'Unskilful' Mexican has won four world titles

Take a leaf out of Alvarez's book, SA boxers urged

Senior boxing trainer, Bernie Pailman, during an interview with Sowetan in Bosmont, Johannesburg.
Senior boxing trainer, Bernie Pailman, during an interview with Sowetan in Bosmont, Johannesburg.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN.

Boxing trainer Bernie Pailman is pleading with local boxers, specifically those who have to work harder for their victories, to take a leaf out of the book of Saul Canelo Alvarez if they aspire to rise to stardom.

The 30-year-old Mexican’s commitment to his craft has enabled him to win four world titles in four weight divisions with his limited skills. He crushed Avni Yildirim in three rounds to retain his WBC and WBA Super belts last weekend to chalk up his 37th KO in 55 wins against a loss to super talented Floyd Mayweather Junior.

“Canelo is not a talented boxer but his dedication to his craft has enabled him to win four world titles in four weight divisions,” said Pailman yesterday.

The boxer has previously held the junior middleweight; middleweight; super middleweight and light heavyweight classes. Alvarez is the fourth Mexican boxer in history  – after Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Juan Manuel Marquez – to hold world titles in four weight divisions.

Alvarez also has two draws.

“Nothing defeats hard work and dedication. You can be this talented boxer but if you are not a hard worker who is dedicated to your craft then you may as well forget about hitting the star," said Pailman. “Super-talented Floyd Mayweather trained like a mad man during his time and has always warned that hard work and dedication have been his best weapons."

Canelo is not your Sugar Ray Leonard type of boxer who was blessed with talent. He is married to his boxing profession. Immediately after his fight on Sunday morning, he told journalists that  he will be away for only a week and then go back to hard work preparing for his unification fight with WBO champ Billy Joe Sanders, which is expected to happen in May.

Pailman mentioned retired boxer Sipho Taliwe as a typical example of what he meant. “Sipho had no skills but was a hard worker whose dedication helped him to win both  the SA and WBC International junior lightweight belts,” he said of the man he started from scratch.

“Most of our boxers these days win the SA title then disappear from the gym. Some won’t even go nowhere near the gym until they see a fight contract. Where is commitment and dedication?"

Pailman produced three SA, an IBO, ABU and WBF Africa champions.

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