Canelo Alvarez is boxing’s biggest global star at present, but things weren’t always this way.
The 30-year-old pound-for-pound king grew up in poverty in Mexico, on the outskirts of Guadalajara.
While he escaped his rough surroundings and now lives in the USA, the same cannot be said for his entire family.
This caused a terrifying situation back in December 2018, when Canelo’s brother was kidnapped just days before his fight with Rocky Fielding.
Canelo recalled on In Depth With Graham Bensinger: “2018, Monday before the fight. I was informed.
“Over the phone, I negotiated everything for his release.
“For three days, I negotiated with those assholes so that they would let him go.
“And after I negotiated, I was still thinking, imagine if this had been my daughter, my mother, my father.
“For me, it would have been even more difficult.
“And on top of that, I had to fight on Saturday and do a thousand interviews and everything, and no one knew anything.
“Everybody thinks, wow, you know, they see me up there and say, ‘Wow, it’s very easy’.
“But nothing is easy in this life, everything is difficult.”
Canelo negotiated the safe release with kidnappers, communicating through a friend who was seemingly in direct contact with them.
He explained: “I was never concerned that [he would not come home].
“But I always think this is the most difficult thing for me because it’s everything for me. It’s f***ing difficult.
“I was texting my friend, ‘Say this, say this,’ and my friend was saying, ‘They said this, tell him this.’
“So f***ing difficult…
“When you hear, ‘My brother is kidnapped,’ you’re f***ing crazy. You’re going crazy in that moment.
“I had a think inside and said, ‘I wanna have a resolution for this situation.’
“Thank God [he ended up being okay]. Thank God because it’s very difficult when you have that kind of thing, you run and never come back.
“I have my brother, thank God.”
After the horror of fight week, Canelo went out and stopped Fielding inside three rounds.