Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo is an unprecedented fight. It's the first clash between two undisputed male champions in the four-belt era. Alvarez's stature -- both physical and symbolic -- has him as a sizable betting favorite against the smaller Charlo. Yet the strength of Charlo's past performances has spurred the support of some of boxing's greatest legends ahead of Saturday's fight.
The bout's announcement came as a pleasant surprise. After all, Alvarez vs. Jermall Charlo was a matchup many thought possible, but few counted on the smaller Charlo twin moving up two divisions in pursuit of a legacy-defining win. There is a buzz in the air as Alvarez makes the first defense of the super middleweight championship as part of a.
"Just make sure you tune in, because it's gonna be a great fight. I don't know what animal I need to be, but I'm that animal. Tune in on Sept. 30. It's gonna be good, believe me," Alvarez said. "I never overlook any fighter. I know what he's gonna bring and I'm ready. I've been in there with all types of fighters. He hasn't experienced this kind of level of fight. You will see and you will learn.
"I want history for my career. I want to achieve a lot of things. This is another one of them and I can't wait."
CBS Sports will also have live coverage of the fight with round-by-round scoring and blow-by-blow updates to keep you up to date throughout the night.
"We finally made it to this moment. Training camp was really hard and I had to really focus," Charlo said. " Canelo is the kind of fighter you can't take for granted. He's done everything in this sport of boxing and he's got nothing to prove.
"I have so much on my plate and in order to continue my legacy, I have to be equipped with every tool. I know that the fans are gonna win on Saturday night. You're gonna see us back again for a rematch, because this is my moment."
Those in the boxing sphere are split on which factors will most impact the fight's outcome. Alvarez is the larger, more experienced fighter but. Charlo's best days are still ahead of him, but a fight against the fabled Alvarez may be a leap too wide this week.
Take a look at how some of boxing's great champions, trainers, promoters and past opponents are assessing Canelo vs. Charlo.
Canelo Alvarez wins
Mike Tyson, former undisputed heavyweight champion: "I think Canelo should beat him. Overpower him... But Canelo is not moving his head anywhere. That other guy was hitting him. And that gave him the confidence, he believes he can hit Canelo." [Via ES News]
Roy Jones Jr., former four-division world champion: "To jump one weight class is good, but to jump two is a little bit difficult. It's a more significant amount of weight. You don't know how your body is going to react to that. That's why guys usually go up a couple of pounds and add a couple of more pounds to see how their bodies are going to react... You're going to take that 14-pound jump and you're going to see what happens. That's dangerous because you don't know how your body is going to react to 14 pounds more. Can you carry that for 12 rounds? Can you take a punch like that for 12 rounds?" [Via Fight Hub TV]
Oscar De La Hoya, promoter and six division former world champion: "[Alvarez is] going to break him down. It's not going to be easy. Charlo is very elusive and knows how to use his feet. He's going to maybe give Canelo trouble. But you have to think about Charlo jumping up two weight classes. It's not going to be easy. Canelo is a solid at 168. He's a hard puncher. Eventually, it's going to catch up with Charlo. I just feel that Canelo must knock him out to impress. I think Canelo's last fights have been a little shaky. We all know that. And he knows that. If Canelo comes out and knocks out Charlo, it's a win-win for everybody." [Via Boxing Scene]
Shawn Porter, two-time former welterweight champion: "This is a three-fight deal and it ain't supposed to end on the first one. This is the business of boxing, and I'm betting on the business... The only way Charlo wins this fight is by knockout... This fight goes seven rounds or less." [Via The PorterWay Podcast]
Amir Khan, former unified junior welterweight champion and former Canelo opponent: "Canelo is too strong, but then again, looking at Canelo's last few fights, you can see that he is aging a little bit. He is been getting caught a lot more, he got beat by Bivol. Canelo still has that X factor that he's always had." [Via Fight Hub TV]
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Mikey Garcia, four-division former world champion: "I think that Canelo wins that fight with Charlo. It won't be an easy fight. Charlo can box and he's tall and he's a good fighter. But, I think Canelo should win, that's kind of like the safe [pick]." [Via ES News]
Bob Arum, boxing promoter: "Well, Canelo will beat him easy... Little Charlo? No. Canelo will probably knock him out in six or seven rounds." [Via Little Giant Boxing]
Eddie Hearn, boxing promoter: "Everything I'm hearing from Saul in the build-up to this fight is he's going to be too big and too strong for Charlo, to be honest with you. But Charlo's a very good fighter... Canelo Alvarez will stop him actually late in the fight. I guess he has a little bit to prove when you look at his last three performances, Bivol, Gennady and Ryder, but don't forget he had wrist surgery." [Via Fight Hub TV]
Chris Alergeri, former WBO junior welterweight champion: "I like the Charlo fight. It's two years late, but I still think it's a good fight. Charlo is a dangerous guy... I give Canelo the edge in that fight. Not just because of the layoff but two years is a long time. To go right into a fight with Canelo, that's a big ask." [Via Fight Hype]
Jermell Charlo wins
Bernard Hopkins, former undisputed middleweight and two-division champion: "[Charlo] has a legitimate chance. He has an 85% plus chance of beating Canelo. Why? Because, to my understanding, he's not going in there to prove something, which would fall into Canelo's hands. But he's going to go in there and let him know, establish in the first round that he belongs. He's tough and he's going to show him that his time came and gone. Canelo has to be shown that he has slowed. He ain't gonna surrender and think, 'I've slowed up so I'll act like it.' He has to be shown, and that has to be early." [Via Fight Hub TV]
Freddie Roach, legendary trainer of Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto and others: "This is all about Charlo. I am really impressed with where Charlo is right now. I originally went with Canelo, but then I looked at videos of the last two or three fights for each guy and I was very impressed with what I saw from Charlo and did a 180 on my selection." [Via Boxing Scene]
Deontay Wilder, former world heavyweight champion: "I've got high confidence in Charlo, it's going to be a good one though... If I was leaning, I'd lean a little bit more towards Charlo. They've been wanting this so bad, a lot of people have been wanting Canelo so bad. This is the moment in time for them to prove themselves now that they have him." [Via K.O. Artist Sports]
Kermit Citron, former IBF welterweight champion and former Canelo opponent: "Charlo is gonna beat him. Not saying Canelo is underestimating him but yes, I believe he is. Jermell is way too athletic for Canelo. He's fast, has good footwork, a nice jab -- which I think is key -- can punch, throw combinations, give angles and can box. He's big and he has a good chin." [Via Boxing Scene]
Billy Lyell, one-time IBF middleweight title challenger: "I think he is a legit upset prospect. Mainly because he is a lot taller than Canelo. I think he will carry the extra weight well. The fight will come down to two factors. Can Charlo make Canelo respect his power? Not that he needs to down him down or hurt him, but can he hit him hard enough where Canelo cannot just walk through his punches? Is he strong enough to hold his ground on the inside? Obviously, he is going to try and box but can he hold his ground when they do engage? If the answer to those questions is yes, I like Charlo's chances." [Via Boxing Scene]
Who wins Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo, and which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Saturday, all from the boxing specialist who has netted his followers a profit of nearly $4,000, and find out.