Saúl Álvarez's career is full of successes and world titles. Still, his extraordinary legacy could succumb in three weak moments in the ring.
On September 14, 2013, the boxing guild saw the clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Saúl Álvarez on a ring, a confrontation of high expectations because it is the great promise of Mexican boxing against the American world star, where the loser would have to remove the undefeated tag.
Mayweather took the fight by majority decision, and Canelo lost for the first time in 43 fights; However, eight years later and titles in four different divisions repaired the image of Guadalajara, and before the world, he established himself as the best pound-for-pound fighter today.
This scenario was possible thanks to his dignified defeat against one of the best boxers in history. Still, everything would have been very different if Álvarez had succumbed in three key moments of his career, where on a ring, he was very close to testing the canvas, a site that you still do not know in your 16-year career.
Among his greatest risks, probably the first image that arrives is the one he offered against Gennady Golovkin, both in the first and in the second fight, where the man from Guadalajara took the second draw of his career before the controversy of a sector of fans.
In September 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada witnessed the first edition of GGG vs. Canelo, a unification match for the middle titles of the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (FIB), and International Boxing Organization (OIB), which would define the supremacy of weight in the best moment of the two boxers.
The combat was a true duel of colossi, with two styles marked from the fourth round and a Golovkin determined to seek the knockout round after round, so the public opinion less rooted in Canelo criticized his actions, and despite giving an exhibition of how dodging attacks, the split decision tie did not sit well with many of his critics.
That epic draw against Golovkin led to a rematch that the Mexican won by split decision a year later. Still, during both fights, a better-connected blow against him would have been one of the most painful defeats of his career and brought a negative predicament to his role as the best middleweight fighter.
But these controversial fights were the product of two other fights in which his opponents equally or more pressured the Mexican. Still, due to his extraordinary support of blows and a pinch of luck, he came out ahead to solve his imposing record.
A year after the loss to Mayweather, Cuban Erislandy Lara put the judges in serious trouble and threatened Álvarez's legacy, as another fall almost consecutively would have left Canelo's image on the canvas.
In July 2014, the left-hander Lara gave a display of speed and hitting against Saúl, to the extent of hurting the Mexican's face and leaving the result in the hands of Thursdays. They dictated a controversial victory by split decision in favor of the Mexican.
A large sector of the Cuban followers seriously questioned the judges' decision, especially the one granted by Levi Martínez, who was the only one who scored a victory for the Mexican with a score of 117-111, a very marked difference compared to the other two. Sentencing, who gave victory for each 115-111.
This fight, which to date continues to cause controversy in the multi-champion's career, occurred four years after the first and only time that the man from Guadalajara was on the verge of knockout, long before the fights against Mayweather, Lara and Golovkin occurred.
José Miguel Cotto was in charge of staggering Álvarez on the ring and staying a couple of more accurate blows from giving him his first defeat.
It was on May 1, 2010, when the Puerto Rican hit an almost explosive left hook in the first round, with which Saúl was left hanging from the ropes, while he resisted as best, he could make a series of combinations that, fortunately for the Mexican, ended without being devastating.
With one of the most spectacular comebacks of his career, Canelo bounced back, took the reins of the fight, and knocked out Cotto in nine rounds.