In an exclusive with Fight Hype, Jim Lampley, the legendary HBO boxing commentator, provided his insights on the big upcoming fight between Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo.
“We’re reaching the stage of Canelo’s career at which you have to begin to question what now creates the hunger, and how well can he access all that hunger? He’s wildly rich, he has managed his life very well up to this point,” Lampley noted.
Are we then facing a time where Alvarez’s comfort and success might be his downfall? It’s a point to ponder.
Charlo, the 154-pound champion, has to go up two weight classes in this fight. How does that play into the dynamics of the fight?
“I still believe that I pick Canelo Alvarez to beat Charlo, but some of that comes from the fact that I know Canelo a lot better than I know Charlo,” Lampley explained.
“I didn’t call any Charlo fights while I was still at ringside on the microphone so I’m not equipped to judge him in the same way. I’m not an expert in other words with regard to that thing, but I am an expert on the general career progress of Canelo Alvarez.”
Lampley highlighted that Canelo’s decision to fight a bigger, longer guy might have been a miscalculation.
“He managed his ring career with brilliance right up until the moment when he decided to fight a bigger, longer guy and wound up biting off more than he could chew.”
“He made the mistake now he has to deal with it one way or the other. I still believe that I pick Canelo Alvarez to beat Charlo but some of that comes from the fact that just as I knew Crawford a lot better than I have Spence, I know Canelo a lot better than I know Charlo.”
While discussing the fight, the conversation shifted toward other possible opponents and Alvarez’s strategies.
“He ran up against it when he chose to fight a taller, longer guy; he couldn’t get inside the way he had against every other opponent other than Mayweather. So, I don’t blame him for looking at Benavidez and saying huh, let me find somebody who’s a little bit more my height,” Lampley observed.
Lampley delved into the mental aspect of the fight, particularly for Alvarez:
“Once you have established that you’re capable of losing and you have been clearly beaten in a fight that you chose because you thought you were going to win it, now you’re in a whole new psychological territory, and all sorts of new uncertainties are introduced.”
Isn’t psychology a crucial part of the sport that sometimes gets overlooked? How will this psychological territory manifest itself in Alvarez’s performance against Charlo?
With a candid look at his own experiences, Lampley expressed his love for the sport and his longing for the days of calling fights.
“I feel robbed of a lot of different things, but the robbery happened, and I’m not calling fights anymore, and there you have it.”
The interview concluded with warm words and a shared passion for boxing.
“I miss talking about boxing with people like you, and I have enjoyed and loved this particular interview. Look forward to seeing what Terence Crawford does next. Thank you so much,” Lampley said graciously.
Check out the full interview: