Canelo Alvarez stands alone as boxing’s biggest star.
At 30 years old, he has a phenomenal 55-1-2 record – his two draws coming against Jorge Juarez in just his fifth fight and the classic Gennady Golovkin battle.
However, the only loss he has suffered came via majority decision to Floyd Mayweather, a man who retired with a perfect 50-0 record and whom many regard as one of the greatest boxers of all-time.
But rather than dwell on defeat, Canelo looks at it like a life lesson.
Heading into the fight, he held the WBC light middleweight title and a 42-0-1 record. That was his first world title and he’d already defended six times previously.
Mayweather put his WBA (super) light middleweight title on the line and was 44-0 – someone’s zero had to go, and on that day it would be the young Canelo’s.
He was just 23 at the time and suggested a bit more experience would have come in handy.
“I’ve grown so much,” he told Mike Tyson’s HotBoxin’ as he recalled the 2013 bout at Vegas’ MGM Grand.
“I always thought I need to fight first with [Miguel] Cotto, [Erislandy] Lara and all of those guys and then Floyd,” he continued. “But that’s what it is, you know? That’s what it is. I’m OK.
“I needed more experience and maturity [before facing Floyd]. I don’t think of that fight like a loss. I think of that fight like I learn from that fight.”
Canelo is now in the dominant mould of Mayweather, brushing aside all challengers put in front of him. The unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders will be the next to try, but Alvarez remains the favourite in the eyes of many.
But did Canelo feel like he’d arrived when he shared the ring with Mayweather?
“When I fought Miguel Cotto. That was my best fight,” he explained. “I feel like when I won that fight I felt like ‘OK, my best moment is coming.’”
Since that night nearly eight years ago, Canelo has won championships from light middleweight all the way up to light heavyweight and he told Tyson he plans on sticking around for another seven at least.
With esteemed trainer Eddy Reynoso in his corner, you can bet there will be many more epic nights, especially when he has the love of the crowd behind him.