Former world champion Antonio Tarver believes Terence Crawford would do better than Jermell Charlo in a potential showdown with Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Last month, Charlo – who was the undisputed champion at 154 – moved up by two full weight divisions to challenge Canelo for the undisputed crown at super middleweight.
Canelo dominated the action from start to finish, winning a lopsided twelve round unanimous decision.
Crawford, the undisputed champion at welterweight, has expressed interest in moving up by three weight classes to challenge Canelo.
Tarver expects Crawford to be more competitive than Charlo if he steps in the ring with Canelo.
“[Canelo] showed that anyone moving up will have a problem and I thought early on Crawford would be the type of guy with his offensive weaponry. I’m not sure though moving up with that much weight would impact Crawford the same way [as it did Charlo]. He would be stronger, more powerful, and I think being in the ring with a guy like that will make you fight more different,” Tarver told Betway.
“It would be a lot more heated than the Charlo fight because Terence Crawford is one of those guys who means what he says. He isn’t there tapping, he’s standing on everything he says, and you have to respect fighters like that. I believe he would definitely have to get used to and adjusted to the natural strength and power of Canelo and that’s always the X Factor – power.”
While some observers believe Canelo is now on the downslide of his career, Tarver disagrees.
“No because activity is the best thing for fighter. Canelo’s going to get two or three fights per year and he’s fighting guys coming off 15 month lay-off, they’re never going to be on top of their game. If there’s anything I’d like to see is these PBC fighters getting a lot more active, they need repetition and get in there and put everything on the line that’s how you stay sharp,” Tarver said.
“Back in my career, I slowed down in the last two or three years of my career. I was begging for fights trying to stay active but the nature of the business doesn’t allow you to. If I could urge any promoter coming into the game, get your fighters active, it has to be said with those fighters coming in with their long layoffs, their backs are against the wall already. They’re coming into fights unprepared because they just haven’t been active enough. If you fight in a major fight, you shouldn’t have a six or seven month layoff going into that fight, no, and some of those guys are coming more than a year where they haven’t competed at the highest level so if you don’t use what you’ve got, you lose what got.”