In September 2013, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez suffered the only loss of his career, against the great Floyd Mayweather.
Canelo, who takes on Dmitry Bivol this weekend for his WBA light heavyweight title, was just 23 when he decided to take on one of the all-time greats. But he already had a record of 42 wins and one draw after turning professional at 15 years of age.
Mayweather would retire with a 50-0, but he wasn’t there yet when he faced the Mexican. The Canelo victory took him to 45-0 where he prevailed by majority decision 114-114, 116-112, 117-111.
While Canelo thought he had gained experience and was ready for someone of Mayweather’s calibre, he learned on the night that there are levels in boxing and ‘Money’ was on a different one.
In his post-fight interview, the rising star admitted he could’t find a way to land anything significant on Mayweather despite his best efforts. Fans and experts had wondered before the fight if Canelo’s power and relentless pressing would be the formula to finally beat Mayweather – it was not.
At one point, Canelo put everything behind a body shot aimed at Mayweather, but after the American danced his way out of the predicament, Canelo was left swatting at nothing but the ropes.
Mayweather even had time to stop and mock Canelo’s efforts.
After the fight, Mayweather said he just had more skills in his arsenal than Canelo at that point.
“It is about skills,” said former five-weight world champion Mayweather. “I came out and showed my skills.
“I just listened to my corner, listened to my dad [Floyd Sr, who is also his trainer]. My dad had a brilliant game-plan and I went out there and got the job done.”
In the years after that loss, Canelo has won world titles in three weight-classes and had two lucrative bouts with Gennady Golovkin.
When asked in 2018 how the same fight would go, Canelo said he’s now got the experience that defeated him on that night.
“I’m a more complete fighter now,” Canelo started. “I would be much more competitive. I have a lot more experience. I have improved a lot, so it would be different.
“It was experience that defeated me that night. And that’s why it was a boring fight, as well, because he didn’t do too much to me either. It was experience and I’m a much more mature fighter.
“I’m a better fighter than the fighter that…
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