Canelo Alvarez: Leader of the New Cool

    Canelo Alvarez deserves his flowers now. In fact, give him a garden while you are at it.

    After dispatching of IBF mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in three rounds this weekend at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Alvarez immediately announced his next challenge.

    Billy Joe Saunders is the next contestant to punch his ticket to the Canelo lottery and fans couldn’t be more overjoyed.

    Not just because it’s a fight the world wants to see at the right time but because the timing of the announcement couldn’t be better.

    After leaving Golden Boy Promotions to become his own boss, Canelo cited lack of activity as the reason. Now that Canelo Promotions is here, he is showing the world that he is trying to remain active and chasing a legacy all his own making.

    Canelo putting his WBC, WBA Super, WBO and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight is putting his titles on the line on May 8, to get one step further to becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion.

    Canelo Alvarez dismantled WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in three rounds at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and next he takes a giant step in his quest to become undisputed by facing the WBO king Saunders at a venue to be announced soon.

    Alvarez’s win over Yildirim followed hot on the heels of his dominant triumph over Callum Smith in San Antonio, Texas to win the belts he defended this evening, and now another Briton enters the fray to take on the pound for pound king.

    Saunders (30-0 14 KOs) will be putting his WBO strap on the line for the third time, after recently sending Martin Murray into retirement following his comprehensive points win over the British stalwart, and the Briton puts his belt and unbeaten record on the line in what promises to be a mouth-watering occasion.

    “We want to unify the division, he’s a world champion, we want to go for it and we need to go for it,” said Canelo. “He’s a very difficult fighter and has a championship, the WBO.

    “People talk but I’m a very mature fighter and I know how to control myself. All I need to do is go into the ring, win and make history.”

    “It’s because it hasn’t been done, no one has done it in Latin America. In the world only a few fighters have done it, the best. I want to make history and be one of the best in the world.”

    Ever since his loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013, Alvarez has become a better fighter and now a real businessman. He leads a pack of boxer-businessmen like Devin Haney, the youngest boxing promoter ever, the majority of the Premier Boxing Champions stars like Errol Spence, Jr., Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner.

    Announcing a fight against Saunders only solidifies that as a classic matchup to keep the steam of Team Canelo.

    “This is one of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The pound-for-pound king on the road to undisputed against the unbeaten champion who has long believed he can overcome him. After missing a chance to fight and celebrate on Cinco de Mayo last year this is going to be very special.”

    Saunders is the perfect opponent at the perfect time. A win sets him up for the chance to face IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant to become undisputed.

    “Canelo, I’m ready to rock and roll,” said Saunders. “You have to dare to be great and you aren’t going to be a great if you don’t beat the greats.

    “I believe I am the only one with the footwork, knowhow, skillset, mindset and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.

    “He’s the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect, he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable, and I believe I have got the tools to beat him if I use them properly and if the gameplan comes off that I believe works.

    “I believe he’s been in harder fights than me and has more miles, so I want to cement my legacy and beat him.”

     

    Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.