By: Hans Themistode
To every one else it’s just a number but too Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) it means everything.
It was clear that from the beginning that Canelo would become a special fighter. After all he turned professional at only the age of 15. He went on to knockout 11 of his first 13 opponents. That may sound impressive but in actuality it’s not. That’s what a young prospect is supposed to do. Dominate the level of opposition and continue to get better. Alvarez did exactly what he was supposed to do.
As the years went by and the opposition got tougher Alvarez only continued to dominate. He began to win belts on a much smaller level. None of those achievements meant anything to Canelo. No fighter truly cares about the those smaller titles. With all due respect to belts such as the NABF, WBC silver and intercontinental titles but they don’t hold much worth. Every fighter truly wants to become a legit world champion at some point in their career.
For Alvarez that time came at Super Middleweight in 2011 when he defeated Matthew Hatton by unanimous decision for the vacant WBC crown. Canelo went on to defend that title six times against incredibly stiff competition including Josesito Lopez, future hall of famer albeit past his prime at the time Shane Mosley and Austin Trout. In defeating Trout he would add his WBA title to his collection and become a unified champion.
We all remember his bout against Floyd Mayweather which ended in his first defeat. From there he went on to defeat a murderers row of challengers including Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland.
Victory in those matches were needed in order to set up a fight with the legendary Miguel Cotto for the WBC Middleweight title. Alvarez went on to defeat Cotto and become a two division champion. Since then Canelo has gone on to defeat arguably the toughest competition. In his most recent two bouts he took on the undefeated heavy hitting
Gennady Golovkin (GGG). The aforementioned GGG presented Canelo with his biggest and highest profile win of his career thus far.
The road to a Middleweight title now went through Canelo Alvarez. With so many big names in the division the options for his next fight were endless. A third fight with GGG seemed possible. A matchup with the young undefeated Jermall Charlo sounds even more enticing. Even a bout with current promotional banner fighter David Lemieux sounds like a great fight. We can’t forget about the other two Middleweight champions in Danny Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. Becoming undisputed champion seems within reach for Canelo now.
Instead of choosing any of these fighters Canelo elected to go up to the Super Middleweight division and challenge WBA regular titleist Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs).
It was a perplexing moving to say the least when it was first announced. However when you sit down and think about it, the bout against Rocky makes all the sense in the world. Canelo isn’t just a great fighter but he’s also someone that studies the history of boxing and appreciates it. It’s why he is so honored to be fighting in Madison Square Garden this weekend. He has expressed pride in gracing the same ring as other great fighters have before him such as Muhammad Ali. More than anything it gives Canelo a chance to make history himself.
There have been eight Mexican fighters in the entire history of boxing that have gone on to win world titles in at least three different weight divisions. The number nine which was previously mentioned in the beginning of this article represents what a victory over Rocky Fielding this weekend means as he would become the ninth member on that illustrious list.
It won’t be an easy nights work for Canelo. Rocky will enjoy a significant height, weight and reach advantage. Alvarez will have a tough night ahead of him no matter what the critics may think of his opponent.
However with history only one step away Canelo is sure to step up to the challenge as he has done time and time again.
A victory this weekend will solidly his place in boxing history.