On Saturday week, Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez gets to raise his bat to the trade when he walks to the crease for the 50th time to challenge Liverpool’s WBO Super Welterweight king Liam Smith at the 80,000 capacity AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. BoxNation screen live.
Glynn Evans trawls through the 26 year old’s stellar 47-1-1 (33) CV and highlights the landmarks.
October 2005: Shortly after bagging gold at the Mexican amateur junior championships, ‘Canelo’ debuts as a pro, aged just 15 years and 103 days. A spindly light-welter, he halts 17 year old Jalisco rival Abraham Gonzalez in the last session of a scheduled four rounder.
January 2006: In his third gig and still operating at 10 stone, Alvarez scalps future IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vasquez on a four round split decision. Vasquez, known as ‘Titre (The Puppet)’, is the first eleven world champions he will have faced en route to his half ton.
June 2006: In his fifth start, still only 15 but now operating at welter, the Azteca ace suffers his first blemish when restricted to a four round draw with Tijuana’s 23 year old Jorge Juarez.
March 2007: Barely 16 months after his debut and at an age when most Brits would be fretting over their GCSE exams, the flame haired flyer embarked on his first scheduled 10 rounder, hammering Nayarit debutant (!) Javier Martinez in round eight.
August 2007: With only 15 starts on his CV and just six weeks after celebrating his 17th birthday, the pride of Guadalajara travels the 12 round championship trip for the first time, comprehensively outpointing 25 year old Ricardo Cano (just three losses in 20) to nail the Jalisco State welterweight title.
April 2008: Still only 17, Alvarez crashes the world rankings and snares the WBA Fedecentro welter title by stopping Sonora’s previously unbeaten Gabriel Martinez in round twelve. Over the course of his next ten fights, the Mexican machine adds NABF, WBO Latino and WBC Youth belts.
June 2008: ‘Canelo’ confirms his supremacy over future world champ Miguel Vasquez (now 21-2) with an altogether more comprehensive points win, this time over 10 rounds.
October 2008: Shortly after passing the age of consent, the soaring starlet makes a heralded US debut by bashing up 28 year old Larry Mosley (younger brother of ‘Sugar Shane’) in Cabazon, California. It is the first of 15 outings in US rings, including all of his last nine fights. Shell-shocked Mosley, beaten just twice in 19, never fights again.
May 2010: Still a teenager but already attracting a rock star adulation in his homeland, ‘Canelo’ finally debuts in Vegas. He endures an early scare when rocked by 31-1-1 Jose Miguel Cotto (elder brother of Miguel Angel Cotto), before prevailing in round nine at the MGM Grand. The ‘back from the brink’ performance is instrumental in Alvarez securing recognition as the ESPN Prospect of the Year.
March 2011: Aged just 20 years and eight months, the Mexican mauler becomes the youngest ever global champion at 154lbs, with a systematic 12 round beat down of Hattersley’s ‘Magic Matthew’ Hatton to claim the vacant WBC belt in front of 11,674 frenzied disciples at the Honda Center, Anaheim.
May 2012: After sending challengers Ryan Rhodes, Alfonso Gomez and Kermit Cintron for early showers, Alvarez survives an early cut to school veteran five-time world champion ‘Sugar Shane’ Mosley over 12, in his fourth defence back at the MGM Grand.
April 2013: At 22, ‘Canelo’ becomes a unified champion and avenges family honour by defeating WBA counterpart Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout over 12 before 38,000 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The previously unbeaten Albuquerque southpaw had claimed his crown by trouncing Saul’s elder brother Rigoberto 26 months earlier.
September 2013: The Mexican prodigy’s near eight year unbeaten run is finally snapped when phantom Floyd Mayweather leads him a merry dance for 12 rounds and claims a clear (but officially ‘majority’) 12 round victory at the MGM. The contest is made at a catchweight 152lbs and Alvarez is clearly compromised.
However, the Showtime PPV broadcast became, at the time, the most profitable sporting event in history and ‘Canelo’s’ pain will have been eased by a $12.5m guarantee plus a healthy share of the 2.2 million pay-per-view pick –up!
July 2014: Alvarez begins to restore confidence and credibility by edging past former world amateur champ and reigning WBA light-middle kingpin Erislandy Lara from Cuba via split decision in a 12 round non-title affair made at 155lbs.
November 2015: Four months after his 25th birthday, ‘Canelo’ becomes a two-weight world champion.....of sorts! In a crassly manufactured match for the vacant WBC middleweight title – made at 155lbs – the fiery redhead repels a spirited challenge from a rejuvenated Miguel Cotto before an 11,274 sell out at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, in Vegas. The Latino showdown draws over 900,000 PPV buys.
May 2016: The marauding Mex puts a third British scalp on his ledger when he places Bolton wonder Amir Khan into the Land of Nod for several minutes, courteous of a monstrous overhand right. The promotion - dubbed ‘Power vs Speed’ - generates over $30m and attracts a live crowd of 13,072, confirming ‘Canelo’ as contemporary boxing’s premier cash cow.
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