Eleider Alvarez is one of the new breed of Light-Heavyweights in a division that has given BoxNation subscribers so much excitement.
The unbeaten Colombian scored a stunning seventh round KO of Sergey Kovalev in August when trailing on points to become WBO Champion.
Their rematch in Frisco, Texas on February 2nd has landed on the Channel of Champions. It’s a fight where Alvarez could emerge as one of boxing’s new stars if he repeats that win.
Here are 10 facts about the South American star who wants to take over boxing in 2019:
1) He was 14 when his mother died and that inspired him to do great things as a boxer.
2) Alvarez marked his arrival in 2006 winning the gold medal at the South American Amateur Championships in Buenos Aires. The following year he won gold at the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro after knocking out the Cuban favourite Yusiel Nápoles in the third round, when trailing.
3) He was fancied to do well at the 2008 Olympics, but was surprisingly defeated by Sunderland boxer Tony Jeffries. After a 5-5 tie he lost on count back.
4) Alvarez had his first three fights in Canada back in 2009 and then had 18 months out of boxing because of visa issues. He then returned to Canada and has lived there since 2011. He is trained by Marc Ramsey, managed by Stéphane Lépine and promoted by Yvon Michel.
5) When he had visa issues that forced him back home, Lépine continued to pay Alvarez’s rent. Lépine said: “He imagined that I had abandoned him, we did not have much communication, but he realised that I had not abandoned him. I have always sent money to his family so he does not miss anything. We feel indebted to each other.”
6) His is married to wife Jessica, and they have a nine-year-old daughter, Ayda Eliza who is named after the champ’s mum.
7) He lives in a small apartment in Laval outside Montreal and sends most of his money to his wife and daughter who remain at home in Colombia.
8 It was his mum who pushed him into boxing. He explained: “I was a little bit of a hyperactive kid, and my mum put me in boxing. Suddenly, my mum passed. I made a promise, ‘This is what my mum wants. This is what I’m going to do.’” He has a tattoo of her name on his back as a memorial.
9) His family have a musical background. Even though he was boxing as a child his first ambition was to be a singer. Alvarez says: “I can see the relationships between musical tempo and boxing tempo, no doubt. Instead of making hits with my voice, I’m hitting guys in the ring. I’m a frustrated singer but no longer a frustrated fighter.”
10) He says he cannot fight IBF Champion Artur Beterbiev because they share the same trainer and often help each other in the gym.