Everyone here knows I've always been an unabashed Canelo "hater."
But there's more to it than just that. I obviously don't actually "hate" Canelo. In fact, I think he's a very personable guy, with many redeeming human characteristics. He's not some evil, trashy guy, like some that have inhabited the boxing world throughout time. As a matter of fact, I would say I actually dislike someone like Antonio Margarito a lot more than I do Canelo. But there are many reasons for liking or disliking a boxer. That's the point of this thread.
With Canelo it's always been about the hype that has accompanied him from the very beginning. It's as if his "greatness" were being forced from the start. Dozens of record-bulging fights against tomato cans in Mexico... followed by undersized or over-the-hill victims to further build the resume... followed by the questionable judging of big fights, and preferential treatment afforded by the Mexican-friendly and corrupt alphabet org WBC. People who have accused me of hating on Canelo because he's Mexican have always ignored that I've always been a big fan of guys like JMM, MAB, and Finito Lopez. So it's never been only about Canelo, but about the structure AROUND Canelo. By now however, Canelo has long bought into the hype that he's an ATG, and... while that may in the end be true... his realistic place among history's greatest is much lower than his legions of fans would have it.
Margarito, on the other hand, was always kind of a cheating scumbag (Canelo cheated too, but I'll ignore that for the sake of this thread). He's never been that likable face of boxing that Canelo pretends to be. He's not pretty enough. He doesn't appeal to squealing women. He wasn't chosen by the boxing media to be the "next big thing."
Another reason for disliking a boxer is their style. I absolutely hated the version of Wladimir Klitschko AFTER those knockout losses he suffered. It's ok to be defensive and try not to get hit. But geez... he singlehandedly put the whole heavyweight division in a coma for many years. He would throw a few timid punches and hold on for dear life. He's lucky he faced a bunch of stiffs for a while, and the division became boring as hell.
Sometimes it's their personality or life outside the ring. Or their outsized opinion of themselves. I'm sure Ryan Garcia is a nice kid. But anyone who tries to take shortcuts to fame and stardom, using things like social media and a pretty face... and maybe catapulting off of one big win... already has two strikes against them in my book. I begin to root against them. Ryan's one of these kids. I remember back when he was asking for an exhibition match against Manny Pacquiao. Who the FUKK is Ryan Garcia to merit (back then) an exhibition against one of the all-time greatest in boxing??
Which brings me to what makes me like a fighter. First he must be good at his craft. A good fighter, skillful, exciting, not afraid to engage, and willing to give the public a good show. It helps if he has just the normal amount of self-importance and self-image. Be realistic as to who you are. Don't go calling yourself p4p this, or ATG that. Let your record and other people speak for you. Some might say all fighters are boastful. I'd counter by saying some great fighters keep a fairly low profile. They don't pump themselves up... but let others do the talking. Also, I like a fighter that won't dodge or duck anyone, especially trying to protect some bloated record. Some of the best ever have had one or two losses on their record. It's not about the "0". It's about who you have fought and defeated.