PPV sales was with Conor McGregor in 2017, but who considers that among his biggest or best wins? It was a money-maker, and that’s fine.

Canelo is getting paid big money already to fight guys like Bivol or Caleb Plant or Billy Joe Saunders. And I also don’t think Canelo-Usman has quite the juice Mayweather-McGregor did.

If Alvarez beats Bivol next week, next up will be a trilogy fight with Gennadiy Golovkin in September, which is big money. If he wins that, he still won’t be short of opponents who happen to be actual professional boxers at a high level. David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, Artur Beterbiev or Joe Smith Jr — all those guys will want a fight (well, some of them will), and there will be money on the table for any of them to happen. He’s also already flirted with the idea of fighting for a cruiserweight title, so don’t count out that possibility in 2023.

Counter to what Abdelaziz and Usman want to happen, it kind of seems like the more childish chirping that goes Canelo’s way, the less likely he may be to reward it, because he’s right, it’s Canelo being chased by Usman, not the other way around. And while Canelo-Usman is a big event fight if it gets made, tons of money to go around, Canelo is not hurting for humongous paydays and won’t be any time soon.

We’re not saying it won’t happen, just that the “legacy” argument isn’t really there for Canelo, and the money alone may not be worth his time in the prime of his career.

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