Stephen A. Smith launches extraordinary rant at boxing promoters and Canelo Alvarez

Sean McCormick
Stephen A. Smith

Pound-for-pound boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent is mooted to be WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo.

Alvarez will put all four of his super-middleweight titles on the line on Cinco de Mayo weekend (Saturday, May 4), as Charlo steps up from 160 lbs to 168lbs, according to reports.

The fight has been met with some ire from boxing fans, given Charlo had not fought for almost 30 months before his comeback win over Jose Benavidez Jr in November and has never fought at super-middleweight.

Canelo also fought Charlo’s twin brother, Jermell, in his last fight, who stepped up two divisions to challenge him, many felt super-middleweight contender David Benavidez was the ideal next opponent for the Mexican fighter.

Stephen A. Smith “sick” of boxing promoters and fighters being avoided

Their ire was matched by ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, who said Canelo and his promoters’ decision to not fight Benavidez next had left him “p****d off”.

“I am pretty p****d off. I am very, very, p****d off about this,” Smith told ESPN’s First Take.

“First of all, Charlo – and I am assuming this is the natural middleweight Charlo not the Charlo Canelo just beat – I openly root for him, I truly do.

“He has had some personal issues which is why he has been away from the boxing game for so many years. We all know his little brother had no business in the ring with Canelo.

“Simply because he was under size, moving up two weight classes to fight Canelo. The minute he hit him and realized he couldn’t affect him, all of a sudden Canelo started stalking him from the second round onwards for crying out loud.

“We know that his bigger brother hasn’t been fighting very much so I am worried about that.

“But here is the biggest reason that I am p****d off. Canelo Alvarez, it doesn’t matter who he fights, is going to get paid. We know the contingency that follows him are staying there in a cult-like manner and I say that in a complimentary fashion.

“They love this man, they revere this man and they follow him wherever he goes. He is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, draws in boxing. Canelo Alvarez is spectacular.

“But there is a dude by the name of David Benavidez who is a super-middleweight. He is 28-0 with 24 knockouts and he has been waiting for years to fight Canelo Alvarez and Canelo Alvarez has been avoiding him.

“This is not right and this is the problem with boxing. This is why I love Dana White and the UFC. When the public clamors for a fight, you are going to fight that person. You are not going to be able to avoid them for years.

“Boxing promoters hold fans hostage and make you wait for years. They are all guilty of it and I am sick of it.”

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