Canelo Alvarez says he still feels best fighting in junior middleweight division

Canelo Alvarez, left, seems almost nonchalant as Amir Khan is counted out of their fight in May in Las Vegas/Photo by Associated Press

 

We all know how Canelo Alvarez called out Gennady Golovkin after Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in May in Las Vegas. We also know how Alvarez and his promoter – Oscar De La Hoya – backtracked.

They went from saying that yes, Alvarez will fight Golovkin at the full 160-pound middleweight limit this fall, to saying that Alvarez is not a middleweight and he won’t entertain fighting Golovkin until he is – maybe in the fall of 2017.

Alvarez, rather than fight Golovkin, gave up his middleweight belt and on Saturday will challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of England for his junior middleweight title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez this week explained his way of thinking regarding the junior middleweight (154 pounds) and middleweight divisions.

“For the last six years, my body has felt best and I have been strongest as a junior middleweight,” said Alvarez, who won the middleweight title with a decision over Miguel Cotto at a catch-weight of 155; Alvarez’s fight with Khan was also at 155. “I still feel that way today.”

Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) said he at some point expects to move up to middleweight, where Golovkin holds three major belts and has knocked out his past 23 opponents.

“Do I think I will eventually move up to middleweight and perhaps beyond?” Alvarez said. “I do, when my body feels it’s time. My promoters and trainers have always told me that as you get into your late 20s and early 30s, your body continues to change and going up in weight become more natural. Having just turned 26, I will see how I feel as I grow older.

“For the time being, I will continue to campaign at junior middleweight and am looking forward to once again regaining the championship at that weight class.”

Alvarez held a junior middleweight title from March 2011, won another one in April 2013 and lost both to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013.

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