Israel Adesanya takes issue when people start labeling elite boxers as the best fighters.
Adesanya is the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. He earned that distinction when he stopped Robert Whittaker in the second round via TKO back in October. Adesanya has hopes at being recognized as the best fighter in the world someday, which is something he doesn’t believe a decorated boxer such as Canelo Alvarez can be called.
Adesanya Feels Canelo Can’t Be Called Best Fighter
“The Last Stylebender” isn’t one to dismiss Alvarez’s accomplishments. Having captured gold in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions and only suffering a loss to Floyd Mayweather, it’s hard to discredit Alvarez. With that said, Adesanya explained to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani why calling Canelo the best fighter is inaccurate (via MMAMania.com).
“Did you see Canelo’s last fight? He did something really amazing, four-time world champion, beautiful,” said Israel during a recent sitdown with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
“People are like, ‘He’s now the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.’ Fighter. Mayweather has been saying that for years. It’s best pound-for-pound boxer,” he added.
Adesanya then said that he could’ve easily entered the world of boxing and padded his record, but he never wanted to feel at a disadvantage in any area during a real fight.
“If you want to fight, I could have done the same thing. I could have done boxing and do the blueprint; fight some journeymen, some bums, fight a local champion, climb the ranks, build your record up and then fight the world champion and get a belt,” he explained.
“I could have done that in kickboxing, but I know in my heart, my soul, if I faced up against a guy with a different style, a judo guy, jiu-jitsu guy in the streets…who’s going to break it up in the clinch? They’re throwing leg kicks at me and if I don’t know how to check a leg kick, what’s going to happen?
“I never want to feel vulnerable in any situation. I never want to feel like any man can checkmate me in any position. So I have to humble myself and go back to the drawing board and learn and study and hone your craft of fighting in all aspects,” he added.