Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) made quick work of Avni Yildirim over the weekend to retain his WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring super middleweight titles. Alvarez landed 67 punches in three rounds of action before the fight was stopped.
Seemingly untouchable in the sport of boxing, it is hard to imagine anyone will ever get the best of Alvarez.
What If Canelo Alvarez Fought Bare Knuckle?
Canelo Alvarez has fought in a variety of weight divisions including middleweight, light middleweight, and super middleweight—the division he competes in now. The super-middleweight division consists of fighters ranging in weight from 160 to 168 lbs. If Alvarez were to join the American bare-knuckle promotion, BKFC, the closest compatible weight class would be super welterweight (155 lbs.). Obviously, a bit of difference here, but let us use our imagination.
How Canelo Alvarez Would Fair
The difference between traditional boxing and bare-knuckle is more than just the weight of the gloves (or the lack thereof) and the shape/size of the ring. Bare-knuckle is a whole other beast. Bare-knuckle is more barbaric, less stylized, and more dangerous. This, by no means, is to say that bare-knuckle requires no skill, but rather wild haymakers and crazy flurries are much more prevalent.
However, Canelo is one of the best, if not the best boxer in the world. He has seen it all, and he will surely adapt to the more aggressive styles of many bare-knuckle fighters. Alvarez’s boxing skills, including his in-ring IQ, would aid in his transition into BKFC. Alvarez would fight his fight as he did against Yildirim, a boxer known for his forward pressure style.
Alvarez would make a successful transition to bare-knuckle boxing. Alvarez would be able to overcome the aggressive nature of many bare-knuckle fighters and win fights. As per the nature of bare-knuckle boxing, Alvarez would sustain more damage than he does in boxing, but ultimately find success and would challenge for (and likely win) a bare-knuckle title.
Like this article? This is the first article of the series What If? where we will take top athletes from various combat sports and place them in a different environment.
Note: This is not a serious article. By no means do we suggest that Canelo Alvarez will be transitioning to bare-knuckle boxing in the future. The article is for entertainment purposes only.