Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo are just about set for Saturday night’s big fight, with Canelo defending his undisputed super middleweight crown against Charlo in Las Vegas.
So who wins the fight, and how will they get it done? Will a healthy Canelo impress and possibly turn some heads in the pound-for-pound discussion again, or is Charlo catching a sliding Canelo at exactly the right time for a huge victory?
We’ve got our picks in.
Who wins Canelo vs Charlo?
Scott Christ (79-30)
I do think Jermell can win this fight, but feel that outcome relies more on Canelo continuing to decline on this night compared to his last couple of fights more than it does Charlo pulling some surprise.
I don’t think Jermell has the ability to do what Bivol did, but I do think he’s a hell of a good fighter and will surely try to implement some of that approach into his attack. Charlo’s a better puncher than his record indicates, but Canelo has taken some great shots over the years without much effect.
Give me Canelo retaining in a decent, fairly competitive fight, but one without any serious question as to the winner. It won’t be the weight, and it won’t be anything other than Alvarez just being a bit too good for Charlo, who has had struggles in plenty of fights against guys who weren’t near Canelo’s current level, and I just don’t think Jermell’s power will be able to bail him out in this one. Canelo UD-12
Wil Esco (88-21)
It’s clear to me that Canelo Alvarez is no longer in the prime of his career, but I don’t think that necessarily means he’s ripe for the taking in this particular matchup. I don’t have too many reservations about Jermell Charlo’s ability to acclimate to 168 for this challenge, but it will be much different than what he’s accustomed to. Canelo was never really all that fast on his feet at any point in his career, but I also don’t think Charlo has it in him to handle and tame Canelo on the outside the way Dmitry Bivol was able to. Even more so, Charlo has shown some difficulty when being pressured at close range, and I think that’s really where Canelo will try to make this fight.
In the first half it wouldn’t surprise me if Charlo is able to accumulate some points from distance, but as we get to the midpoint I think this becomes more of a closer range fight that favors Canelo. I don’t think Charlo is going to be able to land that lights out punch on Canelo to spark him out clean, or even really hurt him too badly, so I expect Canelo to get inside and do his work where he’ll get the benefit. At the end of it all, I expect the fight to go the distance where Canelo gets the nod on the scorecards. Canelo UD-12
John Hansen (76-33)
I didn’t think there was any way Dmitry Bivol could win a decision against Canelo, and I was proven wrong. I picked Golovkin to win a split decision in his third fight against Canelo, and I was wrong about that, too. So congrats in advance to Jermell Charlo, I suppose, because I am very skeptical that a guy coming off his level of inactivity and moving up two divisions to fight an undisputed champion and future Hall-of-Famer is going to succeed.
Yes, Canelo has questions surrounding his previous wrist injury, and it’s not clear from the Ryder fight if he can still throw that hand with the same power. But Charlo has hand fracture issues that have lingered past Canelo’s surgery and return to action, and we haven’t seen Charlo’s recovery tested in the ring at all. Yes, Canelo is aging and seemingly on the downslope of his great career. We’ve seen signs of it against Golovkin and Ryder. But, Charlo is the same age, and what we’ve seen from him over the same time period has been nothing at all.
Like I said, my consistent wrongness on Canelo fights goes even above and beyond my grad school level disaster class of fight picking in general over the past 6 months. A savvy bettor might want to put a token sum on Charlo, just because of the overlapping trends here. For what it’s worth, I think Charlo finishes standing up, but loses eight or nine rounds along the way. Canelo UD-12
Patrick Stumberg (84-25)
I don’t see it. I respect Charlo’s abilities and, having watched plenty of MMA fighters jump from 155 to 170 lbs to find success, recognize that 14 lbs isn’t some insurmountable barrier. I just don’t see this as being a major challenge for even a faded Canelo.
Size, pressure, and durability are the key here. It took Charlo more than 12 rounds to properly adjust to Brian Castano, and though I’d call Castano’s infighting more educated than Canelo’s, Canelo can make up for that and his lesser punch output with sheer physicality. On top of that, Charlo can’t expect to hurt the indestructible Canelo the way he did Castano. If he can neither keep Canelo out of the pocket nor meaningfully neuter his offense once there, he’s short on options.
This is asking too much of Charlo, especially coming off injury and a 16-month layoff. Canelo bullies his way to an insurmountable lead before his excessive mileage takes his foot off the gas in the last few rounds. Canelo UD-12
Jesus Ramos Jr vs Erickson Lubin
- Scott: Ramos UD-12
- Wil: Ramos TKO-10
- John: Lubin TKO-8
- Patrick: Ramos TKO-8
Yordenis Ugas vs Mario Barrios
- Scott: Barrios SD-12
- Wil: Ugas UD-12
- John: Ugas UD-12
- Patrick: Ugas UD-12
Elijah Garcia vs Armando Resendiz
- Scott: Garcia MD-10
- Wil: Garcia UD-10
- John: Garcia UD-10
- Patrick: Garcia UD-10