There’s going to be some tough competition for the award but the title Canelo Alvarez Fighter of the Decade is a real possibility. Alvarez is angling for the title and currently holds a record of 52-1-2, 35.
If the Mexican-born superstar and current middleweight champ manages to defeat WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to become a four-division world champ, he’ll be in the running for the prestigious designation.
Canelo Alvarez Fighter of the Decade? The Path to the Title
Last decade, Manny Pacquiao took the award, and, surprisingly, the Filipino icon is actually in the running for this decade as well. Possibly ahead of Pacquiao, though, is Pacquiao archrival and the biggest cash cow the sport has ever seen, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who holds victories over both Pacquiao and Alvarez. Also in the running for Fighter of the Decade is two-division former world champ, Andre Ward.
The 29-year-old Alvarez, who has been fighting professionally since 15 years of age, has become the de facto face of boxing since the retirement of Mayweather and the aging of Pacquiao. The Guadalajara native is 22-1-1 with 13 KOs in the 2010s against mostly high-profile opposition such as Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, and Daniel Jacobs. The lone defeat on his resume was a majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013 when Alvarez was 23.
“I believe he is champion, the champion of the decade,” Alvarez trainer Eddy Reynoso told media at the Canelo-Kovalev press conference this past week. “Many things he does are things you that you haven’t seen yet.”
Alvarez has always been consumed with establishing a legacy in the sport and seems obsessed with marking his spot in boxing history. Moving up two weight classes to capture a fourth divisional world title against the heavy-handed Russian, Kovalev, would go a long way towards cementing his legacy as not only a leading candidate for Fighter of the Decade, but also as one of the very best of this era.
It’ll be tough to edge out Mayweather for the best of the 2010s acknowledgment, but Mayweather is notoriously NOT beloved by boxing writers. The brash Vegas resident, who has been pretty dismissive of the boxing media in general, might be overlooked in the writer-tabulated Fighter of the Decade voting. An impressive win from Alvarez this weekend could give the writers a more painless voting option when it comes time to issue awards.
Whether Canelo Alvarez wins that award or not, though, there’s no denying his great success in the business that has been his entire life for, well, just about his entire life. From being a 15-year-old wunderkind prospect, beating up grown men in Mexican night clubs to becoming the face of Mexican boxing at 18 to winning his first world title at 20 to being the biggest star in the sport at 29, Alvarez has proven himself as an elite in every sense of the world.
But boxing is boxing and the biggest stars and greatest legends are always just one punch away from a total, disastrous humbling. Alvarez’s opponent this Saturday is more than capable of humbling the superstar and is looking forward to laying hands on Alvarez to steal some of the Mexican’s star mojo and siphoning off some of his earning power.
Kovalev is a three-time world champion in the 175 lb. division, earning a reputation as one of the most fearsome offense-minded fighters in the sport as Alvarez was becoming a bankable superstar.
“You know, I respect his steps and his risks,” Kovalev told media. “This is boxing, but in boxing, only real men try to prove themselves, that they’re a real fighter, and Canelo is that. But this is my division, I have been in this division since my first fight, and I want to make my history, my story. He’s just trying.”
This Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Canelo Alvarez will be looking to make history and secure his own legacy in the sport. Kovaelv will be pushing hard to ruin those plans.
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