MEXICAN icon Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is quickly becoming the face of boxing and a failed drug test in 2018 hasn’t dimmed his shine.
It is important to note that the positive test for performance enhancing drugs was later redeemed and blamed on contaminated meat.
Many do not accept that excuse but Canelo seems to be running his own race, building his name, empire and legacy on what he does in the ring.
Canelo chases the big challenges, he seems to want a mountain to climb, a tough opponent to face. When he face Golovkin in 2017 and again in 2018, it was the biggest fight to make in the sport.
For the hardcore boxing fandom, Gennadiy Golovkin versus Canelo Alvarez was an instance of the best facing the best.
The trilogy fight would possibly be the biggest event in the sport for years but Canelo isn’t interested having seen Golovkin’s performances since the first two installments.
With Canelo campaigning at higher weights, Golovkin contested the vacant IBO and IBF middleweight world titles with Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
It came as a shock to some that Derevyanchenko made it a war.
After watching Golovkin slog to a hard fought decision in the bout, Canelo said: “We fought 24 rounds already, I beat him last time and moved on with my career.
“And if they offer me something good, then maybe that third fight between us would happen. Until then it’s not a fight that interests me.”
Which is why since facing Golovkin, Canelo has continued his rampage through the weight classes, he moved up to super middleweight and crushed a far bigger man in Rocky Fielding.
Canelo then dropped back down to middleweight and schooled the classy and durable Danny Jacobs.
He will next dare to be great, challenging Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight championship on November 2.
Canelo is a throwback to the old boys; your Rocky Marcianos, the Jack Dempeys and Gene Tunneys.
He wants to be the most game, tough fighter around and like those aforementioned boxing fore-fathers, he would be remembered for it.
Canelo’s dominance contrasts with his impeccable form and silky movement. He is a hurtful puncher with the timing for counter punching and the bravery to stand in the pocket. He throws punches in bunches, high-low, high-low.
However, when the heat come his way, he majestically pivots on the spot, moving his head millimeters out of dodge.
The exciting part of his performances are not what happens, it’s what doesn’t happen. Crowds ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ as big shots from the likes of Jacobs and Golovkin come hair raising close to Canelo’s chin before sailing harmlessly past.
He can stand and bang, he can slip and move. Canelo’s performances are expansive, making them a work of art. The Golovkin rematch is a towering achievement birthed in the center of the ring.
It is the same as a legendary director creating a universe on the screen with an iconic film.
Canelo’s Instagram friendly skills, potential all-time great athleticism and representation of the boxing world make him an inspiration to many boxers like me.
Signing with DAZN in 2018 turned him into one of sport’s richest athletes. He signed a $365 million deal with the streaming service.
This inspires young boxers, anyone looking to achieve something because by living and breathing boxing, he changed his life and sports history.