Let’s face it, Canelo is currently the best boxer on the planet. He still has a lot to prove and add to his resume to cement his legacy the one of the greatest boxers of all time but at the end of the day he is the true Number 1 pound for pound boxer of all time, most boxers would agree with this claim as well.
Canelo is currently scheduled to face a bigger Avni Yildirim as his mandatory challenger. He has said that his goal is to unify all the super middleweight belts and become the first ever undisputed champion of the division. So he has to face Yildirim to avoid being stripped off his belt.
The ESPN would not have Canelo as their Number 1 pound for pound mainly because he is not a Top Rank boxer, but rather has his own promotion. ESPN and Top Rank are affiliated so it would make sense for them to advertise their own boxer as the top pound for pound king which is Terence Crawford. Fortunately, other organizations like The RING, Boxrec and others have Canelo as the top 1.
Although Crawford is a great boxer and if we base on simply the eye test, Crawford might be the most skilled boxer right now. The boxer has it all from fight IQ, counter-punching abilities and is a difficult puzzle to read. He is also known to switch stance from Orthodox or Southpaw making his opponents need to adjust mid fight.
But the reality is Crawford has not beaten the same level of opponents Canelo has beaten. In order for Crawford to become a deserved top pound for pound, he needs to face the best in his division, names like Errol Spence Jr should be enough for him to recognized as the pound for pound best.
In his defense both teams think they are the A-side of the negotiations. It would be near impossible if both boxers are not willing to accept a lower slice of the pie, especially since both are champions and division.
Meanwhile, Canelo has moved up his natural weight and fought much bigger guys and are champions. He has knocked out Sergey Kovalev which was 2 division above him.
After that huge win, he then faced Callum Smith who was an undefeated boxer that was towering over him but it proved to be without problem for Canelo as he walked down Smith and proved he could take the power of the bigger guys.
Even prior to moving up, Canelo was always willing to face the best in his division. His clash with Gennady Golovkin where he won the second fight should have put him in number 1 and he also faced a tough Daniel Jacobs. You can call Canelo many things but he does not shy away from top competition wherever the division he is fighting.
If no injuries happen in his fight against Avni Yildirim, he plans to face Billy Joe Saunders next which just shows that he does not duck any fighter. Had Canelo not moved to super middleweight, most champions would just face low level competitors or some would call it cans. Canelo is in it for the sport of boxing which is the best must fight the best.