Canelo Alvarez is a four-division world champion that is presently acknowledged by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The WBC and WBA (Super) 168-pound champion will try to get nearer to changing into the first undisputed tremendous middleweight champion in the four-belt period when he faces WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders on May 8.
With 15 years as an expert fighter, a implausible 55-1-2 document and being well known as the largest star in boxing, few may argue that Alvarez doesn’t already possess the credentials to be a first-ballot corridor of famer.
With a listing of opponents that already contains the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Gennadiy Golovkin, it may be stated that he is simply about completed every little thing a fighter would need of their profession. However, Alvarez is solely 30 years of age and simply now coming into his prime years. And the horrifying thing is that it means we now have yet to see the Mexican celebrity take his remaining kind each out and in of the ring.
As a fighter, Alvarez has proven immense enchancment since struggling his solely loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. He tightened up his protection, grow to be a harmful counterpuncher and has discovered how to make changes on the fly. He has additionally discovered what it means to be boxing’s money cow by making few concessions when it comes to his opponents. When Mayweather compelled Canelo right into a 152-pound catchweight, the bodily drained Alvarez wasn’t fully at his best in opposition to the undefeated fighter. Not that it could have made a lot of a distinction, however he discovered that each little benefit counts and applies it at this time.
Since then, Canelo has not solely grow to be a greater fighter, however he’s additionally studying what it takes to grow to be an even bigger star.
For proof, pay shut consideration to Alvarez’s strikes since he departed from Golden Boy Promotions final November.
After declaring himself as a free agent, Alvarez swiftly struck a cope with Matchroom Boxing and commenced his hunt to grow to be the undisputed super-middleweight champion by dominating beforehand unbeaten Callum Smith in December to declare the vacant WBC title together with Smith’s WBA (Super) championship. Rather than sit idle, Canelo jumped proper again into motion in February and throttled the necessary challenger for his WBC title with a brutal third-round stoppage of Avni Yildirim.
While some scoffed at the concept of Alvarez dealing with Yildirim, it was a possibility for Canelo to defend his WBC title whereas staying lively. And with exercise comes visibility. Alvarez didn’t danger a protracted layoff and remained in the public eye whereas scheduling his upcoming struggle with Saunders three months later.
We’ve seen extra character than we ever have with Alvarez throughout this specific struggle week. He has overtly mentioned his rift with Oscar De La Hoya whereas additionally exhibiting a special facet of his often stoic persona.
In an look on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” Alvarez did every little thing from supply a tour of his luxurious mansion in Guadalajara to supply the surprising story of how he negotiated the launch of his kidnapped brother throughout the week of his struggle with Rocky Fielding in 2019. The often guarded fighter opened up in methods that he hadn’t earlier than by giving viewers a peek within his life. For years, Alvarez interviews had been comparatively mundane with the red-headed fighter providing little or no perception into his life. This specific interview was an enormous departure from the Canelo we used to know.
But what you may additionally discover is that Alvarez speaks in English for a lot of the interview. For many, it has been identified that Alvarez understands the language however has been reluctant to converse it on digicam. And that could have hamstrung his marketability in the U.S. market. But now he’s opening himself up in methods that he hasn’t earlier than, and it’s clear that he understands what it takes to be a world celebrity. It has by no means simply been about being an important fighter within the ring as a lot because it is about being an entertaining one outdoors of it. And Alvarez now realizes that there is extra to boxing than … nicely … boxing.
But there’s nonetheless work to be executed within the ring, and Canelo appears to be centered squarely on the job. It has additionally helped that Saunders decided to be the antagonist heading into the struggle. He threatened to pull out of the struggle over the ring dimension and no-showed a photograph alternative early in the struggle week. His antics have prompted Alvarez to react accordingly as the two have been seen jawing at one another at any time when they’re in shut quarters. Perhaps unwittingly, Saunders’ habits is taking part in proper into his opponent’s hand.
It provides one other wrinkle to the struggle that engages followers and provides curiosity to the showdown, which is set to break the indoor boxing attendance document in the United States with over 70,000 anticipated to attend.
At the age of 30, Alvarez has a whole lot of struggle left in him, and it seems that he’s about to enter the subsequent stage of stardom by embracing the different points of leisure that he as soon as ignored on his manner up. If you keep in mind that he continues to enhance as a fighter and is prepping himself for a run as a world megastar, the prospects are infinite when it comes to revenue and visibility.
It’s uncommon that the best fighter in the world is additionally the sport’s largest draw, however Alvarez has sewn each up. Much like LeBron James, Canelo has determined to push previous his potential in an effort to grow to be greater than the sport he’s a star in. Just once you suppose he can’t get higher, he does.
Who is aware of when Canelo will hit his ceiling? Between his distinctive look that appears prepared made for Hollywood and his stellar preventing skill, Canelo has a possibility to grow to be certainly one of the largest stars the sport has ever seen whereas additionally securing his place amongst the all-time best fighters. It’s a novel mixture of enterprise savvy and the willingness to face any opponent that has allowed Canelo to purchase this type of success.
And he’s removed from completed.
“The goal is to be undisputed at 168 pounds and then we’ll see,” Canelo said earlier in the week while making it clear that he’s targeting IBF champion Caleb Plant for his next fight later this year. “I think I could stay at super-middleweight until the end of my career. I think I have about seven years left until I retire, but I’m listening to my body and when it tells me to quit, I’ll quit.”
Of course, he nonetheless has to win. But so long as he does, it’s clear that we now have yet to see the best of what Canelo Alvarez has to supply.