Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's quest for boxing immortality continues this Saturday in Texas when he faces the undefeated Billy Joe Saunders in a super-middleweight unification that is set to merge the Mexican's WBA, WBC and The Ring titles with the Brit's WBO equivalent.
Saunders offers a formidable challenge for the fighter many consider to be the best in the sport today, but such megabouts are no new thing for Canelo.
Here are some of his finest performances and biggest outings to date, which like the Saunders contest on May 8, can be watched on DAZN, the global sports streaming service ( note: fight fans in Mexico will be unable to watch these fights, including vs. Saunders, on DAZN ).
Bulldozing Callum Smith, Dec. 19, 2020
Want a snapshot of Canelo's greatness? The 30-year-old entered the ring with a bigger Callum Smith late last year and proceeded to manhandle him from start to finish en route to a dominant unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 117-111). The battering also earned Alvarez the WBA (Super), The Ring, and vacant WBC super middleweight titles, as he bolstered his case for being the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world.
Knocking out Sergey Kovalev, Nov. 2, 2019
Give Kovalev credit. He hung in there with Canelo through 10 rounds behind that long jab — one of the best in boxing. And then ... it was over in the blink of an eye, just like that. The end came when Alvarez found an opening to detonate a left hook across Kovalev's jaw and came right back with a right hook the other way to drop the Russian on his knees with a hapless thud for a rousing 11th-round KO. Canelo was crowned the WBO light heavyweight world champion and became a four-division world titleholder in the process. Another magical moment at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for the Mexican superstar.
Dominating Daniel Jacobs, May 4, 2019
Size, movement, power, skills, and plenty of veteran savvy as a world champion himself, Daniel Jacobs figured to give Canelo fits ... at least on paper. In the ring was another story, as Canelo proved to be elusive with stellar head and body movement, making "The Miracle Man" swing and miss through several sequences over the fight. That, and he was the aggressor on offense. The outcome was yet another key victory for Canelo, as he swiped Jacobs' IBF middleweight championship to become a unified world middleweight champ with a unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113). Streaming this fight will show you just how remarkable Canelo's speed on the defensive end was on this night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Edging GGG in their rematch, Sept. 15, 2018
Canelo didn't want controversy to cloud their rematch like it did their original a year before. So, he entered the sequel with Gennadiy Golovkin as the aggressor. The key on this night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was Canelo's gutsy strategy to walk Golovkin down, instead of mainly counterpunching as he did in their first bout. The strategy paid dividends, as Canelo, despite being outpunched, was thought to have landed the more significant shots. Judges gave him the majority decision (115-113, 115-113, 114-114). Although GGG once again thought he was robbed of a victory against his rival, Canelo arguably did enough this time around to have his hand raised, showing his championship mettle.
Controversial ending to first fight with GGG, Sept. 16, 2017
It wasn't Canelo's greatest showing, but you'd hard-pressed to put together a list of his must-see fights without mentioning his first war with GGG. It's too ingrained into his history at this point, and it was one hell of a fight. The only problem with it was the finish, as the bout was declared a split draw due to an inexplicable 118-110 scoring from judge Adalaide Byrd. That, along with the 115–113 for Golovkin and 114–114 scorecards, secured the controversial ending, as Golovkin rightfully felt like he was robbed of a sure victory, having outlanded his rival in 10 of the bout's 12 rounds as the clear aggressor. In retrospect, though, it took this fight for Canelo to come back even sharper in their rematch.
Unanimous decision over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., May 6, 2017
A ripe 26-year-old Canelo against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bearing the legendary Chavez boxing name during Cinco de Mayo weekend. Yeah ... this fight was a pretty big deal. The problem is one Mexican boxer brought his A-game; the other left his guts at home. Canelo dominated the action, landing nearly 40 percent of his punches to cruise toward a shutout unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Chavez was tentative, with his hands seemingly glued to his body, as he hesitated to let shots fly. One can't beat a warrior like Canelo like that, which led to one-way traffic on this night.
Demolishing Amir Khan with scary KO, May 7, 2016
You'll get the feeling watching this fight that Canelo is waiting to unload on some dynamite. Allowing Khan to pump the jab with a high punch output early only strengthens that feeling. But it all came to a vicious end in the sixth round when Alvarez connected on a nightmarish right hand, which instantly slept the Briton in what remains as Canelo's scariest KO to date. Not for the faint of heart at all. With the win, Canelo retained his WBC and The Ring middleweight world titles while reinforcing the notion that there are levels to boxing, and his is above and beyond "King" Khan's.
Soundly defeating Miguel Cotto, Nov. 21, 2015
The question entering the fight revolved around whether a cagey yet capable 35-year-old Cotto could use his experience and pure guts to pull out a victory against Canelo, ten years his junior. Twelve rounds later, Canelo made sure that there weren't any questions lingering. He dominated the veteran behind a clean volume of power and pinpoint-accuracy. Judges saw it that way, too, awarding him with a unanimous decision.
Falling to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in first and only loss, Sept. 14, 2013
Sometimes the best lessons come via defeat. One could argue that for Canelo to become a four-division champion, he needed this experience first. A more experienced, savvy Mayweather had his way with Canelo, luring him out to the center of the ring and connecting on precise punches at a 46-percent clip. When he wasn't working behind the jab, Mayweather was defending like only he can, eluding Canelo's power. It was a loss but a valuable lesson learned for Canelo, who dropped his unified junior middleweight crown in the process. The bout remains a must-see when mentioning Alvarez's name.
Dominating Shane Mosley, May 5, 2012
Before Mayweather took a crack at silencing Canelo, Mosley tried to stand in the way of the young lion collecting his 40th career victory. But Canelo wouldn't be denied on Cinco de Mayo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He dominated the action from start to finish as the more active, stronger puncher toward the unanimous decision.