Canelo Alvarez criticizes Mexican government’s treatment of athletes

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had some harsh criticisms for the Mexican government due to the lack of support that it has shown towards different sports and athletes that represent the country. As a leader in sports, business, and philanthropy, the Mexican public believes the 32-year-old fighter has earned the right to raise his voice on issues that he considers relevant to Mexican society.

As “Canelo” prepares to return to Guadalajara, Mexico for his fight against John Ryder. He explained why he decided to make the leap toward professional boxing due to the scarcity of resources in the amateur sports scene. 

“They care about very few things, but they do not support sports, much less boxing, (the sport) that has given the country the most glory, they steal everything," Canelo stated in an interview, “When I was going to represent Jalisco in the National Olympics if you won a gold medal, they would give you some money monthly, it wasn’t much, but for public transportation and other small things, unfortunately, it never came, I never received a single penny… they stole everything.” 

He directed the comments towards the current head of the National Sports Commission in Mexico, Olympic medalist Ana Gabriela Guevara, who has previously been accused of corruption by multiple Mexican athletes and lawyers.

Ana Gabriela Guevara Espinoza is a retired track and field athlete and Olympian. She served as a senator between 2012 and 2018. She was appointed the head of the National Sports Commission in December 2019 by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In 2008 Ana Guevara retired after an eleven-year career. Former world champion sprinter, and one of Mexico's most celebrated sports figures, announced her retirement, saying she was tired of corruption and cronyism in Mexican politics. 

Guevara, who won the 400 meters at the 2003 World Championships, the silver at the Athens Olympics, and is a three-time Pan Am Games champion, often celebrated her victories by carrying the Mexican flag high above her head.

"I thought I could change the situation, but dirty politics continue, and that is why I'm leaving. I hope people understand how big the problem is." Guevara said in an interview after her retirement.

Guevara was under investigation by the Mexican Secretariat of the Civil Service over alleged extortion. According to the report, Guevara’s accounts have been subject to inspection for several months now following a series of columns published by El Universal journalist Peniley Ramirez.

On June 10, 2020, the legal representative of a company that accused Ana Gabriela Guevara of extortion, and other members of his team, was shot at in Boca del Río, Veracruz by unknown gunmen. The attack took place while the lawyer drove through the Costa de Oro neighborhood in a bulletproof BMW. The victim is Rafael Sánchez Caño, a lawyer for Cocinas Industriales Multifuncionales de Calidad S.A.

With such a history of rampant corruption and crime in the Mexican government, it is no wonder why “Canelo” Alvarez continues the trend of speaking out against the treatment of Mexican athletes and sporting events.