Is it possible for a fighter to alter their legacy for the worse after biting off more than they can chew?
That is the question when it comes to Canelo Alvarez and Israel Adesanya, two great athletes with recent losses within their resume.
They both recently flew too close to the sun. Canelo attempted to once again win light-heavyweight gold and lost in dominant fashion against Dmitry Bivol. After facing Gennadiy Golovkin for a third time, Canelo is adamant he wants to face Bivol again in 2023 instead of continuing to defend his status as undisputed super-middleweight champion. Bivol, the WBA light-heavyweight champion, is close to fighting for the status of undisputed at light-heavyweight.
At UFC 281, Adesanya lost the UFC middleweight title against Alex Pereira, someone he was already 0-2 against in kickboxing. The former champion is looking for a rematch at some point after defending the belt five times.
Fans want their favorites to compete in tough bouts. However, do both fighters really want these rematches? Are they better off treating boxing like a business and being more calculated in risk assessment, like Floyd Mayweather? Will another loss affect their greatness? Has their ambition already gotten in their way, and what will fans remember about these fighters following another potential loss?
On this episode of Fightin’ Words, The Sporting News’ Andreas Hale discusses the dilemma surrounding Canelo and Adesanya. Their ambition is admirable, but is it smart to bark up the wrong tree too many times?