Paulie Malignaggi Calls Out Canelo Alvarez’s Selective Mandatory Choices

Paulie Malignaggi feels that Canelo Alvarez has a habit of being selective when making mandatory defenses. If it’s an easy mark, like Avni Yildrim, Canelo willingly defended against him.

But when it’s someone tough like David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo, who was still in his prime, Canelo shows no interest in defending against them.

WBC mandatory Benavidez has been waiting for two years for a title shot against Canelo, and has had no luck getting a title shot. The World Boxing Council hasn’t helped Benavidez by failing to order or strip Canelo, which has allowed him to sit on the belt.

“Canelo’s Problem: Avoiding Real Threats”

“Canelo, it’s not that he doesn’t do mandatories. He doesn’t do mandatories that will actually beat him. That’s the problem. He did fight Avni Yildirim,” said boxing expert Paulie Malignaggi to Probox TV, talking about Canelo Alvarez choosing to be selective in the mandatory defenses he takes.

“When the mandatory becomes someone that makes your bagels down the street, Canelo fights him, and then he’ll say, ‘It’s the mandatory, we had to take it. And his fans will actually jump on you too.

“I’ve had discussions with Canelo’s fans. ‘Avni Yildirim, that was a mandatory, so he had to do it.’ Yeah, okay. So, was Jermall Charlo, when Jermall was hot. I’m not talking about this Jermall Charlo. When Jermall was hot at middleweight, he was the mandatory as well.”

The WBC made Canelo the Franchise champion years ago when Jermall was his mandatory at middleweight, allowing him to ignore him and fight whoever he pleased. Interestingly, the Franchise tag has since been forgotten, as none of the champions uses it to try and circumvent their mandatory challengers.

Benavidez as the Current Example

“That fight was nowhere to be seen. Now, Benavidez is hot at super middleweight, and he’s the mandatory,” said Malignaggi. “That fight is nowhere to be seen. No one is ever going to step it up and do it. I don’t have a problem with Canelo doing what he wants. I have a problem with Canelo doing what he wants with the belts.”

The sanctioning bodies aren’t going to try and order Canelo to fight any of the challengers because if they do, he’ll likely ignore them if it’s someone he’s not interested in fighting. If they push, Canelo will probably vacate, and the sanctioning body will end up with a less popular new champion.

“People are going to say, ‘Oh, Paulie, he’s Canelo’s biggest hater.’ Listen, people always say, ‘Paulie always picks against Canelo.’ No, I don’t pick against Canelo. It’s too easy to pick for Canelo,” said Malignaggi. “When he fights the guy that makes bagels for my breakfast. There’s no way I’m going to pick the guy that’s making the bagels.

“The closest I came is when I said Bivol is going to get robbed against Canelo, and I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t rob the guy, because I thought that guy was going to beat him. But I picked Canelo to beat Plant.

“Everybody is going to pick Canelo to beat 175-year-old Golovkin when he fought him the third time. That was an easy one to pick. I picked Canelo to beat Saunders, and I picked him to beat Ryder. Anyone is going to pick him to beat Ryder. Is that a difficult pick, really?

“This one [Munguia] was a little bit tougher because it’s a Canelo who doesn’t like pace, and it’s a Munguia who brings pace because he’s hittable. So, you have a dynamic where there’s an argument going both ways,” said Malignaggi.

Munguia could be a tough fight for Canelo if he can’t hurt the younger fighter. With Munguia’s power and high work rate, he can win this fight, but whether the judges will give him a decision remains to be seen.

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