Showtime’s Al Bernstein has been in the business of boxing for over 40 years and is one of the most accomplished and recognized commentators in the history of the sport. He was elected in the international boxing hall of fame in 2012 and Bernstein is now entering his 16th year with Showtime’s championship boxing telecast.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Al Bernstein, he discusses the future of Canelo Alvarez and gives his thoughts on a rematch between Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Al also talks about the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner fight, breaking down each fighter’s strengths and what could be next for Pacquiao if he wins. Here is what Al Bernstein had to say.
Jenna J: Al, Canelo Alvarez recently scored a dominating win in his return to the ring last month. Who do you think he might fight next?
Al Bernstein: I think fans would like to see him fight Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs or Demetrius Andrade. He fights twice a year, so while I think that Canelo has fought in recent years a pretty good lineup of people, I think if he chooses to not fight one of those people or a really top middleweight, there will be a little disappointment.
I assume he’s going to go down back to middleweight after this brief excursion at 168lbs. There are 168lb’ers out there for him to fight, so they may choose that route, but we would hope that he would take on one of the top middleweights.
Jenna J: Canelo has said in the press that he would love to have a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Given with the way Mayweather looked in his last fight with Conor McGregor, how do you think he would do with a fully mature Canelo Alvarez?
Al Bernstein: That’s a good question. When Alvarez fought him, he was already a veteran. Maybe he has hit his stride more and Mayweather has gotten older, so when you put those two factors together — though you can never say Mayweather has a problem with being off because throughout his career he’s come back after long layoffs and been effective, but he’s older now.
It’s an interesting fight in a lot of ways. Canelo fought a dreadful tactical fight in the first fight, he was the bigger man and he should have tried to impose his will on Mayweather, and he didn’t, he played right into Mayweather’s hands. If they ever do meet again, I think we’d see a much more aggressive Canelo, but it would be an intriguing fight, I think people would find it interesting.
It’s a hard one to handicap because Mayweather already beat him decisively, but we don’t know because of Mayweather’s age and Canelo maturing more and getting to be a better fighter.
Jenna J: Speaking of intriguing fights, the next time that we will see you ringside for a big event will be Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner. What do you see in that fight?
Al Bernstein: That’s an interesting one because Pacquiao is now older and looked very good against Lucas Matthysse — some of that may have been Matthysse not fighting well. If you think about it, Pacquiao’s had only one or two bad performances in recent years. For the most part he’s been effective.
Adrien Broner comes into this fight as an interesting character. His record hasn’t been sterling in recent fights, he’s lost as much as he’s won, but he remains a person that people want to see. He’s always somebody who is in competitive fights, he’s very hard to knock him out.
While Pacquiao will probably go in favorite, you can look at it as a very competitive and intriguing fight. I think for Adrien Broner, the trick to winning this fight, is to increase his punch volume over what he’s done. I don’t know if he’s capable of doing that. We keep saying it and yet fight after fight he doesn’t do it. Sometimes he squeaks by decision wins — like the one against Adrian Granados, which could have easily gone the other way — or he loses. I think the onus here is on Broner to increase his number of punches and be more aggressive in this fight.
Jenna J: Do you think the end game for Manny Pacquiao if he can beat Broner is to get the rematch with Floyd Mayweather?
Al Bernstein: Yeah it seems that way. The other interesting aspect is whether Broner wins, whether Floyd would come back and fight him. That would be an intriguing promotion, not for the faint of heart. I think that’s Pacquiao’s end game, and whether that will would resonate with the fans, we would find out. He’s hoping for a dominant win over Broner, and that would market the Mayweather fight.