P4P countdown: No. 10: Saul Alvarez
Luke G. Williams
Over the Christmas and New Year period, Boxing Monthly online is counting down our latest pound for pound top ten, based on the votes of a panel comprising nine of our writers. Today we reveal the man who came tenth ...
Name: Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
BM online P4P ranking: 10th
Fight record: 48 (34)-1-1
2016 report card: Lineal middleweight champion Alvarez fought just twice in 2016, both times against outgunned Brits in Amir Khan and Callum Smith, with neither fight actually taking place at middleweight. It was a disappointing level of opposition for a man who was willing to take on the world's best boxer in Floyd Mayweather when he was just 23 years old. Khan gave Alvarez some trouble with his speed and movement before being spectacularly KO'd in the sixth round, whereas Smith caused him very little trouble while being gradually walked down and broken down prior to being felled by a vicious body shot in the ninth. A broken thumb then put paid to Alvarez's plans to fight again before the year was out.
Prospects for 2017: The schooling that Alvarez received from Mayweather in 2013 has arguably made him more cautious, as he seeks to take on Gennady Golovkin at a time of his convenience, perhaps when the Kazakh has slowed or entered a decline rather than now, when GGG is arguably at his peak. For this writer, Canelo showed enough ruthlessness, power and precision against Khan and Smith to suggest that the much-hoped (and prayed) for September 2017 showdown against Golovkin will be pretty much a pick 'em fight. Alvarez is likely to return to the ring in either February, at light middleweight, or May at middleweight or a catchweight. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is the latest front-runner to land the gig in what would be a fascinating all-Mexican affair. Canadian David Lemieux is another possible opponent.
Total points from BM P4P ranking panel: 15 - only one of our panellists ranked Alvarez in their P4P top five, probably a reflection of his failure, thus far, to face Golovkin. This black mark against his name needs to be erased if he is to advance further up the P4P charts.
NB: Voting panel for the BM online P4P rankings were: Mark Butcher, Luke Byron, Luke G. Williams, Andrew Harrison, Paul Zanon, James Oddy, Chris Williamson, Callum Rudge and Michael Montero.
Each panellist ranked their top ten in order, with the boxer placed first receiving ten points, second nine points, third eight points and so on. Boxers were then ranked by the overall number of points accrued.