Boxing

Ringwalk: Canelo Alvarez

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The Ring Walk series is back and as we transition from the boxing classic that was Fury-Wilder 3, we now look ahead to more history being made when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Caleb Plant faceoff to become the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion.

While Caleb Plant has made himself a name in the boxing world with a 21-0 record, and winning a belt in just 18 of those fights, but this is all about the face of boxing today in Canelo Alvarez. 

Ring Walk: Canelo Alvarez

Fighting out of Guadalajara, Mexico, Saul Alvarez is one of eight children in a household led by his mother Ana Maria who is his biggest fan. Of the eight kids in the family, all of his brothers would become boxers with his older brother Rigoberto Alvarez being the most prominent of them having won a WBA Interim belt.

It was the training sessions of his older brother that first introduced him to the sport and what helped him meet the father and son training duo of Chepo and Eddy Reynoso. They would shape the man Alvarez would eventually become as well as the fighter, they would lead him to early success in the amateur ranks before turning pro at just 15 after amassing an amateur record of 44-2.

Canelo Alvarez would start his career 33-0-1 before getting his first national exposure in the United States against former Ring and WBC Welterweight titleholder Carlos Baldomir. Baldomir was known as a tough out, he had wins over guys like Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti but had lost to several fighters heading into the Alvarez bout, namely Floyd Mayweather

What is important to remember though is despite losing three of his last five heading into the bout, Baldomir had not been knocked out. Alvarez would change that with a thunderous and impressive knockout, at 20 years old he already had a highlight knockout over a legendary name in the boxing community.

The First of Many Title Belts

Canelo Alvarez would win his first title belt in a one-sided boxing showcase fight for the young redhead from Mexico. He would defeat Matthew Hatton, the brother of Ricky Hatton, for the vacant WBC Light Middleweight title. He would defend that belt successfully six times with some defenses coming against notable names such as Kermit Cintron, Shane Mosley, and Josesito Lopez.

All of this would lead up to a fight against the man who spoiled his matchup against Miguel Cotto, for now, one Austin Trout. Trout was seen as a serious middleweight talent and while he didn’t have a strong puncher’s chance he did have a boxing style that we hadn’t seen Canelo go against yet. 

The fight would be one-sided on the fight cards but fans and media alike did not agree with the one-sided scoring. Trout would get knocked down but he would come back and hit and move against Canelo Alvarez and would frustrate him, all of this would lead up to the biggest fight of his career at the age of 23.

Money Mayweather Shares the Spotlight

This fight had so much hype and potential for boxing fans and casual fans alike.

We had the All Access show that led up the fight with four weeks of build-up, UFC Primetime followed then heavyweight great Cain Velasquez going into his fight against Junior dos Santos, and came on the biggest weekend of the boxing year which is Mexican Independence Day weekend.

The question loomed of will Canelo Alvarez get revenge for his promotor Oscar De La Hoya? Or will Floyd Mayweather do what he always does and just outbox everyone regardless of style, age, and power?

The fight would be a very bad majority decision because, to be honest, it wasn’t very close. Mayweather took full advantage of Alvarez trying to outbox him rather than making things more chaotic and thus it was a one-sided showing. It would be a lesson for Alvarez and his camp and despite the calls for him to leave the Reynoso family of training he decides to stay with them and it would pay off and then some for the future hall of famer.

The Canelo Alvarez Revenge Tour 

After the loss to Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez felt the need to salvage his career and public perception, and what better way to do that than to fight the toughest dogs in the yard of middleweight.

He would fight Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, and then a monstrous and historic knockout of James Kirkland which came a week after the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight that disappointed many.

He would finally get a chance to fight Miguel Cotto in a traditional Mexico versus Puerto Rico bout that Cotto was a very live dog in throughout the fight bur again the brilliance of Alvarez would shine through and help him win The Ring and WBC Middleweight titles for another weight class crown. 

Two more knockouts of British fighters Amir Khan and Callum Smith and then absolute drumming of the biggest disappointment in Mexican boxing history in Julio Caesar Chavez Jr.

Again though, all of these fights would be a build-up to the biggest two-fight stretch of his career when he would face off with the scariest man in the sport at that point.

Back to Back Golovkin Bouts Cement a Legacy

The man who everyone in boxing was afraid of back in 2017 was Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin was a well-established amateur winning a silver medal in the Olympics, was 37-0 entering the fight, and had just come off a 24 straight knockout streak that was ended in his decision win over Daniel Jacobs

Emotions were high, boxing fans were eager, and it would live up to the hype not once but twice.

In their first meeting, the scorecards would be the story again though sadly. The first fight was seen as a win for Golovkin by many ringside observers but one Adelaide Byrd gave an all-time insane scorecard that made the bout a majority draw. In the rematch, though both men let it all out and did their best to avoid the scorecards, while neither would be successful in their efforts it made for an all-time great fight and one of the best for this generation of fans.

The Road to This Weekend

Canelo Alvarez would go from his hard-hitting duo of fights against the Kazakhstani machine with dominant performances against Rocky Fielding, Daniel Jacobs, and even a stop at light heavyweight that included stopping the long-time titleholder in the division in Sergey Kovalev

The win over Kovalev is just another example of how the now four-division champion, Alvarez is on another level but it also has him in the discussion for greatest Mexican boxer of all time if we are being honest.

This weekend, with a win, he would become the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion in the history of boxing. He will still only be 31 years old after this weekend and with a record of 56-1-2 heading into it, the discussion for usurping Julio Caesar Chavez Sr. who was just a three-division champion who lost to Pernell Whitaker in his chance at a fourth.

To come full circle though as the Whitaker gameplan could be one that Caleb Plant could use and win with, it is up to Canelo Alvarez because he has proven he can dictate the fight and where it goes after being on the receiving end of that against Mayweather.

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