De La Hoya fears 'the end is near' for Canelo

Oscar De La Hoya believes that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s performance against John Ryder showed that “the end is near” in his career – and also warned his former fighter against a rematch with Dmitrii Bivol.

Despite being the heavy favourite last month against Ryder, Alvarez, after dropping his opponent in the fifth round and consistently attempting to force the stoppage, had to settle for a unanimous decision that came after he tired and Ryder gradually improved.

As he did in the build-up to fighting Ryder, he afterwards again spoke of returning to light heavyweight to fight the superb Bivol, who last year excelled in inflicting only his second career defeat.

De La Hoya, like Alvarez, was once long one of the world’s leading fighters and, like Alvarez, was also once its most marketable and popular.

He regardless fought on for too long, as was demonstrated when he was retired from his fight with Manny Pacquiao in an occasion that proved uncomfortably one-sided, and asked of the fighter whose career was so expertly guided by Golden Boy Promotions, De La Hoya said: “I did see Canelo slow down. I did see a lot of wear and tear. 

“Ryder, yeah, he’s a tough guy – he’s a rock. But rocks – you can easily chisel them down and crack ‘em open. If Canelo was younger he would have maybe knocked him out. But we saw him drop him and he couldn’t finish him, so those are signs of wear and tear. 

Alvarez became Golden Boy’s most valuable asset in the years after De La Hoya’s retirement in 2008. He previously lost to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 but responded convincingly to avoid defeat until, under Matchroom’s supervision, fighting Bivol well above his natural weight division last year.

On that occasion in Las Vegas despite being the favourite he was convincingly and consistently outboxed, and to the extent that that fight demonstrated little that suggested he could win their proposed rematch.

“I don’t like it for Canelo,” said De La Hoya, whose promotional outfit was also once interested in recruiting Russia’s Bivol. “Bivol is a superior boxer on his legs; he’s an amazing, incredible, incredible athlete, and that’s the one style that Canelo will never beat. 

“If he does, more power to him. It’ll be the biggest thing in boxing – which I would be rooting for. But from my fighter’s point of view, and perspective, that style is not good for Canelo.

“It was a bad match-up for Alvarez.  As a promoter, if you’re going to put him in against a superior boxer like Bivol, you first put him in with a similar style – [an opponent] that is not too dangerous – before you put him in against Bivol. That’s how you do things – you test them out first. 

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