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20 Things You Didn't Know about Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez 1

Canelo Alvarez is a Mexican boxer. To be precise, he is a Mexican middleweight boxer who has managed to win all but two of his 49 fights so far, with one having concluded in a draw while the other concluded in a loss. As a result, there are those who believe him to be one of the best boxers in the world on a pound-for-pound basis, which is a remarkable achievement for an athlete who seems as though he can rise higher still.

Naturally, his interesting career means that he has an interesting backstory, which should provide more than enough material for those who are interested in him to pour over while they wait on him to continue making his way through the world of boxing.

Here are 20 things that you didn't know about Canelo Alvarez

Alvarez's full name is Santos Saul Alvarez Barragan. As a result, he is called Saul Alvarez most of the time, though Canelo is a popular choice as well. Based on the context, it should come as no surprise to learn that Canelo is a nickname, being the Spanish word "cinnamon, which is often used to refer to redheads in his native Mexico.

Currently, Alvarez is the middleweight champion, which is run using a lineal system. For people who are unfamiliar with the concept of a lineal system, it means that the current champion is whoever managed to beat the last champion, which can cause some confusion under certain circumstances but also creates more exciting matches than otherwise possible by raising the stakes. Previously, Alvarez has held the WBC middleweight title, the WBC light middleweight title, as well as others, thus providing substance to what has been said about his boxing skills.

BoxRec is the resource that has ranked Alvarez as not just the best middleweight boxer in the world but also the best boxer in the world on a pound-for-pound basis. Like its name suggests, BoxRec maintains the latest records of professional boxers that start since the implementation of the Queensberry Rules and run to the present, which boxing promoters often use to choose match-ups. Although it has received criticism from time to time for inaccuracies caused by its use of volunteers to keep its information up-to-date, it is nonetheless something that see significant use by a wide range of people.

Alvarez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 18, 1990 to a pair of farmers who happened to own three ice cream parlors as the youngest of their seven sons as well as the youngest of their eight children. His red hair comes from his mother, Ana Maria, while his boxing skills have been honed by his family.

To elaborate, Alvarez's family is filled with boxers, as shown by the fact that all six of his brothers have managed to become professional boxers. In fact, one of them, Rigoberto, even managed to win the WBA Super-Welter title in 2010, which makes him impressive but still overshadowed by his littlest brother, who is the best out of them all.

Despite his family, Alvarez had no initial intentions of becoming a boxer. However, that changed because of bullies in the barrio who teased him about his red hair as well as his freckles and his pale complexion. Once he started learning how to box, the people who had once bullied him had a sudden change of mind, particularly once he had started boxing in amateur matches throughout the local region.

From the start, Alvarez was trained by a father-son team consisting of Jose and Eddy Reynoso, who have a reputation for turning out winners. After all, their previous students include both featherweight Oscar Larios and lightweight Javier Jauregui, who have managed to make powerful reputations for themselves through an impressive number of wins. Even now, Alvarez is still being trained by Jose and Eddy Reynoso, whose contributions to his success cannot be overstated.

On the advice of Jose Reynoso, Alvarez dropped out of high school to become a professional boxer in 2005, no more than three months after his 15th birthday. In part, this is because he had the talent to rise to the top, meaning that it made sense for him to focus on making the most of that talent. However, it should also be noted that he was having serious problems finding other amateurs to fight him because of how he tore through their ranks.

As a result, Alvarez engaged in a total of 34 professional matches before he had become a full-grown adult, which is all the most impressive because he managed to capture no fewer than four championship titles in the process. He had no more than a single blemish on his career throughout that time, which was a four-round draw with Jorge Juarez.

In 2011, Alvarez became the youngest person to ever win the super-welterweight title at 20 years and 230 days. He did this by beating Matthew Hatton at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California so decisively that he won every round on every card with the single exception of the seventh round, in which he received a point deduction for striking after the bell.

Alvarez lost his undefeated streak on September 14 of 2013 when he came up against Floyd Mayweather Junior at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which resulted in a majority decision against him after 12 rounds. As a result, he also lost both of the championship titles that he had been holding onto at the time, which must have come as an unexpected and unpleasant outcome. On the plus side, the match earned a record-breaking $150 million, meaning that Alvarez received a guaranteed $12.5 million as well as a respectable share of the $2.2 million in proceeds from pay-per-view.

Unsurprisingly, Alvarez is one of the most marketable athletes on the planet, so much so that he is the single most valuable asset of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Enterprises. In particular, he is a favorite of Latino communities, which see him as something of a hero. However, as he continues to become a more and more familiar sight to other countries throughout the world, it seems probable that he will become an even bigger international phenomenon as well.

Growing up on a farm, Alvarez learned how to ride horses. As a result, he remains an avid horse rider in the present, having received a pair of them from a Mexican pop star as well as the local mayor. His other interests range from fishing and swimming to camping at the Rio Grande de Santiago, which is one of the longest rivers that can be found in the whole of Mexico.

Family-wise, Alvarez has a daughter named Emily, though he is no longer seeing her mother. Instead, his fiancee is Marisol Gonzalez, who was not just Miss Mexico Universe in 2003 but also one of the highest-profile presenters for the Mexican TV station Televisa. Since the two have been engaged since 2010, it seems safe to say that they have a stable relationship, though it is difficult to speculate further without having more information about them.

For proof of Alvarez's star power in Latino communities, look no further than the fact that an astonishing 26 million Mexicans caught his match with Shane Mosley, which was shown on Televisa. For the sake of comparison, it is important to note that no more than 19 million Mexicans caught the Olympic football finals between Mexico and Brazil even though football is one of the most popular sports in that country. Summed up, it is clear that Alvarez possess incredible star power, which is a natural extension of his consistent success in the boxing ring.

Some boxers are successful under a specific set of circumstances but begin losing once they start facing boxers from other countries with other boxing styles. This has not been the case with Alvarez, who dominated other Mexican boxers right from the start and has continued dominating other boxers from other countries whenever they have had the misfortune of facing him in the boxing ring. So far, he has faced boxers from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and even Japan, thus showing that the number of his wins is no mere coincidence that can be dismissed without a thought.

Alvarez is famous for winning a lot of his matches by knocking out his opponents. However, he has shown that he can stand and trade with tough opponents as well, as shown by his fight against the big, muscular Austin Trout. Unable to knock the man out like he has so many others before him, Alvarez was forced to stand up to him in a grueling slog of a match, though he managed to come out nonetheless with a win by virtue of points. Regardless, it was as impressive a show of his endurance as it was of his boxing skill.

Curiously, Alvarez has stated that he likes to ride horses bareback, which means that he is not using either the saddle or the stirrups while doing so. Although this can seem like a simple and straightforward matter, it is important to note that bareback riding is a significantly more challenging task than riding with a saddle and stirrups, which is why the latter overtook the former whenever the essential components were introduced throughout the world. While it is far from impossible, bareback riding is nonetheless impressive because it calls for a well-honed sense of balance as well as excellent coordination, particularly since doing it can come with painful results in both the short run and the long run.

For people who love Michael Jackson's music, it might interest them to know that Alvarez is a Michael Jackson fan as well. To be exact, his favorite song is Michael Jackson's Beat It, which remains not just one of that artist's greatest hits but also one of the greatest hits of all-time.  Alvarez has stated that he likes to listen to the song while he is training for his matches because he finds that its rhythm makes it easier for him to maintain the right pace while he is boxing, which is important because timing is a surprisingly critical factor in fights.

On occasion, Alvarez has received criticism for being unexciting as a professional boxer. Instead, he is serious most of the time, which is a drawback in a field that has become known for its flamboyant figures as much as its spectacular fights. However, there are some signs that Alvarez is willing to engage in a little trash-talking from time to time, as shown by when he fired back at accusations that he was afraid to face Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin in the ring.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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