Canelo Alvarez is the most transcendent boxer of his generation

At age 29, Canelo Alvarez is no longer the boxer who was schooled by Floyd Mayweather in September 2013.

That fateful night served as an omen for Alvarez, who has gone on to become exactly what Mayweather was the night he defeated him.

The face of boxing. The sport’s most popular and biggest superstar. While Mayweather was the face of the sport, he was not necessarily the most well-liked fighter, and as many can testify, the American couldn’t give one damn.

Alvarez has a long resume of wanting to challenge himself and fight the very best opponents. He has reiterated time and time again that he wants to go out as a legend and please boxing fans by pursuing the best possible bouts.

Whether it was the neighborhood bully who poked fun at Alvarez for having red hair as a kid, hence the nickname “Canelo,” which means cinnamon in Spanish, or fighting Gennady Golovkin not once but twice, Alvarez has never ducked a challenge.

In Sept. 2017, Canelo fought Golovkin to a controversial split draw. They were initially slated to rematch in May 2018, but Alvarez was suspended for six months after twice testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol. They eventually fought last September, with Canelo earning a majority decision win.

Immediately after the fight, the question became, “When will the trilogy take place?”

Actor Jim Carrey notably hated doing sequels because he felt like that he was “imitating his own inspiration.” In other words, Carrey lacked the motivation and the hunger because it was something that was already done. He sought a fresh challenge.

Canelo can relate.

Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO’s), 29, of Mexico, had an opportunity to face Golovkin again on Sept. 14, but turned it down. Instead, he will climb two weight classes to face light heavyweight world titleholder Sergey Kovalev on November 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

When asked why he was unwilling to fight Golovkin a third time, Alvarez provided a similar answer to Carrey.

“Because he has nothing to offer me; I already beat him twice.” Alvarez told DAZN. “Why fight him a third time?”

If the Canelo-Golovkin trilogy never happens, boxing fans should give Alvarez a pass. In the polarized era of social media, many will bark, but that is to be expected.

In 2013, he took on Austin Trout in a junior middleweight unification fight. His promoters at Golden Boy were not too enthusiastic about the idea, but he pressed to get that fight, and he got it. Canelo went on to deck Trout in the seventh round and won a unanimous decision.

His bravery and courage earned him a shot at Mayweather. He put up a good effort, but was virtually shutout in a world-class performance from Mayweather. But not only did he dare to be great, he also did not allow the sole defeat on his record to deter him from going out and accomplishing more in the sport.

Canelo went on to outpouring Miguel Cotto for the middleweight title in 2015 and eventually fought Golovkin.

If Alvarez beats Kovalev on November 2nd, he will be a four-weight world champion. A year ago at this time, he was only a two-division world titleholder.

What we are witnessing is peak Canelo, who is undeniably a first-ballot International Boxing Hall of Famer.

And here’s the scary part — he is still not done.

If anything, boxers today should follow the example that Alvarez has set.

Fight the best. Push for the biggest bouts possible, even if it means going in a different direction than your promoters have in mind.

In an era of over-marinating fights and promoter squabbling, Alvarez has been transcending.

Transcendence. Few reach it, he has.

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