Canelo Alvarez candidly acknowledged the undeniable truth during Wednesday's final news conference ahead of his 168-pound title defense against Jermell Charlo, set to be showcased on pay-per-view this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
He stated, "I have to prove that I'm still on top," a sentiment echoing the thoughts of everyone who has closely followed his illustrious career.
In his recent fights, Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) has faced challenges, including a unanimous decision loss to Dmitry Bivol at 175 pounds and uninspiring victories over fading rivals Gennadiy Golovkin in their third bout and John Ryder. The Mexican superstar attributed his less-than-stellar performances to injuries, including a surgically repaired left wrist late last year. He is determined to show he is back in top form, vehemently denying any suggestion of decline.
Alvarez recognizes the immense significance of this upcoming bout, emphasizing, "I don't know what animal I need to be, but I'm that animal. Tune in on September 30. It's going to be good, believe me. I never overlook any fighter. I know what he's going to bring, and I'm ready."
He added, "I've been in there with all types of fighters. He hasn't experienced this level of fight. You will see, and you will learn. I want history for my career. I want to achieve many things. This is another one of them, and I can't wait. People will always have something negative to say. I have to prove that I'm still on top."
Meanwhile, Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) firmly believes that this is his moment to shine. The reigning 154-pound champion has vanquished every opponent he has faced, including knockout victories over Tony Harrison and Brian Castano in rematches following a loss and draw, solidifying his status as one of the world's top fighters.
Yet, Charlo faces the unique challenge of moving up two weight classes to confront a future Hall of Famer, who is, astonishingly, just 33 years old, the same age as Charlo himself. This uncharted territory does not deter his confidence. Charlo even predicted a rematch with Alvarez, suggesting that the Mexican boxing legend would exercise a rematch clause after Charlo emerges victorious as the underdog.
He boldly stated, "You're going to see us back again for a rematch because this is my moment. I'm a warrior. I did what I had to do, and now we're at this moment. I don't think Canelo has faced a fighter of my caliber."
Charlo continued, "He's been in there with great fighters, but there's something I bring to the table that's a lot different than anyone he's seen. What I've been through in life, a lot of people can't compare to that. I deserve to be in my position, and now I get to prove my worthiness."
Closing with determination, Charlo emphasized, "I'm coming to win this fight, no matter what he says. We shall see Saturday. Making history means everything to me. That's what it's all about."