JUDGE CJ Ross is perhaps the only person on the planet who might have deemed Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez worthy of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather in the five years that have passed since their 2013 fight.
But Alvarez, as green as Mayweather was great that night, has officially avoided defeat since then (despite a couple of questionable results against Gennady Golovkin), and has certainly matured and improved in the intervening years.
Now, as the reigning world middleweight champion, it’s less of a stretch to imagine the Mexican not only luring Mayweather back into the ring – ‘Money’ loves money, after all – but perhaps doing better second time around than he did when aimlessly chasing the American for 12 rounds all those years ago.
“Anytime he’s ready, I’m ready,” Alvarez, 28, told USA TODAY Sports. “If the day comes that he wants to come out of retirement for it… I’m a different fighter, I’m more mature, I’m a great, A-level fighter now, and it would be a great opportunity.
“I’ve always had that little itch for (a rematch) since way back, and now I’m more experienced and more mature. It’s a fight that maybe will happen and will be a great experience.”
Alvarez is currently preparing to challenge England’s WBA ‘regular’ super-middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on December 15 at Madison Square Garden. Most assume Alvarez will come through the fight unscathed, yet victory will do little to enhance the Mexican’s overall legacy.
The same cannot be said for a see-it-to-believe-it revenge win over Mayweather, however.
“It was a very boring fight,” Alvarez said of the pair’s first encounter. “He didn’t come to fight. He won over experience.
“We have to work hard for that fight. We have to work hard very hard for that fight because he’s a fighter that doesn’t throw too much punches.
“Now the fighters, the opponents I’ve been working with, are strong fighters, slow fighters. So, to fight a fighter like him and to beat him would be totally different because now we have to get speed into the mix and we’ll do everything that’s possible to do it, to accomplish that goal of winning.”
Who are we kidding? Mayweather, now 41, won’t even let a kickboxer use his feet to kick him. It’s hard to believe, therefore, he volunteers to meet the biggest star in boxing, someone he’s already beaten, and allows punching – despite the fact Alvarez, five years ago, couldn’t get anywhere near him. (No, CJ, he really couldn’t.)
Sometimes, just sometimes, a non-story can somehow create a story.
We don’t know this to be true just yet, but Wladimir Klitschko appearing to hit out at Bernd Boente, his old ‘personal manager’, following Boente’s denial that his old charge might be in the running to rematch Anthony Joshua next year could be an example of this.
Firstly, here’s the message Klitschko posted on social media: ‘Since retiring from the sport, my brother and I are active in different fields of life, but neither of us want, or need a personal ‘manager’.’
Since retiring from the sport, my brother and I are active in different fields of life, but neither of us want, or need a personal “manager”.
— Klitschko (@Klitschko) November 20, 2018
Now, for some context: last week there were reports the Ukrainian could be tempted to come out of retirement and fight Joshua at Wembley Stadium again. It was presumed by most to be nonsense – perhaps motivated by promoter Eddie Hearn’s suggestion of a potential wild card opponent for Joshua’s 13 April date – but it led to Boente being contacted, which then led to Boente denying the rumours.
Reading between the lines of Klitschko’s tweet, though, it would seem the former champion, while retired, is no longer managed by Boente, nor do he or his brother require a ‘personal manager’. Essentially, then, he is free to do what he wants, when he wants, and with whom he wants.
Whether this newfound freedom leads to a rematch with Anthony Joshua next April is anyone’s guess, but what’s clear is that Klitschko is very much his own boss and, if nothing else, his recent post is a reminder that he’s a man who likes doing things others say he cannot.
(Note: Kevin Johnson, heavyweight gatekeeper to the stars, has some interesting things to say about a potential Klitschko comeback in this week’s Boxing News.)