26 May 2022 | 11:47 | Boxing
Similar to the old holiday shopping axiom of “what to buy for the man who has everything,” there isn’t much more to say about Canelo Alvarez’s greatness that hasn’t already been heaped upon him in deserved fashion.
Alvarez, 31, fulfilled his goal of becoming the first Mexican boxer to be crowned undisputed champion when he stopped unbeaten Caleb Plant last weekend to unify all four super middleweight world titles.
The fact that the Mexican icon did so by winning four fights in the span of 12 months to make the division his own says everything one needs to know about what makes Alvarez special — during a pandemic, no less — when many top fighters are struggling to fight even twice in one year.
Alvarez was surgical in breaking down Plant’s guard and elite defensive skills to once again prove he can fight any style needed in a given fight. The 11th-round TKO cemented even further why Alvarez, in an era filled with elite fighters, is pound-for-pound the best in show — and it’s not particularly close.
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After the conclusion of such a busy schedule, Alvarez plans to take some time off before a May return, likely on Cinco de Mayo weekend. The only suspense remaining is which direction Alvarez will head next in his quest to be great.
Recent teasing about a move back up to 175 pounds, where he knocked out Sergey Kovalev in 2019 to claim the WBO title, is nothing short of intriguing. Alvarez would give up a ton of size at light heavyweight, where unbeaten champions Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol reside.
Alvarez could just as easily stay at 168 pounds should he decide to remain aligned with PBC to defend his four-pack of titles against marketable names like David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo. And then there is the trilogy with middleweight titleholder Gennadiy Golovkin, which is undoubtedly the hope of streaming platform DAZN, which broadcasted Alvarez’s previous six fights before Plant.
Whichever direction Alvarez decides to go, the crowds will follow as the sport’s biggest draw continues a career arc unique to his own some 16 years after he first turned pro as an unknown teenager. Somewhere along the way, Alvarez will likely pass the great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. for recognition as the greatest boxer in Mexico’s decorated history.