The winner of last Saturday’s middleweight contest between fringe contenders Willie Monroe Jr. (21-2, 6 KOs) and Gabriel Rosado (23-10, 13 KOs) was supposed to have a shot at fighting Golden Boy Promotions’ star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) for later this year or in early 2017. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Monroe says Canelo’s team wants him to fight guys that stand right there in front of him that he can hit with his shots. They don’t want him to fight someone that he’s going to have to use his legs to get to.
Canelo’s trainer Eddie Reynoso is saying that Monroe is not going to be fighting Canelo. He said that they might as well go back to fight Erislandy Lara than fighting Monroe. Instead of being upset about the apparent rejection by Team Canelo, Monroe sees it as a compliment, being that it shows that they see him as a difficult opponent for the red-headed Mexican boxing star star.
Monroe Jr. said this to Fighthype.com:
“I would love that fight, but I got another compliment from his team. What they are going to put out to the media is we don’t want to chase Willie Monroe. But what they are really saying is we don’t want to deal with a guy that’s going to make it difficult for us. They want a guy that’s going to stand right there in front of them and let them punch on them. If they put me in front of Canelo, I think he would do what he got to do to try and beat me and try to find a way. It’s more of his team, not Canelo.”
Yeah, you can argue that Monroe is too much like Floyd Mayweather Jr., and it would be a potentially very difficult fight for Canelo if Monroe used movement along with his excellent jab, reflexes and hand speed. The movement is the only thing that separates what Monroe is doing right now from what we saw in Mayweather’s performance against Canelo three years ago in beating him by a 12 round decision.
Monroe likes to stand in a stationary manner too much, and this makes it easy for his opponents to come to him to nail him with shots. There have been fights where Monroe used a great deal of movement to frustrate his opponents. For example, if you look at how Monroe fought against Brian Vera in beating him by a lopsided 10 round decision in 2015, and compare that to how Monroe is fighting now, it’s like night and day.
Monroe doesn’t move as much now. It could be he’s responding to negative criticism of him in the past about him moving too much, or perhaps he feels he doesn’t need to move a lot in his fights. I think it’s more of a case of Monroe responding to criticism from boxing fans. Monroe was getting great results with his previous style of moving around the ring like Mayweather.
If he went back to that style, he would be hard to beat, because he’s got an even better jab than Mayweather. The only thing that hurts Monroe is he stands still too much. He needs to be moving in order to avoid taking punishment from bigger punchers.
Monroe defeated Rosado by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.