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Canelo out to crown career that began at 15 against 'GGG'

by 14/09/2017 19:37:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has boxed since he was 15 and says he was born to fight
  • The Mexican figther has a tattoo on his jabbing arm that reads: 'No boxing no life'
  • Canelo is preparing for a middleweight showdown with Gennady Golovkin
  • It has taken almost three years to make but Canelo insisted he always wanted it
  • Both Canelo and Golovkin will earn their biggest ever pay-day on Saturday 

By Jeff Powell For The Daily Mail

Published: 17:30 EDT, 14 September 2017 | Updated: 19:37 EDT, 14 September 2017

The tattoo on the jabbing arm of Santos Saul Alvarez Barragan reads: No boxing no life.

Canelo, the Spanish translation for cinnamon which is a nickname Alvarez shares with other red-haired Mexicans, has known no working life except the hardest game since he was 15.

He would have it no other way.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is preparing for the biggest fight of his career with Gennady Golovkin
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is preparing for the biggest fight of his career with Gennady Golovkin

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is preparing for the biggest fight of his career with Gennady Golovkin

Canelo has a tattoo on his arm that reads: 'No boxing no life' and has boxed since he was 15
Canelo has a tattoo on his arm that reads: 'No boxing no life' and has boxed since he was 15

Canelo has a tattoo on his arm that reads: 'No boxing no life' and has boxed since he was 15

'I love the sport,' he says. 'Boxing is my passion, my life, my heart. I was born to fight.

'I fight for my country, my people, my family, my team, as well myself. And for my fans who ask me to give them a great, tough fight which is beautiful to see.'

Never has that been asked so intently as before tomorrow's battle with world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.

The Mexican fighter insists he would have it no other way and said he was born to fight
The Mexican fighter insists he would have it no other way and said he was born to fight

The Mexican fighter insists he would have it no other way and said he was born to fight

Canelo will finally meet Golovkin in a middleweight showdown after years of negotiations
Canelo will finally meet Golovkin in a middleweight showdown after years of negotiations

Canelo will finally meet Golovkin in a middleweight showdown after years of negotiations

These are the two best 160lb fighters on the planet, arguably the two most exciting boxers of this post-Mayweather-Pacquiao era, contenders for the title of greatest pound-for-pound man in the prize-ring today.

Golovkin comes to the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip armed with not only the WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO belts but also murderous punching power.

Many a prospective challenger to Golovkin has wilted before the prospect but Canelo smiles and says: 'I will enjoy it very much.'

It has taken almost three years to bring these two to combat. The lengthy delay was attributed to reluctance on the part of Alvarez but more likely his promoters Golden Boy stayed his hand until he was fully ready at 27, believing also that Golovkin is showing signs of ageing at 35.

Canelo insists: 'I've always wanted this fight.'

Despite it taking so long to come to fruition, Canelo insisted he's 'always wanted this fight'
Despite it taking so long to come to fruition, Canelo insisted he's 'always wanted this fight'

Despite it taking so long to come to fruition, Canelo insisted he's 'always wanted this fight'

Saturday's clash with Golovkin will be the 27-year-old's 52nd professional fight of his career
Saturday's clash with Golovkin will be the 27-year-old's 52nd professional fight of his career

Saturday's clash with Golovkin will be the 27-year-old's 52nd professional fight of his career

The only person to beat him to date is Floyd Mayweather, who won by majority decision in 2013
The only person to beat him to date is Floyd Mayweather, who won by majority decision in 2013

The only person to beat him to date is Floyd Mayweather, who won by majority decision in 2013

So the defining hour has come in the 52nd fight since he was 15, an astonishing number for one so young. That does not fully encompass a career that includes reigns as world light-middleweight champion and one brief hold on a middleweight title. He recalls: 'When I was getting started, I had 10 fights in such small venues (in the Mexican state of Nayarit) that they went unrecorded.'

How did they go? All knockouts to add to a formidable record.

For his first documented fight he was paid 800 pesos, £33 at today's exchange rate. This weekend he is guaranteed $15million (£11.2m), a purse expected to increase to $35m (£26.1m) once the pay-per-view returns are in.

To date he has won 49 fights, 34 of them by knockout, drawn one and lost only once, to the great Floyd Mayweather. Of that defeat he says: 'I don't regard it as a loss, but as priceless experience in preparation for Saturday night.'

Golovkin will also enjoy his biggest pay-day, $15m (£11.2m) rising to $25m (£18.6m).

Both Canelo and Golovkin will enjoy their biggest ever pay-day, both earning $15million
Both Canelo and Golovkin will enjoy their biggest ever pay-day, both earning $15million

Both Canelo and Golovkin will enjoy their biggest ever pay-day, both earning $15million

But it is not money that drives these men to combat so mortal that Golovkin says: 'One punch from either of us could change the life of the other, for ever.'

What matters most to Alvarez is this: 'The biggest fight of my life and what it means to my legacy and to boxing.'

As he and Golovkin both assert: 'This is a fight for history.'

Canelo adds: 'I absolutely respect the great middleweights of the past. It would be disrespectful to fighters such as Duran, Monzon, Hagler and others for me to pick one of them as my idea of the best. But this is a new era. My era when I beat Golovkin.'

The Kazakh possesses devastating knockout ability with 33KOs in his 37 professional fights
The Kazakh possesses devastating knockout ability with 33KOs in his 37 professional fights

The Kazakh possesses devastating knockout ability with 33KOs in his 37 professional fights

Despite this Canelo is confident of recording his own knockout and admits he visualises it daily
Despite this Canelo is confident of recording his own knockout and admits he visualises it daily

Despite this Canelo is confident of recording his own knockout and admits he visualises it daily

He is a true lover of boxing and is looking forward to Saturday, admitting 'Nothing can compare with that feeling when coming into the ring on a night as big as this Saturday.'
He is a true lover of boxing and is looking forward to Saturday, admitting 'Nothing can compare with that feeling when coming into the ring on a night as big as this Saturday.'

He is a true lover of boxing and is looking forward to Saturday, admitting 'Nothing can compare with that feeling when coming into the ring on a night as big as this Saturday.'

The Kazakh KO merchant has never been put down but Alvarez says: 'Every night as I go to bed I visualise knocking him out. I am thinking about nothing else.'

Undisputed greatness has been his dream since this youngest of eight children, all seven brothers becoming boxers, grew up riding horses and learning to fight on the family farm near the small town of Juanacatlan.

In addition to riding, he now races fast cars for fun, but not even the thrill of speed is close to the excitement of boxing. He says: 'Nothing can compare with that feeling when coming into the ring on a night as big as this Saturday. It is unique.'

No boxing, no life. No risk, no reward. Fasten your seat belts.

Canelo v Golovkin will be televised live in the UK on BoxNation Box Office.

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