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Oscar De La Hoya thinks Canelo is on a decline due to the standard of opponents he is picking

The news of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's upcoming contest has been greeted with a variety of reactions.

The previous promoter of the Mexican superstar is one of those who is unimpressed.

The recent news of Alvarez's upcoming title defense against England's John Ryder had both good and negative implications, according to Hall of Fame former six-division champion Oscar De La Hoya. The fight will be the main event of a DAZN Pay-Per-View show on May 6 from Estadio Akron in Alvarez's home state of Jalisco, Mexico, according to a confirmation from Matchroom Boxing on Tuesday.

The homecoming marks the first fight for Alvarez in his birth country since November 2011, which has been well received. The opponent choice, however, is another matter.

“I think it’s great that Canelo Alvarez is going back to his roots,” De La Hoya told Fight Hub TV while Duarte, California for a charitable event ahead of fight week in nearby Long Beach. “He’s going back to his hometown. I think it’s a special thing. We at Golden Boy were the last promoter to promote him in his hometown, I believe 12 years ago.

It makes me happy that he’s doing that for his people in Guadalajara.

“In terms of his opposition, I’m not sure in what direction he wants to go. It seems like he’s regressing inside the ring. He’s regressing in picking these opponents. He’s fighting all these British fighters that does nothing (for) his legacy.”

From January 2010 through November 2020, Golden Boy Promotions served as Alvarez's primary promoter; their partnership resulted in a contentious split. Before signing him to a multi-fight deal, the Los Angeles-based organization promoted two of Alvarez's fights. This led to another 25 fights together as the Mexican superstar became the face of boxing in the post-Floyd Mayweather period.

Then, on May 7 in Las Vegas, Alvarez experienced his first loss in nearly nine years when he was defeated by WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. Their deal had a rematch provision that hasn't been used yet. Instead, Alvarez made a return to super middleweight, where he beat Gennadiy Golovkin, a middleweight who had moved up, in their trilogy bout on September 17 in Vegas.

Ryder of London (32-5, 18KOs), who defeated Zach Parker, an unbeaten opponent from his own country, in the fifth round at The O2 on November 26, earned his spot in line. After the victory, Alvarez would be given the opportunity to challenge for the WBO super middleweight championship in the near future.

De La Hoya believes that Alvarez should want these fights rather than be told to seek them because his 16-year professional career set the standard among his peers for taking on the most difficult challenges.

“I don’t know whose fault that is. I don’t want to mention anything,” noted De La Hoya. “I think Canelo should really analyze carefully who he wants to fight next. Whether it’s Bivol, whether it’s [Golden Boy co-promoted Jaime] Munguia. But he has to step up and fight the tough opposition.

“The tough guys who are out there who can give him a fight. It’s not the John Ryders of this world.”


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