Ronnie Shields suggests Jermell Charlo should try and hurt Canelo by going to the body

Boxing coach Ronnie Shields believes his former pupil Jermell Charlo, who faces Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez on September 30, should target the super middleweight world champion's body if he is to be successful in the undisputed title fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Charlo faces a herculean task as he is accustomed to fighting at the super welterweight division limit of 154-pounds but, after winning all of the major world championship belts in that division, he skips middleweight entirely to challenge Alvarez at 168.

Since Canelo defeated Caleb Plant by 11th round knockout in 2021 he got upset in a convincing loss to Dmitry Bivol before laboring to back-to-back wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and John Ryder.

Shields, though, is expecting Canelo to return to his best form.

"From his last two showings, Canelo has said he has injuries," Shields told ProBox TV and other reporters during a virtual roundtable Wednesday. "Now he wants to prove that he hasn’t lost a step. He’s a competitor. He wants his people to stay behind him, so I think he actually comes into the fight in the best shape he’s been in in a long time.

"He's going to be in great shape," Shields added.

On what Charlo has to do, he said: "What he has to do is make every round not close. You're not going to win close rounds against Canelo. Canelo is not easy to hit. He moves his head and comes back really well.

"Jermell has to let his hands go but not be there for the return," he said.

One talking point heading into the fight is whether Charlo will carry his power at the higher weight. For Shields, Charlo is as powerful late in a fight as he is at the start. "You don’t get too many of those," he said, "but Canelo is also able to do that. It really makes this a great fight."

He continued: "Canelo has a good chin. He has that.

"There's an old saying, kill the body and the head will do. You don’t see a lot of fighters go to Canelo’s body, because it’s hard to get close enough to do it. He’ll have to come up with a scheme to get into that position."