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SPORTS SHORTS 127: CANELO ALVAREZ IS THE WORLD'S BEST ACTIVE BOXER, AIMS TO BE UNDISPUTED CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com




Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is ranked as the world's best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec, The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB).

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Canelo is rated second to Terence Crawford pound-for-pound by ESPN. He is also ranked as the world's best active super middleweight by BoxRec, The Ring, TBRB, and ESPN.

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Alvarez has lost only once in 58 fights, to former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, when Canelo was aged 23 years and inexperienced. He has since won world titles at four divisions and is boxing’s highest-paid and most sought-after fighter. He is the latest Mexican boxing idol and also the favorite of most fight fans and scribes.

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Álvarez is the youngest of eight children, seven of them boys and all of his brothers were also professional boxers. Among his brothers are welterweights Ramón Álvarez, Ricardo Álvarez and former WBA interim world champion, Rigoberto Álvarez.

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Alvarez was a massive favorite over Billy Joe Saunders at -800 (bet $800 for Canelo and win only $100) at William Hill Sportsbook. Saunders comes in as a +550 underdog (bet $100 for Saunders to win $550).

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Alvarez smelled victory in the eighth round when he ran after Saunders around the ring and waved his arms up in the air to the delight of the pro-Mexican crowd, to signal that the end of the fight was near.

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The fight at the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys was also the largest crowd of 73,126 to watch a US sports event since the coronavirus pandemic. It also broke the record of the largest indoor attendance for a boxing event in history.

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Billy Joe Saunders' corner threw in the towel after their previously unbeaten fighter couldn't see in his right eye which was badly swollen from Alvarez's powerful blows.

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Saunders' trainer, Mark Tibbs, told ESPN it was his decision to stop the fight and that there were no objections from the other cornermen, including Saunders himself. "He's a young man," Tibbs said. "He's got a family. He's got children. I've known him a very, very long time. He lives to fight another day."

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In 2008 Saunders, as an amateur, qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the welterweight division at the age of 18. He beat Adem Kılıççı of Turkey in the first round but lost to Cuban Carlos Banteux in the second preliminary round.

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Saunders had a fruitful amateur campaign, winning the gold medals in the 2007 EU Junior Championships in Warsaw, the 2008 Strandzha Cup in Bulgaria and the 2008 EU Championships
Gold medal in Cetniewo, Poland all as a welterweight.

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Saunders won the vacant WBO super middleweight title by beating Albania's Shefat Isufiby unanimous decision on May 2019. He defended it two times against Argentina's Marcelo Esteban Coceres by 11th round KO and winning over British Martin Murray by unanimous decision. He lost to Canelo in his third defense.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn told AK & Barak Show that he has started talks with Caleb Plant's management team about a proposed four-belt unification fight in September. Plant is the IBF super middleweight champion and has defended it with two knockouts and a unanimous decision.

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"It's the only fight," Hearn said. "Hopefully Caleb Plant feels the same way. It's all up to Caleb Plant. What else is Caleb Plant gonna do?"

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The fight is next thing to do for Alvarez to fulfill his goal of becoming the super middleweight division's first undisputed champion.

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Plant turned pro in May 2014, signing with manager Al Haymon. Plant stopped 8 of his first 9 opponents by knockout. He won all his 21 fights with 12 knockouts.

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He challenged for at a world title in his 18th fight when he fought Venezuelan José Uzcátegui and won the IBF super middleweight championship. In the fight, he knocked Uzcátegui down twice for a unanimous decision win.

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In the undercard, WBO light flyweight champion Elwin Soto was raining punches on Katsunari Takayama, and referee Lawrence Cole waved his arms over the Japanese fighter with 16 seconds in the last round.

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From the opening bell, Soto (19-1, 13 KOs), of San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico, was the very superior fighter over Takayama (32-9, 12 KOs), who had been inactive for four years until he returned in December last year.

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Leon Spinks of USA won the 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medal in the light heavyweight class. He became professional world champion winning the undisputed heavyweight title in 1978 and WBA heavyweight title in 1978.

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Michael Spinks USA won the 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medal in the middleweight class. He became professional world champion winning the IBF heavyweight (1985-1987), IBF light heavyweight (1984-1985), WBC light heavyweight (1983-1985), and WBA light heavyweight (1981-1985) titles.

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Anthony Davis scored 42 points and grabbed12 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers never looked back in a 123-110 win over the Phoenix Suns. Davis announced that LeBron James will be ready for the playoffs. "What I’ve seen from LeBron today, he’ll be fine,” Davis said. "Trust me. He’ll be fine.”

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Oscar Robertson has owned the NBA record for most career triple-doubles at 181 since 1961-62. Big O shares that record with Russell Westbrook who recorded 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists in the Washington Wizards' 133-132 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Indianapolis.

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Westbrook is set to break that record. According to ESPN: "Milestones like these just don't change hands often. The last time an NBA all-time record was broken was when Ray Allen passed Reggie Miller on the all-time list for 3-pointers made in 2011. That was a decade ago!"


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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