Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán, born July 18, 1990, also known as Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, is a Mexican professional boxer. He has held multiple world championships in two weight classes, including the Ring magazine middleweight title since 2015. Previously he had two reigns as light middleweight world champion, holding the WBA (Unified), WBC, and Ring titles between 2011 and 2013, and the WBO title from 2016 to 2017. At middleweight he also held the WBC and lineal titles between 2015 and 2017.
As of February 2018, Álvarez is ranked as the world’s best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec; fourth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) and ESPN; and fifth by The Ring. He is also ranked as the world’s best active middleweight by BoxRec, and fourth by the TBRB. Álvarez is known as an excellent counterpuncher, being able to exploit openings in his opponents’ guards while avoiding punches with head and body movement. He is also known as a formidable body puncher.
Álvarez was born in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco. Growing up on his family’s farm, he learned horseback riding, which he loves to do even today. He is the youngest of eight children, seven of them boys; all of his brothers also became professional boxers. Among his brothers are welterweight boxers Ramón Álvarez, Ricardo Álvarez and former Interim WBA World Champion, Rigoberto Álvarez.
Álvarez started boxing at 13 years old, after watching his older brother Rigoberto Álvarez’s debut as a professional boxer. In 2004 he won the silver medal at the Junior Mexican National championships, held in Sinaloa. He became the 2005 Junior Mexican National Boxing Champion in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, at the age of 15. Canelo has an amateur record of 44-2
Álvarez turned professional at 15 and in his first 19 months as a professional, he knocked out 11 of his 13 documented opponents, all of whom were significantly older.
Álvarez’ third official bout of his career was a win over future IBF lightweight Champion, Miguel Vázquez on January 20, 2006. On June 28, 2008, Álvarez defeated Miguel Vázquez again in a rematch. He also made world history in that fight card. On March 6, 2010, he got a crushing third-round knockout over Brian Camechis in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. He also defeated Jose Miguel Cotto on May 1, 2010, on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley undercard in the MGM Grand Garden Arena on HBO PPV to retain his NABF Welterweight title.
Alvarez won over Luciano Leonel Cuello by TKO in sixth round for the WBC silver light middleweight bout was held in the Vicente Fernández Arena.
He is the only one to knock out former WBC welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on the Shane Mosley vs. Sergio Mora undercard.
On March 5, 2011, Álvarez defeated EBU welterweight Champion Matthew Hatton by unanimous decision, for the vacant WBC light middleweight belt.
Álvarez successfully defended his newly awarded WBC light middleweight title against the Ring #4 ranked Super Welterweight and current EBU light middleweight Champion, Ryan Rhodes by a TKO victory in the twelfth round on June 18, 2011.
On 17 September 2011, Álvarez successfully defended his title with a TKO in Round 6 over The Contender competitor Alfonso Gomez at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, winning by technical knockout victory in the sixth round.
As of 16th September 2107, he holds a professional record of 49 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws.
On January 29, 2018 HBO finally announced the rematch would take place on May 5 on the Cinco de Mayoweekend. On February 22, the T-Mobile Arena was again selected as the fights venue. According to WBC, unlike the first bout, Álvarez would fight for their title.