Braces yourselves everyone, it’s time to talk Conor McGregor vs. Canelo Alvarez.
Okay, not really (thankfully), but this article does involve McGregor and Canelo! Before Conor McGregor’s triumph over Nate Diaz at UFC 202, McGregor was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times about the Diaz rematch, and he brought up the era of “cherry picking” among the top names in combat sports.
“If you look at the history of the fight game, especially in this new era, it’s full of stars cherry picking their opponents,” McGregor said. “When they hold a position of power, when they get a name, all of a sudden they pick weaker opponents. They look down their division. Nobody looks up a division. Nobody looks at true challenges.”
McGregor then followed up by talking about Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs), who voluntarily gave up his WBC middleweight (160 lbs) title after failing to make arrangements to fight Gennady Golovkin, who was his mandatory challenger. Canelo is instead fighting WBO 154 lbs champion Liam Smith, while Golovkin is taking on IBF 147 lbs champion Kell Brook.
“When you look at this Canelo [Alvarez] situation, McGregor said. “It’s an era of cherry picking.
“It’s not like that with me. I’m here to challenge myself. I’m training to go up two divisions, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
It appears as if Canelo takes issue with the cherry picking quip. Lance Pugmire (of the LA Times) interviewed the Mexican pugilist during his training camp for the Smith fight, and this was his response.
Canelo got a bit fired up when told @TheNotoriousMMA referred to him as cherry picker. He chimed back Conor "gasses out after two rounds."— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) August 24, 2016
After McGregor lost to Diaz in March, Canelo stated that “McGregor beat himself” by being too overconfident. During UFC 202 fight week, Canelo expressed his support for Diaz and even wore an “I’m not surprised, motherf**kers” t-shirt.
Canelo vs. Smith takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, September 17th. The fight will air live on HBO pay-per-view, opposite UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Poirier, which airs on FS1 from Hidalgo, Texas.