For the past eighteen years, when you think of boxing in Mexico, you either think of Canelo Alvarez Record or had heard the name Canelo Alvarez adjacent to that phrase. Alvarez has had a hall-of-fame career, and it has been long already despite it not even being concluded.
Though it is up for debate, and arguments over where Canelo Alvarez sits in terms of great boxers and Mexican legends - his career has been historic, and one worth remembering even though it is still ongoing.
Let’s now look at some of the milestones in his career.
Canelo Alvarez vs Austin Trout: Passing the First Stern Test
When you have a superstar one of the first checkpoints to greatness is ‘can they get past their first stern test?’ Trout, who is a southpaw, and also considered a big junior middleweight at the time, had just gone to Madison Square Garden and defeated Miguel Cotto in a massive upset. Trout famously called for Canelo, and with little hesitation, the bout was made.
Though most will forget how close the fight truly was, the deciding blow came in the seventh round when Canelo sent Trout to the canvas. Though most feel the scores didn’t reflect the fight - and the open scoring system being used in the fight took away some of the drama from a fight fan perspective. Canelo had to show that he was a future legend by defeating Austin Trout, who had all the skills and attributes to derail a young prospect.
Canelo Alvarez vs Floyd Mayweather: Unlikely Passing of the Torch
In Canelo’s next fight, he went straight into the ring with the biggest draw in the sport, Floyd Mayweather. The two fought at a catchweight of 152 lbs., and was one of the biggest attractions of its time. Mayweather was going on his third decade of dominance in the sport of boxing. What we saw was an unlikely passing of the torch as Mayweather won a split decision over Canelo, but the visibility Canelo gained from the fight endeared him to a whole new audience which catapulted him to the next level.
After this fight, we also began to hear a popular gym myth that Canelo learned from Floyd Mayweather’s tactics in this fight and implement them on opponents moving forward.
Canelo Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara: Defeating the Avoided Fighter
Despite having beaten Austin Trout, a southpaw spoiler, Erislandy Lara was a man who was flat-out avoided. Lara had an awful decision go against when he should’ve clearly outpointed Paul Williams but somehow lost the majority decision that introduced Lara to the world.
Lara was the 2008 Cuban Olympic gold medalist and was not getting opportunities with the top names, as the biggest names didn’t want to seemingly take a chance against a fighter who was either knocking out his opponents in one round or outboxing them for the whole fight with a threat of a lethal left hand from the southpaw stance.
Prior to fighting Canelo Alvarez, Lara had some of the biggest fights of his career, one of which was against Alfredo Angulo, in which OG Bobby Warren and Virgil Hunter, had Angulo fight as well as ever seeing Lara hit the canvas in round four and nine. Lara was still able to stop Angulo in round elven, though Bobby Warren would always claim it was a thumb to his eye. Lara would dominate Trout, as Trout once told me that was the one fight that when it was over, he was glad it was over.
That led to the Canelo fight - a fight that Lara probably should’ve won, but was so risk-averse, that it allowed for swing rounds to go any which way. In a fight a lot of experts didn’t believe Canelo had a chance in - Canelo fought well and won a hard-fought decision over an avoided fighter.
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin I&II: Fighting the Best of the Era
A theme of Canelo’s career has been this - beat the fighter people say he can’t beat for another to emerge. As soon as he beat Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara’s name emerged, and a year or so later - here comes the dominant force of Gennadiy Golovkin. Despite Canelo fighting at junior middleweight, it seemed only a matter of time, before the two were pitted against each other. This was even furthered when Canelo defeated Miguel Cotto for the middleweight title despite neither fighter weighing in at the 160 lbs limit.
After knocking out Amir Khan, Khan’s trainer, Virgil Hunter called for Canelo to fight Golovkin. Two fights later, Canelo made his true middleweight debut against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in a fight that was truly forgettable, but was hyped up in its era. After the final ding of the bell, Golovkin came to the ring and confronted Canelo.
The two were to face each other in 2017 as essentially a ‘best of the era’ fight. The outcome of the first fight will haunt Golovkin forever. Despite most feeling that Golovkin won the fight, it was ruled a draw. The second bout was postponed as Canelo Alvarez failed a drug test in April 2018 for Clenbuterol. When they did rematch in 2018, Canelo would win a close fight with the perception of fans being that Canelo pushed the heavy-handed Golovkin backward.
Sadly for Golovkin, he was very effective using his jab and not putting himself on the ropes, but Canelo won the decision and came out of this sequence of fights as not just the victory, but historically looked at as the more significant fighter.
Canelo Alvarez's Run for Undisputed in 2021: Apex Mountain of His Career
After defeating Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez would sign a historic deal with start-up tech-based streaming sports company, DAZN. The deal was reported as a five-year, eleven fight contracted with pay being reported at 365 million.
The fight didn’t just catapult his legacy, it seemingly secured his finical well-being forever as he landed one of the biggest contracts in boxing history. Canelo would stop Rocky Fielding in his first fight on the DAZN deal in December of 2018 in three rounds to obtain the WBA super middleweight world title.
The new few years, Canelo would fight at money weight seeking the biggest purses possible as he fought Daniel Jacobs, who gave Golovkin a run for his money, Sergey Kovalev, a dominant light heavyweight, who lost twice to Andre Ward and was never the same, before continuing on his conquest of the super middleweight division, by obtaining the vacant WBC super middleweight title against top-rated fighter Callum Smith.
2021 was the apex mountain of Canelo’s career as he would fight three times, one of which was a stay-busy fight against Avni Yildirim, who he stopped in three rounds. This was followed by stopping WBO super middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders in the eighth round of their fight. Since the loss, Saunders has not fought since.
The conclusion of Canelo's race towards undisputed saw him cross network lines going to Showtime to fight the IBF super middleweight world champion, Caleb Plant, stopping him eleven rounds.
It was the perfect storm, and it allowed Canelo to get appreciated for the tremendous fighter he is during that year.
Canelo Alvarez's Loss to Dmitry Bivol: What's Next for the Pound-for-Pound King?
After a tremendous year, and becoming a consensus number one pound-for-pound fighter, as well as the boxer of the year from every reputable organization - Canelo looked to win another world title moving back up to light heavyweight to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
At the time, Dmitry Bivol record had been fighting at weird times and was not capturing the attention of the general public despite being a long-reigning champion. What happened was Bivol outboxed Canelo, and the tremendous accomplishment Canelo had in 2021 was washed away with one performance in which Canelo looked for too reliant on power.
Now we enter Canelo’s final act - does he seek redemption against Bivol? How does he close it? Well, that is all part of the drama of the John Ryder fight, I suppose.
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