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At the age of 26, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico's Canelo Alvarez has conquered the boxing world, captivating fans both in Mexico and around the globe with his action-packed fighting style, charisma and willingness to take on the toughest challenges.
With his red hair and freckles, baby-faced Canelo Alvarez may not appear to be your typical Mexican warrior. However, one look at the hard-hitting former WBC and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion and reigning WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight Champion, makes it clear that he is following firmly in the footsteps of Mexican greats such as Rubén “Púas” Olivares, Salvador “Sal” Sánchez, Julio Cesar “JC” Chávez, Marco “Baby Faced Assassin “Antonio Barrera y Erik “El Terrible” Morales. This makes him not only one of the most popular young fighters in his home country, but one in demand around the entire Latino fight community. Just 25 years old, Canelo amazingly made his professional debut on October 29, 2005, only three months after his 15th birthday. He made an immediate impression, halting Abraham Gonzalez in four rounds in their bout in Tonala, Jalisco, Mexico. Three more wins followed in rapid succession for Canelo before he was extended to a four-round draw with Jorge Juarez in June of 2006. There were no more blemishes on his record for a long time, as Canelo won 11 of his next 13 bouts by knockout, winning the Jalisco state welterweight title in the process. 2008 was the biggest year for Canelo yet, as he went 8-0 with 4 knockouts while earning the WBA Fedecentro welterweight title with a 12-round decision win over previously unbeaten Gabriel Martinez in April of the previous year. That bout also doubled as his US television debut, one that saw him garner plenty of fans for his exciting style. In August, Canelo defended his title with a ten-round unanimous decision win over veteran Carlos Adan Jerez. On October 24th, “El Canelo” made his US debut with a clear-cut 10-round win over talented Larry Mosley at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California. Canelo finished 2008 in style with a first-round technical knock out of 16-1 Raul Pinzon on December 5th. He then kicked off his 2009 campaign with a first-round technical knockout of Antonio Fitch on January 17th that earned him the vacant NABF welterweight title. After that, Canelo kept up a ferocious fight pace with six more bouts in 2009. His streak of destruction after the Fitch fight continued on February 21st when he halted unbeaten Euri Gonzalez in 11 rounds to win the WBO Latino title. Less than two months later, he defended his NABF belt with a 10th round stoppage of highly regarded Michel Rosales. Victories over Jeferson Concalo (KO9), Marat Khuzeev (KO2) and Carlos Herrera (TKO1) followed in June, August, and September, respectively, upping his professional record to 29-0-1 with 22 KOs. He finished up the year on December 5th with a near shutout 12-round decision win over Lanardo Tyner. In January of 2010, Canelo signed a promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions, kicking off a relationship that helped lead him to a world championship. He defended his NABF title with a third-round knockout of Brian Camechis in March of 2010, halted highly-ranked contender Jose Miguel Cotto in nine rounds in May of that year and stopped 26-1 Luciano “El Principito” Cuello in six rounds for the vacant WBC silver junior middleweight title on July 10th. On September 18, 2010, Canelo returned to the ring at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center and became only the second man to ever knock out former welterweight champion Carlos “Tata” Baldomir as he finished him in the sixth round. Canelo finished off his breakout year on December 4th with a 12 round unanimous decision win over Lovemore “The Black Panther” N’dou. On March 5th, Canelo had his first bout of 2011. He was in top-notch form as he won the vacant WBC junior middleweight title with a near shutout victory over British contender Matthew “Magic” Hatton. Canelo defended his crown for the first time on June 18th against another battlin’ Brit, Sheffield’s Ryan Rhodes. He ended the exciting bout in style, halting the longtime contender in the 12th round of a bout in Mexico that captivated the nation and set viewing records across the country. The next stop on Canelo’s amazing ride took place on September 17th, when he stopped ex “The Contender” Alfonso Gomez in six rounds. He then closed out 2011 with a fifth-round stoppage of former world champion Kermit “The Killer” Cintron. On May 5, 2012, Canelo defended his belt for the fourth time and faced future Hall of Famer Sugar Shane Mosley as part of the “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” per-pay-view telecast. Even though the fight lasted 12 rounds, the popular Mexican showed the 40-year-old veteran the road to retirement, winning via unanimous decision. Once again, young Alvarez made his country proud while continuing his rise to stardom. The victory over Mosley set up a September 15th showdown with breakout star Josesito Lopez, and despite Lopez’ game effort, Alvarez’ power and strength were too much, as he knocked his opponent down three times before ending the bout with a fifth round technical knockout. Next, boxing’s most popular phenom continued on the path to superstardom with a 12 round unanimous decision over WBA champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout on May 4, 2013 in front of over 39,000 fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The win proved Alvarez’ supremacy at 154 pounds and also made it clear that he was a bonafide ticket seller wherever he decided to fight. Now the only thing left for Alvarez to prove was his place on the pound-for-pound list, and on September 14, 2013, against the man on top of that list - Floyd “Money” Mayweather. This fight not only turned out to be one of the most important fights of the year but a career defining eve for Canelo Alvarez. And as they say those who know the sport, things happen and there are no explanations as by the end of 12 rounds Mayweather was declared the winner via majority decision in a bout that exceed expectations with blockbuster PPV numbers. The fight ended up being not just the biggest of the year, but the highest grossing bout of all-time (second only to 2015’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao) and the most watched boxing event ever on Mexican television, proving that for Canelo, the best is still yet to come. On March 8, 2014, Alvarez returned to the ring with a 10th round technical knockout win over fellow Mexican warrior Alfredo “Perro” Angulo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the ‘Fight Capital of the World’ was also the site for Canelo’s second victory of that year, as he won a hard-fought split decision over Cuba’s Erislandy Lara. Returning to battle on May 9, 2015, Alvarez delivered one of the most impressive performances of his career against one of his most dangerous foes, as he knocked out Texas slugger James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland in the third round claiming 2015’s Knockout of the Year. In his most recent match on November 21, 2015, Alvarez was consolidated as the most dominant and popular fighter of his generation with a victory over the legendary Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto capturing the WBC, Ring Magazine, and Lineal Middleweight Championships. The exciting bout was dubbed one of the best in the year and received a BWAA Fight of the Year nomination. Canelo kicked off 2016 with excitement signing an endorsement deal with Tecate, the first individual boxer to be sponsored by the beer giant and opened up the new state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as the first professional sporting and boxing event on May 7 with a sixth round knockout of Amir “King” Khan in front of a roaring crowd of 16,540. Already being hailed as the Knockout of the Year, the fight was an exciting demonstration of speed vs. power, where Amir Khan dominated the first four rounds with his quick hands and feet before the brutal knockout during the sixth round. Most recently, Canelo took home the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship with a big Texas knockout over Liam Smith on Mexican Independence Day Weekend. Canelo vs. Smith went on to set a record for boxing at AT&T Stadium with 21,240 fans in attendance.