21 Things You Should Know About Saúl Canelo Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez is the face of boxing today. After Floyd Mayweather retired and Manny Pacquiao began his slow decline, the redhead Mexican has become a pay-per-view attraction and a proud representative of Latinos worldwide. He has beaten the liked of boricua Miguel Cotto, Sugar Shane Mosley, Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Most famously, he is coming from a Majority Decision win over Gennady GGG Golovkin, who was as feared as Mike Tyson in his prime.
Canelo is looking to add the WBA super middleweight belt to his collection when he fights British Rocky Fielding on Saturday December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
This is what you have to know before the fight!
1. He started his pro career as a teenager
Believe it or not, Canelo was just a kid when he laced the gloves professionally for the first time. He soon established himself as a rising prospect who had an uncanny maturity in the ring for a kid his age. He was introduced to boxing by his brothers, who were also fighters.
2. His mom goes to all his fights
Canelo’s mom is a constant presence in her son’s fights. You can see her ringside yelling and getting really into it, even saying a bad word or two.
3. He handled a bully with ease
On May 2017 Canelo finally met Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, who had been bad-mouthing him for years. Canelo stayed focused and won an ample decision, reconfiguring Jr’s face in the process. Don’t bully Canelo or you will get badly beaten.
4. He signed a huge promotional deal with Hennessy
Luxury brands LOVE Canelo and he has signed a profitable deal with cognac manufacturer Hennessy. Good on you, muchacho.
5. He was accused of doping…
But it was all cleared up when it was revealed that the traces of clenbuterol found in his body were likely to be due to contaminated meat he ate in his native Mexico. Those muscles are the product of hard work and dedication!
6. He is a devout Catholic
It is common to see him cross himself before and after his fights. Here we see him with Pope Francis at The Vatican, where he went to get a blessing after his draw with GGG in September 2017.
7. He travels the world after his fights
Boxing is a sport that needs mental stability. That is why this muchacho pelirrojo travels the world after each grueling match, sharing his trips on Instagram. Here we see him in Milano!
8. He relaxes with his equine friends
As the highest-earning athlete in the world, Canelo needs to have a way to find peace in the midst of stress. He owns properties in his native Jalisco where he keeps pure breed horses. He shares a deep connection with them.
9. He is BFFs with the Golden Boy
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya is responsible for Canelo’s reign as the highest attraction in pugilism. The two have established a strong working relationship that translates into a deep and rich friendship as well.
10. He hangs out with the power elites
Here we see him with former President Bill Clinton and with Carlos Slim, the Lebanese-Mexican tycoon who is often listed as one of the three wealthiest persons in the world.
11. He has two daughters…
Canelo’s then-girlfriend got pregnant when they were teenagers, so the boxer has a teenage daughter. He also has a new baby princess who is the apple of his eye. Tierno!
12. He trains for eight weeks for each fight
No distractions. No glamour. Just boxing. Canelo is renowned for his tough training techniques and he trains out of a house in San Diego, where he locks himself for two months before each fight. He shares grueling sessions on his Insta. Those muscles do not come for free!
13. He jumps into ice baths after training
Canelo’s team uses the most advanced and extreme training techniques. After sparring sessions and weightlifting the boxer goes into ice baths or a state-of-the-art cryogenic chamber.
14. Sept. 15, 2018, will always be the biggest night of his career
After facing a suspension for the alleged doping and being criticized for months, Canelo exorcized his demons by defeating the fearless Golovkin over 12 rounds. Canelo cried tears of joy and relief as the ring announcer was reading the decision.
15. He just signed a $35 million dollar deal!
DAZN, a new streaming service, signed Canelo for 10 fights, for a minimum of $350 million dollars, making him the athlete that has signed the richest contract in sports history.
16. He had his first fight in the United States 10 years ago
Look at that young kid, thin and far from the real beast that has been going through tough opponent after tough opponent in the past few years. He has established himself as an icon for Mexican-Americans despite his white-boy looks.
17. He loves speed
Canelo owns a collection of luxury cars that he is not shy to share on social media. He is also quite a fashionista and wears designer clothes almost on a daily basis. He has earned it.
18. He has remained with the same trainers throughout his career
Loyalty goes a long way! Despite having received offers from the most renowned trainers in the sport, Canelo remains loyal to Chepo and Eddy Reynoso, a father-son duo who discovered young Canelo and shaped him into an efficient boxing machine.
19. He was awarded the prestigious Premio Nacional del Deporte by the Mexican government in 2018
In part due to his win over Golovkin, but also because of his spot at the top of international boxing, now former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto awarded Canelo with an award that highlights the benefits that he has brought to the country’s sports in general.
20. He established a boxing academy for the youth
Canelo Boxing Academy keeps boys and girls out of trouble, building their self-respect and determination. It is great to witness how those at the top can also open paths for future generations. The Canelo Boxing Academy has its headquarters in Guadalajara, a city that will always be Canelo’s home.
21. He wants to become the best boxer ever
At only 28, Canelo is still relatively young and has about 7 years left in his career. He idolized Ali and wants to be recognized as a figure as big as him. If he wins on December 15 he will have titles in three different weight divisions, a feat that only greats like Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Oscar De La Hoya have accomplished. He is still young, so he might very well achieve all his dreams in and outside the ring.