Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez only turned 30 this year. Doesn’t that seem crazy?
It feels like feels like the boxer has been around forever and, despite his age, he has packed a lot into his staggering 56-fight career.
A majority decision loss to the legendary Floyd Mayweather in 2013 is the only blemish he has on his record. He also has two draws, one against the formidable Gennady Golovkin in 2017 and the other an early career four-round stumble.
Along the way, Canelo has become a four division champion – light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight – where his skill and brilliance have seen him become a pay-per-view attraction.
There’s nothing overly sexy about Canelo’s presentation, it’s his greatness.
The love for Alvarez has spawned from his willingness to fight the best and delivering.
His passionate fanbase – mostly Mexican/Mexican-Americans, cherish his two fights a year that usually take place on the weekends of Cinco de Mayo in May and Mexican Independence Day in September.
It’s believed Canelo has netted a personal fortune of around $37million to date and, along with Anthony Joshua, is probably the biggest draw in boxing.
Streaming service DAZN committed $365million in 2018 to lock up Alvarez’s next 11 fights and they saw almost immediate reward for their investment.
The Canelo-Golovkin fights in 2017 and ’18 were the first U.S. boxing matches not involving Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao to register more than one million buys since 2002.
It was very lucrative for DAZN, but it’s understood Alvarez made roughly $50million over the course of the two fights. According to Forbes, he should earn around $35 million per fight moving forward for the rest of his deal.
Conor McGregor attracts fans to mixed martial arts with his mouth, Canelo’s allure is his skill in the ring – both are box office dynamite.
“Canelo is a beast. The way he beat Gennady Golovkin, I just think no one can stop him,” Amir Khan told Sky Sports.
“Even if Floyd Mayweather came back and took a rematch with him, I think he would beat Mayweather.”
Carl Froch added: “He has everything. He can box, he can fight, his timing is great and his defence is good as well. Canelo is not a good all-rounder, he is an exceptional all-rounder.”
Even his box office rival, Anthony Joshua, said he was the best in the world.
“Canelo — Canelo is my guy,” Joshua told talkSPORT in 2017 when asked who the best in the world was.
Canelo has clearly kept his eye on Joshua, too and has even discussed taking the show abroad – just like AJ has done, who earned big money for fighting Andy Ruiz last December in Saudi Arabia.
“I can see myself fighting in Saudi Arabia, fighting in Japan, in England. Believe me, this is something,” he told DAZN.
Eddie Hearn has been trying to make a lucrative fight with either Billy Joe Saunders or Callum Smith for the best part of 2020, calling it the ‘shot of a lifetime.’
Given the inevitable money it would generate, DAZN understandably want to see a trilogy with Golovkin. However, it’s been reported Canelo has no interest in the bout as he believes he won both prior meetings despite only officially winning one of them.
However, it will be interesting to see how the relationship between boxer and broadcaster can flourish given his intention to sue promoter Golden Boy Promotions, its owner/CEO/chairman Oscar De La Hoya, and DAZN in United States federal court for the Central District of California, claiming damages of at least $280m.
Reasons include breach of contract, intentional interference with a contract, negligent interference with a contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty related to the five-year, 11-fight deal.
Despite the best efforts of Hearn and Matchroom, Canelo has no fight lined up and he is not happy.
“I’m the pound-for-pound no.1 in the world. I’m not scared of any opponent in the ring, and I’m not going to let failures of my broadcaster or promoters keep me out of the ring,” he told BoxingScene.
“I filed the lawsuit so I can get back to boxing and give my fans the show they deserve.”
His passionate fanbase will hopefully see the situation resolved soon given people are willing to pay to see his fights and rivalries on a consistent basis.
Unless Joshua finally fights Tyson Fury like many hope or Mayweather suddenly comes out of retirement, Canelo is the reigning king of boxing’s box office.