Born on this day: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

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A lot can be said about Saul Alvarez when discussing the highlights of his Hall of Fame career.

The fact that he achieved all of this at such a young age is just one of them, and it adds a whole new dimension to his accolades.

Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on July 18, 1990, just 32 years ago today. During this relatively short period, the “Freckled Boy Wonder” won multiple titles and sat atop the pound-for-pound list for three years.

Starting at a very young age as one of the most talented of a group of seven brothers who had their own boxing careers in his native Mexico, ‘Canelo’ (Cinammon) earned his nickname thanks to the light brown freckles that populate his skin . His morning idol looks and red hair (product of a line that includes Irish ancestry) made him a rarity among his peers, and soon he was making headlines with his accomplishments and looks.

He became a professional fighter at the age of 15 and began terrorizing his region’s 140-pound division with a streak that included 11 knockouts in 13 fights, including a victory over future champion Miguel Vazquez. He then embarked on a meteoric rise that earned him his first world championship belt in 2011, when he defeated Matthew Hatton to lift the WBC junior middleweight belt vacated by Manny Pacquiao.

The next highlight of his career would see him win the Ring Championship at 140lbs with a victory over Austin Trout in 2013, but it was followed by a loss that was, for a long time, the only blemish of his career at his next fight. , as Canelo dropped a one-sided unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather to lose all of his belts.

Three wins later, he defeated Miguel Cotto for the Ring Middleweight Championship, invading a new division in which he would later have two grudge matches against Gennadiy Golovkin in what turned out to be the start of a trilogy. which will end in September 2022.

Canelo would go on to increase his collection of belts by adding a light heavyweight title against a faded Sergey Kovalev in 2019, in a performance that earned him the title of best pound-for-pound fighter in the world according to The Ring. He would retain that honor by returning to the super middleweight division to become the first four-belt titlist in that weight class, beating Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant in that quest.

His career suffered a serious setback in his last fight to date, in which he suffered a decisive defeat against light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, but a chance for redemption is imminent with his third fight against Golovkin coming up. .

Win or lose, however, one thing is certain: just as he fought at the elite level at an early age, he will continue to be in the elite as he gets older, always making headlines, always there for fans and detractors criticize him. or worship it as they see fit.

Diego M. Morilla has been writing for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and numerous other magazines, websites, newspapers and other media since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first place awards at the BWAA’s annual writing competition and is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Review Panel. He was copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter @MorillaBoxing

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