Bernard Hopkins believes that Canelo Alvarez could be in for a shock against Jermell Charlo, if he is unable to dispatch of the American early on in their upcoming Las Vegas showdown.
Canelo puts his undisputed super middleweight crown on the line against the reigning undisputed super welterweight champion, Charlo who is moving up two weight classes to challenge the Mexican great on September 30 at the T-Mobile Arena, live on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
Hopkins, who moved up two divisions himself to defeat Antonio Tarver in 2006, following back-to-back losses to Jermain Taylor insists that Alvarez is facing a more determined foe than he’s been accustomed to and must secure an early victory.
“He’s starving to prove his supremacy,” Hopkins told FightHype.com.
“Who he is, his identity and his style is totally different from the styles that Canelo has fought when it comes to younger, more determined to prove that Canelo’s time has been great, but it’s up.
“I just believe that Canelo will have to get him out of there early.
“The later the fight goes, the more Canelo will start showing not only his age, but he’ll start showing the success he’s been enjoying for so long is starting to look different.”
The 33-year-old bounced back from just his second professional defeat to Dmitry Bivol by outpointing both Gennady Golovkin and John Ryder, the latter being his most recent bout in a homecoming clash in Mexico in May.
Hopkins, a business partner in Golden Boy Promotions, which promoted Alvarez for 10 years, does not envision a knockout win for Charlo but maintains that ‘Iron Man’, who heads in as at least a 3-1 underdog with the bookmakers, is capable of causing him serious problems with his skillset.
“I don’t see a knockout, only if it’s on Canelo,” the 58-year-old added.
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“But I see hard earned, skilful moments in that fight where the young [Charlo], who wants to prove himself, [he] will come out and show us something that we knew he had but he’s never had to show it until he steps in with Canelo.
“Canelo elevates Charlo to be the best that night. I just think he has the skills, and if he maintains that mentality it can be really a nightmare for Canelo, based on style.”