By: Hans Themistode
Throughout the course of his Hall of Fame bound career, Canelo Alvarez has pocketed numerous big wins. However, as the curtains came to a close on his remarkable 2021, the Mexican star had arguably his best year to date.
With victories over Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant, paired with an effortless win over Avni Yildirim, Alvarez looks back on his year proudly.
During the Mexican star’s final ring appearance of the year against Plant, he was forced to solve a complicated puzzle. Although Alvarez was considered a sizable favorite heading in, Plant’s boxing ability proved to be far more troublesome than many were expecting. Still, despite his early success, Plant would succumb to the pound-for-pound star via 11th round stoppage.
The win for Alvarez was a sacred one as he became the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time. But while he successfully etched his name in boxing’s history books for eternity, Alvarez reveals that his historical victory wasn’t his favorite in 2021.
“I think Caleb Plant was a bigger fight because there was only one belt left. But the fight I enjoyed a lot was Billy Joe Saunders,” said Alvarez to RingMagazine. “He talked a lot of shit and we had 73,000 people.”
Prior to Alvarez registering his momentous victory over Plant, he patiently watched as the days ticked by before his showdown against Saunders. For a number of years, the British product stated time and time again that Alvarez was far from a special fighter.
With hubris filled to the brim, Saunders continued to bad mouth Alvarez directly to his face throughout the entire build-up of their showdown. Even with just a few days remaining until their contest took place, Saunders threatened to pull out of their contest due to the size of the ring.
Through grinding teeth and clenched fists, Alvarez accepted the disparaging words of Saunders but promised to make him pay dearly, something that proved to be true.
As their matchup unfolded, Saunders more than held his own. However, moments before the eighth round came to a close, Alvarez landed a picture-perfect right uppercut. The force of the blow fractured the right orbital bone and eye socket of Saunders. As a result, the former WBO titlist ultimately decided to retire. While the win over Plant may have held more historical significance, the victory over Saunders is something Alvarez views as more satisfying.
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